Updated: Jul 17
Written by Natalie Guttormsson
Natalie is a Western-Icelander from Canada who currently lives in Reykjavík. She is passionate about music, movies, and her Icelandic heritage.
**This blog post contains spoilers for the Netflix movie “Eurovision Song Contest: The story of Fire Saga” starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams.
In dark times, comedy serves as a great catharsis. Maybe that is why everyone is talking about the new Will Ferrell movie, “Eurovision Song Contest: The story of Fire Saga”. Since the movie centers around Iceland and the dream to win Eurovision, I believe it is our duty as descendants of Icelanders to know the facts from fiction in this film, in order to laugh harder at the jokes, while simultaneously explaining to our friends the bits that are completely made up.
Whether you love this movie or not, hopefully you will learn something useful from this list! Or just skip to the bottom to hear the song "Húsavík" again.
#1 - ICELANDIC FOLK SONGS
"Ja, Ja, Ding Dong" is NOT an Icelandic Folk Song, it was written by Andrew Steele and Will Ferrell for the movie. Although it is quite catchy and has Scandinavian sounding folk music behind it.
HOWEVER, at the very beginning the film does open with a pretty little Icelandic Folk song called "Sá ég spóa" which is often sung in a-round.
Here are the lyrics and a rough English translation. Watch the funny Icelandic commercial below to hear it and sing-a-long!
Sá ég spóa I saw a Whimbrel
Sá ég spóa suður'í flóa, I saw a whimbrel south of the bay
syngur lóa útí'móa: sang the golden plover out on the heath
"Bí, bí, bí, bí." "Bee, bee, bee, bee."
Vorið er komið víst á ný. Spring is sure to come again.
#2 - THE ICELANDIC ACCENT
Both Pierce Brosnan and Will Ferrell have Swedish accents. Will's wife is Swedish and in his interviews for this film he has admitted that he was trying to sound like his Swedish cousins, not trying to sound Icelandic. Rachel McAdams on the other hand, admits that she watched as much footage of Björk as possible, which explains why her accent at times sounds very good, but at other times is also exaggerated.
If you want to show an example of the Icelandic accent in this film, watch the scenes with the Icelandic actors.
Icelandic Actors and where you know them from...
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Th