Music by: Brodén / Text by: Brodén / Sundström
A time of religion and war,
Legends tell the tale of a lion
This beast in the shape of a man,
With a dream to rule sea and land
And all those who stand in his way,
Will die, by God and victorious arms
With the righteous that follows him south,
Once more, set ashore, to war
Legends have taught, battles fought,
This lion has no fear at heart
Lion come forth, come from the north,
Come from the no-o-o-o-orth
(Gustavus Adolphus go forth, libera, impera)
Libera et impera!
Acerbus et ingens!
(Acerbus et ingens leo, libera, impera)
Augusta per augusta
A storm over Europe unleashed,
Dawn of war, a trail of destruction
The power of Rome won’t prevail,
See the catholics shiver and shake
The future of warfare unveiled,
Showed the way, that we still walk today
Der Löwe aus Mitternacht comes,
Once more, he is here, for war
Stories of old, truth unfold,
Control over Europe he holds
Freedom he’ll bring,
Lion and king, lion and king
Mighty eagle rule alone
Liberator claim the throne
Lion from the northern land
Take the scepter from its hand
Oh, oh, oh you lion from the north,
Ooooooooh you lion from the north
Gustavus Adolphus was only 17 when he took over the throne on 30th October 1611. With the great statesman Axel Oxenstierna at his side, he created an effective public administration and strong military power. Both were determined to make Sweden a powerful force in Europe.
The young king inherited three ongoing wars from his father Charles IX but Gustavus Adolphus proved to be a talented and quick learning military commander. After initial setbacks, he soon scored victory after victory. Once the wars against Denmark, Russia and Poland had been won, he set his sights on Germany. A bloody pan-European war between Catholics and Protestants had been going on for a long time. This conflict became known as the Thirty Years War. On the German battlefields, Gustavus Adolphus’s personal ambitions were united with religious and trade policy goals.
In order to win the hearts and minds of the German people, Swedish propaganda successfully exploited an old prophesy that one day, a golden lion from the North would arrive to aid the true believers (ie the Protestants). The lion would conquer the eagles and the evil empire (the Holy Roman Empire and Catholics). In this propaganda, Gustavus Adolphus became der Löwe aus Mitternacht (the Lion of Midnight), also known as the Lion From The North.