Tuesday, 13 January 2009

They're Playing my Song

This is the Mari Boine song 'Vilges Suola' (White Thief) from which I took the nickname I use for this and other web sites. The language is North Sámi, the least endangered of the Sámi languages. They are sometimes called 'Lappish' languages but the term 'Lapp' is derogatory and to be avoided. 

I did once have the Sámi lyrics to this song, but that was in another country, and besides the computer's dead. I can't find them anywhere online, and don't remember them too well. The 'white thief' here is Norwegian society as represented by missionaries, politicians and teachers who attempted to wipe out Sámi language and cultural identity by denigrating it as backward and worthless, so that many Sámi kids, like Boine, grew up to regard themselves as inferior. The resultant anger is evident in the attack of the song, even if you don't understand the words. The last line (any Sámi speaker who sees this will, I hope, forgive and correct me) is something like 'badjelgeacchan haksu dien du fiina hajus', 'your arrogance stinks through your fine clothes!'  

I only chose 'vilges suola' as a nickname because I liked the sound of the phrase and because it was obscure enough not to have much competition as an ID - it is hardly very flattering. The You Tube video is a bit odd - no idea why it should feature Stonehenge, or indeed anywhere other than Sápmi. 

Anyway, the song is from Mari Boine's first album 'Gula Gula', which is worth a listen. (The title does in fact mean 'Listen, Listen'.)  

Gula gula, nieida, gánda,
Gula máttut dál du čurrvot
Manin attát ietnama duolvat
Gula jiena, nieida, gánda,
Gula máttaráhkuid jiena
Eana lean min buohkaid eadni
Dan jos goddit ieža jápmit

(Listen, listen, daughters, sons, hear the fore-mothers ask why you have left the earth exhausted, poisoned. Hear the voices, daughters, sons, hear the voices of the fore-mothers, the earth is our mother, if she dies we die with her.)


Bo said...

I'm a great fan of MB too.

Sarah McKellen of McKellen-Messiniaki Properties said...

beautiful and haunting - thanks for that!

vilges suola said...

Glad you liked it. She's a favourite of mine - got all her albums save the two 'Remixed' ones, which I hated.

Anonymous said...

Very nice page. I like your reflection ant thoughs.
I am a big fan of Mari Boine too.

vilges suola said...

Hi, thanks for your comment. Glad you like the blog.


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