Thursday, September 13, 2007

Internet phenomena

I wrote earlier about Olli Hokkanen, who became famous by not succeeding in making a record of drinking Coca Cola. His popularity was mainly restricted to Finland.

We had an example of the effect of Internet in April 2006 which I remembered while browsing YouTube. I thought it was just a temporary phenominon, but checking it yesterday I found out that it is still growing and more videos are uploaded every day. Also this incident has been added in Wikipedia in English.

The Finnish quartet Loituma sang a
traditional Finnish folk song "Ievan Polkka" in 1995 and it was published in their debut album Things of Beauty. The song is sung in Savo, the Finnish dialect of eastern central Finland.The quartet does not sing together anymore. Here is a video of their original performance:

The song appeared on the Internet in late April 2006 as Loituma Girl (also known as Leekspin), a Flash animation set, and quickly became popular, drawing over a million viewers. Here is a sample of that:

On 10 July 2006, the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported that Loituma Girl had caused a resurgence in Loituma's popularity, and the band had received thousands of fan letters from around the world. At that point I checked it on YouTube and found about 30 videos of various people or groups showing their own version of the song.

My favourite was this from Aria
, a science fiction Manga by Kozue Amano

I checked yesterday and with a search "Loituma" I got the information that there were about 1160 videos. One of the most popular made by one of my favourites, Swedish
Basshunter. His song "Boten Anna" is also a strange phenomenon. It grew very popular in Finland and made to the top chart and in my opinion one of the reasons was that he had the video in his homepage.
The name can be missleading. I first thought that it was "Båten Anna", with a Swedish o. In that case it would have been a song about a boat named Anna. My son had to explain to me what an IRC bot is. Also the video adds the confusion. The singer is singing in a pedal boat on a river. The words of the song say "i våran kanal" which could mean "in our canal" but in this case it is "in our channel". There were lots of false translations of the lyrics at the time.
Here is Boten Anna with English subtitles:

and here is Basshunter's version of Loituma (the title is misspelled: It says Leva's, but it is a missinterpretation because in some fonts the lower case l and the upper case I look the same)

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