Kun mun kultani tulisi

Language: Finnish

List of versions

Watch Video

the song performed by Loituma

Search more videos on Youtube

Related Songs

Tango fasismin ja kapitalismin suhteesta
(Eero Ojanen)
(Henrik Otto Donner)

Testo / Lyrics / Paroles / Sanat: Kanteletar
Musica / Music / Musique / Sävel: trad.

This song, inspired by Riccardo Venturi's recent contribution, has little to do with antiwar themes and issues. Instead, its all about unconditional love, and if hatred is the fuel of war, love works exactly the opposite way. Therefore, I sincerely hope that this beautiful song will find its niche on this website.

This poem is known to exist in a total of 157 versions of which three are introduced here. The one best known in Finland is this VERSION 1 from Kanteletar, a collection of Finnish folk poetry gathered by Elias Lönnrot during several expeditions in the 1820s and 30s and first published in 1840.

Throughout centuries, the oral tradition of Finnish and Karelian folk poetry was kept alive and passed on from generation to generation by rune singers reciting, or actually singing, poems in simple and rather monotonous tunes at gatherings such as harvest celebrations, weddings and funerals. One of the best known rune singers was Mateli Kuivalatar whose influence on Kanteletar is regarded to be great.

Versione 1 / Version 1/ Versio 1:
Kun mun kultani tulisi,
armahani asteleisi,
tuntisin ma tuon tulosta,
arvoaisin astunnasta,
jos ois vielä virstan päässä,
tahikka kahen takana.

Utuna ulos menisin,
savuna pihalle saisin,
kipunoina kiiättäisin,
liekkinä lehauttaisin;
vierten vierehen menisin,
supostellen suun etehen.

Tok mie kättä käpseäisin,
vaikk' ois käärme kämmenellä;
Tok mie suuta suikkajaisin,
vaikk' ois surma suun eessä;
Tok mie kaulahan kapuisin,
vaikk' ois kalma kaulaluilla;
Tok mie vierehen viruisin,
vaikk' ois vierus verta täynnä.

Vaanp' ei ole kullallani,
ei ole suu suen veressä,
käet käärmehen talissa,
kaula kalman tarttumissa;
Suu on rasvasta sulasta,
huulet kun hunajameestä,
Käet kultaiset, koriat,
kaula kun kanarvan varsi.

Contributed by Juha Rämö - 2019/4/24 - 20:36

Language: Finnish

Versione 2 / Version 2 / Versio 2

This is the oldest printed version of the poem. First written down in Rantsila in the Finnish region of Northern Ostrobothnia in the latter half of the 18th century, it was published for the first time by Henrik Gabriel Porthan in the 4th part of his 1778 thesis »De poësi fennica«.

Giuseppe Acerbi (1773 - 1846), an Italian naturalist and explorer, was the one who made the poem internationally known by including it in his 1802 book »Travels through Sweden, Finland and Lapland to the North Cape in the years 1798 and 1799«. The poem is also included in another description of the same journey, »Voyage pittoresque au Cap du Nord«, written by Anders Fredrik Skjöldebrand (1757 - 1834), a Swedish count, general and statesman, who joined Acerbi in Stockholm for the expedition through Finland.

There's one more person who deserves to be mentioned here, Carl Gustav Zetterqvist (1816 - 1902), a Swedish civil servant and language enthusiast. In the middle of the 19th century, in order to collect material for his contrastive language study, he sent a letter with a literal Latin, German and French translation of the poem to 1400 people all around the world and asked them for translations into their own languages. Zetterqvist received a total of 467 replies, or translations, including languages such as Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, Kabyle, Tahitian and Basque. There was even a translation written in Gothic runes. Unfortunately, the material was never published, but two copies of the manuscript exist, one with the Finnish Literature Society in Helsinki and another one in Swedish Gothenburg.

Jos mun tuttuni tulisi,
Ennen nähtyni näkyisi;
Sillen suuta suikkajaisin,
Jos olis suu suden veressä;
Sillen kättä käppäjäisin,
Jospa kärme kämmenpäässä!

