Third annual snaps song contest
The winners of Atlanta's Nordic Lodge annual snaps (sometimes called schnapps) song contest were announced at the lodge meeting on September 22, 2013.
Now in its third year, the competition was for the first time open to anyone in the United States. Two of the twelve entries came from out of town—one from Wheeling, IL and one from Newburyport, MA.
Judges Jay Lutz and Göran Rygert had a hard time selecting two winners among the clever entries. A requirement this year was that the word(s) yellow and/or blue had to be included in the text.
All twelve entries were good, even if a few had some issues. One lacked a reference to a melody and the judges could not come up with one that matched. Another song was written to a melody unfamiliar to Americans and Swedes. A third song had a line about “sucking pickled herring off the bone.” But Swedish pickled herring (inlagd sill) never includes bones, so there’s no sucking of the bones. That small departure from reality made the song fall from the top.
This is mentioned as a tip for next year’s competition. The Nordic Lodge will most likely announce a repeat of this competition in 2014, open for anyone in the United States.
So why not start writing right now! And keep your eyes open for the announcement here in Nordstjernan.
The judges sang the songs over and over again, sometimes stumbling on lines that didn't quite match the melody. And somehow, even without any snaps, they managed to agree on the two winning songs.

And ... the winners of Best Snaps Song 2013 are:
“O Swedish Schnapps" to the melody of "O, Tannenbaum,"
written by Thomas Martin of Wheeling, IL and owner of Svea Restaurant in Andersonville, on N. Clark Street, Chicago.
O Swedish Schnapps, O Swedish Schnapps,
I love your special flavor.
O Swedish Schnapps, O Swedish Schnapps,
it’s your taste that I savor.
While you’re not yellow, it is true
you never ever make me blue.
O Swedish Schnapps, O Swedish Schnapps,
my loyalty won’t waver.


In second place came “Pour Your Schnapps” to the melody of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” written by Anita Menegay of Marietta, GA.
Pour, pour, pour your schnapps
gently down your throat.
Yellow-mellow, blue and true.
Rocks you like a boat.

The winners were announced and each would get a bottle of Swedish vodka, or if a winner was not from the Atlanta area, a check in the amount of $25.00. Consequently Thomas Martin got a check and Anita Menegay a bottle of Karlsson’s Gold Vodka.
The Nordic Lodge event started with the Vasa Drängar singing the three most famous Swedish snaps songs: Helan, Halvan and Tersen. This became the introduction of Zach Hunt from United Distributors, who presented the fairly new (to the U.S.) Karlsson’s Gold Vodka to the audience. Taste testing was available and this vodka, made by nypotatis (Virgin New Potatoes) from Bjäre in the Swedish province of Skåne, got the testers’ nods of approval.
Before the revelation of the snaps song contest winners the Vasa Drängar presented two more songs: ”Getting Tipsy In the Bar” (one of the winners in the 2012 contest) and “Norges bäste sill i papper.”
Delicious “knytkalas” food was served and consumed. Everyone was delighted. People who eventually left the party could still hear Vasa Drängar sitting in a corner singing snaps songs.

Photo captions:
Photo 1:
The first prize winner, Thomas Martin, Wheeling, IL.

Photo 2:
Second prize: Anita Menegay, Marietta, GA