In Denmark we have this song called Vær velkommen, Herrens år (Literally: Be welcome, Year of the Lord), which I have always liked the melody of. I remember singing it for my family at the Christmas dinner table in like 1995 or something like that. There’s two versions of it, both utilizing the same melody. One which largely focuses on Jesus, and his supposed birth and resurrection, and the holy spirit. There’s also one that focuses more on the New Year, and mentions God in several ways in relation to it.

In recent years, having solidified an atheist stance, and various political, and moral stances, I have been going about getting rid of things that mention a God or lean off of Christianity in my own personal culture. Yesterday I thought of this song, knowing it was gonna be song on New Year’s Eve on TV and so on. So I thought to myself, that maybe I could write a secular version, so that if asked to sing it or something like that, I could sing something that I actually meant, that focused on things that actually matter, rather than singing non-sense, which contradicts own lack of belief by focusing on Magic Man In The Sky.

So I went ahead and edited the original lyrics by N. F. S. Grundtvig, and added a bunch of things. And I thought I’d share the result, which, rather than praising, and asking God to help us out with a bright future, emphasizes the people’s will (democracy), a common duty we have to make a better future for ourselves, world peace and freedom:

Vær velkommen, det nye år
Text: Troels Milinda Just, 2008
Melody: A. P. Berggreen, 1852

Vær velkommen, det nye år,
og velkommen herhid!
Folkets ord, dette lysende ord
opliver, oplyser det høje Nord!
Velkommen, nytår, og velkommen her!

Vær velkommen, det nye år,
og velkommen herhid!
En fælles sag, har vi nu foran os
at sikre på marken et gyldent år!
Velkommen, nytår, og velkommen her!

Vær velkommen, det nye år,
og velkommen herhid!
Verdens fred, den livsalige fred
som hjælper vort land til at blomstres ved!
Velkommen, nytår, og velkommen her!

Vær velkommen, det nye år,
og velkommen herhid!
Danmarks bud, os til glæde og gavn
nytåret henskride i frihedens navn!
Velkommen, nytår, og velkommen her!