I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Miku Hatsune -- Ievan Polkka

I was rather tickled by this statement in a J-Wiki article: "Owing to its viral exposure in popular culture, "Ievan Polkka" has become one of the most famous Finnish songs in the world."

I would imagine so after Miku Hatsune(初音ミク)got her leek-filled hands on it.

I don't quite remember when I first came across the persona known as Miku Hatsune. It may have been going into an HMV in Tokyo and then seeing a CD of her covering YMO songs. But most likely it was her performing "Ievan Polkka". To be honest, I thought the song was wholly created by the folks behind Miku-chan herself. I had no idea that those were Finnish lyrics, but dang, they were sure catchy. And what was up with the leek?

A few years later, I would find out that "Ievan Polkka" was originally a traditional polka tune from Finland with lyrics provided by Eino Kettunen in the 1930s. Kettunen's lyrics related the story of a young man who was determined to have that dance with the girl of his dreams, Ieva, despite his mother's opposition.

According to the Wiki article on the song, it would be covered by various singers over the years including a Finnish quartet, Loituma, in the mid-1990s which brought a resurgence in its fame. And then another decade later, "Ievan Polkka" was used for some sort of Internet animation featuring a character from the anime version of "Bleach" known as Orihime Inoue, before the leek, so to speak, was passed onto Miku.

The one reason I put up the song is that I found out that Miku Hatsune is going on a tour of North America next year including a stop in Toronto, appropriately enough at the Sony Centre. I'd be interested in going just to see how such a concert would look like and also to see the folks who would come.


  1. :D Familiar subject. Kayo Kyoku Plus fan from Finland <3

    ...Without the meme, it would still be an obscurity here today. I remember hearing it in the 80s as a child, but it fell in obscurity after few years.

    1. Hello, Feyris. Thanks for commenting in from Finland. Yup, it's been amazing how "Ievan Polkka" has gotten a second wind of sorts thanks to a computer-generated aidoru.


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