Värttinä: Seelennikoi

This song was on the first Värttinä album I ever bought, years ago. It’s from Seleniko, released in 1992.

Video courtesy of pidzej78, who has lots more Värttinä posted, including some wonderful old performances.

The song is a traditional bride’s lament. Here’s the lyric, and a very rough translation.


Miun sisoini somaiset,
neijot nuoret naapurista.
Noinko meitä narraeltiin
kosittiin kovasti koista.
Ennenkuin emoini antoi,
isoin lähteä lupasi.
Myö uskoimma uroja,
ottajia uottelimma.
Ai lole, ottajia,
ottajia uottelimma
mieli teki miehelähän,
riiuureisuille ruveta.
Ai ole reissulle,
riiuureissulle ruveta.

Vietiin neiti veikkolahan,
tytär toisille turuille
Akaks miut alennettiin,
orjaksi, osattmaksi.

Miesten metkut miellyttelin,
ukkoin oikut arvoelin
Ai lole arvoelin,
ukkoin oikut arvoelin
Passasin päivät parasta,
yöt olin osassa orvon
Ai lole yöt olin,
yöt olin osassa orvon.

Älkää työ typerät tytöt,
niin kuin mie typerä tyttö.
Niin kuin mie mokoma menin
eukon oppiin outoloille
Niin kun mie mokoma menin,
niin kun mie typerä tyttö.

Niin kun mie typerä tyttö,
niin kun mie mokoma menin.
Ai lole niin kun mie,
niin kun mie mokoma menin.
Ai lole niin kun mie,
niin kun mie mokoma menin
Ai lole niin kun mie,
niin kun mie typerä tyttö
Ai lole niin kun mie,
niin kun mie typerä tyttö

English translation:

My beautiful sisters
young neighberhood maidens
Are we so easily fooled?
Before my mother would let me,
my father gave me permission to go out,
And we believed the men,
waited for escorts.
I had a mind to get a man,
to go looking for a proposal.

I was taken to his farm,
to another land.
I was subjugated as a wife,
made a slave, with nothing of my own.

I was clever at pleasing the men,
anticipating their whims,
Did my best all day,
but it was my lot to be an orphan at night.

Stupid girls,
don’t do like I did,
Go to a strange place
to work for an old crone,
don’t be stupid like me.

More Finnish music


~ by lolarusa on October 30, 2007.

3 Responses to “Värttinä: Seelennikoi”

  1. Thanks for the Vartina. That’s how we spell it in Canadian. :-)

    I heard them a long time ago with OiDai.

    Thanks for the video. Loved the bouncy dancing. I thought Canadians were restrained, but I can’t understand why the audience wasn’t on it’s feet, at least dancing, if not applauding at the end!

  2. It’s not the first time I’ve been struck by what seem to be unenthusiastic responses from Finnish concert audiences. It’s weird, because I’ve seen them give standing ovations for plays that would have received only a respectable round of applause in Seattle.

    Oh well, vive la difference.

  3. finnish people are weired, they have at least to dance with them than giving them a small applaus in the end

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