Song of the Day: Ievan Polkka by Loituma

“Ievan Polkka” or “Ievan Polokka” (Savo Finnish for “Eva’s Polka”) is a popular Finnish song with lyrics written in the early 1930s by Eino Kettunen to a traditional Finnish polkatune. The name is commonly misspelled Levan polkka, due to the similarity of lower-case L and upper-case i in sans-serif fonts. It is also known as “Loituma’s Polka” (or “Loituma’s Polkka”).

Lyrics:

Nuapurista kuulu se polokan tahti
jalakani pohjii kutkutti.
Ievan äiti se tyttöösä vahti
vaan kyllähän Ieva sen jutkutti,
sillä ei meitä silloin kiellot haittaa
kun myö tanssimme laiasta laitaan.
Salivili hipput tupput täppyt
äppyt tipput hilijalleen.

Ievan suu oli vehnäsellä
ko immeiset onnee toevotti.
Peä oli märkänä jokaisella
ja viulu se vinku ja voevotti.
Ei tätä poikoo märkyys haittaa
sillon ko laskoo laiasta laitaan.
Salivili hipput tupput täppyt
äppyt tipput hilijalleen.

Ievan äiti se kammarissa
virsiä veisata huijjuutti,
kun tämä poika naapurissa
ämmän tyttöä nuijjuutti.
Eikä tätä poikoo ämmät haittaa
sillon ko laskoo laiasta laitaan.
Salivili hipput tupput täppyt
äppyt tipput hilijalleen.

Hilipati hilipati hilipati hillaa,
hilipati hilipati hilipampaa.
Jalituli jallaa talituli jallaa
tilitali tilitali tilitantaa.
Halituli jallaa tilituli tallaa
tilitili tilitili tilitili tallaa.
Halituli tilitali jallati jallan,
tilitali talitali helevantaa.

Rimpatirallaa ripirapirallaa
rumpatiruppa ripirampuu.
Jakkarittaa rippari lapalan
tulituli lallan tipiran tuu.
Jatsu tsappari dikkari dallan
tittari tillan titstan dullaa,
dipidapi dallaa ruppati rupiran
kurikan kukka ja kirikan kuu.

Ratsatsaa ja ripidabi dilla
beritstan dillan dellan doo.
A baribbattaa baribbariiba
ribiribi distan dellan doo.
Ja barillas dillan deia dooa
daba daba daba daba daba duvja vuu.
Baristal dillas dillan duu ba daga
daiga daida duu duu deiga dou.

Siellä oli lystiä soiton jäläkeen
sain minä kerran sytkyyttee.
Kottiin ko mäntii ni ämmä se riitelj
ja Ieva jo alako nyyhkyytteek.
Minä sanon Ievalle mitäpä se haittaa
laskemma vielähi laiasta laitaa.
Salivili hipput tupput täppyt
äppyt tipput hilijalleen.

Muorille sanon jotta tukkee suusi
en ruppee sun terveyttäs takkoomaa.
Terveenä peäset ku korjoot luusi
ja määt siitä murjuus makkoomaa.
Ei tätä poikoo hellyys haittaa
ko akkoja huhkii laiasta laitaan.
Salivili hipput tupput täppyt
äppyt tipput hilijalleen.

Sen minä sanon jotta purra pittää
ei mua niin voan nielasta.
Suat männä ite vaikka lännestä ittään
vaan minä en luovu Ievasta,
sillä ei tätä poikoo kainous haittaa
sillon ko tanssii laiasta laitaan.
Salivili hipput tupput täppyt
äppyt tipput hilijalleen.

English Translation (by lyrics.wikia)

The sound of a polka drifted from my neighbor’s
and set my feet a-tapping oh!
Ieva’s mother had her eye on her daughter but
Ieva she managed to fool her, you know.
‘Cause who’s going to listen to mother saying no
when we’re all busy dancing to and fro!

Ieva was smiling, the fiddle it was wailing
as people crowded round to wish her luck.
Everyone was hot but it didn’t seem to bother
the handsome young man, the dashing buck.
‘Cause who’s going to mind a drop of sweat
when he’s all busy dancing to and fro!

Ieva’s mother she shut herself away
in her own quiet room to hum a hymn.
Leaving our hero to have a spot of fun
in a neighbor’s house when the lights are dim.
‘Cause what does it matter what the old folks say
when you’re all busy dancing to and fro!

When the music stopped then the real fun began
and that’s when the laddie fooled around.
When he took her home, when the dancing was over
her mother angrily waiting they found.
But I said to her, Ieva, now don’t you weep
and we’ll soon be dancing to and fro!

I said to her mother now stop that noise
or I won’t be responsible for what I do.
If you go quietly and stay in your room
you won’t get hurt while your daughter I woo.
‘Cause this fine laddie is a wild sort of guy
when he’s all busy dancing to and fro!

One thing I tell you is you won’t trap me,
no, you won’t find me an easy catch.
Travel to the east and travel to the west but
Ieva and I are going to make a match.
‘Cause this fine laddie ain’t the bashful sort
when he’s all busy dancing to and fro.

……

The melody of “Ievan Polkka” is very similar to Savitaipaleen polkka, and in South Karelia the Ievan Polkka is also known as “Savitaipaleen polkka”. The melody is also very similar to a folk dance from the area of Smolensk in Western Russia, which is known as Smolenskij gusačok (“смоленский гусачок”/”Small Gander in Smolensk”).

