Saara – “Superpowers”.

Hi people! 🙂
Today I have for you a song from a very interesting, Finnish (or actually half-Finnish, half-Swedish) singer and YouTube personality. Saara, born Sara Maria Forsberg, previously also known as Smo(u(kahontas, grew up travelling a lot, due to both her parents being Baptist missionaries. That’s why her English is so good. Since I love Finnish, I know well what it sounds like and I know what Finns sound in English and I would never have guessed that she’s Finnish based on her accent. Currently she is based in LA.
I’ve known this song in its acoustic version for a long time and have always liked it a lot. But since lately I’ve shared a lot of acoustic versions of songs, and here I like the standard, electronic version just as much, that’s the one I’m sharing.

Roosberg – “The Author”.

Hi hi people! 🙂

Today’s song is from Finland. The people behind are a duo, for whom, from what I know, this is their first song on which they collaborated together, both in terms of writing and producing it. They are Jori Sjöroos and Christel Sundberg, the latter more commonly known as Chisu. While I don’t know anything about Jori Sjöroos, I’ve been familiar with Chisu’s music before and she’s quite successful in her home country. This song was written for the 2019 Finnish-British TV series The Moomin Valley. Never watched it, but I absolutely love Moomins, and I think this song is really cool, hence I’m sharing! 🙂

Gjallarhorn – “Herr Olof” (Master Olof) & Nordman – “Herr Olof Och Havsfrun” (Master Olof And The Mermaid).

Hiya people! 🙂

So recently I’ve shared the music of quite a few Nordic folk artists with you, and I thought we’d stay in this Nordic folk climate for a while yet. The song I want to share with you is one of the first Swedish folk songs that I’ve heard of. Herr Olof (or master/sir Olof in English, Gjallarhorn translate it as master so we’ll stick to it here) is a young knight, who one day decided to visit the court or homestead of a mermaid. She greets him very happily, stating that she’s awaited him for fifteen years, and then proceeds to ask him all sorts of nosy questions – where he was born, where his family live, where are his fields and meadows etc. etc. but most importantly “Where do you have your fiancee, with whom you want to live and die?” Herr Olof has one answer to all these questions, that he has all these things and people at the king’s court. Then the mermaid finally lets him in and gives him “the clearest wine” to drink, after which herr Olof actually changes his mind and decides that all he has is now at the mermaid’s court, and that she is the one with whom he wants to live and die.

Usually, if I share two or more versions of the same song with you in one post, it’s because I can’t decide which one I like more. It’s not the case here though. I’m very partial to Gjallarhorn’s version, because I love Gjallarhorn in general, but I also do like Nordman’s version because this is the first version of this song that I’ve ever heard and I thought it would be interesting for people to compare perhaps. This is also one of very few songs by Nordman that I actually like, because their way of mixing folk and pop together just doesn’t speak to me. Of course I’ve nothing against mixing folk and pop, I often love it, but I simply don’t like the way they specifically do it with most of their music, it feels a bit cheesy.

When it comes to Gjallarhorn, it is thanks to them that I developed an interest in Finland Swedish, or at least the amazingly cute accent that Finns have when speaking Swedish. The band’s members are all Swedish-speaking Finns, but I didn’t know it when I first came across the music, so I was very amazed hearing the vocalist’s accent, and then I figured out why she sounds the way she does and that she’s Finnish, I decided to have a deeper look at finlandssvenska and totally sank. It’s just such a cute accent! The name Gjallarhorn means hollering horn in Old Norse, and refers to the horn belonging to Heimdal – the watchman of the Norse gods – who, according to the Norse people’s beliefs, was to blow this horn during Ragnarok, so loud that the whole world would hear it.

Gjallarhorn – “Herr Olof”:

Nordman: “Herr Olof Och Havsfrun”:

Auri – “Night 13”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today, I have a song from Finland for you. Auri is the after hours project of Tuomas Holopainen (most well-known as the leader of Nightwish), his wife Johanna Kurkela, who is a prominent folk singer and violinist in her homeland, with as it seems quite wide musical interests, and another Nightwish member and uilleann pipes player – Troy Donockley. – The three had plans to collaborate on something more folky and as they say they knew they had to do it at some point, but as they all had quite busy lives, the chance only happened in 2018. Their sound could be described as prog folk, or folk metal. Both the band’s name and a lot of motives in their music are inspired by The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss (where a female character is called Auri).

