• Finns vs. Tatars (!)

    22 Sep 2007, 01:00 by Ainurel

    What a stroke of luck, what a surprise indeed. I knew this song existed, but I didn't know what it was available online - only as a Real Media stream, though, but anyway...

    First some background. J. Alfred Tanner (1884-1927) was a Finnish vaudeville artist, singer and part-time composer. He was a stand-up comedian before the term was invented, acting out different roles and sketches during intermissions in cinemas. he also had his own shows at theatres and restaurants when his popularity grew. The vagabond waltz, Kulkurin valssi is perhaps his most famous evergreen, and it has been performed by Tauno Palo, Tapio Rautavaara, Olavi Virta and Kauko Röyhkä, just to name a few.

    Tanner parodied dialects and accents, and adapted popular tunes to parodical texts. Among his popular roles were also some ethnic caricatures. In a book collection of Tanner's songs, I found the song "Tattari". Here, Tanner parodies a Tatar travelling salesman.