Mikkjal á Ryggi ( 1879 – 1956 ) was the most renowned psalm and song writer in the land. He also wrote ballads including the popular ‘Brestiskvæðið’. Books he has written on subjects including geography, biology, animals and birds, were until recently still used in schools here in the Faroe Islands.
Beitishúsini ( Pasture-house )
Mikkjal Dánjalsson á Ryggi was born in ‘Beitishúsinum’. He was a teacher in the villages of Bø and Gásadal. Mikkjal married Bina Joensen from Gásadal and had no children. The last eleven years of his life Mikkjal was sick with tuberculosis and spent most of his time in a sanatorium in Hoydal, where he later died. He is now buried in Sørvág.
In the stone by ‘Pasture-house’
When Mikkjals grandfather built the Pasture House, he found that a stone outside the barn door was blocking the path, so he decided to use gunpowder to blow up the stone. One of the blacksmiths told him not to do so because it was a magical stone, and it had a house-elf living in it. The blacksmith claimed to have heard the elf tinkering inside. Mikkjals grandfather however refused to accept these superstitions. Not until Sára, the neighbours wife came out and begged him to leave the stone did he change his mind. She said that it would be a disastrous bad omen for the ouse if he blew up the stone. Mikkjals grandfather replied, “Not that I believe in such nonsense, but for Your sake I will leave the stone alone”. Till this day the stone is still found outside the Pasture-House.
In Hýsisá ( Haddock-brook )
While cutting hay in the autumn of 1909, Mikkjal cut two verses in to the bedrock of a brook. Mikkjal was saddened because the family had been hit hard by tuberculosis. His mother, Marin Margretha died aged 40, and his brother Peter aged 20. His sister Elisabeth died aged 15. One sister lost her leg, and another got tuberculosis in the back. One more brother and sister caught tuberculosis, but managed to recover.