(after you are finished with this column entry, please check out two other posts I’ve written about Jimmy Jenson.   and

About ten months ago, I wrote a column about the singer Jimmy Jensen. I mentioned how one of my favorite of Jensen’s songs was “Nicolena.”  I had several requests for the lyrics to that particular song but was never able to find them until yesterday, when someone was nice enough to email the lyrics to me; out of the blue.


When you are in love you are in an awful torture
Who has ever tried it will not disagree
I was so very fond of Nicolena
and Nicolena just as fond of me
I asked her dad about her hand in marriage
and got my answer in the strangest way
I never yet have left any doorstep
in such a hurry as I did that day
I went home and wrote to Nicolena
Nicolena won’t you meet me soon
Meet me in the woods on Wednesday evening
and be there with the lighting of the moon
And there I met a figure disconcerning
I tried to run but there was not a chance
There in the woods while on my knees I stumbled
His cane began to do the polka dance
I went home and wrote to Nicolena
There is not the slightest bit of hope in me
If you don’t end me of this awful torture
I will end it all by jumping in the sea
And Nicolena answered in a hurry
Oh darling Carl please don’t be so unwise
A suicide is nothing but a dumbbell
Why don’t you wait until the old man dies?
And now I wait and so does Nicolena
for the old man to kick the bucket soon
And on his grave were planting for remembrance
the cane he used upon me neath the moon.

11 thoughts on “Nicolena

  1. Thank you for putting these lyrics out there for us to find! My 84-year-old mother remembered that my Swedish grandfather sang this song, but she could not remember all of the words.


  2. Dave,
    I’m so glad to hear about you and finally see the lyrics for Nicolena. I first heard that song (incessantly )when I lived on a farm near Thief River Falls in the late 40’s. My uncle used to sing it while we sledding out to get hay in those frigid winters. I only picked up part of it because I was busy freezing and driving the horses (yes, horses) I’m 78 years old now and that song has been haunting me all my life. Do you know of a disc or sheet music version? We used to hear it on local radio in English and sometimes in what I thought was Norwegian.–Bernie


  3. Nicolina was a favorite of my Dad’s and he was often singing it, humming it, or playing it on his harmonica when I was a kid. I just visited my older sisters in Phoenix and the eldest, Arlene, remembered many verses of the song but not all. Thanks to this post I can not only copy and forward her the words, but will also send her a surprise Jimmy Jenson DVD for her birthday.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Garry (Swede) Swenson


  4. Thank you so much for putting the lyrics to “Nicolena” on here. My grandma told my mom to name me after this song when she found out that my mom was having a girl. I have never heard this song before, but now at least I can see the lyrics to it. My grandma used to pick at my mom though for misspelling my name. She always told her that it was supposed to be Nicolina instead of Nicolena. =) Do you know if this song is on CD or not? I would love to hear this song. Thank you so much again. Nicolena Thomas


  5. Thank you so much for listing the lyrics to this song. I would hear it all the time on the radio when I was growing up and I really miss those wonderful old, (really old) songs. Thank you so very much.


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