A word from Tiny’s lyricist Jude Myers Pedersen

In the winter of 2010 I was one of a few Americans attending Lærdansk in Odense. My studies included reading some easy books in Danish. One of these was a fictionalized diary of Hans Christian Andersen, written as though from his point of view. Although I was familiar with many of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, I knew little about the author himself until I read H.C. Andersens Liv (H.C. Andersen’s Life) by Kirsten Ahlburg.

What struck me most about Hans Christian Andersen was the courage he showed in pursuing his dream of becoming an artist, not only at first, when his mother urged him to get paid work to support the family, but also when he went off to Copenhagen to launch his career without many prospects and no guarantee of success. I think a lot of artists face these same challenges. Reading about his life rekindled my own desire to write and sing.

Shortly after that, I met Leif Ringkjøbing, a musician and founder of the folk/rock band No Direction Home. A year later I joined the band as lead singer.  Always having a creative idea up his sleeve, Leif approached me one day and asked what I thought about putting lyrics and music to Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales.  We agreed to collaborate on songwriting, with me writing lyrics in English and Leif composing music to accompany the lyrics. We have been on this project for over a year, trying to find the right musicians.

“People have come and gone,” Leif remarks, “it is not always easy to see the end result when you are in the early stages of creating something.” Despite the challenge of getting the right musicians on board, we finally found drummer Henrik Jürgensen, guitarist Henrik Christoffersen, and bass player and vocalist Jesper Nielsen, all of whom are excellent and experienced musicians. Our  band is called Tiny, the nickname of the protagonist of the story ”Thumbelina.”  Our intention is to celebrate the life and works of Hans Christian Andersen by offering glimpses of Andersen’s fairy tales through modern music.  Moreover, a local artist, Helle Bogaard, has created paintings to go along with our songs which you can see on our website.

Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales embrace so many themes and human conditions that still exist throughout the world today. By having English song lyrics, we will not only reach Danes but also people from all over the world so that they can learn more about HCA, read or re-read his works and find artistic inspiration.