Porilaisten marssi

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"Porilaisten marssi, Björneborgarnas marsch"
Music: Origin unknown
Words: Johan Ludvig Runeberg
Published 1860
Language Swedish
Translated by Paavo Cajander
Translation published 1889
Meter Jambic
Porilaisten marssi, painting by Albert Edelfelt, 1900

Porilaisten marssi (Swedish: Björneborgarnas marsch, 'March of the men of Pori') is the honorary march of the Finnish Defence Forces since 1918, composed by an unknown composer in the 18th century. The original text was written in Swedish by the Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg in his epic poem The Tales of Ensign Stål. The most commonly used Finnish translation was written by Paavo Cajander in 1889, along with Cajander's translation of The Tales of Ensign Stål. The name of the march refers to Pori Regiment.

Use[edit]

Porilaisten marssi is the honorary march of the Finnish Defence Forces and is played (only rarely sung) for the Commander-in-Chief, i.e. the President of Finland. The President has, however, the right to delegate this position to another Finnish citizen; the only time this has occurred was during the World War II, when Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim acted as Commander-in-Chief instead of then-President Risto Ryti. Thus, Ryti is the only President of Finland not to have been Commander-in-Chief at any point of his two terms (1940−1944).

Traditionally, Porilaisten marssi is played in radio or television every time a Finnish athlete wins a gold medal in Olympic games. It is also played on Christmas Eve during the Declaration of Christmas Peace ceremony, which has caused minor controversy due to the violent lyrics of the march –it is, as mentioned, Declaration of Christmas Peace, and the lyrics seem to be a bit pro-war–, even though the lyrics are not sang on the occasion.

As Finland and Estonia share not just language but also military tradition, it is also the Estonian Defence Forces' official honorary march, played for the President of Estonia, its commander in chief under constitutional provisions.

Lyrics[edit]

Lyrics in Finnish[edit]

Translation by Paavo Cajander, 1889.

Pojat, kansan urhokkaan,
mi Puolan, Lützin, Leipzigin
ja Narvan mailla vertaan vuoti,
viel' on Suomi voimissaan,
voi vainolaisten hurmehella peittää maan.
Pois, pois rauhan toimi jää,
jo tulta kohta kalpa lyö
ja vinkuen taas lentää luoti.
Joukkoon kaikki yhtykää,
meit' entisajan sankarhenget tervehtää.
Kauniina välkkyy muisto urhojemme,
kuolossa mekin vasta kalpenemme.
Eespäin rohkeasti vaan,
ei kunniaansa myö
sun poikas milloinkaan!
Uljaana taistolippu liehu,
voitosta voittohon
sä vielä meitä viet!
Eespäin nyt kaikki, taisto alkakaa,
saa sankareita vielä nähdä Suomenmaa!

Lyrics in Swedish (original)[edit]

Johan Ludvig Runeberg, 1860

Söner av ett folk, som blött
På Narvas hed, på Polens sand, på Leipzigs slätter, Lützens kullar,
Än har Finlands kraft ej dött,
Än kan med oväns blod ett fält här färgas rött!
Bort, bort, vila, rast och fred!
En storm är lös, det ljungar eld och fältkanonens åska rullar;
Framåt, framåt led vid led!
På tappre män se tappre fäders andar ned.
Ädlaste mål
Oss lyser på vår bana;
Skarpt är vårt stål
Och blöda är vår vana.
Alla, alla käckt framåt!
Här är vår sekelgamla frihets sköna stråt.
Lys högt, du segersälla fana,
Sliten av strider sen en grånad forntids dar,
Fram, fram, vårt ädla, härjade standar!
Än finns en flik med Finlands gamla färger kvar.

Lyrics in English[edit]

Translation by unknown, 1901[1]

Sons of a race whose blood was shed,
On Narva's field; on Poland's sand; at Leipzig; Lützen's dark hills under;
Not yet is Finland's manhood dead;
With foemen's blood a field may still be tinted red!
All Rest, all Peace, Away! begone!
The tempest loosens; lightnings flash; and o'er the field the cannon thunder
Rank upon rank, march on! march on!
The spirit of each father brave looks on as brave a son.
No nobler aim
Could light us to the field;
Our swords are flame;
Nor new our blood to yield;
Forward each man, brave and bold!
Lo! the glorious path of Freedom, centuries old!
Gleam high! Thou banner Victory-sealed!
In the grey bygone days, long since, all battle-worn,
Be still our splendid colours, though tattered, onward borne!
Of Finland's ancient Standard there's yet a shred untorn!

See also[edit]

  • "Maamme", Finnish national anthem

References[edit]

  1. ^ Norman, H. (1902). All the Russias. William Heinemann. p. 70. 

External links[edit]