Liberal Arts Blog — Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People XXX — “Finlandia” (Sibelius) — Finland

Liberal Arts Blog — Thursday is Joy of Music Day

Today’s Topic — Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People XXX — “Finlandia” (Sibelius) — Finland

An instrumental version of the song “Finlandia” was the sixth part of a symphonic poem written by Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) in 1899 for a protest rally against Russian oppression. Words were added by Veikko Antero Koskenniemi (1885–1962) in 1941 during the Finnish-Soviet War. The tune is so powerful it has inspired several religious hymns and was used for the Biafran National Anthem from 1967–1970. Of the hymns, my favorite is “This Is My Song” with words by Lloyd Stone (1912–1993). Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

Jean Sibelius — Finlandia hymn ( Finlandia hymni )

LYRICS — ENGLISH AND FINNISH — (Veikko Antero Koskenniemi, 1885–1962)

1. Finland, behold, thy daylight now is dawning, the threat of night has now been driven away. The skylark calls across the light of morning, the blue of heaven lets it have its sound, and now the day the powers of night is scorning: thy daylight dawns, O Finland of ours!

2. Finland, arise, and raise towards the highest thy head now crowned with mighty memory. Finland, arise, for to the world thou criest that thou hast thrown off thy slavery, beneath oppression’s yoke thou never liest. Thy morning’s come, O Finland of ours!

1. Oi Suomi, katso, sinun päiväs koittaa Yön uhka karkoitettu on jo pois Ja aamun kiuru kirkkaudessa soittaa Kuin itse taivahan kansi sois Yön vallat aamun valkeus jo voittaa Sun päiväs koittaa, Oi synnyinmaa

2. Oi nouse Suomi, nosta korkealle Pääs seppelöimä suurten muistojen Oi nouse Suomi, näytit maailmalle Sä että karkoitit orjuuden Ja ettet taipunut sä sorron alle On aamus alkanut Oi Synnyinmaa

SIBELIUS QUOTES

1. “I can win a place, I believe, with my music. No, I don’t believe; I know I can.”

2. “We fought 600 years for our freedom and I am part of the generation which achieved it.”

3. “Freedom! My Finlandia is the story of this fight. It is the song of our battle, our hymn of victory.”

NB: “It is written for an orchestra. But if the world wants to sing it, it can’t be helped.”

FINLAND — SOME BACKGROUND

1. The bulk of the population (5.5 MM) live in southern Finland with the Gulf of Bothnia to the west and the Gulf of Finland to the east. Both Gulfs are arms of the Baltic Sea.

2. Often appears at the top of global rankings of quality of life, education, and happiness — despite the long winters and short days.

3. The Finns call themselves “Suomi” not Finns. Finland is also “Suomi” — as you may have noticed in the lyrics above.

LYRICS OF “THIS IS MY SONG” (1934) — see last link

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine;
this is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine:
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine:
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/finlandia-finlandia.html-0

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finland

Jean Sibelius

The complete symphonic poem. The hymn begins at 5:08 —

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE0RbPsC9uE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finlandia

The story of Finlandia

Finlandia hymn

This is my song (1934 song)

Land of the Rising Sun (anthem)

FINLANDIA by Jean Sibelius — Music History Crash Course

Veikko Antero Koskenniemi

Hymn: This Is My Song, O God of All the Nations (FINLANDIA)

APPENDIX: Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People — Past Posts in This Series

This is the list of songs with which, now masked and distanced, I greet tourists from around the world at the North Bridge in Concord or wherever I else I happened to meet them — eg. waiting in line at grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, or the Department of Motor Vehicles.

I feel strongly that the core humanities curriculum of every school in the world should consist of the most beloved songs of the world’s peoples. Music unites. The opportunity cost of any other texts is infinite. Why not give every 18 year old the keys to hearts of seven billion people? I am not sure this is the perfect list. But I have spent 10 years testing the hypothesis. And the results are not scientific but they are pretty convincing. Proposals welcome.

4/9/20 — Nkosi — South African National Anthem

4/16/20 — Sweet Mother — unofficial national Anthem of Nigeria

4/23/20 — Jambo — the Swahili equivalent — Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda

4/30/20 — Sakura — Japan — the cherry blossom song

5/7/20 — Arirang — Korea (North and South)

5/14/20 — Chuang Qian Ming Yue Guang” — China — Li Bai — Gong Linna

5/21/20 — Ode to Joy — German — Beethoven/Schiller

5/28/20 — La Marseillaise — French — France plus many more french-speaking nations

6/4/20 — Volare — Italian — Domenico Modugno

6/11/20 — Arrorro and Cielito Lindo — Spanish speakers

6/18/20 — La Garota de Ipanema — Brazil and other Portuguese speakers

6/22/20 — Gayatri Mantra — Hindus

7/2/20 — Pokarekare Ana — Maori — New Zealand

7/9/20 — Aseda Yede Ma Onyame — Ghana

7/16/20 — “Al Fatihah” — most sacred Islamic prayer (Arabic)

7/23/20 — “Tavaszi Szel” — Hungarian Folk Song

7/30/20 — “Modeh Ani” — the Jewish Waking Up Prayer

8/6/20 — “Stolat, Stolat” — Polish Birthday Song

8/20/20 — “Lang Zal Ze Leven” — Dutch Birthday Song

8/27/20 — “Oh Danny Boy” — Ireland

9/3/20 — “Mul Mantra” — most sacred Sikh prayer

9/10/20 — “Warwindar Friska” — Swedish song of spring

9/17/20 — “Desteapta-te Romane!” — Romanian national anthem

9/24/20 — “Kad Ja Podjoh Na Bembasu” — Bosnian folk song of lost love

10/1/20 — “Waltzing Matilda” — Australia

10/8/20 — “Calon Lan” — Wales

10/15/20 -”Ngoromera” — Zimbabwe — Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi

10/22/20 — “Holka Modrooka” — Czech Republic

10/29/20 — “Tis Dikaiosinis” — Mikiis Theodorakis — Greece

11/5/20 — “Finlandia” Sibelius — Finland

Here is a link to the last three years of posts organized by theme:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive

YOUR TURN

Time to share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to music. Or the coolest thing you learned in your life related to music. Say your favorite song or songs. Or your favorite tips for breathing, posture, or relaxation. Or some insight into the history of music….Or just something random about music… like a joke about drummers. jazz, rock….or share an episode or chapter in your musical autobiography.

This is your chance to make some one else’s day. And perhaps to cement in your memory something important you would otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that matters to you.