Weary Prodigal Come

by Mark Dvorak

Pohjanmaan kautta means “Cheers!” in Finland, and I am wondering how to say it. Is it po-SZHYAN-mahn? Or PO-john-man? Is it KAW-ta? 

I looked it up on line and learned the more literal translation is “down the hatch,” which I haven’t heard in any language in a long time. The last time may have been on a Three Stooges episode I saw when I was a kid. 

I am honored then, to represent the Old Town School of Folk Music along with my colleagues Colby Maddox and Dr. Paul Tyler for a whirlwind tour of Finland as part of Bau Graves’ international faculty exchange program. We three are being billed as DMT (pronounced Moe, Larry, Curly). Bassist John Abbey will also be joining us for the shows, and we are mighty glad of it. Everybody knows there were really four Stooges.

Here’s what I know about Finland so far: In June, it is daylight almost the whole time. In Finland, it is unmannerly to wear your BVD’s in the sauna. In Finland, they eat a lot of fish. And reindeer. Helsinki is the largest city and is only 437 miles from the Arctic Circle. That’s roughly the distance between Chicago and Dover, Tennessee, where I met a retired tobacco farmer at a music festival last week. Though he acknowledged having been north of Paducah, Kentucky only twice in his entire lifetime (Chicago both times), he cautioned me to be careful around the women in Finland. He also said it’s cold there.

I am looking forward to meeting our hosts Juha and Wasel. I am excited about the chance to play and sing with Colby, Paul and John, all of whom are excellent musicians and dedicated instructors. We’ve rehearsed well over the last six weeks or so and have found some musically exciting common ground. We’re a little bluegrass, a little old-timey and somewhat folky. “Just good” is what I would say. That’s vain hyva in Finland.

WEARY PRODIGAL COME

God is calling the prodigal “Come without delay”

Hear oh hear him calling, calling now for thee

Patient, loving and tender lie still the Father’s plea

Hear His loving voice calling still


Calling out for thee

Weary prodigal come, weary prodigal come

Calling out for thee

Oh weary prodigal come, weary prodigal come


Come there’s bread in the house of the Father and to spare

Hear oh hear him calling, calling now for thee

Lo and the table is spread and the feast is waiting there

Hear His loving voice calling still


Calling out for thee

Weary prodigal come, weary prodigal come

Calling out for thee

Oh weary prodigal come, weary prodigal come.

from The Carter Family

5.30.09

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