Monday, December 29, 2008

Pesnya o druge - Ystävän laulu

From the end of the 60's through the beginning of the 80's was the era of left-wing song movement in Finland. It had its roots in political theatre in the 60's and the program groups of the radical youth movement of the university students. One of the later emblems of the era was Arja Saijonmaa and her "Ystävän laulu" (Song about a friend). Although the lyrics (written by Juha Vainio) of the song are nothing more than simple story of how a true friend behaves, the song has been labeled as "political". Arja Saijonmaa recorded the song in 1983 and it became one of her greatest hits. Arja was already an established entertainer at the time having recorded with Mikis Theodorakis and making other international appearences. She later made her biggest breakthrough in Sweden. The original song is of Russian origin and called "Pesnya o druge" (Song about friend). It was written and performed by legendary Russian troubadour Vladimir Vysotski. Vysotski sang simple ballads about love. war, peace and everyday Soviet life. However in Soviet Union he was considered as "forbidden singer", and thus his recordings are often made with elementary equipment. The quality of sound is not very good as you can hear yourself. But the feeling of utmost sincerity is there ...

Here's the pair:

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