Viking Saga Songs. 5: Thor on a journey

The song - 'Thor on a journey' - is filled with the sound of Thor's hammer that he uses to make thunder. In the story Thor and Loki journey into Jotunheim and meet the giant Skrymnir...who they follow to a castle full of feasting giants.

Tutorial 5: 'Thor on a journey'

Tutorial: Thor on a journey

Key timings in the tutorial are:

00 00: Hearing about the character Thor and practising the words 'Thunder bang 'n' bash / crash' while tapping the rhythm.
02 15: Learning the chorus, beginning: 'Thor on a journey...' Exploring the wide dynamic range of the chorus. At 04 36 putting the whole chorus together.
05 40: Learning Verse 1, beginning: 'Travel to a mansion-hall...' Noting that the melody has four notes, which rise step by step.
08 38: Learning Verse 2, beginning: 'At a feast...' Noting that the verse has the same rising four notes and exaggerating the slowing down at the end.
09 36: Learning Verse 3, beginning: 'Thor the mighty...' Using a contrasting loud / quiet voice.
10 47: Learning the coda - repeating the words 'Thor on a journey' x 3, ending 'Thunder bang 'n' CRASH!'

The saga: Thor and the giants - Part 2

Story: Thor and the giants - part 2

Synopsis

Thor and Loki continue their journey into Jotunheim, home of the giants. It grows icy cold and when darkness falls they stop outside what they believe to be some sort of building, intending to spend the night inside.

Shortly after they've settled down the whole building starts shaking...and a huge eye appears at the doorway. They are inside a glove...belonging to the giant Skrynmnir. Thor immediately challenges Skrymnir and throws his hammer at the giant three times...but Skrymmir is entirely unharmed.

Skrymnir departs through the snow and Thor and Loki follow him to a palace where there are many other giants. Thor again challenges the giants and Skrymnir asks him to drain a giant drinking horn.

See Resources below for a quiz about the story.

The saga: Thor and the giants - Part 3

Story: Thor and the giants - part 3

Synopsis

Thor has failed to empty the drinking horn so he asks for another challenge. This time he is asked to lift a cat off the ground - but again Thor fails. His final challenge is to wrestle with an old lady - who subsequently defeats him.

Thor is shocked and ashamed...but as he and Loki leave for Asgard Skrymnir reveals that the giants defeated Thor with magic: the drinking horn was actually connected to the sea; the cat was really a serpent that wraps its tail around the planet and the old lady was death itself - which no one can defeat.

Thor swears to return for vengeance!

See Resources below for a quiz about the story.

Song: 'Thor on a journey'

Learn the song 'Thor on a journey' - about the god Thor and his hammer used for making thunder.

Once you have learnt the song singing with vocal version you can polish your performance singing with just the backing track.

Click here for the lyric sheet.

Click here for the music sheet.

Song 5: 'Thor on a journey' (vocal)
Song 5: 'Thor on a journey' (backing)

Listening music: an extract from 'Sinfonietta' by Leos Janacek

An extract from 'Sinfonietta' by Janacek - a lively fanfare.

The extract is the opening of 'Sinfonietta' by Czech composer Leos Janacek, premiered in 1926. It's a loud fanfare for brass instruments with kettle drums.

  • Can pupils say what family of instruments is playing (brass) and any of the individual instruments (horns, trumpets, etc).
  • What is a ‘fanfare’? What function do they serve and at what sort of occasions would you hear one?
  • Sounds to listen out for in the introduction to our song include metal instruments (gongs and anvils), loud horn-calls and fanfares.

Resources

Teachers' Notes
document
Pupils' Pamphlet
document
Meet the characters
document
5. Thor on a journey - story transcript
document
5. Thor on a journey - lyrics
document
5. Thor on a journey - music
document
Story transcript 1
document
Story transcript 2
document

More from Viking Saga Songs

4. Sing us a saga
collection
6. Apples of Iduna
collection
7. Birds of the North
collection