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[personal profile] kjn
Back at Finncon, I managed to secure two copies of the Finnish fannish songbook Scifistin malja, roughly "Science fiction toast". It was first published in 2003, and included songs that were sung at dinner parties organised by Tutka, the science fiction and fantasy club of Turku University. These dinner parties ("sittning" in Swedish and "sitsit" in Finnish) are a staple of Swedish and Finnish student life, where eating is combined with frequent singalongs and toasts.

Tutka organised such parties from 1998, and apart from the traditional songs associated with these parties (some which fit neatly into themes common in filk) they also started to write and sing new songs with science fiction, fantasy, and horror themes. Scifistin malja collects the result of five years of this tradition, and was only meant for distribution within the club at first. This background—Nordic student singing and club-only—helps to explain the rather free approach to copyright and song permissions taken with the songbook. This also means that Finland has not one but two active filk traditions: the Turku one oriented towards singalongs at dinner parties, and the Tampere one oriented towards choir singing that honours designated parties. As far as I understand it, both evolved from the Tolkien and roleplaying choirs that were active in Finland in the 1990s. To that you can add the nörttikuoro that were showcased at Worldcon 75.

What I have is the second printing from 2009, differing in the cover colour from the first printing in 2003. 2009 is green, while 2003 is red. According to Shimo Suntila, the editor who also wrote a large part of the songs, that and publishing notices are the only difference between the two editions.

In total there are 130 songs, in eleven categories. 75 (58%) are in Finnish, 52 (40%) in English, and three (2%) in Swedish. At least 81 (62%) of the songs are of Finnish origin. All of the songs uses well-known tunes (at least in Finland), so there is no notation or chords for any of the songs. The categories are:

Scifiryypyt: Nine drinking songs, all in Finnish and by Shimo Suntila (except one that has him as one of four co-writers.
Neverending Story: Twenty fantasy songs, many of which I believe come from the Finnish Tolkien societies. Fifteen are in Finnish and five in English.
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Seventeen science fiction songs, seven in Finnish and ten in English. Three of the English songs are unique to this songbook and written in Finland.
Necronomicon: Fifteen horror-related songs (including Buffy), all in English. As far as I can tell, all but one are from non-Finnish sources.
Journal of the Whills: Twelve Star Wars songs, six in Finnish and six in English. Eight of the songs have their origin in Finland, and another one had its chorus written in Finland as well.
Universe Today: Six Babylon 5 songs, all in Finnish.
Prime Directive: Thirteen Star Trek songs, five in Finnish, eight in English, and one of the English-language songs is of Finnish origin.
Sourcebook: Nine songs about role-playing games, six in Finnish and three in English.
Terrakodin kapinalliset: Seven songs that I believe are about fandom, all in Finnish.
Pangalaktiset: Eleven traditional drinking songs for Finnish dinner parties, nine in Finnish and two in Swedish.
Intergalaktiset: Eleven songs of varying content, likely from student singing. Five in Finnish, five in English, and one in Swedish.

I will send over one of the copies, together with some other filk-related material from Sweden, to Interfilk for auctioning when I get back from traveling.

Date: 2018-07-24 12:18 am (UTC)
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From: [personal profile] madfilkentist
Filk in Finnish! Nice!