The Berserker At Stamford Bridge

Album: Berserker (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, near York, on September 25, 1066. During the conflict an English army under King Harold Godwinson successfully repelled an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada. The last significant Norse invasion of Britain, the battle has traditionally been presented as symbolizing the end of the Viking Age.

    When the bulk of the English soldiers arrived, their advance was delayed by the need to pass through the choke-point presented by Stamford Bridge. According to The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a giant Norse axeman blocked the narrow crossing and for a time single-handedly held up the entire English army. This song recounts the story of the Viking "Beserker."
  • Vocalist Johan Hegg told Revolver magazine that a friend of his told him the story of Stamford Bridge axeman and suggested he write lyrics about it:

    "Basically, it's at the end of the Viking era," he said. "The Vikings are in England, and they've been very successful in beating the English, because what the Vikings did better than the English is that they moved fast and they moved during the night. But at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, the English used the Vikings' tactics against them, so they caught the Vikings by surprise. The Vikings were too far away from their supply ships, so they had to retreat. The Vikings were about 3000 men, and the English were 15,000. So they retreated over Stamford Bridge, but in order to halt the English army, they sent one guy with an axe out on the bridge."

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