Midsummer Means Classic Swedish Music and Lots of Tomas Ledin
For those who don’t call Sweden home, the country likely makes you think of Spotify, as well as IKEA, meatballs, and fika. But Sweden is also well known for the famous Midsummer celebration, which marks the start of the summer holidays. During Midsummer, people head to the country to dance, eat traditional Scandinavian food, and sing classic Swedish summer songs. And with almost 200,000 Midsummer-themed playlists on Spotify, it’s clear that revelers are enjoying the holiday by jamming out to their favorite folksy hits.
Despite Swedes being known for producing great pop music, listeners are looking for the classics during the holiday. Case in point? The top 10 most popular songs streamed globally on Spotify during Midsummer have stayed the same over the last few years. In 2018, the most commonly played songs on the global scene were classics like “Sol, vind och vatten,” released in 1972, and “Sommaren är kort,” from 1982.
Top 10 most played songs during Midsummer (global)
- “Sol, vind och vatten” — Ted Gärdestad
- “Sommartider” — Gyllene Tider
- “Sommaren är kort” — Tomas Ledin
- “Vågorna” — Uno Svenningsson
- “Sommarnatt” — Snowstorm
- “När vi gräver guld i USA” — Glenmark Eriksson Strömstedt
- “Ta mig till havet” — Peter Lundblad
- “Oh boy” — Peps Persson
- “Oh, vilken härlig da‘” — Ted Gärdestad
- “Magaluf” — Orup
One artist in particular personifies the sounds of Midsummer for global listeners. Tomas Ledin spikes each year on the holiday, with streams increasing by 600%.
“Hopefully people listen [to my music] during Midsummer because of my songs and my artistry,” Ledin says. “Possibly because I’ve done different summer tours over the years. I imagine that songs like ‘Sommaren är kort,’ ‘Här under sommarhimlen,’ and ‘Blå blå känslor’ meant a lot.”
As for what Ledin will be listening to this summer, he says it depends on the situation and the mood: “Right now, I often return to a Spotify playlist that’s very mixed, genre-wise. It includes everything from country giant Chris Stapleton, some of the Eagles’ classic ‘70s and ‘80s songs, and John Mayer’s latest singles, to old favorites like Karla Bonoff and wonderful Sade. Also on my playlist are Miles Davis from the ‘King of cool’ period, jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, the classic cellist and Polar Music Prize winner Yo-Yo Ma, and ambient guru Nils Frahm’s meditative music.”
While Midsummer playlists are mostly created by listeners in Sweden and other Nordic countries, they’re popular among listeners in the U.S and Germany—both of which also have a high number of Midsummer-themed playlists. For Swedes living abroad and celebrating in the U.S., the willingness to keep up Midsummer traditions (flower crowns, anyone?) and sing along to classic Swedish hits shows that you can take a Swede from Sweden, but you can’t take the Sweden out of a Swede.
Top 5 countries with number of playlists with the Midsummer theme
- United States
Get ready for Midsummer wherever you are by listening to our Swedish Summer Hits playlist.