Olisko tuuli mielellissä,
Ahavainen kielellissä!
Sanan toisi, sanan veisi,
Sanan lujan lukuttaisi
Kahden rakkaan välillä!

Enemmbä heitän herku-ruat,
Paistit pappilan unohdan;
Kuin mä heitän hertaiseni,
Kesän kestyteldyäni,
Talven taivutelduani.

2019/4/24 - 22:31

Language: Finnish

Versione 3 / Version 3 / Versio 3

Testo / Lyrics / Paroles / Sanat: trad.
Musica / Music / Musique / Sävel: Heikki Valpola

the song performed by Punainen lanka on their 1976 / 1977 record Taistelija (Fighter)

Punainen lanka

Jos mun tuttuni tulisi,
ennen nähtyni näkyisi,
tuntisin tutun tulosta,
arvajaisin astunnasta.

Virstan vastahan menisin,
virstan kaksi kapsahtaisin
veräjiä purkamahan,
aitoja alentamahan.

Jos mun tuttuni tulisi,
ennen nähtyni näkyisi,
sille kättä käppäjäisin,
vaikk' ois käärme kämmenpäässä.

Sille suuta suikkajaisin,
vaikk' ois suu suen veressä.
Vielä kaulahankaa puisin,
vaikk' ois kalma kaulan päällä.

2019/4/24 - 22:37

Language: English

Traduzione inglese della versione 1 / English translation of version 1 / Traduction anglaise de la version 1 / Version 1 englanninkielinen käännös: Susan Sinisalo

Should my treasure come
my darling step by
I'd know him by his coming
recognize him by his step
though he were still a mile off
or two miles away.

As mist I'd go out
as smoke I would reach the yard
as sparks I would speed
as flame I would fly;
I'd bowl along beside him
pout before his face.

I would touch his hand
though a snake were in his palm
I would kiss his mouth
though doom stared him in the face
I'd climb on his neck
though death were on his neck bones
I'd stretch beside him
though his side were all bloody.

And yet my treasure has not
his mouth bloody from a wolf
his hands greasy from a snake
nor his neck in death's clutches;
His mouth is of melted fat
his lips are as of honey
his hands golden, fair
his neck like a heather stalk.

Contributed by Juha Rämö - 2019/4/24 - 20:39

Language: French

Traduzione francese della versione 2 / French translation of version 2 / Traduction française de la version 2 / Version 2 ranskankielinen käännös: Frans Michael Franzén 1799

Frans Michael Franzén 1799

S'il venait, mon bien connu,
S'il paraissait, celui que j'ai vu auparavant,
Je lui ferais sonner un baiser sur la bouche,
Quoique elle fût teinte du sang d'un loup.
Je lui frapperais la main,
Quoique un serpent serait a bout de ses doigts.

Ah, si le vent avait de l'entendement,
Si le vent du printemps avait un langage,
Il porterait une parole et en rappoterait une autre,
Une parole superflue, plusieurs tendres paroles
Entre deux amans.

Je renoncerais aux mets les plus friands,
J'oublierais les viandes de la table du prêtre,
Plutôt que d'abandonner l'ami de mon cœur,
Lui que j'ai dompté pendant l'été
Et apprivoisé pendant l'hiver.

Contributed by Juha Rämö - 2019/4/24 - 20:40

Language: English

Traduzione inglese della versione 2 / English translation of version 2 / Traduction anglaise de la version 2 / Version 2 englanninkielinen käännös: Giuseppe Acerbi ca. 1800

On his travels through Sweden and Finland, Giuseppe Acerbi arrived in Finnish Turku in late March 1799. There he met Franz Michael Franzén, a poet and clergyman and later professor and member of the Royal Swedish Academy, who introduced him the Finnish poem »Jos mun tuttuni tulisi« and his French translation of it. Acerbi was very impressed by the poem. This is what he wrote about it:

»This little piece, considered as the production of a girl who could neither write nor read, is a wonderful performance. It is nature's poet delivering the dictates of her heart in the words which love has suggested, and 'snatching a grace beyond the reach of art.' This Finnish Sappho, amidst all the snows of her ungenial climate, discovers all the warmth of the poetess of Lesbos.«

Three years later, the poem together with Franzén's slightly altered translation was published in Acerbi's 1802 book »Travels through Sweden, Finland and Lapland to the North Cape in the years 1798 and 1799«.