I used to listen to Nightwish years ago, and a lot of other symphonic/Gothic metal like that, now I no longer do, initially because my views on life and all sorts of things have changed and I considered it no longer congruent with my current beliefs and values system to listen to stuff like Nightwish, and then I guess I just naturally sort of grew out of that phase. But while I’m not like very hugely into Auri, I really appreciate their sound and I’ve liked and followed Johanna Kurkela for years.

This is one of their songs that I really wonder what it might be about, I’ve had countless ideas, haha. I guess though most likely it’s inspired by something I simply have no clue about (perhaps The Kingkiller Chronicle as well which I’ve never read). Anyway, it is an interesting song.

Suvi Teräsniska ft. Arttu Wiskari – “Sininen Uni” (Blue Dream) & Cornelis Vreeswijk – “Den Blåa Drömmen” (The Blue Dream”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Let’s listen to yet another, beautiful and cute lullaby today. It was written by a Finn of many talents – Tapio Rautavaara (1915-1979) – who was a successful athlete (javelin thrower and archer) and then (also successful) singer and actor. Some of his songs, from what I know, were quite big hits at the time of his career. While I don’t really feel them musically all that much as they just don’t stand out to me I guess and are totally not my thing, I like the lyrics of some of them, which are often humourous, sometimes a bit ironical and often have a fair bit of wisdom in them, in which they remind me of Cornelis Vreeswijk. Their political views were also very similar from what I know. It is not surprising then, with that similarity, that Cornelis Vreeswijk actually did an album consisting of Rautavaara’s songs that he – Vreeswijk – translated to Swedish. The album is called “En Spjutkastares Visor” (Songs of a Javelin Thrower) and was released in 1980. Among these songs is “Sininen Uni” in Finnish, or “Den Blåa Drömmen” in the Swedish translation, or Blue Dream in English – a lovely lullaby about the Sandman, or Nukkumatti in Finnish, or John Blund in Swedish (blund means close your eyes and is the imperative form of the verb blunda).

Sandman is one of my most favourite folklore characters, next to Jack Frost, selkies, changelings and some others, because I love sleep and dreams and I just really like the concept of the Sandman, so I instantly fell in love with this lullaby when I heard it for the first time and understood well enough (in Vreeswijk’s version).

Thanks to Spotify, a couple months ago I also came across a cover version in Finnish sung by Suvi Teräsniska and Arttu Wiskari, which speaks to me more than the original. And I thought that, because Finnish is just as beautiful a language in my opinion as Swedish, and because it’s interesting to hear how the song sounds in its original language, I would share this Finnish version too, and also I just plain like it, unlike the original.

I don’t speak Finnish (yet), so I don’t understand any of the Finnish lyrics, but I tried my best at translating the Swedish translation into English for you. I got Google to translate the Finnish one for me out of curiosity and it doesn’t seem like there are any huge differences between the two language versions, perhaps except for that, according to Google, the Finnish Nukkumatti “devours ice cream” whereas John Blund is better and gives you a sleepy cookie.

 

Every evening when the lamp goes out

And the night is about to come

The Sandman knocks on the door

So quietly and so carefully.

He tiptoes in through the door

In his sleepy shoes

And sits down nicely by the bed

In the room where you live.

He has such a sleepy cap.

It is full of sleepy sand.

He gives you a sleepy cookie

With his sleepy little hand.

His car is blue, can you see it_

It’s going to drive away soon.

Vroom, vroom, says the car

In me you can ride.

Now he puts up the umbrella

And puts on his cap.

What does he carry under his arm_

Well, a dream book which is blue.

And the car drives to the dream land

With a sleepy speed

Vroom, vroom, says the car.

Now I guess we’ll fall asleep very soon.

And there you see the golden trees

That grow in the forest of dreams.

And the dream blue bird.

Well, I guess you know him.

Crawl now down under the bird’s wings

And sleep well and fine.

Hear the bird sing a song:

La la la la la la la.

   Suvi Teräsniska ft. Arttu Wiskari:

Cornelis Vreeswijk:

Song of the day (6th December) – Sanni – “Nälkä” (Hunger”.

