Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer
An estimated 40,000 people gather in Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing "Children of the Rainbow," a song derided by mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.
April 26th, 2012
10:21 AM ET

Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer

Norwegians raised their voices in unison on Thursday to get under the skin of admitted mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

An estimated 40,000 people turned out in central Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing "Children of the Rainbow," a Norwegian version of "My Rainbow Race," written by American folk singer Pete Seeger.

During his trial for the killings of 77 people last summer, Breivik cited the song as an example of Marxist influence on Norwegian culture.

The Norwegian version of the song describes a "World where – every sister and every brother – shall live together – like small children of the rainbow," according to a report in the Norway Post.

Breivik, whose trial in Oslo City Court began last week, boasts of being an ultranationalist who killed his victims to fight multiculturalism in Norway.

Thursday's event, which included a march to the courthouse to drop roses outside, was “a beautiful, touching scene,” said Geir Engebretsen, the court chief justice in charge of Breivik's terror trial, according to a report on Views and News from Norway.

"It’s a very moving manifestation of Norwegian culture," Engebretsen said, according to the report, which cited Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The idea for Thursday's singing statement came from two women, Christine Bar and Lili Hjonnevag, who became upset with Breivik's derision of the song and posted a call on social media for others to join them in singing it on the square, Views and News reported. They expected a few dozen people, the report said.

But by Tuesday, 4,000 people had accepted their Facebook invitation - and then 10 times that many turned up Thursday.

“I think this just shows that people felt a need to show their feelings, to make an expression of how they value the Norwegian democracy. It’s fantastic," Views and News quoted Labour Party Secretary Raymond Johansen as telling NRK.

Culture ministers from Sweden, Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland joined in the song, the Norway Post reported.

Lillebjorn Nilsen, who wrote the Norwegian version of the Seeger song, led the crowd in singing both the Norwegian and English versions, according to the Views and News report.

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Filed under: Anders Behring Breivik • Crime • Norway
soundoff (638 Responses)
  1. Defiant Norwegian

    @listen, sayin "laws don`t allow guns". What laws would that be..?? Certainly not any Norwegian ones... I own a gun, my mates own guns.

    April 27, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. far north

    It is a strange crowd: They are against those who object to multiculture and multi-ethnicity, and they protest by laying down roses – roses imported from Kenya solely to help kenians- yet the first Kenya did when it obtained independence was to get rid of a large part of the population .

    April 27, 2012 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Hm. I must've missed the part where it said ANYTHING about Kenya..

      April 27, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. LadyGaga

    I sing to annoy people, too.

    April 27, 2012 at 5:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Too funny!!

      April 27, 2012 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rational Libertarian

    Say what you like about the man and what he did. However, you can't argue that he's right about these ridiculous "let's all embrace multiculturalism and hold hands in the streets" type songs. They are stomach churning. Can anyone here honestly say that they didn't want to violently punch Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder the first time they heard "Ebony and Ivory".

    April 27, 2012 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Erwin

      You just invoked Godwin's law.

      April 27, 2012 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      We not only CAN argue that he is wrong. We ARE arguing that he is wrong. Actually we are saying that the whole idea of war, fighting and hating people ARE wrong. Our song tells us so. We are all children of the rainbow and we will live in peace and harmony with eachother. And no terrorist is going to tell us otherwise.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Children of the rainbow? What kind on nonsensical hippy crap is that? Choosing love, not hate? A healthy dose of hatred can be good for you. I hate religion, liberals and popular music. This hatred helps make me the man I am.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Children of the rainbow? What kind on nonsensical hippy crap is that? Choosing love, not hate? A healthy dose of hatred can be good for you. I hate religion, liberals and popular music. This hatred helps make me the good natured that man I am.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Jofro

      Finally! Thank you. Yes, I did and still do want to punch them for singing Ebony and Ivory and I'm not even white!