Oh were my love but here with me!
Cou'd I his well-known person see!
How shou'd I fly to his embrace,
Tho' blood of wolves diftain'd his face;
Press'd to my heart, his hand wou'd take,
Tho' 'twere encircled by a snake.

Those winds that whisper thro' the wood,
Why is their speech not understood?
They might exchange the lover's pray'r,
And figh for figh returning bear.

Ill-cook'd the rector's meals wou'd be,
Dressing his daughter wait for me,
Whilst kitchen, toilet, I forfake,
And thought of my love only take;
On that alone my care bestow,
My fummer's wish, my winter's vow.

Contributed by Juha Rämö - 2019/4/24 - 20:42

Language: German

Traduzione tedesca della versione 2 / German translation of version 2 / Traduction allemande de la version 2 / Deutsche Übersetzung der Version 2 / Version 2 saksankielinen käännös: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1810


Käm' der liebe Wohlbekannte,
Völlig so wie er geschieden:
Kuß erkläng' an seinen Lippen,
Hätt' auch Wolfsblut sie gerötet;
Ihm den Handschlag gäb' ich, wären
Seine Fingerspitzen Schlangen.

Wind! o hättest du Verständnis,
Wort' um Worte trügst du wechselnd,
Sollt auch einiges verhallen,
Zwischen zwei entfernten Liebchen.

Gern entbehrt' ich gute Bissen,
Priesters Tafelfleisch vergäß' ich
Eher, als dem Freund entsagen,
Den ich Sommers rasch bezwungen,
Winters langer Weis' bezähmte.

Contributed by Juha Rämö - 2019/4/24 - 20:43

Language: Estonian

Traduzione estone della versione 2 / Estonian tarnslation of version 2 / Traduction estonienne de la version 2 / Versiooni 2 eestikeelne tõlge / Version 2 vironkielinen käännös: Karin Saarsen

Kui see keda tunnen
naaseks nüüd
kui tema keda nägin ilmub
kõnniksin kaugele vastu
venega sõuaksin vetel
tõstmaks eest tara
suuskil läbiksin laane
avamaks värati
kisuksin tihniku piirid
raudtalad tõmban maha
katsuksin tema kätt
kuigi peos tal peidus uss
kargaksin talle kaela
kuigi seal varitseb surm
suudleksin tema suud
kuigi sel' hundi veri
ta kõrval ma võiksin astu
kuigi ta külg oleks veres.

Contributed by Juha Rämö - 2019/4/24 - 20:45

Language: Estonian

Traduzione estone 2 della versione 2 / Estonian tarnslation 2 of version 2 / Traduction estonienne 2 de la version 2 / Versiooni 2 eestikeelne tõlge 2 / Version 2 vironkielinen käännös 2: Arved Viirlaid

Arved Viirlaid

Kui see mu tuttav tuleks
varem nähtu kui ilmuks,
versta vastu talle ruttaksin
venel vett mööda,
suuskadel salusid mööda,
aedu ületades,
väravaid avades.
Kisuksin kadakast aiad,
risuksin rauast aiad.
Ta kätest ma haaraksin,
kuigi rästik oleks ta kael;
ta kaelast ma hoiaksin,
ripuks või surm ta kaelas;
ta huuli ma suudleksin,
kuigi ta suu oleks hundi veres;
ennast ta kõrvale heidaksin,
olekski ta kõrval kõik verine.

Contributed by Juha Rämö - 2019/4/24 - 20:46

Language: English

Traduzione inglese della versione 3 / English translation of version 3 / Traduction anglaise de la version 3 / Version 3 englanninkielinen käännös: Juha Rämö

Came the one I know,
the one I've seen before,
I'd know him while on his way,
recognize him by his steps.

I would go a mile,
I would run a league
to open up gates,
to take down fences.

Came the one I know,
the one I've seen before,
I would shake his hand
even if there was a snake on his palm.