On December 6, Finland celebrated its Independence Day. Unfortunately I couldn’t celebrate it on here at that exact day, as I was an anxious mess and didn’t feel like writing anything, but I listened to a lot of Finnish music and though that, to commemorate the independence of Finns, I’d share something in Finnish, especially that there’s not very much Finnish music on here. It’s a nice pop song that I’ve been liking this year. I couldn’t find a quality translation, but as far as I know, the lyrics are about a woman who was in a great relationship in which she felt truly alive, but she has now moved to a different city, her life evolves around work and sleep, and she is missing that relationship and is feeling the emotional hunger for it.

Maria Kalaniemi – “Pilvet”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have a Finnish folk piece for you. It comes from Maria Kalaniemi’s brand new April album called “Mielo”, which means Mind in Finnish, recorded together with harmonium player Eero Grundström. Maria Kalaniemi is a multi-instrumentalist, but her main instrument, andt the one she’s most known for playing, is accordion, she also seems to be a bit of a promoter/propagator of accordion in Finland, and Sweden too.

I am generally not a fan of accordion at all. Like, it’s my second least favourite instrument after saxophone, though I don’t like these two instruments for vastly different reasons. I don’t like saxophone because it doesn’t agree with my brain, I find the sound of it sensorily overwhelming, while with accordion I just think it’s not particularly aesthetically pleasing. I’d always had such an idea about accordion that it’s just the most primitive, kinda ribald, kitschy instrument that has ever existed and I’ve always associated it with cheap, village bridals and heavily drinking people. 😀 Okay, alternatively with tangos as such, which I’m not into either. I guess it’s not just me being weird because lots of people seem to share such opinions. Not even my fascination with Celtic music was able to change that. But… it did change a bit after I first heard Maria Kalaniemi. When I was trying to learn something about Finnish folk, back when I was still completely clueless about it, Maria Kalaniemi was the first Finnish folk musician that I came across, and was mentioned as very popular in her genre in Finland, and I was a bit disappointed, because “What? Really? Doesn’t Finland have anything better in her musical heritage than accordion? That sounds concerning!”. But when I heard her I changed my mind. Because when Maria Kalaniemi plays accordion, it sounds nothing like what I’d ever heard on this instrument. It suddenly becomes very lyrical and dreamy. And even folk dances performed by her sound better than most dance pieces for this instrument I’ve heard. She’s really, really good, or at least resonates with me somehow. I do not like all of her music, but she definitely managed to change my view on this instrument a bit. Another interesting person (also from Finland) who made me see that accordion doesn’t necessarily have to be kitschy was another Finn, though not folksy – Kimmo Pohjonen. – I watched a documentary about him with my Mum and it was quite stunning what bizarre and intriguing things he could do with this instrument. It still remains one of my least favourite instruments but, as I said, has a better reputation with me now.

And this piece from Kalaniemi I want to show you is definitely very lyrical and emotive, I just love it and its harmonies. It does really make me feel a bit like I was floating on clouds, and I love music that can convey such rich images/emotions.

I haven’t made up my mind about it yet but it’s possible I’ll share another piece by Maria Kalaniemi tomorrow as well, the one I’ve heard first. For now, I hope you enjoy Pilvet.

Lxandra – “Swimming Pools”.

Hi lovely people! 🙂

I have a song from a really cool, young singer for you today. Alexandra Lehti, aka Lxandra, was raised in an inhabited Finnish fortress called Suomenlinna, and has a Finnish father (Pekka Lehti – bassist who played with a fair few bands including a great female folk Värttinä, and he also seems to be a music producer -) and a German mother. I’ve heard this song for the first time a couple weeks ago and this was my first contact with Lxandra’s music. I really like her vocals, which are often compared with Adele and indeed there is some similarity. This song is about being true to who you are and where you come from, which is something that resonates with me as I feel strongly about cultivating your roots, on all sorts of different levels, and the message in Lxandra’s song seems to be more about our individual roots and background.

Olivera – “I Can’t Sleep”.

Hey people! 🙂

Yesterday I said that I listen to a lot of Finnish pop lately. Well, here is one of my recent favourites. I was thinking for quite a while whether I’d prefer to show you the normal version, or the acoustic one, as I like both, but in the end I thought I like the acoustic more in this case, so I’ll share the acoustic. Olivera is a Finnish artist that is very new to me but I am hoping to explore more of her music. By the way I had no idea that the name Olivera is used anywhere outside of countries like Serbia or Macedonia, would never think it’s used in Finland, that’s interesting. Not that it wouldn’t sound right in Finnish, it just somehow surprised me.

