Ordfyndig, lekfull psalmist. Om Britt G. Hallqvists psalmdiktning


  • Inge Löfström CTR


A Word-Witted and Playful Hymn-Writer

Of the hymn authors who contributed works to »Den Svenska Psalmboken» (»The Swedish Hymn Book») from 1986, Britt G Hallqvist (1914- 1997) was one of the most prominent. She has been characterized as »a word-witted, playful hymn-writer».

When growing up in Lund she was not influenced by Christianity. However, the hymns in the hymn book did influence her in a religious way. Her writing career began as an author of children’s literature, writing school books on the subject of religion as well as children’s bible stories. The Swedish Church’s 1958 edition of »Kyrkovisor för Barn» (»Church Songs for Children») contained 17 of her texts. 

Typical for her children’s songs is simplicity and playfulness. When planning the new hymn book, the church requested her services as an author. The 1986 edition of the hymn book lists her name associated with 140 hymns (her own texts, translations, adaptations). Among her most popular contributions are the children’s song »Måne och sol» (»Moon and Sun») and the hymn »De skall gå till den heliga staden» (»They are going to the Holy City»).

A characteristic of her theology, in regard to her conception of God, is the positive trait, the goodness of God. She depicts Christ in a radiant light. Judgement and moralization are rarely present. She emphasizes the incarnation: »Du som i din kärlek återspeglar Gud» (»Through your love you reflect God»). Atonement is seldom referred to. Britt G holds a special interest for seekers and those at the bottom rung of society. She often typifies Christian life as praise and play.

She also contributed to a new liturgy as well as a prayer book for the Swedish church.