Finally, both of our wait of over a decade is over. We have seen Eppu Normaali live. For those poor unfortunate souls that haven’t been able to enjoy them, they are Finland’s Boss. Their lyrics have much of the same quality as the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen: they give a realistic, sometimes even grim look at the country and culture in beautiful lyrics. One of their classics is a Finnish anthem in much the same way that Born in the USA is an American anthem. Except that in this case the anthem status comes from understanding the lyrics and not concentrating of the single chorus… I’ve taken the liberty of making a freeform translation below:
The land of sorrowful songs (Murheellisten laulujen maa)
Born innocent he happened to be
in this land northern and cold.
Where even the fore-fathers, naturally drunk,
beat up their wives, children if they could catch them.
The traditional role of a man
the boy wanted to avoid.
I’ll never buy an axe
and never drink booze.
Otherwise I’ll drink the house.
The snow calls the family in the winter,
but I never want to be like my father.
Since there’s no work at the dole to be had,
the hand of fate pours him liquor.
So Tommy of Doom is awakened,
the habits of the lords are passed on to the squires.
Galloping towards the liquor store.
It drives a man to desperation,
when frost harvests the wheat.
From the middle of the cold soil,
quietly a cold eye stares,
as the axe rises.
From amidst the mounds of dirt of the land,
fathers proudly look upon their sons.
Unemployment, booze, axe, and family,
snow, police, and the final mistake.
This land of thousands of sorrowful songs
into its thousands of lakes you can run.
A resilent folk, whose amount of self-pity,
can’t be measured by intellect or ordered by point.
In whose songs the trump cards of life are lost
and the gates of heaven stay closed
and they tell tales of Einari’s desperation.
P.S. The last year has been exceptionally kind for us. First Bruce Springsteen comes to Finland for the first time (with the E Street Band) and then Eppu Normaali release their first album in over ten years and start the largest tour by any Finnish band to date.
P.P.S. Our pictures of the first gig of the tour in the Joensuu Arena today (24.2.2005) should be up sometime during the weekend.