Facing Terror With Music: Norwegians Sing Song Breivik Hated (Video)

Thousands and thousands of Norwegians gathered in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday to sing a peace song that mass murderer Anders Breivik had said was “used to brainwash children.”

‘Children of the Rainbow’ is by Lillebjørn Nilsen, a beloved Norwegian singer-songwriter and friend of the legendary American folk singer Peter “Pete” Seeger. ‘Children of the Rainbow’ is Nilsen’s version of Seeger ‘My Rainbow Race’, and if anything, is toned down — Seeger’s 1960s Vietnam protest era song has the line ‘”Don’t you know you can’t kill all the unbelievers?/There’s no shortcut to freedom.”

40,000 gathered in the rain near the courthouse in central Oslo where right-wing terrorist Breivik is being tried and many thousands more gathered in towns and cities to sing across Norway. Norway has heard harrowing testimony of how he murdered dozens of teenage members of Norway’s social-democratic party, its future leaders, people who Breivik has defended killing at his trial by calling them “traitors” for wanting to live in a multicultural ‘rainbow’ society.

The singling out by Breivik of the 1970s song in his ‘manifesto’ as “Marxist” has touched a nerve for Norwegians.

Norwegian blogger Aina Catrine writes from Bergen, Norway’s second city, that as people leave roses to remember those murdered:

The two things that appear the most is love, and the lyrics of the Norwegian song “barn av regnbuen” that translates directly into children of the rainbow. This because the terrorist himself said in the trial that it was against his believes to learn such things in school, but mostly because it is about equality and happiness.

Here are those lyrics:

A sky full of stars.
Blue sea as far as you can see.
A land where flowers grow.
Could you want more?
Together we will live
every sister and every brother.
Small children of the rainbow
and a flourishing world.

Some believe there is no point.
Others waste their time with talk.
Some believe that we can live on
plastic and synthetic foods.
And some steal from the young,
who are sent out to fight.
Some steal from the many
who will come after us.

Say it to all the children!
And tell every father and mother.
We still have a chance
to share our hope for this world.

Say it to all the children!
And tell every father and mother.
We still have a chance
to share our hope for this world.

Wrote singer Billy Bragg:

Seeking to express their solidarity with the victims of this act of terror as they assembled to give their evidence this week, the people of Oslo chose a song that extols the kind of multicultural society that Breivik despises. By the simple act of singing it together, they have drowned out the voice of hatred emanating from the Oslo courthouse.

Watch, listen:

Related stories:

Breivik Turns His Trial Into a Platform For His Right-Wing Extremism

America’s Right-Wing Loves Violent Rhetoric

Anders Breivik’s Father Considered Suicide

Photo courtesy: Bilge Öner, Aktiv I Oslo.no


Stenpney John
Past Member 4 years ago

Enormous blog you individuals have made there, I entirely appreciate the work.

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Terry V.
Terry V5 years ago



Annmari Lundin
Annmari L5 years ago

Gloria H. Unfortunately he won't spend any time with the general prison population because he wouldn't live 3 seconds.
I saw this film live on my PC and tears ran down my chins. Then and now. Norwegians and all Scandinavians mourn the victims of July 22, 2011, but won't let hate win. I heard the testimonies by those brave young people that survived the massacre on Utöya. How they protected eachother and how they saw their friends killed before their eyes. You have to be made of stone and hate for not being moved to tears by those stories!
Now justice have pervailed and the terrorist will spend the rest of his miserable life behind bars. That makes it possible for the survivers and families of victims to move forward. Sending the terrosist into oblivion and cherish the memories of their loved once.
Thanks for sharing this moving moment with us all here on Care2!

Sandra Streifel
Sandra S5 years ago

I only hope that Canada would defend its society's multiculturalism in a similar fashion if it should be attacked by hate, God forbid, like Brevik's. (Remembering the nine women killed and 14 wounded in 1989 in Montreal, of course, at the Engineering School by the gunman blaming feminists for ruining his life). "Some believe there is no point", but others of us want to see a better world for all the children of the rainbow, and we're willing to make it happen.

KS Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Ernest R.
Ernest R5 years ago

@ Dennis W…I would think your position was anti-hate if there were not so much of it in your own post. I said something that justified my extinction? Go sleep it off.

Diana Roth
Diana Roth5 years ago


annie s.
christine s5 years ago

fantastic idea.

Joe R.
Joe R5 years ago

Thanks Paul.

Ernest R.
Ernest R5 years ago

“ A sky full of stars “ that most of us can’t see because of too many lights from too many people, “ blue sea as far as you can see” with the plastic bag island fortunately out of sight, “a land where flowers grow” or used to before they were put into mass wheat production od other Monsanto wonders and mountain tops were cut off for coal production, ”Children of the rainbow” a brown rainbow ? and “a flourishing world”!!! That last part is what really makes the song a pretend pipe dream Is that the kind of fantasy we need to pretend we have a viable future ?