They don't do them like that anymore

When I was a kid, ”Mamma är lik sin mamma”, sung by Siw Malmkvist, was a big hit in Sweden and the Finnish version, ”Äiti kuin äidinäiti”, sung by Katri Helena, in Finland. The song is a bitter complaint about how women cannot look forward to anything but drudgery in the home. Certainly my mother used to hum it quite often at the time.

Recently I had reason to quote from the song and decided to research its origins a bit. (Oh, Google, how seductive thou art!) To my surprise I found that the Swedish lyrics had been written by Stikkan Anderson, not necessarily the first name that comes to mind as a feminist advocate, but perhaps unfairly so. However, the music was not by Stikkan and a bit more searching revealed that it originally had been a hit in Australia, sung by a young heart throb by name of John Farnham and with the title “Sadie, the cleaning lady”, with approximately the same sentiments as in the Nordic versions, though restricted to a single woman, the eponymous Sadie. I note that even though the Finnish lyrics are a fairly straight-forward translation of Anderson's Swedish version, a reference to ”saamaton haisunäätä”—no-good stinker—hints that lyricist Lasse Liemola knew the English original lyrics.

Then of course, it is available at YouTube and my goodness! they don't do choreography like that any more…


Vakteln said...

Darn good soup. This is heavy. If I made music videos they'd all look like this.

Zeno said...

Hmm. So that's what cleaning ladies used to look like down in Australia? Amazing.