Song of the day (15th September) – Kaija Koo ft. Reino Nordin – “Paa Mut Cooleriin”.

Hi guys! 🙂

After sharing with you one song by Maija Vilkkumaa, I wanted to discover some more Finnish music, and listened to a lot of it. As a result, I thought I’d share with you another Finnish song, by another well-known female artist in Finland called Kaija Koo. Her style is a bit similar though she’s been around in the music industry for a decade or so longer and the feel of her music has been changing a lot over the years. This song is in collaboration with a Finnish actor and musician Reino Nordin. Sadly, I couldn’t find a reliable translation for this one, and am not even 100% sure what the title means, so that’s a little bit of a disappointment, but Finnish music is great anyway!

Maija Vilkkumaa – “Mä En Oo Sun Ainoo” (I’m Not Your Only One).

Hey people! 🙂

Time for something Finnish! I’ve been familiar with a lot of Finnish folk and some Finnish rock – at least the classic stuff, some metal and some modern bands like Haloo Helsinki – for quite a few years. But last year I’ve actually got a bit of a craving for Finnish music for a while and wanted to explore more of it. The problem was, it was that unfortunate time when I was without my laptop for a month so it was a little bit difficult to achieve. I managed to find an Internet radiostation though, called Radio Suomipop, where they broadcast almost only music (and ads, loads of them!) and only in Finnish, and only the most recent pop. So I could actually get quite a good glimpse of what was big in Finland at that time. The station was incredibly repetitive as is often the case with such things, but oh well, at least I had my Finnish music, I was fed up with it quite quickly, the best way to get rid of such a craving. Nevertheless, I came across some cool artists thanks to them, or – as was the case with Ms. Vilkkumaa – could hear some of the artists that I did hear about before but never felt like they were my style so hadn’t actually listened to their music at all before. I do like Maija Vilkkumaa, and some others that I thought I wouldn’t, even if I’m not in love with their music.

Maija Vilkkumaa has been well known in Finland since the late 90’s-early 2000’s, and while she can be heard frequently on Suomipop, her music is actually classified as something like poprock. The song I want to show you seems to be her newest one, unless I’ve missed something more recent, and it is this one that I heard at Radio Suomipop last autumn and was hearing approximately every 2 hours. 😀 But I haven’t listened to Radio Suomipop since then, I much prefer the luxury of choosing it myself what I want to listen to, so I’m no longer fed up with it, and I think it sounds quite nice. I am still wondering if I’m going to show you something from her older repertoire tomorrow or not, we shall see.

The good thing about Finnish language songs, at least those more popular ones, is that they usually seem to have English translation somewhere in the Internet, even if the lyrics are really bizarre, as is often the case with Finnish music and Finnish anything, they seem to like the bizarre and I like Finns for that. 😀 I wish it was like this with other “rare” languages too. I guess Finnish people also like to understand the lyrics in music more than many other nations, as in 20th century it was apparently a thing for them to create covers of English language hits in their own language, so perhaps they understand that other nations might also want to understand their lyrics. Anyway, thanks to this, I was able to find the translation of this song, so here it is:

 

What country would you be

Argentina for me

What instrument

Theremin

What song

Pistoolisankari

[(Pistol Hero) a song by a Finnish rock band called Dingo]

Which would you give up if you had to

Sex or booze

Oo oo oo but you don’t have to

You say don’t go yet, you don’t have to leave

Nothing’s waiting at home, except for mess and silence

Happy families play Afrikan tähti

[(Star Of Africa) a Finnish board game)]

