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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð, 76 [Vol. 7, 349-50]

[3] á organs stóli ‘on an organ stool’: Why this quintessentially Christian instrument should be associated with the troll-like females is not at all clear; Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 61) suggests the function of the music is to attract men to sin, like the Sirens of the Odyssey. Paasche (1914a, 158) notes a parallel with Eggþér in Vsp 42, whose harp-playing signals the onset of ragna rök ‘the doom of the gods’. Fidjestøl (1979, 57) compares an OSwed. proverb, wärldslik qwinna är diäfwulsins orgha ‘worldly women are the devil’s organ’, but here the devil plays upon the women, rather than the women playing the instrument.


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