      April 27, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • crazypete

      Yeah, I guess you are right. Of course I always sorta want to punch Paul.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yeah Pete. I never liked the Beatles. Revolver was good, everything else was average. Zappa rules.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Why yes I can, why you might ask? Well that is as simple as you are, I am a Liberal for all not just the rich and self centered like your beloved Libertarian Party. I know you mind is way to simple to understand that so keep up the stupid fight!

      April 29, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      My mind is developed enough to at least understand the difference between to and too.

      I do support liberty for all. I don't support expropriation and wealth redistribution like most douchy liberals.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. Left wing vs right wing

    What CNN and other foreign media does not understand, is that opinions of the right wing isn't heard. Its all propaganda for the media, and CNN and others fall for it. I was told a story about a man that recieved threats from somebody wanting to kill him for his opinions. But you will never hear about stories like this CNN, only the propaganda from the left wing. And why can't people see why AP wanted roses? They have a rose in their logo. After writing about this now, I will probably be ridiculed and investigated by PST... Even if I am non-violent, but have other opinions than "the majority" of people.

    April 27, 2012 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Bente

      I strongly believe that people from ALL wings have a right to be heard. But I also feel that this political discussion should not be tied to the killings. Because in my eyes no political views makes this tragedy legitime. No killings are.

      April 27, 2012 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Bente

      ..besides...the roses came from the people wanting to show their support, it was not something AP asked for. The marking yesterday was made by initiative from a private person, and not by AP. (Mind you, I don't vote AP, just so that is said) And no matter if AP has a rose in their logo, a rose beats a gun by thousands of miles. Imagine people showing up in the capital of Norway with guns instead of roses.....

      April 27, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      the Norwegian population, wether on the left side or the right side is standing togeather. Choosing LOVE, not hate. This is not about left or right. It is about having a choice and taking a stand.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Sgt Hulka

      Settle down francis you've got fox news to carry your water.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Bananaos

      Thing is. Right wing tend to want to take things away from everyone, rights and all that just so they can be happy with their selfish being. They'd be happy walking past children starving in the street, thinking they obviously deserve it even if they were simply born poor, makes them feel higher up I guess. People like Rational Libertarian prove this type of thinking with quotes like this – ", I'd rather burn every dollar I have than share it." classic right wing. Disgusting.

      The person who wanted to kill the person for their opinion, while wrong I can't honestly blame them for what you right wingers put us through.
      Sorry, but we need less of that shown thanks, you're simply a horrible selfish person if you're right wing. End of.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian


      It is the liberal leftists that want to control everything we do. I'm right wing, and I wouldn't dream of forcing people to do anything.

      Also, I grew up in social housing. Anybody who uses that "born in poverty" excuse to get handouts is a parasite. I made something of myself and didn't need any state assistance.

      You and all the leftists need to grow up and realise that nothing comes free.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Ok for the first and last time FOX is owned by a foreigner CNN is founded by Ted Turner not only and American but a Southern Gentleman! The right is so wrong these days, not to worry when they have more substance than the left I will wonder back that way.

      April 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ms. Norway

    @Bente – It's so right the words you say, it really moved me, and remember "IT'S WE WHO WIN"

    April 27, 2012 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Bente

      Thanks a million for those words Ms. Norway 🙂

      April 27, 2012 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Leah Grambo

    We (Norwegians) did NOT sing to annoy him. We sang for the victims and the families of those who lost loved ones!!!!

    April 27, 2012 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. sufiwoman

    When i read the comment here i see that many Norwegians, like my self, have tried to explain that we did not go there to annoy him. We went there to show love and support. And to say that it is our song. It is our country. And bombing us and killing our children will not change us, and we choose to answer with love, not with hate. We can not get our children back, but we can honor them with responding with love and beauty. If you hate, you make hate in this world stronger. If you love you make love stronger. This is how you change the world. This is how you stop hate. You stop it by choosing love. This is what our dead would have wanted us to do. This is what can help their families. And this is how we heal as a country.