Oo oo oo and there is no us

And I know I shouldn’t

I swore I wouldn’t stay

But I am the loneliest in the world

So I pour the glasses full of bubbly wooo

And it’s like a blanket on us

Yeah you always come and you always go and never stay wooo

I’m not your only one but I’m here now

I’m not your only one but I’m here

What film

Matrix

What crime

Well murder

But if you got caught and were in Texas

An electric chair it would be

Wishing for mercy but that would be in vain

Oo oo oo there is no mercy

And somewhere mothers take their children to day-care

One time I always did my best

Not now

Misguide me

And I pour the glasses full of bubbly wooo

And it’s like a blanket on us

Yeah you always come and you always go and never stay wooo

I’m not your only one but I’m here now

I’m not your only one but I’m here

And when I leave

I know that of course

You won’t be calling after me

And in the corner of the street I’m keying your car

But it doesn’t make it easier

So bye

And until the next time

And I pour the glasses full of bubbly wooo

And it’s like a blanket on us

Yeah you always come and you always go and never stay wooo

I’m not your only one but I’m here now

And I pour the glasses full of bubbly wooo

And it’s like a blanket on us

Yeah you always come and you always go and never stay wooo

I’m not your only one but I’m here now

I’m not your only one but I’m here

I’m not your only one but I’m here

Song of the day (9th January) – Poropetra “Luonnotar”.

The song for yesterday (as it’s well over 1 AM already here and I’m soon going to bed with Misha 😀 ) is by Finnish band called Poropetra, whom I got to know via my friend Jacek from Helsinki about whom I’ve written here multiple times already. He was a great fan of them and showed their music to me saying that “this is something perfectly for you”. At first I thought he was joking, I mean when I heard them, because in fact my first impression was that their music is… quite funny, like awkward, I don’t know how to put it really. I dont know, there’s still something funny about it for me. It just made me laugh back then and still does sometimes. But he was serious, and in time I realised that indeed I like them, despite that I thought they are funny, in a little weird way. Their songs also often regard various old Finnish deities and such (like this one), while I am Christian, but after consulting this with my Mum it seems to me that it’s not in such an invading way, and I guess there’s nothing wrong with their music from the Christian point of view. Why do I like them? Because they sound so weird, because the founder member of the band – Juha Jyrkäs – plays kantele (it’s such a Finnish harp, kind of, it’s called harp but as you can hear it sounds differently, more clangy) and does throat singing or overtone singing, because they sing in Finnish, because their music is a blend of two genres I like – folk and rock, – and probably I could also find something else as a reason why I like them, so you have to agree that’s a lot. This is my favourite song by them, although you won’t hear Jyrkäs’s throat singing here, maybe I’ll post something else from them another time so you can hear how weirdly wonderful it sounds, or you can look it up on your own if you’re very curious, and no, it’s not like Mongolian or Tibetan overtone singing. The group is apparently inspired by Siberian and Karelian music, and while I don’t have any idea about the above, I guess even I can see it because their music is very different from other Finnish folk/folk rock bands and has a different feel. As for Luonnotar, it’s a different name used in referrence to Ilmatar, and Ilmatar is Finnish virgin spirit of the air, mentioned frequently in Kalevala. Oh and Jacek told me that poropetra in Finnish means some type of elk, but I’m not sure if that’s true and reliable, although it should be haha. I’m curious what your impressions will be. 🙂

Song of the day (3rd October) – Iiris Viljanen ft. Isabel Neib – L”Ljuset Själv” (The Light Itself).

Recently I shared with you a song by Frida Andersson, who is a Swedish-speaking Finn, and I told you how I find Finnish accent cute and funny. Really, as much as I love to hear the proper Swedish from Stockholm, I absolutely enjoy hearing Finnish Swedish as well. There is just something so distinguishing about it that I like. So here’s another Swedish-speaking Finn from Österbotten – Iiris Viljanen. She used to be a member in a Finnish band Vasas Flora Och Faun, now she’s doing her solo career, besides from being a singer-songwriter, she’s also a pianist. This song she sings with Isabel Neib (she doesn’t seem to be Finnish), and I think they sound good together. Iiris also makes rap music, in her local dialect fromÖsterbotten, which sounds very interesting as well.

Frida Andersson – Jag Saknar Dej (I Miss You_.

