This Is My Song

Something for the weekend.  This is My Song. Popular as a hymn in the United States since it was written in 1934, it is set to music of the Finlandia Hymn by Jean Sibelius.  There have been many lyrics melded on to to this magnificent piece of music. 

The above video is a tribute to the brave Finnish troops who defended their nation against the Soviet Union in the Winter War of 1939-1940 and the Continuation War of 1941-1944.

An English translation of the Finnish lyrics:

O, Finland, behold, your day is dawning,

The threat of night has been banished away,

And the lark of morning in the brightness sings,

As though the very firmament would sing.

The powers of the night are vanquished by the morning light,

Your day is dawning, O land of birth.

O, rise, Finland, raise up high

Your head, wreathed with great memories.

O, rise, Finland, you showed to the world

That you drove away the slavery,

And that you did not bend under oppression,

Your day is dawning, O land of birth.

 

Here is the entire magnificent Finlandia, of which the Finlandia Hymn forms a portion:

Published in: on June 5, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments (8)  
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8 Comments

  1. I always have been impressed with the minds of men that can compose grand “classical” music. They work different than my mind for sure. Thanks for Saturday wake up entetainment.
    In Christ,
    Dennis McCutcheon

    • Thank you Dennis. Great composers speak a language that goes directly to the human heart.

  2. I recently made a discovery to do with this piece, that might interest you. As everyone knows, the great Arturo Toscanini spent the thirties and forties at war with Fascism and Nazism. He came to America and did everything he could to identify his cause with America’s. When Shostakovich published his huge Seventh “Leningrad” Symphony, Toscanini actually talked Leopold Stokowsky, who had much more of a track record with the composer, into letting him conduct the American premiere in the name of anti-Fascism. As it turned out, he didn’t enjoy the experience at all (and neither did Shostakovich, although most other music lovers have a high regard for the recording) and actually forgot the score and failed to recognize it when it turned up among his papers.
    However, the fact that Toscanini not only conducted his famous Shostakovich Seventh but also one or two other Soviet composers, now forgotten, had made me wonder about his attitude to the OTHER monsrous tyranny of his time. Well, i now found out (thanks to a wonderful blog called “Eighty Days of Toscanini” that the old man, who had never conducted an all-Sibelius concert on December 7, 1940..You will realize that the date speaks by itself. Between 1939 and 1940, The awesome David Vs. Goliath struggle of a few Finnish divisions on skis hurling back, time and time again, dozens of Soviet armoured divisions, was still fresh in the memory. What is more, the Soviet aggression against Finland was universally seen as a part of the Axis worldwide aggression, and the universal admiration gained by Finland was as much against Germany as against Russia. The Italian secret services reported to Mussolini that “when our people shout ‘Down with Russia’ in the streets, what they really mean is ‘Down with Germany’.” (Alas, he did not take the hint.) Indeed, France and Britain were in the advanced stages of preparing to send a task force to help the Finns, in spite of enormous logistical difficulties and of the fact that this would broaden their war to the Soviet Union, when Finland finally surrendered; and even so, the bleeding inflicted on the Red Army was such that Stalin (who was basically a coward) only demanded a comparatively small border adjustment. This was the impression Finland had left on the world when Toscanini conducted his first Sibelius concert.
    A few months later, the Finns blotted their copybook when they entered the war on Germany’s side, and suddenly the USSR was an Ally. At which point, Toscanini was heard performing Soviet composers. After the war, however, the Finns distinguished themselves again by being the only East European country to resist Communist tyranny. In 1948, the Communist Ministers of the Interior in Czechoslovakia and in Finland both tried to overthrow the coalition governments to which they belonged; the Czech one managed it, the Finn was arrested – and the Soviets did nothing (they probably still remembered those Finnish soldiers on their skis). And in 1952 we hear Toscanini deliver his heroic account of Finlandia – and we also find that he has not only come to dislike the Leningrad Symphony, but that he actually could not remember performing it. The picture is clear. I imagine that Toscanini would have said the same as his great contemporary Churchill: “I have only one purpose, the destruction of Hitler, and my life is much simplified thereby. If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.” But neither Churchill nor Toscanini forgot that, in the long run, the Devil is the Devil.

    • For some reason, something like a whole line has fallen out of this long post. “…the old man, who had never conducted [Sibelius, and rarely touched living composers, conducted] an all-Sibelius concert…”

    • Fascinating Fabio. I would note that the Finns in their Continuation War limited themselves to taking back the land stolen from them by the Soviet Union. When the Nazis asked the Finns to turn over their Jews to them, Mannerheim responded that the Finnish Army would protect all Finnish Jews even if it meant war with their German allies.

      • Like Monsignor Tiso in Slovakia. On the other hand, according to German diplomatic correspondence, the Finns consented to the German plan for the destruction of Leningrad, which entailed the murder of millions of civilians. Not all Hitler’s allies were as monstrous as he was, but you cannot touch pitch without being stained.

      • Finland would have had precious little to say about the fate of Leningrad in any case Fabio, when two powers like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union decided to wage a war of extermination against each other. I have zero sympathy for either Germany or Soviet Union in that situation and a great deal of sympathy for Finland, a small nation next door to two world powers that decided to engage in mass insanity simultaneously.

  3. What a tangled web of history. Fascinating.


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