Kalevala song cycle

Kalevala Songs / Kalevala-sanger

A song cycle based on the fantastic texts of Kalevala, commissioned and performed by the Lammi/Lempa duo.


Hanna Lammi & Tuuli Lempa

Hanna Lammi and Tuuli Lempa. Photo: Matti Lehtonen

Hanna Lammi & Tuuli Lempa

Hanna Lammi and Tuuli Lempa, Bodø

The text of Kalevala:

(trans. Crawford 1888, here slightly abridged)

Ilmarinen forges the Sampo

The eternal magic artist, ancient blacksmith, Ilmarinen, first of all iron-workers
Mixed together certain metals and put the mixture in the caldron
Laid it deep within the furnace

On the first day, From the magic fire and metals
From the fire arose a crossbow
With the brightness of the moonbeams,
Golden bow with tips of silver, On the shaft was shining copper

But alas! it was illnatured
Asking for a hero daily; Two the heads it asked on feastdays.
Ilmarinen was not pleased with this creation
He broke the bow in many pieces
Threw them back within the furnace.

On the second day, From the fire, a skiff of metals
Came a boat of purple color,
All the ribs were colored golden,
And the oars were forged from copper;
Thus the skiff was full of beauty.

But alas! a thing of evil;
Forth it rushes into trouble, Hastens into every quarrel,
Hastes without a provocation into evil combat
Ilmarinen is not pleased with this creation
Breaks the skiff in many fragments
Throws them back within the furnace.

On the third night he sees the magic Sampo rising
Sees the lid in many colors
Sees the magic Sampo rising

Quick the artist forges with the tongs and the anvil
Forges skillfully the Sampo

Lemminkainen flees

From the banquet-halls of Louhi,
From the ever-darksome Northland, From the dismal Sariola.

Stormful strode he from the mansion,
Hastening like the smoke of battle,
From the court-yard of Pohyola,
Left his crimes and misdemeanors in the halls of ancient Louhi.

Then he looked in all directions

Seeking for his tethered courser,
Anxious looked in field and stable,
Found a black thing in the fallow,
Proved to be a clump of willows.
Who will well advise
Who will give him wise directions,
Guide the wizard out of trouble,
Keep his head from danger
From the warriors of Northland?

Noise is heard in the village,
And a din from the homesteads,
From battle-hosts of Louhi.

Thereupon young Lemminkainen,
Changing form and features,
Clad himself in other raiment,
Quick became a mighty eagle,
Soared aloft on wings of magic,
Flied to highest heaven…

Louhi steals sun, moon and fire

Louhi, hostess of Pohyola, Northland’s old and toothless wizard
Makes the Sun and Moon her captives
In her arms she takes fair Luna
From the cradle in the birch tree
Calls the sun down from his station
From the firtree’s bending branches

Carries them to the darksome Sariola;
Hides the moon, no more to glimmer
In a rock of many colors;
Hides the Sun, to shine no longer
In the iron banded mountain

When the golden Moon had vanished,
And the silver Sun had hidden
Louhi stole the fire from Northland,

Left the mansions cold and cheerless,
And the cabins full of darkness
Night was king, and reigned unbroken.

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