Deyr Fé, Deyia Frændur

When faced with emotions I can’t really handle, I tend to go to the old Viking verses to read that some things are timeless. It helps me to understand that people a thousand years ago felt exactly what I am feeling today.

In light of the recent events, I choose this verse from the Icelandic Hávamál, a verse roughly a thousand years old. It is written in ancient Norse, the language of the Vikings, but I can read it fairly well as if it were modern-day Scandinavian:

Deyr fé, deyia frændur,
deyr sjálfur ið sama.
Eg veit einn
að aldrei deyr:
dómur um dauðan hvern.

Translated into modern-day English, it would go something like this:

Animals die, friends die,
you’ll die yourself some day.
I know but one thing
that never dies:
the memory of a good friend.

Sleep tight, Aaron.

(See also Travis McCrea’s article You have friends.)

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Steve B.

    “The truth is, whenever someone close to you dies, a piece of you dies with him.”

    – Arnošt Lustig

  2. Carl Johan Rehbinder

    Havamål är fantastisk.
    En av mina favorittexter, helt klart.

    Fä dör,
    fränder dö,
    även själv skiljes du hädan,
    men eftermålet
    aldrig dör
    för envar, som ett gott har vunnit.

    Fä dör,
    fränder dö,
    även själv skiljes du hädan,
    men ett vet jag,
    som aldrig dör,
    domen över död man.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Jag ska helt klart börja citera båda verserna…

    2. gurra

      Jäkligt bra. Nu blev jag sugen att fräscha upp litteraturhistorian från gymnasiet. Det trodde man nog inte att man nånsin skulle säga när man gick i gymnasiet. 😀

  3. Anonymous

    and the truly sad things are that his passing was unnecessary and apart from in his eyes, unwarranted. the ones that are really responsible (YOU ALL KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!) not only dont care, think nothing of it, but wont even wonder why he did it. wont even think that they were responsible. wont even think that it could so easily have been prevented. wont think that was/is what they are doing worth the life of someone, anyone, let alone someone so talented? basically, another life gone in the name of copyright and keeping control!

    1. Fnirk Ztrk

      Come on! The guy knew that he could get into trouble for his actions, but I doubt he killed himself just because of this, a lot of “deep” thinkers are more or less constantly depressed because they think they have everything sussed out but liie itself.

  4. Caleb Lanik

    I never met the man, but he stood for the things I believe, and had a vision of a world where knowledge could truly be free. For it, he was terrorized into killing himself. Such a microcosm of our society.

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