Eivind Groven was the youngest of 5 boys. He grew up on a farm in montainous Telemark, in an age where children were expected to help their parents with the manual work, but there was also spare time left for singing, fiddle- and willow flute playing and skiing.
At the age of 16, Eivind became seriously ill with (koldbrand i lungene og pleuritt). The doctor predicted that he had only one hour left to live, when he miraculously recovered. He survived the illness but was very weak while recovering and unable to work on the farm. "I was recovering and could do just what I wanted."