The melody can be traced back to the Viipuri Province in the 18th century when the border with the Kingdom of Sweden ran west of the province. The number of Russian soldiers stationed in the border area outnumbered the locals for many decades. At the beginning of the 19th century collectors of Finnish folk dances and folk songs all mention that the dances in the area of Luumäki-Savitaipale were Russian dances only and didn’t write them down. Locals who are well-versed in folk music agree the melody is very old and likely to have been known back in the early 19th century and therefore probably of even older origin. However, the polka genre is of much later date. Polka was introduced in northern Europe during the late 19th century, which implies that the actual tune as it is known today originates from this era.

Language

The song is sung in very heavy Eastern Savonian dialects spoken in North Karelia. It differs in many aspects radically from Standard Finnish.

The Loituma version of the song includes an intermezzo of phonetically inspired gibberish containing only a few Finnish words; it is not part of the original song written by Eino Kettunen. The content of the intermezzo varies from one performance to another and is not listed on most lyrics. It is similar to scat in jazz.

Description

The song takes the point of view of a young man. He wants to dance with Ieva (Eva or Eeva in Savo), but her mother will not let him. They sneak away to someone else’s house, where everyone is dancing to a polka, and dance all night. When he follows her home, her angry mother is waiting for them, but he tells her straight out that Ieva and he will be together no matter what.

Popularity

Owing to its viral exposure in popular culture, Ievan Polkka has become the most famous Finnish song in the world. Even the songs Maamme and Finlandia Hymn are not as internationally well known.

Very popular after World War II, the song was almost forgotten during the late 1970s and 1980s. The song resurfaced after an a cappella performance by the Finnish quartet Loituma, which was first released on their debut album, Loituma, in 1995. The album was released in the United States as Things of Beauty in 1998.

The a cappella version of the song acquired greater international popularity as part of an Internet meme in the spring of 2006. The flash animation “Loituma Girl” (also known as “Leek Spin”) which starred the character Orihime Inoue from the Japanese anime Bleach, twirling a leek and singing along to the song. For the animation, only the second half of the fifth stanza (four lines) and the complete sixth stanza (eight lines) are used.

Furthermore, mobile ringtones based on various mixes of “Ievan Polkka” gained a wide popularity among Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States mobile subscribers in late 2006. The tune is also the theme song to the Internet sitcom Break a Leg.; it was remixed by DJ Basshunter of Sweden, DJ Sharpnel of Japan, and Beatnick of Poland; and a version of the song was part of a Ready Brek television advert aired in the United Kingdom. Also, some videos show a Farfetch’dspinning a leek.

This song was even sung by the famous Japanese vocaloid Hatsune Miku on the channel vocaloid in 2013 and made popular by the Australian gaming TV show called Good Game: Spawn Point in their Japanese Special. It is now available as a beatmap for osu! and many other beatmap games. You will hear most of these songs in Bleach Fruits Basket and Naruto as these songs have some accreditation to the theme in the Anime theme.

Performers

  • Matti Jurva (1937)
  • Onni Laihanen (1947)
  • Jorma Ikävalko (1950)
  • Tukkilais Orchestra (1952)
  • Nummi Kvartetti (1953)
  • Arttu Suuntala (1966)
  • Jaakko Salo (1972)
  • Pauli Räsänen (1972)
  • Sukellusvene (as “Savitaipaleen polkka”) (1979)
  • Spiritual Seasons (1994)
  • Loituma (1995)
  • Six B Rothers (1995)
  • Kuplettiryhmä (1998)
  • DJ Sharpnel (as “PRETTY GREEN ONIONS”) (2006)
  • DJ Slon – Финская Полька (Finnish Polka), sung in Russian (2006)
  • Recall Project – “Як Цуп Цоп (Loituma Polkka)” (Yak Tsup Tsop) (2006)
  • Holly Dolly (as “Dolly Song [Ieva’s Polka]”) (2006)
  • Lena & Laurin – Der Kleine Eskimo, sung in German (2006)
  • Delin (as “Dilidala (Eva’s Polka)”) (2006)
  • Hatsune Miku (2007) – A singing synthesizer software
  • Vocaloid – Kagamine Rin/Len (2008) – A singing synthesizer software
  • The Vienna Boys Choir (2008)
  • Vocaloid – Megurine Luka (2009) – A singing synthesizer software
  • Miku Hatsune -Project DIVA- (2009)
  • Vox Nova (2009)
  • Maskottina (Tonia Cestari) on YouTube (2007) and at Caserta Vecchia (Italy 2010)
  • Юлич (kisanka.livejournal.com) – Евина полька (2010)
  • Korpiklaani (2012)
  • Salut Salon (2013)

Loituma

Also known as Jäykkä Leipä
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Genres Folk
Years active 1989–present
Labels NorthSide
Members Sari Kauranen
Anita Lehtola-Tollin
Timo Väänänen
Hanni-Mari Autere
Past members Sanna Kurki-Suonio
Tellu Paulasto

via [wiki]

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Music and Musicians / Song of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Song of the Day: Ievan Polkka by Loituma

  1. Janne Peltonen says:

    Sorry, no. Säkkijärven polkka is a different polka. Similar, though.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s