11 Most Iconic Nordic Songs

North European countries has known for their success in the music industry. While Scandinavian countries Sweden, Norway, and Denmark has given us many iconic songs in the pop music industry, Finland presented us its metal and hard rock songs. Also, Iceland and Faroe Islands introduced their extraordinary Nordic folk music to the world. On this list, we will take a look at the best of Nordic songs.

1. ABBA — Dancing Queen

When someone talks about “Nordic songs”, ABBA must be the first band for everyone to ever came in mind. Being one of the most known songs of the world-renowned Swedish band ABBA, Dancing Queen is a 1976 Europop song and a worldwide No. 1 hit, topping the charts in more than a dozen countries. The song is euphoric, catchy, and full of feelings of youth. It has become a standard for dance divas such as Carol Douglas and Kylie Minogue, and an anthem for the LGBT community.

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
Oh yeah, you can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
Ooooh, see that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing Queen

2. a-ha — Take on Me

Take on Me is a 1984 song by Norwegian synth-pop band a-ha. It is a song that makes one tap out the rhythm of it. The band’s vocalist Morten Harket’s voice hits higher notes, reaching falsetto at the end of the chorus, which makes it one of the hardest choruses in the pop history. With over 1.2 billion views on Youtube, the band became the first Scandinavian act to achieve this.

3. Roxette — Listen To Your Heart

Released in 1988, Listen To Your Heart is one of the most successful songs of the Swedish pop music duo Roxette. The music video was filmed during a live performance at the Borgholm Castle ruin on the Swedish island of Öland.

Listen to your heart when he’s calling for you
Listen to your heart, there’s nothing else you can do
I don’t know where you’re going and I don’t know why
But listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye

4. Aqua — Barbie Girl

I am sure nobody expects this song to be in a Nordic songs list. Barbie Girl is one of those songs that are insanely catchy. It has an effect on people that once they listen to it, it turns out they already know the lyrics by heart. The led vocalist Lene’s high-pitched and squeaky delivery, and the music video make one think if Barbie doll were to come alive, would she and her world be that. Also, as an interval act, Aqua performed their song “Barbie Girl” along with their other songs in the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest.

5. Ace of Base — The Sign

The Sign is a 1993 techno-reggae and Europop song of the Swedish group Ace of Base. It is a song with catchy hook that makes one easily sing it by heart.  The Sing also reached number one in countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, and New Zealand, and peaked at number two on the United Kingdom.

Life is demanding without understanding
I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes

6. Lordi — Hard Rock Hallelujah

Hard Rock Hallelujah is a song by Finnish hard rock band Lordi. It reflects the rock and metal side of Nordic songs. In 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, all of Europe was amazed with Lordi’s jaw-dropping and edgy performance. With their props such as battle axe and bat-like wings, Lordi managed to become the winner and held the record for most points until 2009. Also, on 26 May 2006 the Guinness World Record of karaoke singing was broken when approximately 80,000 people gathered to sing “Hard Rock Hallelujah” in Helsinki to celebrate victory in Eurovision.

7. Europe – The Final Countdown

Known for its opening melody, The Final Countdown is a world-renowned song by Swedish rock band Europe. Its lyrics were inspired by David Bowie’s Space Oddity and it was meant to be just a concert opener. The song reached No. 1 hit, topping the charts in 25 countries.

8. Avicii — Wake Me Up

Wake Me Up is a 2013 folktronica song by Swedish DJ Avicii. The song reached No. 1 hit, topping the charts in more than 30 countries. It achieved to became one of the most successful Scandinavian songs, reaching over 2 billion views in Youtube.

9. Björk – Army of Me

Army of Me is an electronic and industrial rock song by Icelandic singer Björk, known for her ecclectic music style and versatily when it comes to genres. Lyrically, the song was inspired by the damaging behaviour of Björk’s brother, and in the lyrics she tells him to stand up and regain control of his life.

10. Robyn — Dancing On My Own

Dancing On My Own is a 2010 midtempo dance-pop and electropop ballad sung by Swedish singer Robyn. The song was awarded “Best Song” at the Swedish Music Awards — Grammisgalan. Also, British singer Calum Scott covered the song, which became a big hit in many countries.

I’m in the corner, watching you kiss her, oh
I’m right over here, why can’t you see me, oh
And I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the girl you’re taking home, oh
I keep dancing on my own

11- Eivør — Í Tokuni

Í Tokuni (meaning: in the mist) is a Nordic folk pop song by Faroese singer Eivør. It shines out with its Nordic folk tunes, which sounds mystical and dark-ish.

Vinur, vinur skilur tú meg? (Friend, friend do you understand me?)
Veitst tú ongan loyniveg? (Don’t you know any secret path?)
Hevur tú reikað líka sum eg (Have you wandered as I have)
í endaleysu tokuni? (In the endless mist)

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