Stan Hugill describes this song as popular among all Scandinavian sailors. Although he provides the Swedish version, it is of Norwegian origin, and it survived until as late as the 1930s aboard Finnish sailing ships. He mentions a Prof. John Glyn Davies, the Welsh scholar, contended that the tune is German.

According to Hugill's source, Captain Sternvall, it was typical for the shantyman to imitate a Norwegian dialect when singing it.

Swedish composer Evert Taube recorded the song in the early 20th century, evidently accompanying himself with a Levin lute.