Misadventures in Heavy Metalling

How to Hit on Strangers with the Help of Wardruna

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Illustration by Matt Smith

Wardruna have established an enviable degree of dominance over the metal-inspired Norse folk-musical world during the course of the past ten years. The band’s music really taps into the Old Norse spirit, transporting the listener through the mists of time to an era long gone.

But the impact of the music does not need to stop at the auditory experience. It can also offer unique perspectives and guidance to your everyday life in the modern world. From the special pointers about seasonal rituals for building emotional strength in “Solringen” to the meditative support for personal journeys in “EhwaR,” the music of Wardruna possesses the power to be highly transformative if you openly embrace it.

Especially when it comes to interacting with new people. Because when under the influence of a proper Wardruna state of mind you can do things like walk up to a complete stranger whom you’ve fancied from afar and declare:

”Hljóðs bið ek allar 
helgar kindir
meiri ok minni 
mögu Heimdallar 
viltu at ek, Valföðr
vel fyr telja
forn spjöll fira
þau er fremst of man” 

and be proud of it. It should come as no surprise that the standard pick-up lines have got nothing on Wardruna’s most evocative verses. The choice to embody the spirit of Wardruna in a modern social mingling setting is not for everyone, but it can also be very rewarding for those who choose to pursue it. It’s about letting the music carry you away, getting in touch with your inner Norse self, and creating something new out of a tired, old, ordinary situation—an unsolicited interaction that will never be forgotten till the day the wolf swallows the sun. The simple truth is that there’s a great Wardruna pick-up line for every occasion for those who sincerely wish to channel the wisdom of Einar Selvik’s runes. Some of the best ones are highlighted below.

”Tyr heitir
Einhendt gud
Vargens matar
Hilmir av hovet”

Reciting the opening lines of “Tyr” from memory is a great way to introduce yourself to that special someone that you’ve never previously spoken to. Not only are the words very direct and to the point, but they’re also very informative because most people do not know that Tyr is a one-handed god of war. The verse also involves a subtle mention of endangered species (specifically, wolves) and food, both of which are perennially popular topics of conversation, so Tyr’s generally a solid choice all-around for breaking the ice. 

”Lær meg songen 
som deg freistar… som meg freistar 
som deg finn… som meg finn 
Vil du meg fylgja 
i all mi tid? 
Vil du meg varda 
i all mi tid?”

One of the more straight-forward Wardruna pick-up lines, this verse from “Hvitravn” provides a clear degree of flirtation without coming on too strong. Basically, this is a low-key way to make the unsolicited interaction that you’ve chosen to pursue as fun and easy-going as possible. Why not ask your captive listener to teach you a song and then to not only follow you, but to also protect you? There is no reason not to use this approach.

”Hvem skal synge meg
i daudsvevna slynge meg
når eg på Helvegen går
og dei spora eg trår er kalda, så kalda”

The opening lines of “Helvegen” are highly evocative in a death-is-coming sense, which is always a good foundational theme for establishing a connection with someone you’ve never talked to before. These lines also serve to show that you’re very serious in your intentions. This is an excellent one to use if you want to prove that you’re not just looking for a quick fling and/or if you’re feeling cold, so cold. 

”Laukr er vann
tårar frå auge
foss frå fjella
draup frå isen
vågar på vatn
Bølgjene voggar meg,
djupt eg fell i svevna.

Sometimes just simply vocalizing a non-syllabic melody at someone else is the best way to get their attention and impress them, and “Laukr” provides a stellar melody for those occasions. And if you crash and burn with the melody itself, then you can always fall back on the actual lyrics of this song, which are all about watery tears with appropriate allusions to drowning in sorrow.

”Rir eg deg
Så rir eg meir
For ein er to
Der knutar knytast
I byrd er bunde
Heile verda
Om eg bind deg
Kan eg ferde”

If you’re a little more confident and want to be more brazenly flirtatious, “Raido” is always a good option, especially if you skip the beginning and go straight for reciting the meat in the song’s middle. Who wants to do some riding? You do. And who do you want to ride? The lovely person whom you’ve decided to quote obscure Norwegian folk-metal lyrics to. Pull this one off, and you’ll be bonded for an excellent journey together.

”Sott og sår 
Or marg og bein 
Or kjøt og blod 
Or hold og skinn 
I vær og vind 
Ut du svinn 
Eg manar deg inn i berget blå”

Is it really a good idea to urge a stranger to travel into a blue, healing mountain? Yes. Firstly, it shows concern for their health and well-being, which says a lot since you don’t, technically, even know this person yet. Secondly, if they don’t appreciate the musical grandeur of “Lyfjaberg,” then they probably aren’t worth getting to know better anyway.

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