You can not go to a family Christmas party without hearing this song. Originally it was a children’s song about the barn elf from Norwegian folklore, but ever since then Santa Claus (Julenissen – the Christmas Elf) has become part of Norwegian Christmas traditions. Nowadays it is sung as a greeting to Santa when he enters the house to hand out presents, and Santa dances and acts out the lyrics to the amusement of the children. Sometimes the children also dance around him, acting as the “rats”.

På Låven sitter Nissen

På låven sitter nissen med sin julegrøt,
Så god og søt, så god og søt.
Han nikker, og han spiser, og han er så glad,
for julegrøten vil han gjerne ha.
Men rundt omkring står alle de små rotter,
og de skotter, og de skotter.
“Vi vil også gjerne ha litt julegodter!”
Og de danser, danser rundt i ring.

Men nissen, se han truer med sin store skje:
“Nei, bare se, å kom avsted,
for julegrøten min den vil jeg ha i fred,
og ingen, ingen vil jeg dele med.”
Men rottene, de hopper, og de danser,
og de svinser, og de svanser,
De klorer efter grøten og de stanser,
og de står om nissen tett i ring.

Men nissefar han er en liten hissigpropp,
og med sin kropp han gjør et hopp.
“Jeg henter katta hvis dere ikke holder opp!
Når katta kommer, skal det nok bli stopp.”
Da løper alle rottene så bange,
ja så bange, ja så bange,
de snuser etter grøten noen gange,
og på en-to-tre så er de vekk.

In the Barn Sits the Elf

In the barn sits the elf with his Christmas porridge
So good and sweet, so good and sweet
He nods and he eats and he is so happy
‘Cause Christmas porridge is something he loves
But around stands all the little rats
And they peek, and they peek
“We too want some Christmas goodies!”
And they dance, dance around in a circle

But the Elf waves his big spoon
“Oh no, you be on your way!
’cause I want my porridge to myself
and I’ll share with noone, noone!”
But the rats they jump and dance
and they wag, and they sway
They scratch at the porridge and they stop,
and they stand closely around the Elf

But old Elf is a feisty one,
and with his body he makes a jump.
“I’ll get the cat if t´you don’t let off!
When the cat gets here, this will stop!”
Then the rats all run so scared,
oh so scared, oh so scared.
They sniff at the porridge a few times,
and one, two, three they are gone.