Zen Café – “Nainen Vailla Historia” (Woman Without History).

   Hey hi people, Bibielz are back! 🙂 

   I posted an announcement on here on Saturday that I’d be away on a camper trip, and while on it, I happened to listen to a lot of Finnish music while riding. And it keeps niggling at me that while I generally like a lot of Finnish music that I hear, I feel that I still don’t really know a lot of it, and rarely end up actually sharing something Finnish on here, which results in a gross underrepresentation of Finnish music in my song of the day series despite Finnish is one of my favourite languages. So I thought it’s time to share something Finnish today, and I chose a song that I really like and have a good associations with, though I also generally really like this band and it’s very possible that I’ll be sharing more of their music in the future, sooner or later. We shall see. 

   Zen Café is a band that I discovered thanks to the amazing programme in Polish Radio 3 called Strefa Rokendrola Wolna od Angola (Rock’n Roll Zone Free of English) which I have mentioned a couple times before because I’ve made some interesting discoveries thanks to it. It’s a programme where you can hear only music in languages other than English, and the vast majority of the time also other than Polish, except for some special occasions when Polish-language songs of foreign artists are played. And this song was the first one by Zen Cafe that I heard. I was finding myself a bit on the crossroads language learning-wise at that point, wondering which language should I actually start learning now that my Swedish was on a decent enough level for me not to need to devote my whole attention to it, and the two strong contenders were Welsh and Finnish, so I was definitely on the lookout for Finnish music then, and checked out more of Zen Cafe’s music and listen to them to this day and like a lot of their songs. 

   The band is actually no longer a thing really, well they haven’t disbanded officially but went into an indeterminedly long hiatus over ten years ago. It was formed in Turku in the 90’s. Its name is the idea of the band’s bassist Kari Nylander, based on Robert M. Pirsig’s book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Their vocalist, guitarist and lyricist – Samuli Putro – has released a lot of solo music since the band’s hiatus has started, and I really like his solo albums as well. Aside from the aforementioned Nylander and Putro, part of the band right before the hiatus was also Pete Parkkonen. 

   Sadly (also for mé because I can’t speak Finnish just yet) I haven’t been able to find a reliable, logical-sounding, properly grammatically English translation of this song, but what I was able to figure out of those not very good ones that I found as well as with the help of my multilingual friend Deepl, it’s about the lyrical subject’s relationship with, well, a woman without history, or perhaps not necessarily relationship but at the very least it seems like he’d be happy for one to develop. He’s also very curious about her past, and generally who she might be and what sort of life does she have. 


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