Jul 06 2011

Finland and the Leningrad Cowboys


I will be the first to admit that I don’t know much about Finland.

However, it was a source of a Baader-Meinhoff Phenomenon for me today.

Rear Vision on Radio National featured Finland this morning.

It appears that Finland made some bad choices during WW2, and found itself at different times allied with and then fighting against each of Germany and Russia. After the war it had to pay enormous reparations to the Russian government – which it did, and then prospered during the Cold War.


And tonight Mike came to the Lembkedome still whistling tunes he’d been listening to from the Leningrad Cowboys. The Cowboys have been touring the world for years, and are famous for their hairstyles, and because they are always accompanied on their tours by the Red Army Choir, and because they are from Finland! 

According to YouTube:

Currently, the band has eleven Cowboys and two Leningrad Ladies. The songs, all somewhat influenced by polka and progressive rock, and performed in English, have themes such as ‘vodka’, ‘tractors’, ‘rockets’, and ‘Genghis Khan’, as well as folkloric Russian songs, rock and roll ballads and covers from bands as diverse as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, all with lots of humour.

Finland is stuck between Sweden and Russia. It has been independent of both since 1809. It has a population of 5.4 million, not all of whom work for Nokia. The capital is Helsinki.

Now you know at least as much about Finland as I do.


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