“Opsang for Jonas Anton Hjelm”


Norwegian shanty. "Hurrah for Jonas Aston Hjelm, He was for Norway, helmet and spear, till at last he celebrated peace." Other versions are general sailing rhymes with a choruses of "Sing salio!" or "Sing sailor-O!" or "Singsalli-joh!"


Jonas Anton Hjelm was a Norwegian laywer who was instrumental in the fight for national control while Norway was under Swedish rule (1814-1905). In particular he argued in 1834 that the Act of Union provided that a Norwegian minister had to be present whenever the Swedish ministers discussed Norwegian affairs. Edvard Greig also wrote a piece called "Sailor's Song - Hurrah For Jonas Anton Hjelm," but the melody bears no resemblance to the tune given in Hugill.

Hugill speculated that Wergelands may have based his poem on an earlier shanty (though the poem predates any available shanty collection). The possible earlier version Hugill gave was spoken from the view of a ship -- "The Resolution was a demon, and the name I got at baptism...." - SL


  1. Hugill, pp. 558-559, "Opsang for Jonas Anton Hjelm" (4 texts-Norwegian & English, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Hugi558


Alternate titles: “Sing Salio”; “Siste Reis”
Author: Henrik Wergelands
Earliest date: 1839
Found in: Norway