Rose in the Valley

One Rose in the Valley (Ruusu laaksossa) is a Finnish folksong which has been popular as long as I remember and it was popular in my mother’s and grandmother’s time. When I started to translate it I saw one very interesting thing. I have always thought it is the rose that flourishes nicely but the grammatical correlate is the valley (laakso) not the rose. And more I think about it the more it makes sense as in Finland we don’t have year-round vagabonds because they froze to death during the winter but we had men who worked at farms in summer and in the woods in winter (logging sites). These men were usually poor and most likely they didn’t feel at home in the prosperous farm houses. Perhaps words are just as they supposed to be in the first place even though I and some of my friends thought otherwise. (I asked my friends, whether it is the rose that prosperously flourishes or the valley, and they have also been thinking it is the rose.) Nevertheless it is the rose that young man wanted to have and hold against his breast but being just a poor young man he didn’t dare to ask the hand of the daughter.

Ruusu laaksossa by Yelling Rosa

Note: The valley is the best place for the fields because water ends up there and it is safe from wind and cold. The farm hand men have been history for decades.

Rose in the Valley English Words by Yelling Rosa

I hope you like this song as much as I liked to work with it.

Post Scriptum:

Literal translation from Finnish into English:

One rose has grown in the valley,
which beautifully flourishes,
one wandering boy has seen it
and can’t forget it.

And he would have surely picked it up
and pressed it against his breast,
but as being poor he hasn’t dared,
but left it in (its) place.

As you can see this story is a bit obscure and there might be as many interpretations as there are listeners, and them all are valuable and correct. My translation based on presumption that the rose is a daughter of the prosperous farmhouse and the boy is a farm hand. This song is at least 200 hundred years old and then it wasn’t desirable that a poor man proposes to the daughter of the (rich) farm owner. In fact at that time the poor men weren’t popular suitors anywhere. It was their burden not the barrier of picking up a rose (a real flower) in the valley. Well, I might be wrong all the same.

Roses of life to everyone.

About Yelling Rosa

I desing home pages. In my spare time I read, write, play the guitar and hike. I have published three verse books in Finnish and recorded my songs. You can listen to them on YouTube. I have translated some of my poems on Yelling Rosa's Weblog. I also like to watch movies. Olen kiinnostunut lukemisesta, kirjoittamisesta, kitaransoitosta ja luonnossa vaeltamisesta. Olen julkaissut kolme runokirjaa ja laulujani on äänitteillä. Voit lukea runojani Yelling Rosan kotisivuilta ja kuunnella laulujani YouTubessa. Olen elokuvafriikki.
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47 Responses to Rose in the Valley

  1. davidprosser says:

    What a shame the young farm hand didn’t risk picking it and offering it to the young girl.Maybe she liked him too. It’s a lovely little song.
    Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. dimmibarbie says:

    i like it very much,
    it’s a wonderful song,
    it’s a poem,
    have a nice day,
    Barbara

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a beautiful song and I love your interpretation that the rose is the daughter of the rich farm owner. Often these traditional songs are symbolic, which is why they are so deep and resonant.

    Like

  5. Zarina says:

    Words in song has a double meaning. You have to delve deeper to truly understand the meaning of the song. and to translate? that will be very difficult because you cannot translate word by word. Hence, the way you ‘translated’ the song is correct. By the way, I love the title and the story of the song.Thank you for sharing something from your country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yelling Rosa says:

      Hi,
      Thank you for commenting.

      I don’t know if you have read my postscript where I say “there might be as many interpretations of the song as there are listeners, and them all are valuable and correct”. There is also the literal translation from the Finnish into English which is:

      One rose has grown in the valley,
      which beautifully flourishes,
      one wandering boy has seen it
      and can’t forget it.

      And he would have surely picked it up
      and pressed it against his breast,
      but as being poor he hasn’t dared,
      but left it in (its) place.

      It is exactly word by word translation excepting two spots. In the first line of the second stanza I have used word “surely” and in Finnish version the word is “yes”, which doesn’t make sense in English. In the last line of the second stanza I have added the word “its” but it is in the brackets to make it looks an extra word.

      Please feel free to make up your own picture about the meaning of the song. I see the message the way I have told.
      Have a nice weekend🙂

      Like

  6. Fijay says:

    Aw …that was lovely ..sitting here on the sofa listening to the song and reading the interpretation …a lovely way to start the weekend …Thankyou:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fijay says:

    Same to you🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. newwhitebear says:

    I do not know Finnish but the English text is really superb. Compliments!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. smilecalm says:

    there’s much to that song
    which I can relate🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kitsy says:

    You are absolutely correct, there are so many interpretations and nuances that can be gained…and would be appropriate…in those words. Truly amazing poetry…like Shakespearean sonnets…and Biblical scripture…so rich, alive, and full of meaning.

    ” but as being poor he hasn’t dared ” …so true of human nature. It relates to what I have read this morning in posts about Jesus’ asking the crippled man if he wants to be healed. So many of us don’t dare ask or go for what we dream, because we don’t feel worthy. Bless his heart. I daresay he felt he would sully the rose if he held it to his breast so he left it where it was…”in place.” Breaks my heart. The rose probably longed to be held…

    Well, now I’m crying…

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lusalo14 says:

    ¡Gracias, Yelling! Muy lindo…🙂 ¡Un abrazo!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Roses of life – I like that. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. BroadBlogs says:

    That’s a beautiful and thought-provoking lyric. Thanks for translating.

    Like

  14. kutukamus says:

    I don’t know the culture, but what you’re saying is plausible enough, I guess🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. sherazade says:

    La tua ricerca è molto precisa e interessante. Anche in italia vi sono canzoni il cui passato è ambiguo e difficile da identificare come tra l’altro Bella ciao.

    sheraunarosaèsempreunarosa

    Liked by 2 people

  16. poeturja says:

    You have enriched my day!❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Tiny says:

    I actually remember this song very well from my childhood. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh I loved this! Thank you for sharing it. The song touched my heart and made it open up, almost like a rose🙂 I truly appreciated this song and your sharing about the translation. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. yoshizen says:

    It joggled my memory when I visited Finland. Keetos (?)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. bblake10 says:

    Sad but sweet ditty. The poor boy shd have taken a ‘stab’ at it. Perhaps, the girl would’ve accepted him. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Stefania says:

    I think it is a good work! Very good work, Rosa!

    Liked by 1 person

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