For Astrid Lindgren’s films and plays for the theatre, there was a need for quite a lot of songs and music. Astrid wrote the texts and the music was written afterwards by some of Sweden’s top composers. Jan Johansson wrote the successful music to the song, “Here comes Pippi Longstocking”, but shortly afterwards, was suddenly killed in an accident. Georg Riedel then took over and he is the one who has put music to the greatest number of Astrid’s song texts.
Riedel had a background as a very skilled jazz musician and did not even like children’s songs from the beginning. But meeting Astrid Lindgren resulted in his understanding the importance of good music for children. When Astrid wrote the song texts for the films about Emil her inspiration had come from a number of old ballad broadsheets, and so that Riedel would understand what she was after, she recorded herself singing a whole string of songs on tape. They worked very well together and today those melodies are well known by most kids in Sweden. “Little Ida’s Summer Song” is one of the best known and is nowadays used at most end-of-school celebrations in Sweden.
Riedel wrote the music to the films about Emil in Lönneberga, Pippi Longstocking, Karlsson on the Roof and about the Bullerby children.