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

28 September 2018, 15:15

This devotional hymn was originally written in 1208, but its mesmerising beauty is completely timeless – as this spontaneous performance in a station in Germany proves.

Sometimes the most profound moments of music are the simplest.

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

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

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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 at your local train station, here's the sheet music of the hymn.

In the mood for more vintage melodies? Here's where you can listen to the oldest melody in existence (it's enchanting)

Oldest song melody. Hurrian hymn