Can Anyone Help with a Finnish Song?

Ilona wrote asking for help with a Finnish song her mother taught her.  Here’s her email…

Our Finnish Mumi taught us a song which started:

(Excuse the spelling;  also – no umlauts)     

Semmonen tytto kun sina olet,
Sen mina ten vaikka puusta
Kielen ten mina paperista
Ja kintut kissan luusta

Jos mina kirpun kiine saisin
Sitt mina laulaatsaisin (?)
Harakkala haudan kalvaatsa
Ja sirkkalla siunutassa

I’m sure there are may grammatical errors — please help me correct them.  I would be interested to know if this is an old regional children’s song?  Is there a dialect (e.g. ""ten" for tehda?)  Any information would be welcome! 

Thank you, 

Ilona Steur-Smith

If anyone can help with the correct spelling of this song, a translation and/or any other info about the song, please comment below.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Friday, March 13th, 2015 at 9:04 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Finland, Finnish, Finnish Children's Songs, Languages, Questions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “Can Anyone Help with a Finnish Song?”

  1. M-LLounasmaa Says:

    To Ilona Steuer-Smith from Marja-Leena Lounasmaa
    Semmoinen tyttoe kun sinae olet,
    Sen minae teen vaikka puusta
    Kielen teen minae paperista
    ja kintut kissan luusta.

    Jos minae kirpun kiinni saisin (In finnish language we have a letter ä word minä)
    Sitt minae laulaa saisin (guess)
    Harakka haudankaivajana (guess)
    ja sirkka siunaamassa. (guess) (or sirkan siunatessa=same meaning)

    Such girl like you are,
    I’ll carve even of wood.
    The tongue I’ll make of paper
    and the legs of cat’s bones.

    If I could catch a flea,
    then could I sing and psalm
    A maggie as a gravedigger
    and a cricket benedicting.

    The conjucation of the verb tehdä (make) is: minä teen, sinä teet, hän tekee, me teemme, te teette, he tekevät. Instead of the word make I prefer to use in the translation the word carve as the material in question is wood (=puu), declinaton puusta.
    The translation is rather permissive according to the subject’s content.
    The origin of the song is unknown (didn’t find any clues)
    My best wishes!

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