Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Harvey and Sheila - Hanna ja Niilo
One of the definite Finnish novelty record classics is "Hanna ja Niilo" (Hanna and Niilo). Before I heard the original (novelty) version, I thought that Jukka Virtanen had made it up all by himself. But this wasn't his original idea after all. Jukka is famous Finnish all-round entertainer and his lyrics have been presented in Finnpicks before; see entry here. He recorded "Hanna ja Niilo" in 1969, encouraged by the good reception the song got in a night club floor show. The original song "Hava nagila" is a Hebrew folk song, the title meaning "Let us rejoice". It is a song of celebration, but the story that's been told in these novelty versions, is far from celebration. It's the familiar story of different stages of relationship, with a heavy dose of abbreviations involved ;-). The original novelty version entitled "Harvey and Sheila" was done by US parodist, satirist and television producer Allan Sherman on his album "My Son, the Celebrity" in 1963.
Updated on 25.03.2010: added Jope Ruonansuu's version.
Here's the pair: