Sunday, June 02, 2019

Echidne's Music Hour. Pekka Streng

I learned about Pekka Streng, a Finnish musician,  only yesterday.  He died in 1975 at the age of twenty-six, of cancer.  He knew that he was terminally ill when he began making songs and recording, and the lyrics show this.  He seems to have reached a higher spiritual plane of existence, able to feel joy in circumstances where others would only find despair.

This is his song about reincarnation:

 It's called Back In The Stream.

My translation of the lyrics:

Back in the stream,
to the dawn of my time.
My face turns into countless others.
My color changes, my race changes
When back in the stream I receive
ancient shapes*.

Back in the stream.
Back in the stream.

Back in the stream,
to the time of childhood.
I will be born and I will die
and again I shall be allowed to
live old age.

I am an Indian woman
or a tiny infant.
Centuries pass, all changes shape.

Back in the stream.
Back in the stream.

Back in the stream,
the dark bird of the night
rises on its wings,
flies into the past time,
into the colorful procession of days,
and there I see that the causes for my present time
are my choices.

Back in the stream.
Back in the stream.

To the dawn of humankind
Into the wordless pain of suffering eyes.
Now I know, now I know:
After this birth
when I return to the past
something wonderful
will follow.

Back in the stream.
Back in the stream.

I also like this piece by him:

It's called In the Garden

My translation:

Leafy trees and perennials,
vines, fruit, bleached bones.
Plants which during the day watch with gentle eyes
and which during the night sing a lament.
Plants which take years off our age when we watch them
and plants which deepen the grooves in our faces when they die.

Annabella dances in the garden
where she walks around,
watering the seedlings.
Robert the Hat** tells stories to the plants,
for flowers make excellent listeners.

Tree ferns and frogs
goblins, fairies and daisies.
From your heart flow many springs.

*  This is a really tough bit to translate.  "Menneet hahmot saan."  A literal translation is that he will be given shapes from the past or past shapes.  I interpret this as meaning that when one dies one returns to the very beginning where all the possible shapes already exist.  But other readings are possible and perhaps better.

** I have no idea who or what this is.  So I translated the name from the Finnish Roope to the English Robert.