->''Tycker du att graven är för djup? Nå välan, så tag dig då en sup.''
->(Do you think your grave is too deep? Very well, then take a drink.\\
->-- Fredmans epistel n:o 21

Carl Michael Bellman was an 18th century [[UsefulNotes/{{Sweden}} Swedish]] songwriter, and is still considered by many to be Sweden's greatest poet... [=EVER=]. Even if one thinks he has been surpassed later on, he fills the same role in Swedish music and poetry as Shakespeare does in English theatre: every later practicioner will have a relation to him. His main works are the Songs of Fredman (''Fredmans sånger'') and the Epistles of Fredman (''Fredmans epistlar''), each including some 70 songs, many of which are about four major forces that ruled 18th century Stockholm; [[TrueArtIsAngsty angst]], [[EverybodyHasLotsOfSex lust]], [[DrowningMySorrows booze]] and [[DeathIsDramatic death]].

Most of Bellman's songs are narrative stories, revolving around a group of characters living in 18th century Stockholm. Also the songs are often quite humorous, so they are kind of like episodes of a sitcom. However, a lot of the humour comes out of a CognitiveDissonance that isn't apparent today, in the way he mixed Biblical figures with drunkenness and lewdness, causing several scandals during his life. In a way, his social and artistic experimentation was so successful that we later on can't easily see the humour intended.

Bellman's songs are still very much a living part of Swedish culture. Many contemporary musicians (including {{Candlemass}} and {{Marduk}}) have recorded versions of one or more of his songs, and you can still hear some of his songs sung by rowdy partyers if you stroll through Stockholm's Old Town late at night.

These are the most common characters that are being used in Bellman's works (mainly the Epistles of Fredman)

''Fredman'' is a watchmaker "without workshop or clocks".

''Movitz'' is an Army bugler by day and virtuoso of many instruments by night. Fredman's constant companion and old drinking buddy.

''Ulla Winblad'' is a "seamstress" and the target of Fredman's mostly unwanted affections.

''Jergen Puckel'' (Jergen Hump) is a humpbacked German, dancer, gambler, and womanizer.

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!!Bellman, his music and his writings contain examples of:

* AllWomenAreLustful: Pretty much all of Bellman's female characters, with a few noteable exceptions; Susanna, for example.
* BadAss: Lorenz Mollberg
* BawdySong: Bellman ''defines'' this trope, while still keeping his songs very artistic and beautiful. This versatility is what many people consider to be why his songs are so popular.
* BilingualBonus: Linguistic skills was the ne plus ultra of the scholastic or educated mind at the time. Bellman has mixed in at least German, French, and Danish phrases in his songs.
* BoisterousBruiser: In Bellman's world, this is a Polish national trait. In fact, he describes several wild nights with the phrase "drank, fought and danced like a Polishman".
* {{Bowdlerise}}: "Gubben Noach" has become a very popular children's song, which usually leaves out all the references to wine (in other words, leaves out 7 1/2 verses of 8).
* ChivalrousPervert: Every single male character.
* DealWithTheDevil: Jergen apparently signs over his soul to the Devil once every two years.
* DeathsHourglass: "Death has put his hourglass by my glass, his arrows lie scattered among my bottles..."
* DrowningMySorrows: Pretty much every character in the songs, Movitz in particular though.
* EverybodyHasLotsOfSex
* EveryoneLooksSexierIfFrench: Jergen Puckel (though technically he's half-German).
* JuxtapositionGag. Used frequently.
** In ''Glimmande Nymf'', the original text goes from classical references to panic to comic disaster during a sex act.
** In ''Gubben Noach'' and other songs the patriarchs of the Bible are portayed as lewd drunkards.
* MeaningfulFuneral: Epistle 81, "Behold, How Our Shadow", with its detailed and [[TearJerker heart-rending]] depiction of a funeral, has become one of his most enduring songs, performed by everyone from balladeers to Music/{{Candlemass}}.
* MyGirlIsASlut: Ulla Winblad
-->Move over, Norström; your fiancée belongs to all of us!
* NoSexAllowed: So averted...
* NotStayingForBreakfast: "Glimmande Nymf" has the subtitle "A note left by Cajsa Lisa's bed late at night".
* APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy: Frequently.
-->Drinking, boozing, and having your girl: This is the gospel of Saint Fredman!
* {{Scatting}}: In his own performances, Bellman would often accompany himself on the lute and sing all other instruments. This got written into the songs, and many of his songs require the singer to imitate cellos, oboes, flutes...
* TheAlcoholic: Almost all the characters of the songs, and Bellman himself.
* WeAllDieSomeday: The mortality rate was high in 18th century Stockholm (no less so among those who drank as hard as Bellman and his characters), so death is a constant presence in many songs and the main topic of songs like "Oh, Death Is A Dreadful Bear" or "Drink Up, See, Death Awaits You".
* WretchedHive: Stockholm. Taken UpToEleven in "Proud City!", which opens with what can only be described as a long rap about someone trying to make their way through the city at rush hour.
-->Was ist das? Make room by the rowers' stairs! Gangway, fiddlers, shoeshiners, customs officers and sailors! Hooray, put the herringtail on the beerbarrel! Trumps! Shut up, bitch. Matches, matches, six for a groat! Trump, eightpence bet! Courage, you old grenadier! Out of my way, coalmerchants, cleaning women and milkmaids! Cheers, this one's on me! Let Movitz pass with the bass fiddle. Make room, herring packers, baker's boys, peddlers, tailors and birdcatchers. Step aside, Mister Superintendent or Hyperintendent or whatever kind of rascal you are. Help that blind man with the lyre. Stop shoving! Punch him in the face!...
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