Translated lyrics

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  1. Valkeat kaupungit
  2. Oma maa
  3. Lähtö
  4. Hvem styrde hit din väg
  5. Onko Suomessa kevät?
  6. Auringon noustessa
  7. Kesäkantaatti
  8. Finlandia

Valkeat kaupungit

V.A. Koskenniemi (1885 – 1962)
Transl. Arttu Vilmi

White Cities

I often see a city in my dreams
It’s as if for the gods it was made
I could never step inside its gates
But in my dreams I’ve known it still

The summer nights are bright upon it
And a strange light glimmers in its windows
Neither the rays of the sun can shine so
Nor can the receding glow of sunsets

There prevail the dreams of my youth
And life’s simplicity and peace
Only a temperate wind blows from the sea
And dying waves lap the pier

You, the peace of the white cities
Are a part of my life’s dream
Why does your splendour only exist in song,
And where, oh where are the days of my youth?

Oma maa

Samuli Kustaa Bergh (1803 – 1852)
Transl. Arttu Vilmi

Land of Mine

Highly blessed are those who did not have to flee their land
And who did not forsake their happiness among the tombs of heroes
As a man I should not defy the heavens
But my heart longs to sigh again

When I think of the night I left the beloved shores,
My eyes are filled with flooding waters
I cannot forget the fjelds of the north
Where, as a child, I heard the Sampo and the kantele

There men laboured and sang songs of Väinämöinen
And boys wrestled with bears among tree roots
Brisk were the winters, the skies filled with northern lights,
Beautiful as the coming of dawn

O, you summer nights of the north, when the sun never sets,
Glimmering on the calm waves as well as the sky
Should Fortune grant my wish, I would see them all,
The islands and the straits, the stars and the moon

There rests my soul and my memories from long ago
There remained my love and my friends, too
Let others by all means praise the Alps and their beauty
More beautiful, more precious to me is the land of my youth!


Toivo Pekkanen (1902 – 1957)
Transl. Robert Armstrong (Finnish Odyssey: Poetry and Folk Songs of Finland in Translation. The Research Publishing Co. London. 1975)


Some morning, some Spring morning
When the sun is rising in the sky,
I shall mount my horse. —
My body, bound by the secret laws of the earth,
Is still sleeping;
But my restless thoughts rove on a twilight meadow of dreams.
Even my mind that knows a thousand truths
Does not hear my silent steps; —
Nor the jubilant steps of the hooves of my horse. —
I mount my horse.
I, oppressed, long tortured and a thousand times punished,
But by fire and ice, by hatred and love, unbroken; —
Eternally living.
Those left behind are unaware
For I alone know the secret of this morning.
My horse obeys my call alone.
From the head of the stairs
I alone see the beginning of the Road of Salvation
Which, broad and wide and lit by the sun,
Rises to the clouds. —
Silvered by eternity, it leaves behind
Everything that I have seen
And from whence I have come
And adventures beyond the borders of knowledge
Into the uplands of being.
Carried by the golden horse of my Faith,
For only a moment do the hooves stamp over the roof tops.
Only for an instance does my shadow
Appear against the dark clouds of the sky:
Then I am already far away; —
Released and free.

Hvem styrde hit din väg

Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804 – 1877)
Transl. Kyle Gee (

Far beyond the waves of the bay,
far beyond the peaks of the mountains,
alone you saw the light of day
and alone you grew up.

I did not miss you,
I did not try to find your tracks,
I knew of no path
that would have led me there.

I did not know your father;
I did not know your mother;
I did not see where you had been,
I did not see where you were headed.

Like that stream in the distance
flowing towards this stream,
we were the exact same to each other
when you were distant from me.

Like two plants separated
by a meadow blooming between them,
Two birds that have found homes
in different nests.

Oh, son of another world!
Tell me, how then did you fly?
Oh, bird from far away!
Who brought you here to me?

How did you carry these flames
to my cold heart? —
How could you become everything
to one who thought nothing of you?

Onko Suomessa kevät?

Ilmari Kianto (1874 – 1970)

Has the spring come to Finland? Has it?
See how the sun is shining?
See how the birds all are singing,
little birds are singing.
See how lovely the flowers are,
and the sea,
how it rushes,
and the brooks murmur on,
the night sky is clear.
Has the spring come to Finland?
Has it?

O you tall old pinetrees,
O you topmost branches that touch the heavens,
do you hear us?

See the new reckless spirit,
see it bright with its red wings,
as it flies over meadows,
over forests,
over rivers,
over thousands of valleys,
and it never stops its even flight,
and its red wings are dreadful!

Do you hear us?
Today it’s you who must be crashing to the ground,
as rotten and dead as you are,
as lost in a longdead past you go on and sing all your old songs.

No, it flies on for ever,
never falls to the meadows,
the passionate redwing,
ever faster it flies on,
ever circling above us,
ever circling our country.