I would kiss his lips
even if stained with the blood of a wolf,
I would throw my arms around his neck,
even if death was on his shoulders.

Contributed by Juha Rämö - 2019/4/24 - 20:48

Language: Italian

Riporto qui senza nulla cambiare la prima traduzione italiana di una delle innumerevoli versioni di questo canto popolare, quella data da quel Giuseppe Acerbi di cui sopra, nell’edizione italiana del suo resoconto di viaggio al Capo Nord, di trent’anni successiva all’edizione inglese sopra citata (Viaggio al Capo-nord fatto l’anno 1799 dal Sig. cavaliere Giuseppe Acerbi... Milano, Sonzogno, 1832 - reperibile anche in rete); Acerbi la presenta (a p. 89 e seguenti) come “una canzone composta da una giovane paesana, nativa dell’Ostro-Botnia, e serva del maestro ecclesiastico del villaggio, dove essa avea costantemente dimorato. Questa piccola composizione considerata come il parto d’ingegno di una ragazza che non sapeva nè leggere, nè scrivere, è cosa stupenda. Ecco tradotte letteralmente in prosa le produzioni di questa Saffo finlandese, la quale in mezzo alle nevi del suo tristo paese non mostra meno calore della musa di Lesbo.
«Oh! perchè il mio diletto non è qui? Se almeno l’aspetto suo, che tanto conosco, mi fosse presente! come, come io volerei tra le sue braccia! Quanti baci le mie labbra non istamperebbero sul suo volto, fosse pur egli tutto imbrattato del sangue di un lupo da lui combattuto! Come stringerei la sua mano, fosse pur essa attortigliata da un serpente!»

«Ah! perchè i venti non hanno intelligenza; perchè quello che ora spira, non può parlare? I venti potrebbero riferirci a vicenda i nostri sentimenti, comunicandone l’espressione del mio diletto a me! Questo venticello che sì spesso spira, potrebbe ad ogni istante recargli le mie parole, e riportarmi rapidamente le sue».

«Oh! allora non penserei certamente ai piaceri della tavola del mio padrone; e poco mi presserei a vestir la sua figlia. Sì: dimenticherei tutto per non occuparmi che del mio amoroso, l’oggetto più caro de’ miei pensieri nella estate, l’oggetto de’ miei più penosi affanni nella stagione cruda dell’inverno».”

Contributed by Francesco Mazzocchi - 2019/4/25 - 18:41

Language: German

Traduzione tedesca della versione 1 / German translation of version 1 / Traduction allemande de la version 1 / Deutsche Übersetzung der Version 1 / Version 1 saksankielinen käännös: Trudelies Hofmann

Wär mein Liebster auf dem Wege,
führten hierher seine Schritte,
würd ich ihn an seinen Tritten,
ihn sogleich am Gang erkennen
auch wenn ungezählte Meilen
zwischen ihm und mir noch lägen.

Wie ein Wölkchen wollt ich schweben,
wie ein Flämmchen mich erheben,
wollt als Funke zu ihm eilen,
ihm als Hauch entgegenwehen,
schmiegte mich in seine Arme,
suchte seine süßen Lippen.

Seine Hand würd ich ergreifen,
zuckte drin auch eine Schlange,
seine Lippen wollt ich küssen,
hing der Tod ihm auch am Munde,
und ich schlöß ihn in die Arme,
hielt ihn selbst der Tod umfangen,
legte mich an seine Seite,
wär sie auch in Blut gebadet.

Doch es sind des Liebsten Lippen
nicht berührt vom Blut der Wölfe,
nicht die Hand vom Gift der Schlange,
nicht sein Hals vom Hauch des Todes.
Ist sein Mund doch süß wie Nektar,
wie vom Honig seine Lippen,
gut und stark sind seine Hände,
schön sein Hals wie eine Blume.

Contributed by Juha Rämö - 2019/4/29 - 18:02

Main Page

Please report any error in lyrics or commentaries to

Note for non-Italian users: Sorry, though the interface of this website is translated into English, most commentaries and biographies are in Italian and/or in other languages like French, German, Spanish, Russian etc.

hosted by