LEAVES’ EYES – “Sorhleod” own words and translation by Liv

Dear Fans & Friends,

Here’s my Song of Sorrow, my first song written and sung completely in Old-English. I remember the first time I heard Thorstens instrumental demo version of it: I was filled with great joy, and I got goose-bumps! If I may say so, this is probably my favorite piece of music on Meredead. I just felt that this song required Old-English lyrics, moreover, I feel like I can almost sense the movements of the waves in the chorus rhythm.

The perspective in Sorhleod is seen from a mans point of view. Thematically, it has a certain connection to the title track Meredead, in which the terrible fate of the men, dead by the sea, is seen from a female point of view. In Sorhleod the man explains the harsh and dangerous life, stuck on a drakkar, in ice-cold, raging winter weather, on sea, i.e. a hopeless situation, even for a tough, experienced Viking. As you probably have read, a Viking didnt stop sailing until he found land, i.e. retreat and return to home was out of the question. Thats how Leif Eiriksson ended up discovering America (Vinland), missing out on Greenland due to misty weather. In Sorhleod, the drakkar is still lost on the open sea, and the men fear, that they might not survive. We dont know if his prayers to Mary will be heard, though. His prayers to Mary is of essential importance: Historically, the action in my poem takes place after 1000 AD, as Norway was gradually Christianized in a process starting at approximately 1000 AD by Christian missionaries (which was substantially finished by 1150 AD).

That was your history lesson for today 😉



Liv/Leaves Eyes


Sorhleod (original)


Hwilum ylfete song

Dyde ic me to gomene

Nu thu miht gehyran

Tha sorhleod


Daeges ond nihtes

Calde gethrungen

Waeron mine fet

Forste gebunden


Hrimcealde sae

Hreo haeglfare

Haelethum on andan

Ic to sothe wat thaet bith

Haelethum on andan

Ic to sothe wat thaet bith


Eall thaet therinne is

Ceare sarra sorga

Ic eom bitter in breosthord

mid sorgum gedrefted


Marian leofa modes milde eallgylden

Is me nu lifes hyht thaet ic haelan mag



Sorhleod (translation)


Sometimes the song of a swan

I had as my entertainment

Now you might hear

This song of sorrow


For days and nights

Piercing cold weather

My feet were

Frost bound


Ice-cold sea

Fierce hailstorms

To the terror of men

I know too truly what that is


All that there is inside

Sorrow, grievious sorrows

I am bitter in my heart

Drenched in sorrow


Mary, beloved, gracious soul, most beautiful

It is now my lifes hope that I might heal