Can you hear it?

For today it is our turn,
our turn, our turn!

Can you hear it?

For today it is our turn,
our turn, our turn!

Today we rise from the dreary marsh:
today the song must be new we strike up,
sounding around us.

Can you hear it?

The beating of red wings:
It whispers a new song,
as it hovers and flies on,
ever circling our country.

Has the spring come to Finland?
Has it?
Has it?

Auringon noustessa

V.A. Koskenniemi (1885 – 1962)
Transl. K.V. Olliainen (Singing Finland: Translations from Finnish Verse. Esan kirjapaino. Lahti. 1956)

See, O My Soul

(literally As the Sun Is Rising)

See, O my soul, the high-soaring arc of the sunrise
Over the roofs and the streets of the stone-reared cities.
Over the lie of the ages, the agony of hours

See his glory ever shining.

See, O my soul, the bliss of the vanishing life, too.
Firm as a silent temple it rises before you.
Under its arches prevails the endless devoutness

Of the spirit of the Master.

See, O my soul, in the night, too, most sublime brightness;
See in the torment of darkest hours a joy full of peace,
And in the lie of all life, in the lie of the ages

The whitest truth eternal.


Eino Leino (1878 – 1926)
Transl. Arttu Vilmi (I and II) and Tuulia Hörkkö (III, IV and V)

I Näky mereltä

Summer Cantata

I A Sight from the Sea

The ship it ploughs the sea

From the bosom of the blue sea
Far away towers appear like mirages
In the sunny summer’s day
The arriving stranger spoke:
“They must be houses for the wind,
Fringes of a cloud castle.”

Now known to us, he spoke:
“Soft, let us bring us closer.”

From the bosom of the blue sea
High walls arose
In the midst of summery trees;
The stranger pondered:
“Who built palaces here
In the freezing north?”

As one coming home, he spoke:
“Let us bring our ship to dock!”

The ship was brought to dock,
A city spread itself in front of them,
Movement beautiful and merry;
The stranger thought:
“Where did Lapland acquire its gold,
Finland its shining silver?”

Thus said one who belonged there:
“They were hammered by the will of the people.”

II Suomen taru

II The Legend of Finland

He told a serious tale,
A tale so strange
To hear for a foreign man
About a people surrounded by waters,
A land of frost,
And the power of word and magic.

He depicted the fortunes of a nation,
Times of strife,
Constant miseries,
Until the light of the spirit shone,
Brought a better time.

Peace begat blessing,
Will hammered,
Love worked its wonders,
The land grew, the bread broadened,
The Finnish woods
Supported Finland

The woodland looked after its tribe,
The Finnish rapids
Sang with the song of creation,
Set wheels in motion,
As trade grew,
And the sparks of electricity were kindled.

Thus a hymn of labour began,
A song of magic
About the rise of graceful Finland,
The growth of a young people,
In the capital town
On the end of a foggy cape.

III Nuori kansa

III Young Nation

Even when all is young around us,
We shall not feel sorrow
Vibrant as the top of the pine
So is our youth.

Even when the day won’t shine long,
To the deep Finnish waters,
It had time to create the soul of the land
And bring forth her blessings.

Even when the mighty tempest roars
Come tomorrow morning,
There’s enough to provide,
For you and for me.

Even if against the tide sails
The great barque of Finland,
Higher waves it did break
Already long ago.

Even when the people don’t weigh much
In the great scale of the eras
The might of song is sure to stay
Long in the land of singing.

For long will pass in the world
The song of the northern night,
Long shall be told the tales of
The labour and hopes of the nation of morn.

IV Vanhojen varoitus

IV The Warning of Elders

The mound it boomed,
The sand it rang,
From their graves the fathers said:
”What is it with men?
We do not understand
The mind of the clan thus speaking, speaking.

You think the clan of Kaleva to be young?
Our songs, our spells
Were they born yesterday?

Hear the commotion of the pines:
They are younger!
Hear the roar of the white waters:
We are older!

We came from there,
From the lands of the once great south,
From beneath the tall palm trees:
Great, oh great is Finland’s legacy!”

V Suvivirsi

V Summer Hymn

Let us all come together,
Set to work side by side,
People young and old,
Even from beyond the grave,
Meager voices speak
Like the mother, thoughts of father.

This land precious has been given,
Though not fully ready made,
It is spacious enough,
To plough and to reap,
Both in bright Helsinki
As in the hearts of Finland.

Yet a newfound strength created
By man, who newly forms,
Forms the spirit and the matter
Lifts up the honor of his land,
Dares to and begins
a new and brighter tomorrow.


V.A. Koskenniemi
Transl. Keith Bosley (Skating on the Sea: Poetry from Finland. Finnish Literature Society. Helsinki.  1997)

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 way,
And now the day the powers of night is scorning,
Thy daylight dawns, O Finland of ours!

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!