    – From Oslo- with LOVE-

    April 27, 2012 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Hatred can be a very positive emotion. Hatred makes the world go round. Not all hatred can be equated with the actions of a mass murderer.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. sufiwoman

    @rational Libertarian:
    Maybe the hippies had some good points? And do not come to try to tell us that your way is better than ours. It isn't. Our standard of living is way higher than yours. Our level of education is way higher than yours. Our crime rates are way lower than yours and when we do put people in jail with a goal of rehabilitating them, our rates for criminals reentering into criminality are way lower than your rates.And because we think security in a different way than you do, ours is a way more secure society than yours. Not by force, but by choice. And when we choose to reply this horrible events with roses, singing and LOVE. It is because that even though our system is not free from faults and we will constantly work to improve it, we do trust our system. We do LOVE our country and no terrorist is going to take that away from us. He is not going to change us. We are choosing LOVE not hate. Ofcourse we are angry at him, and at the people who share his wiews. They are threatening our society, our freedom and our peace. So we are taking a stand. WE choose love. WE choose rainbows and flowers and earth. This is not going to change us. His hate will not be our hate... We choose LOVE.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      What does love have to do with rainbows, earth and flowers? I love my mother, Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar Bergman and Captain Beefheart. I quite like rainbows, although I'm aware that they are merely sunlight reflections on raindrops. I acknowledge the importance of earth and flowers, although I don't love them.

      Hippy culture is dead. Tie dye t-shirts pale in comparison to a tailor made Armani suit. My wealth is my wealth, I'd rather burn every dollar I have than share it. Maybe a more apt response to Breivik's actions would be to execute him, rather than singing a bunch of hippy nonsense and talking about rainbows and crap that has nothing to do with either national security or love.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Bananaos

      Don't even bother talking to him. He's right wing to the end and won't listen nor understand a word you say. Selfish and disgusting.
      Doesn't deserve any wealth.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian


      Damn right I'm right wing. Fiscally anyway. Socially libertarian. I've earned every dollar I own. I don't take any handouts. Any leftie who wants me to share my money will have to take it from my cold, dead hands. I'll die to ensure capitalism's survival.

      Also, I keenly listen to the arguments of others. It is you who are dismissing me without listening. Typical liberal behavior.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Another Norwegian

    This is just a manifestation that the mass murderer wins!
    Why do this large crowd gather in hatred towards a man in custody, who may or may not be mentally ill?

    This is also a highly political event. It's not all what it looks like on the surface. The local media is strongly biased and unforunately the foreign media do not investigate thoroughly, but take the information given at face value.

    Furthermore some rumors say there were far from 40 000 in yesterdays rally, and that a majority were children brought there by their teachers. This image of Norway as a peace loving nation suits the authorities well in their effort to create the image of Norway as the leading peace nation of the world.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Bente

      Like you said about the majority beeing kids...rumors...and so very stupid ones, because everyone following the event, if only by TV, could see that that is not true at all...and SO very far from it. As is the rest of your statement....

      April 27, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. sufiwoman

    @ rational Lib... What seems rational to you, does not seem rational to me. And all statistics, all objective ways of measuring here show that my way is a better way. Keep your money for your self. We are not asking for it. The world we live in is one, and everything is connected to everything. Offcourse we would like you to learn from us. Offcourse we would have loved for the whole world to join our singing. Of course our goal is that one day they will. That would make our freedom, our security, our peace stronger. But we can not force you. When you are ready you can join us... we know that the only way to make our society a secure society is by making all other societies secure ones too. The only way of ensuring our human rights is by giving them to all people. The only way of ensuring our peace and stability is by bringing peace and stability to everyone... Ofcourse we want the whole world to choose what we have choosen. We want them to do like us. we want them to choose love.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Objective ways of measuring what? I'm not advocating a political system. Although I'm economically conservative, I do admire the Scandinavian social democratic system, although I wouldn't like to live in it. All I'm saying is that all the hippy crap doesn't make sense. How does singing hippy songs in any way increase national security? Also, as Another Norwegian says above, it's all biased, especially the liberal media.

