Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Lullaby

This is a Carelian/Karelian folk song

If I understand it correctly, it was originally sung by Larin Paraske, a most interesting woman who could easily have been forgotten had she not happened to be sought out by a collector of folk songs and traditional poetry.

According to Wikipedia (her whole bio is well worth reading):

Larin Paraske (December 27, 1833–January 3, 1904) was an Izhorian[1] oral poet. She is considered a key figure in Finnish folk poetry and has been called the "Finnish Mnemosyne".[2] Her frequent listeners included several romantic nationalist artists, such as Jean Sibelius, seeking inspiration from her interpretations of Kalevala, an epic poem compiled from Finnish folklore by Elias Lönnrot.[3]
Paraske could recite over 32,000 verses of poetry, which made her an important source for Karelian culture.[4] Her poems were written down by Adolf Neovius in the 1880s, and after several years of work, approximately 1200 poems, 1750 proverbs and 336 riddles were documented, along with several Finnic lamentations known as itkuvirsi, performed by crying and sobbing.[5]