Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Teaching Sun a lesson

Part of what makes me very happy about our Sun deal is the interest Sun has expressed in learning from us. That has been evident in all the various meetings here in Orlando -- be it with the founders, with the individual departments, or in front of the entire audience.

So as a way to teach Sun a first lesson, I had prepared a gig for the end of the presentations during the morning. We have a tradition of singing songs in our company, stemming from our Scandinavian heritage. "We take this very seriously", I had heard Rich Green comment. And I'm happy he meant it in a very respectful manner: Corporate culture is important. Drinking songs themselves are meant to be purely fun, and not taken seriously, although they are surrounded by plenty of fairly rigid tradition.

In order to make it light for our future colleagues from Sun, as well as our own recent recruits as well as others unfortunate enough not to know the simplest of all drinking songs by rote, we prepared a phonetic translation for Helan går and put it up as a slide:

Helan går: Phonetic version (sing this!)

Hell and gore
Shung Hop father Allan Allan ley.
Hell and gore
Shung Hop father Allan ley.

Oh handsome in the hell and tar
hand hell are in the half and four.
Hell and gore <drink now>
Shung Hop father Allan ley

A few of us probably sang that without understanding what the underlying Swedish words actually mean. So this brings me to:

Helan går: Translated version (think this!)

The first drink ("whole glass") goes,
sing <long expression of joy>!
The first drink goes,
sing <short expression of joy>!

And anyone who doesn't take the first drink,
will be disallowed the second drink.
The first drink goes!
<drink here and now>
Sing <short expression of joy>

The original version, which is both phonetically correct, and carries the right meaning, goes like this:

Helan går: Original version (learn this!)

Helan går
sjung hopp faderallan lallan lej.
Helan går,
sjung hoppfaderallan lej.

Och den som inte helan tar,
han ej heller halvan får.
Helan går,
sjung hopp faderallan lej.



  1. Finkultur! :-)
    Brilliant med de tre versionerna, även om den sista är nog för mig.
    Hade du med ett helrör renat också (a whole-tube purified)? :-)

  2. That'll teach em... Make sure you practice this every day, and several times a day...

  3. Well, I always thought you translated the first line as "Hell Al Gore"...

  4. You are totally correct. Corporate culture is one of the most important things for companies and hopefully Sun will be able to learn from MySQL's culture.

  5. Örjan17 January 2008 at 15:15

    I would like to point out that the term "helan" in no way refers to the entire glass, but simply means the first (as in "helan, halvan, tersen, kvarten, kvinten ...").

    A common misinterpretation of the song is that you must drink up the entire glass, while it is more likely meant merely to point out the fact that without drinking a first glass, you cannot drink a second.

  6. Great for another Uppsala company.
    Best is to teach sun a lesson but often most acquisition ends up after 4 years in a conflict, so watch out.

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  10. Has someone ever passed out just by signing this song and drinking ?

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