Lippulaulu, or Siniristilippumme
Traditional Finnish flag-raising song
Here in the Bay Area, an important part of our local Independence Day program has always been honoring on stage the Finnish veterans still alive in the community, those who fought and often gave their lives in defense of independent Finland. Because today nearly all of our veterans have passed on, it occurred to me that another serious, patriotic expression could take the place of that ceremony at Finland 100 events.
Here in the U.S., we orally cite the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. In Finland, that pledge takes the form of a song, the traditional flag-raising song Lippulaulu, or Siniristilippumme. It is regularly sung by most men during their military service, but also by scouts, other patriotic organizations and school students.
Traditionally, the Finnish Brotherhood Lodge’s annual Independence Day event in Berkeley has started with a small procession of the U.S. and Finnish flags being carried into the hall to the accompaniment of the Porilaisten marssi with the audience standing, followed by the national anthems. To this or similar opening I would suggest adding a smaller group singing Siniristilippumme.
In my concept, 2, 3 or more “ordinary” men (not professional singers), dressed in gray to suggest the military color, would stand facing the flag, hands on hearts, and sing at least the first verse of the Lippulaulu, preferably a cappella, adequately rehearsed with completely memorized lyrics. Attached are the words both in the original and with my simple translation.
I hope you will consider this suggestion for enhancing the Finland 100 Day.
FFN Trustee Emerita
For a YouTube video of the song being sung click: Lippulaulu
Loving Finland is a website dedicated to celebrating Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence.
Click here to check out stories and ideas, such as a holiday lighting display using blue and white lights in honor of Finland and the country’s colors.