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The Kalevala (According To Scott Sandwich)

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The Kalevala There's this lady and she's pregnant but there's problems so she's sad Then a duck comes and lays an egg there but then the egg breaks and the world's born Then that lady's baby's kicking; it's unhappy in her tummy It prays to get out but the gods don't help him Then he gets out and he sees the moon. Now, his name is Väinämöinen And he sees that the world needs trees now But the oak is being stubborn so immortals come and help him And it grows And it's so massive, then some guy comes and chops it down But that's okay because it was magic And then an eagle lands in the tree Now some other kid thinks he's the coolest but Väinämöinen knows he's better So when they fight the kid gets clobbered and Väinämöinen wins his sister But the sister in unhappy so she cries and noone likes her She keeps weeping and then she drowns And a rabbit sees the whole thing and tells her family The mother cries a river and the rabbit says: "I am so sorry you had to find out this way." Väinämöinen goes out fishing Gets a fish and tries to eat it But the fish the dead sister and she's pissed that he tried to eat her So then lonely Väinämöinen tries to go and find a woman But the kid from before is still feeling vengeful Tries to kill him with a crossbow But that would destroy the planet so instead he kills his horsie From the horsie to the water Väinämöinen is all wet now But the eagle from the forest saves him from the flowing waters He meets this chick who makes him do things She's a witch: her name is Louhi And she wants a magic piller which the Finnish call a sampo Väinämöinen doesn't have one But he knows a guy who makes them So Louhi gives him a sled and a horsie as long as he promises never to look up And he says, "I promise I will never look up." Then he looks up And he sees this rainbow And this other chick says, "Build me a boat" But this goblin comes and chops his knee off Which stops the progress of the boat building Väinämöinen's leg is bleeding He sees a doctor Stops the bleeding Then he asks his friend to help him He's a builder named Ilmarinen He builds the magic sampo Gives it to Louhi in exchange for marrying her daughter The daughter doesn't want to So he goes home And then it's over. Kind of. Err... Because there's also Lemminkäinen He's a man who likes to punch things But he always wants a flower Man of many contradictions But the flower is a woman And she's lovely But she hates him But he takes her anyway And then he has his own way with her And if that weren't bad enough He tells her she can't even go out dancing But she really wants to go out dancing So she dances in the village Lemminkäinen's pretty angry So he wants to move out and get his own place So he gives his mum a hairbrush ... I don't understand that bit either, but that's what happens Go on: sue me. Lemminkäinen goes to battle And he casts a spell on all the attackers Except for this one guy: Markahattu Who's just a shepherd, he's not worth it. Markahattu conjures up some serpents And it kills Lemminkäinen And Markahattu's all like: "FUCK YEAH." Lemminkäinen's now a dead guy And his mother tries to find him But his body's all in pieces So she puts him back together Wakes him up Makes him come home And he does (but pays no rent). Now back to Väinämöinen He's still right back where we left him Building boats for magic women, but the boat is taking ages So he tries to use some magic but the spell is missing pages So he kills a bunch of creatures but he still can't find the pages So he asks this girl to help him And she doesn't really help him Accidentally visits Limbo Or maybe hell I couldn't tell you (... Some parts of Finnish don't translate very well to English.) Anyway He escapes using some magic And he tells everyone: "Don't talk to helpful girls." Then he meets this giant He gets eaten by the giant He holds the giant stomach hostage in exchange for the missing magic Giant says, "Yeah! Here's your magic!" Väinämöinen builds his boat In the boat he goes off sailing, tries to woo this pretty maiden But behold! It's the same maiden loved by builder Ilmarinen! So they just both decide to woo her, and be happy with whatever happens Väinämöinen wins the lady But the lady still says, "No." So Ilmarinen gets the lady But to go to bed with lady he must please the lady's mother Which, again, is tricky Louhi She makes him do things that seem unlikely but he does them because he's awesome So he wins the hand of lady Väinämöinen learns his lesson: Never woo in competition... especially not against younger men So Ilmarinen's gonna be married So for dinner at the wedding they get in this huge, delicious oxen Not the largest Not the smallest But still, it was freaking massive - bigger than most oxen (... So it's definitely not the smallest) But they can't seem to slaughter it, just like in Hotel California But there's one guy who can do it And he's also a brewer! So there's cheap beer at the party And they get in a wedding singer, and it happens to be Väinämöinen Louhi sends everyone invites Except for Lemminkäinen because he's been a bit of a jerk lately And the wedding is really good. Lemminkäinen hears the wedding And, of course, he's kinda pissed off He feels he should have been invited even though he's not related (... though he's pretty much a rapist) So he turns up to the feast and they tell him it's over: "Too late!" But he still wants his ox, and food things So they get him a beer with snakes in He drinks the beer despite the snakes and then he puts a sword through the face of the guy who owns the place And he flees in disgrace (Well, he turns into an eagle and he goes into hiding just like his daddy did before him) But THEN he gets into trouble (... But