This is a beautiful song in my opinion. I’ve translated the title as “I Miss You”, but in fact it is “I Lack You”, though I wasn’t sure if such phrase actually exists and is natural in English, it doesn’t look like it is. There even is a line in the song that “I don’t miss having you here any longer, but I lack you”, so I guess we should differentiate missing from lacking. So do Swedes, so do we Poles, and maybe the Anglophones do as well but I just don’t know. 😀 As for Frida Andersson, she is the moreinteresting for me that she is from Finland, and she is a Swedish native-speaker. For those of you who don’t know, yes, there is a Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, of people who speak Swedish as their first language, and Swedish is also another official language of Finland after Finnish, and also is teached in school as a second language, compulsory, I guess, and don’t worry if you didn’t know it and think you’re ignorant, because I – a Swedophile and Finnophile – didn’t know it until just like 2-3 years ago, I learned about it years after my fascination with the Swedish language started. That’s ignorance! 😀 And even my Dad – who is a very good geographer and taught me capitals of all the European countries and which currencies they have and other stuff – he was very surprised when I told him that. Finns are way too secretive. 😀 I say it’s interesting because Finnish accent in Swedish sounds very interesting. It’s actually cute and funny to me, doesn’t sound so serious, elegant and regal as Swedish in Stockholm for example. I like it, I like different words they have for things, like for example in standard Swedish the phrase a little bit is “lite”, but Finns often say “pikulite”. Or they have a word “pirrig”, which means jittery (or something like this 😀 ) and from what my teacher told me it’s used by Swedish-speaking Finns, though I’ve seen it used bo non Finns too.

Anyway, putting my Finnophilic musings aside, I was going to, and tried, to make translation of these lyrics, as they’re not very difficult to understand, but I find it rather tricky to translate stuff from Swedish to English or vice versa, so I left it, still though, the song is beautiful.

Cmx – “Tuulet Ja Myrskyt” (Winds And Storms).

Hi hi people! 🙂

Today I have a song in FInnish for you, from one of my favourite Finnish rock bands, CMX. Recently I shared with you a song by another Finnish rock band, Haloo Helsinki, CMX’s music is harder though, but this particular song is a rather light rock.

Here

is an English translation of the song.

Haloo Helsinki! ft. JVG – Texas.

Hi! 🙂

Finally, it’s time to put something in Finnish on here, as Finnish is one of my favourite languages. Finland has given us tons of fantastic rock bands, but the one I want to show you today, although is definitely well-known and successful in Finland, I believe is barely known outside of their home country. They’re really good and they’re called Haloo Helsinki! which means just hello Helsinki. I really like their vocalist – Elli Haloo (Elisa Tiikalainen).

The song I want to show you though is kinda rap-ish because it’s made in collaboration with another Finnish band – JVG – which is a rap band. I am not a huge fan of rap, unless it just speaks to me, but I do like to listen to foreign language rap sometimes, I mean in some really “out-there” languages, sometimes even those in which I don’t speak a single word like Greek or Hebrew, whatever, don’t know actually why I like doing it, but so it is. 😀 And I guess Finnish is also such a language for some, anyways you rarely hear it anywhere else than Finland, Sweden or Norway. So yeah I like this song a lot and I like the fact it’s rap-ish.

Song of the day – Alex Kunnari ft. Tim Hilberts – Wake Me Up.

Hi! 🙂

Today’s song really speaks to me. I found it on Spotify last year. Those of you who use Spotify probably know their Daily Mixes with music you like and some new stuff in the same vibe. So back then I was listening one of mine, which had mostly Norwegian electronica in it, as I listened to it a lot at that time. And then this song played and I was rather surprised. It wasn’t really my style musically. Well, honestly, it wasn’t my style at all. And after all Alex Kunnari doesn’t really sound very Norwegian, rather Finnish (well unless he’s from Finnmark), so I was wondering a bit why it landed here. But then I started to listen to the lyrics and it suddenly caught my full attention. Oh gosh, what is this guy singing about? It sounds like… pretty much like me. :O What there was “like me” was the fact that I could relate to this song with my night experiences, which as I know now is sleep paralysis, and false awakenings. But back then, although I’ve been struggling with these and other sleep sensations regularly as long as I can remember and was very frustrated every time it happened, I didn’t have the name for it, didn’t know anyone who had it and what even more frustrating, couldn’t quite describe to anyone the content of these dreams and how it felt to have it in general. And so I felt a bit comforted hearing this, as I felt like if there’s song about it, there must be someone else on Earth, even just one person, experiencing this in one way or another too. That didn’t change anything in the grand scheme of things, but at least lessened my feeling of inadequacy which I think is strong enough in other areas of my life. So I really like this song now. 🙂