Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Lord's Prayer - Isä meidän

We begin the Finnpicks religious days with a song whose lyrics are probably the best known in the world. I guess every Christian knows them by heart. Marjo-Riitta (b. Marjo-Riitta Kervinen) & Savannah released in 1974 a single with "Isä meidän" (Our Father) on the A-side. And the lyrics were 'The Lord's Prayer' in Finnish. Marjo-Riitta released many records in the 70's but inspite of her talents ("A technically unsurpassable and daring, yet stylish singer") always stayed in the second division of Finnish female singers. She acted as a solo singer and with her group Savannah and as a member in the pop group Ernos and in the vocal group Cascade. The lyrics of today's song are truly 'traditional', but the music was created in Australia in 1973. The performer was Roman Catholic nun called Sister Janet Mead who is a living legend in the Australian music industry. In 1973 she began making professional recordings of her music for churches and schools. One of the tracks she cut was a cover of the Donovan song "Brother Sun, Sister Moon". As an afterthought, she cut a rocked-up arrangement of "The Lord's Prayer", which had been put to music by one of her parishioners and musical collaborators, Arnold Strals. And the rest is history. The song became the highest selling Australian song ever, the first Australian-made record to sell more than one million copies in the USA, widest international Top 40 hit song by any Australian artist. And Sister Jane probably has been the only artist who actually gave away all royalties to charity.

Here's the pair:

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