Anatomy of Bus Station Music
Some bus station music is in the form of ballads, but most bus station music is dance music, and meant to be danced to in places like the Riemuliiteri [**forge dance hall link], or any of the numerous tanssilavat that spring up wherever Finns spend their summer vacations. As such, most bus station music is in the meter of the more popular dances: waltz (valssi), humppa (a polka-like dance), jenkka, tango (yes, Finns love to Tango!) or foxtrot (foxxi, the predominant dance for these days). [**Link to some snippits of mp3's illustrating each beat.] Any of the dance forms can be used to treat any of the major themes that bus station music usually deals with. These are the common themes
- Places. The evocation of memories of specific charismatic places, or entire regions, is one of the most common themes of bus station music. Certain regions are particular magnets for bus station music. Among these, Lappland is one of the prime. [**Reino Helismaa. Various Souvarit stuff. Yllasvalssi, Kauno Kaulanen. Give some examples]. The Saimaa region is another favorite. For Estonians, there's a big Saarenmaa theme. The most known Finnish tango is "Satumaa," or "Fairyland" (very roughly), which is place music without a place. I've encountered a little bit of Iceland nostalgia [**mention some Islanti songs, from original Kesa Humppat tape.]. [**Add some links to the "Places" section of the web site. E.g. Akaslompo, Saimaa, Kilpis, etc.]
- Occupations. This is a kind of Finnish flavor of truck-driver music. The occupations that attract attention of bus station music writers especially are lumber-jacking, things to do with boats, and that non-occupation occupation: being a tramp. One of the most unusual examples of occcupation-driven bus station music is M.A. Numminen's [**horse washer's] jenkka, whose lyrics are taken unmodified from the section of the Finnish Army manual on how to wash a horse. [**Give some examples from the other cases. Taking a sauna is practically an occupation in itself in Finland, and there a number of bus-station songs on this theme, including one which combines multiple themes (lumberjacks and saunas, in "jätkän lauantai," the "Lumberjack's Saturday").
- Women, usually specific ones rather than in general. Examples: Karjalan Marjaana, Leila, Katarina Kamarissa