2008-03-24

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…

2 comments:

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.