Kvæði (Kvaedi; at kvøða: "to sing a tune or kvæði") are the old ballads of the Faroe Islands, accompanied by the Faroese dance.


The ballads have their origin in old Norse and Viking cultures. They are thought to have been sung and danced in Viking settlements and countries and slowly died out or were banned after Christianity came to northern Europe.

The songs or Kvæði which are sung, traditionally were spoken and remembered from one person to the next, until the early 1800s when men started to write them down. This oral tradition helped to save the Faroese language. Among the most famous of all kvæði is Ormurin langi written by Jens Christian Djurhuus and today played by the Faroese folk metal band Týr. Kvæði can have hundreds of stanzas plus a chorus sung between every verse.

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