Zlatan Ibrahimovic doing what he does best. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT
remix of national anthem

Zlatan tops Swedish pop single charts

The song was written 170 years ago, but it has only been since football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic lent his voice to it that it has become a surprise pop hit. Now, a remix of Sweden's de facto national anthem, "Du Gamla, Du Fria" has made its way up to number 1 in the Swedish Radio digital chart show DigiListan. 

"Of course you get a little surprised, but not really. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a guy who is heard and seen more than the king here in Sweden. It's maybe a little surprising that he would follow up his eight guldbollar (domestic football awards)  with a singing career," says Stefan Lindeberg, host of DigiListan, which runs on Swedish Radio's P3 channel and airs the top singles sold electronically to computers, mobile phones and other kinds of media players in Sweden.

Richard Dybeck wrote the lyrics to "Du Gamla, Du Fria" in 1884 to the melody of a variant of the ballad Kärestans död. However, it's only now with the help of Zlatan's voice that it has topped the charts. The song is used in a high profile advert, but it is not the first time that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has ended up at the top of the Swedish music charts.

"There was a song done about Zlatan eight years ago (Who's Da Man) which went straight to the top of DigiListan," says Stefan Lindeberg. The men behind the remix of Sweden's de facto national anthem are producers Max Martin and Style Of Eye and it will be interesting to see how the song does abroad, says Stefan Lindeberg. "I follow the charts around Europe, and it's not impossible that the Swedish national anthem would get in there."

Although the Swedish constitution makes no mention of a national anthem, Du gamla, Du fria enjoys universal recognition and is used, for example, at government ceremonies as well as sporting events.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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