The 2015 Queen of Schnapps Songs
The Swedish Style Schnapps Song Competition in Atlanta, GA had the best turn-out ever.
Nordic Lodge #708 started the contest in 2011 and for the last three years it has been open to anyone in the United States. This year we received 26 entries of which eight came from states other than Georgia: California, Oregon, Illinois, New York and North Carolina.
Many entries were really good, funny and ingenious. Others suffered from not quite fitting into the given melody. And a couple were written to melodies that, according to the jurors, were not familiar enough to be used for schnapps songs.

For a week, the two judges, Professor Jay Lutz and Dr. Sten Ekberg had been facing the hard, sweaty, tricky, maybe nerve-racking work of selecting the winners. The requirement this year was that the word crawfish (or crayfish) had to be mentioned in the text.


The results were revealed at Nordic Lodge’s annual crawfish party on August 22. Only one $50.00 prize was to be awarded with the addition of three honorable mentions. Another prize had been added, however: a bottle of Absolute Vodka. Donated by George Smedberg and Tom Riley, this was a runner-up prize to a winner present at the crawfish party. The winner was voted for by everyone at the party.
The songs were printed out without their composers' names to remain anonymous, and with help from Vasa Drängar, song after schnapps song was sung through. Eventually the audience could start voting. The ballots were counted. People waited excitedly.

And ... the winner is ...
At last juror Lutz cleared his throat and the big moment had come. "The winner of the first prize is: Pam Minton, Cumming, GA, with 'I'm a Crawfish!'"

The first Honorable Mention went to Anita Menegay, Marietta, GA, for "Crawfish In Traps." The second Honorable Mention was presented to Pam Minton, for her song "Little Crawfish." And the third Honorable Mention was for the song "I'd Like To Feed the World Crawfish," also, believe it or not, written by Pam Minton.

Now everyone wondered who the winner of the vodka would be. The audience's votes showed that most votes were given to "I’m a Crawfish." But haven’t we heard that title already? Sure enough: The winner of the audience runner-up prize also went to Pam Minton, the Schnapps Song Queen of the Year!

It turns out Pam has no Swedish background, she does not eat crawfish and doesn't even like to sing. But she knows how to write great Swedish schnapps songs! She lives just north of Atlanta and got to listen to numerous snapsvisor at lunches and dinners during Vasa Drängar’s visits to Pam and Sten, Vasa Drängar's president.

The 2015 Schnapps Song Competition winners:

First prize and audience runner-up prize: Pam Minton
Melody: Mr. Sandman

I'm a crawfish, I swim alone,
I call the streams and rivers my home.
I am so quick and I’m very clever,
at night I steal your Aquavit, however.

Plastered, still want some more,
don’t touch my bottle, I’ll show ya’ the door,
I’ve devised the perfect scheme.
I’m a crawfish, living the dream.

Honorable Mention: Anita Menegay
Melody: Stars and Stripes Forever

Let’s go get the crawfish from traps,
to be eaten with dill and with schnapps
on a warm August eve outdoors,
it’s enough to make you ask for more.

Hurrah for the crawfish in traps,
to be eaten with plenty of the schnapps,
with the moon rising high in the sky.
It is enough to make your spirit soar and fly.

Honorable Mention:Pam Minton
Melody: Itsy Bitsy Spider

One little crawfish
swimming with the trout;
down came my hand
and pulled the crawfish out.
Open up my mouth
and ate him head to feet.
Now the little crawfish
swims in Aquavit.

Honorable Mention: Pam Minton
Melody: I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing

I’d like to buy the world a schnapps
and drink all afternoon,
wear funny hats and flashy bibs,
hang paper lantern moons.

I’d like to feed the world crawfish
and garnish it with dill,
suck noisily from its claws.
Now that would be a thrill!

The location of the crawfish party was same as last year, at Mona and Mason Brown’s house in Atlanta – around their swimming-pool, to be precise. And though there were some threats that rain would wet the crawfish, we had a perfect evening in the American south. The crawfish from IKEA was excellent, as was all the additional food, cooked and provided by Nordic Lodge members. Beer and wine was included in the dinner price, but it was BYOS (bring your own schnapps). No one tumbled into the pool. The only one seen in the water was Vasa Drängar’s Sven Lovegren - and he jumped in voluntarily. As a whole, the contest was very successful and the Nordic Lodge of Atlanta is hoping to continue the tradition next year.

By Göran Rygert