      Also, the Labour Party camp where Breivik commited the atrocity is also strange. Some of those kids were as young as 14. That seems like indoctrination to me.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      It's a camp for young people who are interested in politics to learn about politics and to get involved politically. A lot of Norway's politicians have attended the camp.

      Instead of getting upset about it, maybe young people in America should be a little more interested in politics.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'd like if more children were interested in politics, but there must be a better way of improving their interest than sending them to a camp which is going to be highly biased towards one ideology.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. Young Norwegian

    I see this is highly misunderstood by foraign media. This song was sung because the accused used it as an example of marxist propaganda in Norwegian schools. However, to most NBorwegians it is a much loved song about the ideal that we should all live in peace. We show love, not hate, we don't do it to annoy him, we do it to show each other that we stand together and remember and honour his victims. We trust in our democratic state and court system and trust that what they decide is right, believe it or not.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      I think you guys should make him wear a rainbow prison uniform myself. The one and only in all of Norway. When he complains tell him. Well you know Norway will forever be a rainbow nation!

      April 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

    Having traveled to Stockholm, I stayed with friends in Huddinge. Now I know Sweden isn't Norway but one thing that I've learned is that people who live in Scandinavia are awesome people.

    I hardly think they were singing to annoy that psychopath. It was clearly to show support for those Norway lost in the terrible tragedy.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. sufiwoman

    @ rational Lib...

    How does singing hippy songs in any way increase national security?
    – The same way we believe that not having armed police (they do however have quick access to guns if they need it. but do not carry it on their body) reduces they chance of guns beeing used. Violence grows when you choose to be violent. Just the same way hate grows if you choose to hate. 😉 And that is how our songs and our roses does increase national security.

    – and 600 children on a political inspired summer camp does NOT threaten our democracy and has nothing to do with indoctrination. The 40% who choose not to vote however is a threat to democracy...

    A bunch of hatefull old men choosing to use internet to spread hate. Trying to make us believe that muslims are a threat to our way of life however. IS a threat to our society. In addition to singing in the streets. The Norwegian population have also united in fighting hate idiologies on the internet...

    We just decided to fight for our nation, our freedom, our beliefs. We just decided to meet hate with love.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Libertarian

      How is not voting a threat to democracy? Democracy is about choice, and abstention is a valid choice. My university education was politically based, yet I rarely vote.

      However, limiting freedom of speech greatly limits democracy. If someone wants to spread hate vocally, that is their business. The State should have no ability to limit someone's speech.

      Also, Islam IS a threat to Western concepts of individual liberty, as is Christianity, Judaism and indeed all religions that state that their religious codes supercede State laws.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. sufiwoman

    @ if people stop voting and stop caring about democracy. Then we no longer have democracy. Democracy is one man, one vote. But democracy is also having the responsibility to educate yourself before you use that vote. Make sure it is the right vote for you, and for the direction you would like to see your country go. My university education is also somehow politically based. Although humanity was always more interesting than pure politics for my sake. I value the lessons to be learned from a wronged people holding a rose, singing about rainbows much higher than i value most lessons taught within the walls of a university...

    April 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • sufiwoman

      Islam, christianity, judeism or any other religion is no more a threat to our society than atheism is. When you go from having the right to practise your own religion the way you want and start caring more about how to try to decide about other peoples choises in that regard, is a threat to our society. The right to choose and practice your own religion also have to include a demand on you to give that same right to your fellow human beeings. And on that note athists are just as bad as christians and muslims (and everybody else).

      It is not religions who is a threat to our societies. It is our needs to not be satisfied with the freedom to practice our own faith. And instead try to focus on how to decide over others how they should practice their...

      April 27, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
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