Ingebrigt Langøen’s songbook

Ingebrigt Langøen’s songbook. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

Ingebrigt Langøen lived at Pleiestiftelsen Hospital from the age of 12 until his death at the age of 24 in December 1908. His songbook has been preserved, which is dated on the front page 6 April 1907.

It is a simple notebook with lined pages and a stiff cover, measuring about 10 x 16 cm. The pages are numbered in pen and ink. Its 59 pages contain a number of texts in beautiful and clear handwriting. Unfortunately, the first two pages are missing.

Presumably, some of these are copies or versions of well-known hymns and songs of the day, but others appear to have been written by Langøen himself. He has noted after the title Høstsang (Autumn song) ‘(from Ugebladet by Sv. J Aspestrand)’, while after the title Han er opstanden (He has risen) is noted ‘(by I. L)’. One of the texts, Hjemme (Home), is found both in the book and on a piece of paper lying inside the cover, in two slightly different versions. On one is noted ‘by I. Langøen’.

Ingebrigt Langøen’s songbook. Photo: Bergen City Museum.

The titles indicate what the lyrics are about. On the one hand, you sense sorrow and a longing for his childhood home, but at the same time a strong belief in God and an expectation to meet Jesus in heaven.

Some of the titles include:
 Christ has Arisen
 Home of Heaven!
 In this place of sorrow
 Full of Grace
 A Home!
 Poor but Rich
 The Night
 The glorious land!
 ‘He’ is Risen
 My Future
 Look to the Heavens
 Joy of Youth!
 Song of thanks
 Glory song!
 Little Borghild’s Lullaby
 Closer to God!
 O Eternal Rock!
 I need you
 Good Shepherd!
 Let me hear about Jesus
 Go quietly in grief
 Autumn song
 Farewell song!
 At sunset,

The dates are noted under many of the texts. By the time the book was dated 6 April, 11 pages had already been filled. Nearly 40 pages were filled over the course of April. A good deal was also written in May, before a long break until February 1908. Maybe he was in pain for a while and his general state of health prevented him from writing? We can only guess. After February, a little was written in June, before the last entry on 7 September, less than two months before he died.

The song Hjemmet (Home) reappears on the last pages. The first verses of this song describe happy childhood memories, before turning to a new home with God and Jesus. The very last thing written in the book reads as follows:
 There, finally
 The eternal Home
 Where my Jesus I see!

From Ingebrigt Langøen’s songbook. Photo: Bergen City Museum.
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