"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Finlandia

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Last week we took an overnight trip to stay with friends (one a former OALCer whose brother, coincidentally, is married to my cousin). After a convivial dinner of Swedish meatballs and spinach salad, followed by the best Joulutortut (prune tarts) I've ever tasted, we interrupted our conversation to get the children to bed. Pajamas, teethbrushing, obligatory bed-bouncing, prayers, kisses, "one more story" and then . . . the sad strains of a bagpipe as our host, out on the deck, treated us to "Finlandia." What a lovely gift.

(How many former Laestadians learn to play an instrument? I'd love to be one of them.)

Follow the link above to hear a glorious version of Finlandia sung in Finnish, and read about the song's origin. Below are the lyrics to the version that Joan Baez sings on my iPod.

This is my song
Oh god of all the nations
A song of peace
For lands afar and mine

This is my home
The country where my heart is
Here are my hopes
My dreams my holy shrine

But other hearts
In other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams
As true and high as mine

My countries skies
Are bluer than the ocean
And sunlight beams
On clover leaf and pine

But other lands
Have sunlight too and clover
And skies are everywhere
As blue as mine

Oh hear my song
Oh god of all the nations
A song of peace
For their land and for mine

Can anyone tell me what hymn the OALC sings to this tune?


  1. In the ALC we sing "Hymn of Youth" to that tune, which was written by Evald Benjamin Lawson---
    The first stanza is like this:

    O God of love, of majesty and might
    from grateful hearts ascend our hymns of praise;
    Thou hast revealed eternal truth and light
    To guide the sons of men upon their ways
    and over us the sacred gleams do shine
    which tell of grace, creating Life Divine...

    We also sing "Be Still My Soul" to this tune...

    At my particular church we've also sang the words you printed at special programs...

  2. OALC sings "Be Still My Soul" to "Finlandia" tune. I thought I heard years ago that Finlandia almost became the national anthem in Finland at one time.

  3. There is another hymn to the FINLANDIA hymn-tune too, but I can't seem to find it. Don't know if it is in any Laestadian hymnal, but it was something to the effect of "God bless this home..."

  4. Your love of this music is but
    another example of something
    real to you but you can't prove

    Others who have expressed this
    love can never know whether it
    is similar in texture or
    amplitude to yours.

    And so it is with religous

    So why all the intolerance and
    in-fighting ?

  5. Free,

    Pardon my interuption but as I was romping about in the field I found the most hilarious thing and I just had to come back and share it.

    Perhaps you have heard all the hype about what the difference is between a "praise song or chorus" and a "hymn"...

    well, I was looking for an ample definition of this difference and I found the most silly story ever- that spoke a very significant truth...

    check it out readers, Its worth the laugh...


  6. As an adult who left the OALC church at the age of 18, I find this site good for my heart to read the words of others who feel the same. As an adult, I sang the Finlandia song in a choir. It moves your soul. To have heard it played on bag pipe while putting your children to bed was truely a gift.
    As we see changes in "The church",
    let us pray to see music played by the children.

  7. To Troll from LLLreader: Wonderful post--I am taking it to heart.

  8. Finlandia 's best known Finnish words were written by V. A. Koskenniemi and go roughly like this:

    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!

    Finlandia was selected as the national anthem of Biafra (part of Nigeria)

  9. Many Trails Home1/09/2006 01:54:00 PM

    Free, I think it might have been my cousin you were visiting, as he plays the bagpipes (has a B&B on an island near Seattle). Funny to see him referred to as "Ex-OALCer." I wonder if anyone refers to me that way. MTH

  10. Wow, you (we?) are all cousins here! The little duck pond... :)

    As for playing instruments, I always wanted to learn to play something but I lack patience. :( We always had some type of an organ at home and my sister learnt to play it at a very young age, I wish I had learnt too... Well, I can play some but not well enough to play when there are other people present.

  11. Free2b:

    From those who can't make it to
    FinnFest :

    Cut it out !

    Balmy evening at the beach,
    campfire, sing along, fellowship.

    The jealousy is rising !

    As with all ex's, fellowship is
    what we miss the most.

  12. Many Trails Home1/10/2006 12:55:00 PM

    Theo, is the bagpiper your cousin also? On mother's or father's side? I can't help trying to pin some of you guys down. MTH

  13. I dont play bagpipe, so I cant be Theos cousin. I cant play bagpipe because Im not MTH:s cousin. My cousin lives in Turku. Sorry!

    But imagine: FinnFest in BattleGround with many hot Saunas and some nice kantele music and Joulutorttus with salmon and raparperi inside. That must be like heaven on the earth!

    H. Finn

  14. Many Trails Home1/11/2006 10:36:00 AM

    H. Finn, a long time ago I visited a fellow in Turkku, a friend of my brother (who lived and worked in Finland for a year), named Veikko Vuohijoki (my spelling is not quite right). He showed me around, to the old town and the castle, and took me out to dinner with some friends for, of all things, pizza! It was a lovely trip. MTH

  15. Many Trails Home, I don't think that bagpiper is my cousin. It just started to look like everyone was each other's cousin, and knowing that there might be also my cousins or other relatives among the readers or posters made me think of the Laestadian community as a little "duck pond", kind of a mini world, in which everyone knows everyone and is somehow related to each other, whether they know it or not. So, who knows, maybe that bagpiper really is somehow related to me after all, without me knowing it? :)

    By the way, I sort of know Veikko Vuohijoki. He's a preacher in Pori now.

    Free2beme, 'raparperi' is rhubarb. But beware, Huckleberry's pulling your leg. Joulutorttus are never made with a salmon and rhubarb filling. Doesn't sound like anything I'd want to try... :) As you probably know, they are usually filled with a prune filling.

  16. Dear Free,
    How did your weekend host seem, health-wise? I've been in touch by email and have been concerned. I live too far away for delightful weekend visits.
    I offered to spend some time at their place so he could make a trip to Finland next summer. I believe it would be the same time as Finfest, which means no bagpipes on the beach unless he changes his mind about Finland.
    I would love to visit with you there sometime. I've thoroughly enjoyed my trips to the island, too.

  17. Sisu, if you want to email me at extoot (at symbol) earthlink (dot) com, we can talk more about our friend. He did mention your generous offer. It would be wonderful if both trips were possible.

  18. ...my joulutorttu recipe...

    Fre2b. You are welcome!

    Theo. Never say never; You dont know about my familys top secret experiments in this area!:)


  19. Dear Free,
    I'm doing something wrong. Every time I type in your email address, the reply is that it can't be found. What should I do?