This 800-year-old Icelandic hymn sung in a train station is utterly haunting

1 September 2020, 15:38 | Updated: 1 September 2020, 15:51

A devotional hymn originally written in 1208, sung in a stunning acoustic.

The mesmerising beauty of music can be completely timeless – as this spontaneous performance in a station in Germany proves. 

An Icelandic indie-folk group walked into a resonant space in a train station in the German city of Wuppertal – and then this happened.

Listen to the oldest melody in existence. It's enchanting > 

The group is Árstíðir, and the music is the 13th-century Icelandic hymn ‘Heyr himna smiður’, adapted by Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson, one of Iceland's most important 20th-century composers.

Following the success of this simple moment of music-making (the video has been viewed five million times), the choir recorded the song with Anneke van Giersbergen – find out more about that here.

And if you fancy recreating this with a few friends at your local train station, here's the sheet music of the hymn.