it's nothing much exciting) All that happens is he comes back to find that his home has been turned to rubble He thinks his mum died, but she's hiding So he wages war on the bad guys But it gets too cold, so he just gives up. Now, Untamo is the brother of Kalervo, who's another They fight like normal brothers But this leads to genocide Except for this one girl who's pregnant And she gives birth to another Kallervo, who's a kind of reincarnate of the previous Kalervo but it's spelt a little different to the brother of Untamo He'd be sold away to science But back then there was no science So he works for Ilmarinen (... he's the guy that had the wedding) His wife needs a herdsman 'cause she's got a lot of cattle And she's really good at milking But Kallervo thinks he's better and deserves more than just being a herdsman So instead of trying to climb the corporate ladder He just tries to kill her He does this by convincing her that all these wolves are cattle And she milks them to discover she's now dead There was no udder Turns out wolves are dangerous dogs But now Kallervo's feeling awful, so he moves away to Lapland He finds his family, but no sister (Which is fine, because he never met her) Then he meets this pretty lady, and he woos her with his penis And it turns out she's his sister And they get sad and she kills herself. So he blames the whole thing on Untamo So he goes to war, and it was easy, and he kills him But he forgot about his mother back home And now she's dead and that's his fault So he kills himself as well. Now Ilmarinen's gone a little crazy because bachelors are lonely He builds a wife made of gold and silver... But she's not so nice to snuggle So he shows to Väinämöinen, Väinämöinen thinks she's awful, and he tells him: "You're a dick." So he looks for other options He finds the sister of his dead wife And for some reason she's not happy to be forced into this marriage So she's really nasty to him, so he just turns her into a bird He thinks back to that time when he built the sampo And he knows that it will make him happy So he calls on Väinämöinen, who then calls on Lemminkäinen, and they meet up with Ilmarinen Journey of the Heroes Three! And the three set sail together and they crash into this big fish Which they kill And Väinämöinen turns its bones into a harp. Then they find the magic sampo, but the owners want to keep it So they attack the three great heroes Tough guy minstrel Väinämöinen, plays his harp and sings a ballad Casts a spell on all the fighters And then they get away into the sea really easily ... But the seas are really choppy And along comes Iku Turso, who's this crazy, psycho monster! He tries to kill them... ... But he doesn't bother because they're pretty much home free. Now Louhi counts her assets. She finds the sampo thingy missing And she's sad and shitty because she liked it So she tries to kill the good guys But in all of the confusion accidentally breaks the sampo and is stabbed by Lemminkäinen But she survives and swears revenge Väinämöinen doesn't care though, because he's a hero and immortal And she's just a crazy bitch. So she gets these little babies with some pretty little namies: Cramps and Colic, Gout and Rickets, Cancer, Boil and Scab and Plague And she sends them all to Väinämöinen who is immediately inflicted But he gets into a sauna and his people are all saved. Now Louhi's really angry So she sends a great bear to attack them But Väinämöinen scares the bear though: it falls off a cliff, no more problem. Then he looks up and he realises he can't find the sun or the moon anymore So he tells Ilmarinen to build a fake sun and a false moon and hang them from the treetops But it doesn't really work well, because they're not designed to hang from treetops So Väinämöinen uses instincts based on his immortal powers to find out where the real sun is hiding, and if the moon is hiding by it And it turns out Louhi has them (... That was obvious in hindsight.) So he kills and chops the heads off Louhi's guards and her nightwatchmen And Louhi gives the sun and the moon back as well. Meanwhile There's this desperate lady, and she eats a berry and she's pregnant And she has the baby; it's amazing! Väinämöinen wants it dead now. (Smooshed against a rock or something.) Then the kid (who's just two weeks old, mind you) says: "Oh, thou ancient Väinämöinen, son of folly and injustice, senseless hero of the Northlands: falsely hast thou rendered thy judgement!..." "... In thy years, for greater sins and misdemeanors, thou wert not unjustly punished!" Blah blah blah, yadda yadda. (The kid basically says, "Don't kill me, you bastard!") Väinämöinen says, "... Okay," "I guess I'll just sing for everyone?" And he does. (With much rejoicing.) Same with us, because that's the end of the poem! ... And that's the Kalevala! Now I'll just... walk into the forest.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 45 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: Australia
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: Tom Hogan
Director: Tom Hogan
Views: 5,667
Posted by: tomhogan on Mar 13, 2012

The Kalevala is Finland's epic poem. Rooted deep in the Suomi culture, everyone in the country knows the stories, the characters, the poetry...

But translated to English, it's just not very good. English can't handle the poetics of the language, and the forced 8-syllable structure of the Kalevala runes. English has never been a successful way to communicate the power and magic of the Kalevala...

... Until now.

Performance poet Scott Sandwich, aka Tom Hogan, takes on this great story of epic proportions... just because he can.

Created by Tom Hogan in January 2012, during his residency at Arteles, Finland.

Visit scottsandwich.com
Visit tomhogan.com.au
Visit arteles.org

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