Satumaa

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"Satumaa" (roughly, in English "The Fabled Land" or "The Fairytale Land") is the quintessential Finnish tango. It was written by Unto Mononen, and published in 1955. The most famous recording is probably the one made by Reijo Taipale in 1962. The lyrics tell a story of a distant land beyond the sea — a happy paradise — however, the narrator can only reach it in his thoughts. The song has been recorded countless times, mainly by male Finnish tango singers.[1]

An unusual take on Satumaa (and perhaps one more likely to be known outside of Finland) appears on a Frank Zappa live album from a Helsinki concert in 1974. Requested at short notice, the band plays the song from sheet music with the (non-Finnish-speaking) vocalist Napoleon Murphy Brock trying his best to read the Finnish lyrics.[2][3] Dweezil Zappa and his ensemble Zappa plays Zappa played a part of the song on their 6 June 2009 and 29 November 2013 concerts at the same venue.

The name "Satumaa" is also mentioned in a pop rock song "Satumaa-tango" by Finnish Maija Vilkkumaa.

M.A. Numminen, in his novel Tango is my passion, says: "I have heard it was proposed for inclusion in a new hymn book. I think it would be wonderful if it was hymn number 666. During the service I could dance to it with organ accompaniment. Perhaps I would get nearer to God."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Finnish music quarterly Esittävän säveltaiteen edistämiskeskus (Finland), Luovan säveltaiteen edistämissäätiö (Finland), Sibelius-Akatemia (Helsinki, Finland) - 1991 "The classic example of the remorseful hit is, however, the tango Satumaa (Magic Land, 1955) by Unto Mononen (1930-1968), which may be regarded as one reflection of the Kyrie eleison melody:"
  2. ^ Miler, Barry: "Frank Zappa", Finnish edition, Johnny Kniga Kustannus, 2004, p.433, (Finland specific section written by Esa Kuloniemi), ISBN 978-951-0-32251-2
  3. ^ You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 (1974) by Frank Zappa Disc 2, track 3.

Recordings[edit]

See also[edit]