Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuluutintie - Duluth Road

Tuluutintie (Duluth Road) is located in Alajärvi. To be honest, it seems like more of a street (katu) to me since it's only a few blocks long, but I guess to be true to the translation we'll call it a road.

Alajärvi, like the rest of Etelä-Pohjanmaa, experienced the effects of migration (article in Finnish - with some information about Swedish-speaking Finnish migrants as well) to the United States and elsewhere. Quite a few Finns ended up in the Duluth, MN area.

Contrary to popular belief, not all of the immigrants stayed in the "land of opportunity" to live happily ever after. Some came back to Finland with gold dollars in their pockets and bought the homes in Finland that they couldn't afford before their American adventure. Often these Finns were referred to as "American" for the rest of their lives.

Tuluutintie, with its strange name (for Etelä-Pohjanmaa) is a reminder of those Finns who chose to head back home.

Arthur Kyllander, a Finnish-born American songwriter wrote a song about returning to Finland with American-earned cash and becoming a big shot.

NY MNÄÄ REISSAAN by Arthur Kyllander (translation by Richard Impola)

(A spectacular example of Finglish using the Varsinais-Suomi dialect rather than the more common (in the U.S. at least) Savo or Pohjanmaa dialects.)

Mnää olen tääll’ Ameriikas elelly ja ollu
Mut ny mnää ol semmoseen päätökseen tullu
Et minut tarvitaan vanhass’ maass’
Ja sen tähre mnääki ny reissaan taas.
Mnää olen tääl tienannu noit suuri palkkoi
Ja ehtoisin kauntan kui pal se ol markkoi
Ja ain’ ku mä valmiiksi räknäsin
Niin koht’ sitä kurssii taas entrattii.
Ku litviiki se tull’
Ol’ kaikki sekas’ mull’
Ku ai sitä kurssii vaan entrattii.
Mut ny mnää sit meinaan ett’ Turun puolt’ josta
Taera mnää ittelleen talonki ostaa.
Mnää haeraan sit trenkei ja piikoi vaa
Niin itte ei mun tarvita arpeettaa.
Sit pitäjän kirkkherall’ pirän mnää baali
Ja herroi viell’ muitki mä sinn’ sit haali,
Mä hypytän tanseiss’ siell’ pastorskaa,
Mutt’ pruustinnall’ praakkaa mnää engelskaa.
Siäl on eläm siis
Ninko vil ju pliis
Ku pruustinnall’ praakkaa mnää engelskaa.
Ja kylmar ne mnuu siäll’ ennen muuta
Valitsevat varmasti eruskuntaan.
Niinki se käyp viäll’ ai kess soo
Ku tämä poik ei ole mikkää ai tun noo.
Puri smartti kai.
Enkös ole vai?
Enkä mnää ole mikkää ai tun noo.
Ja niinki mnää luule et aikas ne ällää
Ja präsitentti ehrokkas minu siell’ tällää.
No pärjään mnää siinäki, jesseri,
Ai karet veri kut memori.
Tääl on järki pääs,
Ja se ei ole jääs.
Enkä mnää ole mikää nosseri.
Ja nymmar mun täytyy jo lähtee juur sassi
Konsulivirastost hakemaa passi.
Mnää olen kaikk’ asiat praakan jo kai
So ai tell you everipati nau kut pai.
Ai kat hori tuu, so ai viss seim tu juu
änt ai tel everipati nau pai pai.

I’ve lived here in America awhile,
But now I’ve decided
That I’m needed in the old country
And that’s why I’m going back again.
All of Finland
Will get help from me
And that’s why I’m going back again.
I’ve made good wages here
And figured out in the evenings how much it would be
in markkas.
And always when I finish my reckonings,
They go and change the exchange rate.
When my pay envelope comes, I get all mixed up,
Because they go and change the exchange rate.
Now I’m going to buy a farm somewhere near Turku.
I’ll hire some farmhands and some maids,
So I won’t have to do any of the work.
Then you’ll see I wasn’t saving for nothing.
So I won’t have to do any of the work.
Then I’ll have a party for the vicar,
And I’ll invite other fine gentlemen.
I’ll hop the pastor’s wife around in the dance.
But I’ll show off my English to the rector’s wife.
That’s how life will be—just like “Will you please?”
And I’ll show off my English to the rector’s wife.
And of course before long they’ll elect me to Parlia
That’s how it will be, I guess so,
Because this fellow is no “I don’t know.”
Pretty smart guy—ain’t I?
And I’m no “I don’t know.”
And I even think, as time goes by
They’ll nominate me for president.
Well, I’ll be able to handle that,
I have a very good memory.
There’s a brain in this head
And it’s no block of ice.
I’m not any kind of Nosiree.
Well, I guess I’ll have to be off
To the consulate to get my passport.
I think I’ve told you everything,
So I’ll say to everybody now, “Good-bye.”
I’m in a hurry too;
I wish the same to you,
And I’ll say to everybody now, “Bye-bye.”

An article about Arther Kyllander published in the New World Finn in 2001. Article is found on page 14 of the PDF.

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