Story behind the song: The Feast at Glasir
The song The Feast at Glasir tells us a story of someone dying and going to Valhalla.
In the first verse of the song, it is described how there is a great war and how our protagonist falls in battle. Then he is taken to Sigtyr’s Halls by “great wings”. Sigtyr is one of the many names of Odin, and the great wings is a reference to Valkyries, who deliver half of the slain to Odin. The other half of fallen warriors goes with Freyja to her afterlife field, Fólkvangr.
While some say Valkyries may or may not have had angel-like wings, other sources say they had special cloaks that they could use to transform themselves into birds, like swans or eagles. The words “great wings” capture all of that and leaves it shrouded in a bit of a mystery.
Photo: Walkyrien (1905) by Emil Doepler
The chorus then goes on to tell you to leave your worries behind for another day, and to enjoy your time feasting at Glasir. Glasir is only mentioned a handful of times in the Edda’s, but it is said to be the most beautiful tree among gods and men, or a grove, and it stands just outside the doors of Valhalla. It is usually said that feasting happens inside Valhalla, some other sources say they also happened right outside, at the golden tree.
Photo: Heiðrún in an illustration from an 18th-century Icelandic manusript.
Heidrun, or Heiðrún, is a magical goat who eats the leaves of the tree Lærâdr that stands at the top of Valhalla. This goat eternally produces mead in her udders, with which she fills an entire cauldron that is big enough to serve all the feasting warriors every day.
The second verse then goes on to tell us how all the protagonist’s friends who have also fallen in battle make their way into Valhalla as Einherjar, to be served mead by the Valkyries until the day Ragnarök comes.