A huge crowd of onlookers watched the Royal Swedish Army Band perform as Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf turned 69 last Thursday. But the piece that received the loudest applause was an unexpected rendition of electronic dance group Swedish House Mafia's 2012 hit 'Don't you worry, child'.
In Sweden, the event has prompted suggestions that it was the King himself – who has previously mentioned Pink Floyd as one of his favourite groups – who requested the tune.
But regimental drummer and choreographer of Thursday's performance David Lindberg told The Local he could not confirm the rumours.
“It's nothing that has been relayed to me, but it's an inspiring idea. I've heard that the King likes Swedish House Mafia, so I guess it's not impossible. But as I said, those instructions have not reached me,” he said.
The Royal Swedish Army Band is Sweden's largest military orchestra and regularly performs at various military and royal events. Their latest viral hit is part of the so called 'figurative programme', the more loosely choreographed part of their regular show.
“Most of our performances are fairly formal occasions. We have instructions to play Swedish music for the figurative programme, but other than that our hands are pretty much free. This year we thought that we should play something that is being played at the moment and is international,” Lindberg told The Local.
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With songs by artists such as Abba, Swedish DJ wonder Avicii and Loreen – who won Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 – on their repertoire it is not the first time the orchestra diverts from the usual brass marches.
“A lot of Swedish pop actually suits our orchestra very well. The songs are quite calm and melodic,” Lindberg added.
And those who would like to hear the military remix of 'Don't you worry, child' live need only turn up when the Royal Swedish Army Band play at the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, as it will be part of the regular performance this spring.
“We don't see it as advertising Swedish music, but we're very proud of it and it's great if foreign tourists hear a song and think 'oh, that's by a Swedish artist'. I'm delighted at the attention, because it means we are able to attract people who normally wouldn't seek us out,” said Lindberg.