Mariebo-Bonns Polska comes to us through the playing of Ceylon Wallin, one of the most dominant nyckelharpa players of the latter half of the 20th century. Its title refers to a tiny place in Uppland called Mariebol. Ceylon’s great-grandfather lived there and played nyckelharpa.
Ceylon was a unique character. Easily identified in any crowd by his bushy beard and rumpled fedora, he was a dedicated advocate of the musical tradition of northeast Uppland, and especially of his family tradition.
Born in 1922 in Valö parish to a musical family, his given name was Karl Magnus Ceylon Wallin. He died in 1984.
He and his brother Henry carried on the tradition of their father Albin. Ceylon made recordings both by himself and with musicians even from other countries. In 1975 when the Swedish post office released a nyckelharpa stamp, it was Ceylon’s likeness on it.
Here is a YouTube recording of Ceylon Wallin playing Mariebo-Bonns Polska along with a good typical picture of him.
To the left is a picture I took of him in 1974 at a fiddle festival in the town of Östervåla.