Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finnish Cultural Assimilation Lesson # 81.2. This lesson features Pelle Miljoona, Sielun Veljet, and Irwin!

Are you an immigrant in Finland? Are you planning on migrating to Finland? Are you a Finnish immigrant wanna-be? I've got a message for you then. If you truly want to be an active part of Finnish society, you are going to have to assimilate, at least partially. One of the easier ways to do this is to familiarize yourself with Finnish music. I'm not talking about Him or The Rasmus now. I'm talking about the generations of popular music that, when blended together, make up a significant portion of what it is that makes Finnish people tick. Becoming familiar with these Finnish cultural cues will help ease your way into becoming a productive member of Finnish society. The following videos will help you on your journey. As usual, my translation is done loosely, although I am not ashamed to admit that I recently scored a 5 (thats the best possible grade) in a Finnish to English translation course at the University of Jyväskylä. Oh, and don't be shy about clicking on the links. You might learn something.

Pelle Miljoona and 1980 - Tahdon rakastella sinua... (I want to make love to you)

Pelle Miljoona is one of the pioneers of Finnish punk with a career dating back to the late 1970's. This song was released in 1979.

A partial translation of Tahdon rakastella sinua

Press your lips against mine
Touch me everywhere
Look deep into my eyes
Do you feel the beauty of this moment?

I wanna make love to you
I wanna make love to you.
Do you want me?

Sielun Veljet - Kanoottilaulu (The Canoe Song)

Sielun Veljet was founded by Ismo Alanko in the early 80's. The groups later albums became more acoustic, but this song is from their earlier post-punk material.

A partial translation of Kanoottilaulu

I slip my canoe into narrow waters
following the migratory beaver
and I follow the signs
to beyond the coniferous forest
(here's where it gets tricky)
a polish cowboy-woman (i have no idea what this means, but this is what he is singing)won't get any cake (kakkua can also mean a prison sentence in slang)

Irwin Goodman - Kalteritango (The Prison-bar Tango)

Irwin Goodman is best know for his often humorous songs, many of which protest authority. Other of his songs are odes to the working man, or songs about excessive alcohol use. The video clip shown here is from the 1966 music film Topralli

A partial translation of Kalteritango

I was the toughest guy on the block
leather jacket, long hair, and blue jeans
I spent long days singing
a tango that I learned from my brother.

Now I'm hauled from prison to prison (x2)
Carrying my shackles.

Then I pulled a little job
at a certain banks main branch
I spent the days counting banknotes
this tango rang in my ears.

Now I'm hauled from prison to prison (x2)
Carrying my shackles.

The the authorities picked me up
the wealth and the millions remained just a dream
I got a cold cell complete with bars
and halls echoed with this tango.

Now I'm hauled from prison to prison (x2)
Carrying my shackles.

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