Two songs by the Finnish a cappella group Rajaton

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    The Finnish group Rajaton (Boundless) writes songs based on Finnish mythology and folk lore motifs. These two songs have been set to the lyrics of poems by the Finnish poet Eino Leino, who lived around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

    The first song is about being disillusioned by the material joys and ambitions of a life lived that are now gone. It encourages one to find strength in the yearning in one’s soul to transcend time, matter and death, and connect to one’s sacred star.

    The English translation of the lyrics is by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, which I have changed a little.

    Yearn O Man

    Yearn, O man,
    long for your fondest hope and memory,
    For your childhood days,
    the times when you were lovingly cared for,
    For your father and mother,
    your brothers and sisters in far-off lands,
    For the maiden of your dreams,
    who disappeared like the twilight.

    Do you remember the time
    when your morning rose golden,
    The magic of your love,
    the joys that are now long gone,
    The walks picking berries,
    the splash of soft waters on the bay,
    And herding the cattle,
    listening to the summer night alone and with her?

    Do you ever long to be beyond time,
    beyond place and death?
    Sitting in the evening,
    feeling yourself slowly returning to soil,
    As everything beautiful disappears,
    your noble purpose
    slowly evaporates,
    however high you still do aspire?

    Do you weep then, O man,
    for the lost beauty of knowledge and feeling,
    The finest feelings of your heart,
    your greatest ambitions and strength?
    Can you hear the sands
    measuring your time running out?
    Can you see the hoary sword,
    poised to cut down the flower of your days?

    Yearn then, O man,
    beyond time, beyond place and even death!
    On this shore of sorrow see your sacred star
    beyond the night and matter!
    A golden string forever resounds in the yearning soul,
    and the searching lives,
    while those content with what they have
    from ashes to ashes go.

    The second song feels to me like it’s describing a spiritual experience in a higher dimension. The English translation is by me, though the language is very old so I did my best to understand its meaning.

    Star Garden

    I walk the strange path
    of a star garden,
    a hundred dreams and illusions
    have been put to death.

    Here thorns do not prick,
    thistle wounds do not burn,
    here one can only rise,
    and cannot fall into dirt.

    Here it is safe to walk,
    beyond hate,
    above night and frost,
    along the heavenly path.

    One’s head becomes dizzy
    looking at the worlds below,
    and the wonderment is twice that
    looking at others high up.

    It is the first time in my life
    that I live at heart’s peace,
    I live the great dream of harmony,
    the mind of gentle songs.



    Thanks for sharing these Laura, I thought they were really nice, particularly the first one – amazing! It’s got a pretty good message too.



    Wow, really beautiful songs, Laura. I especially like the first one — the singing, the melody, the fact it’s a cappella is really impressive, and overall the feeling of the song is very special.

    I especially like the line “A golden string forever resounds in the yearning soul” — it really is a beautiful illustration of how we are always connected to the divine and can find and hold on to that connection, even though when we don’t look for it that “string” can be very thin or nearly invisible…



    I agree. Wonderful a cappella song that first one, so nicely done and pleasant to listen to.
    The meaning of the song and the lyrics themselves are actually really good!

    It seems to try to grasp or describe that which is undefinable and perhaps beyond description. That mysterious longing within wanting to reach ……. .

    The last paragraph especially is very powerful. Yet other lines alluding to a secret past we have are also beautiful. Thanks for sharing these Laura.

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