Oh, Lordi, Lordi - My Finnish Roots

  LordiFinland grabbed silver medals and no gold   at the Winter Olympics this year. Bit of a national disaster. It was the small but proud sporting nation's worst result in a generation. We then scraped to a bronze in the ice hockey world championships last week. So, monster rock group Lordi's victory at the kitsch Eurovision song contest at the weekend was one to savour? My sensible sister Liisa told me: 'I am proud of their success. But, pity it had to be such an awful group.'    

  Mother, Sisko, hasn't pronounced on the subject yet. She would have phoned if she was that bothered. Meanwhile, cousin Päivi excitedly texted me from Finland to say pretty much the same as Liisa. 'Not a great fan, but nice anyway.' Päivi added, enigmatically: 'Amazing.'  

Leningrad CowboysYet, hold on. There is something Liisa, Päivi and me all know is quite Finnish about Lordi. Their anarchic, post Goth, crazy style is part of our time-honoured contemporary culture. Lordi remind me of the scary characters in the national literary epic, Kalevala, on which Henry Wadsworth Longfellow drew inspiration for his American classic, Hiawatha. Other zany Finnish artistes include the cult Leningrad Cowboys, with trademark unicorn hairstyles and long pointed shoes, and screaming men's choir, who shout rather than sing.

The horror movie-looking Lordi won for Finland by being themselves rather than attempting to ape the bubble gum Abba winning formula. They represent a breath-of-fresh-air break from the plastic pop which the discredited Eurovision song contest has come to symbolise.

Just as sweet for me was that Lordi hail from Lapland, where the resilient, reindeer-herding Sami people come from. I hope there is a renaissance of interest in their culture and   land rights as a result of Lordi's win. That the rock group pissed off stuffy church bosses who considered their act sacrilege was a welcome double whammy for me.

LIFE OF BRIAN

What a gritty one-man campaign is peace campaigner Brian Haw (see The-Latest front page story: 'Leave Him Alone.') The full might of   Inspector Knacker's finest from Scotland Yard were foiled when they launched a dawn raid on his protest camp outside the British parliament on Tuesday. Haw's supporters came to his rescue with ladders and banners. And the redoutably pacifist warrior was able to stay put. He made the front page of the Evening Standard: 'War on Haw in siege of Westminster.' Yet another PR disaster for Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

Can't wait for the Independent Police Complaints Commission report into the shooting, by armed Met officers, of innocent bystander Jean Charles de Menezes. Heads should roll.

 

1 Response to "Oh, Lordi, Lordi - My Finnish Roots"

contribs editor's picture

contribs editor

Sat, 05/27/2006 - 23:48
<p>It seems that the frontman for the mock-rock shock winners of the Eurovision Song Contest is an old softie underneath all that horror make-up and on stage vocal growling.&nbsp; Mr Lordi appears to be senitive to the adverse reactions of some Finns who shun the group calling them satanists and devil-worshippers. He says: &quot; In Finland, they've said things like we eat babies for Christmas.&nbsp; Whenever we appear in public people there do their best to ignore us... Underneath the mask there's a boring normal guy, who walks the dog's, goes to the supermarket, watches DVDs, eats candies. You really don't want to see him&quot;.&nbsp; Now isn't that sweet!&nbsp; Here's a reminder of the bands winning lyrics:</p><p align="center"><em>Wings on my back<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I got horns on my head</em></p><p align="center"><em>&nbsp; My fangs are sharp,<br />&nbsp;&nbsp; and my eyes are red</em></p><p align="center"><em>Not quite an angel<br />or the one that fell</em></p><p align="center"><em>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now choose to join us,<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; or go straight to Hell&nbsp;</em></p><p align="center"><em>&nbsp;</em></p>