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: