If you’re of Finnish descent — or you’re interested in music — Minneapolis-based folk / rock singer / songwriter Jonathan Rundman offers you a treat in his self-published new book, “Lost Songs of the English Synod,” which includes many “firsts”. “
The Finnish Synod is a Lutheran church that Rundman says will disappear in 1962, and the only people who still remember it personally are those aged 80 and older. His book, 10 years in the making, is a musical and theological memoir of his Lutheran ancestors who moved to Finland to America in the early 20th century. It includes arrangements and translations of 28 pieces of the Nordic immigrant community that settled on the upper Michigan Peninsula.
Rundman includes songs that appear for the first time in English (“O God, We Love to Praise Your Name”), songs that appear for the first time in Finnish (“For Such a Time As This”), songs released for the first time in North America (” Psalm 100 “) and new music composed for traditional lyrics (” SpongeBob, the Peasant “). There are also pictures of people and places that are important to the synod traditions.
Rundman was born in Hancock, Michigan, the historic headquarters of the Synod of Finland, which later merged with the American Lutheran Church. When he traveled from coast to coast as a traveling musician, he searched for music in antique shops, church cellars, Lutheran seminars, and the historical archives of the University of Finland.
“When it became known on Facebook that I was doing this research, Finnish-Americans around the country started sending me old sheet music, school year books, newspapers, and hymn books,” he recalls.
Scholars of ethnomusicology, church history and Scandinavian studies in Finland and the United States praise “lost songs”
Mark Sedio, a cantor at the Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, writes: “As I grew up in another Minnesota immigrant community with a strong anthem tradition, I missed such a resource. Jonathan has provided Finns, Finns-Americans, and all other present and future generations with a direct bridge to songs from a legacy that not only served worship communities but nurtured faith. By no means a collection of historical musicals, he has created a book of usable lyrics and tunes so far. “
Rundman will publish his book with a free concert / lecture and book signing at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 21 at Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Ave., St. Paul. For more information, visit: jonathanrundman.com/suomisynod.