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The Jäger March (Jääkärimarssi, originally Jääkärien marssi) was composed by Jean Sibelius to the words written by the Finnish Jäger, Hilfsgruppenführer Heikki Nurmio in Libau, while in the Royal Prussian 27th Jäger Battallion of the Imperial German Army. This was fighting against the Russian Empire, which the Grand Duchy of Finland was part of. The words were smuggled into Finland to Sibelius, who composed the song. The first public performance was in Helsinki January 19 1918 by Akademiska sångföreningen, led by Olof Wallin. The Finnish Civil War began on the same day between the White and the Red troops. The march is the honorary march of many army detachments.

Jääkärimarssi
Syvä iskumme on, viha voittamaton,
meil' armoa ei, kotimaata.
Koko onnemme kalpamme kärjessä on,
ei rintamme heltyä saata.
Sotahuutomme hurmaten maalle soi,
mi katkovi kahleitansa.
 :,:ei ennen uhmamme uupua voi,
kuin vapaa on Suomen kansa.:,:
Kun painuvi päät muun kansan, maan,
me jääkärit uskoimme yhä.
Oli rinnassa yö, tuhat tuskaa,
vaan yks' aatos ylpeä, pyhä:
Me nousemme kostona Kullervon,
soma on sodan kohtalot koittaa.
 :,: Satu uusi nyt Suomesta syntyvä on,
se kasvaa, se ryntää, se voittaa.:,:
Häme, Karjala, Vienan rannat ja maa,
yks' suuri on Suomen valta.
Sen aatetta ei väkivoimat saa
pois Pohjolan taivaan alta.
Sen leijonalippua jääkärien
käsivarret jäntevät kantaa,
 :,:yli pauhun kenttien hurmeisten
päin nousevan Suomen rantaa.:,:

English translation

Deep is our blow, our wrath invincible,
we have no mercy, no homeland.
Our fortune is at the point of our swords,
our hearts may not give in.
Our war cry rings, enchanting the country,
which is severing its chains.
 :;: Our defiance may not tire,
until the people of Finland are free. :;:
When lowered with despair were heads of the other citizens, the country,
we Jägers still believed.
There was a dark night in the heart, a thousands pains,
but one thought proud, holy:
We shall rise as the revenge of Kullervo,
it is sweet to pass the fates of war.
 :;: A new tale of Finland is to be born,
it grows, it rushes, it wins. :;:
Häme, Karelia, shores and lands of Viena,
one great is Finland´s reign.
Its ideology can´t be driven by brute force,
away from beneath the northern sky.
Its Lion Flag is carried
by strong hands of Jägers,
 :;: Over thunderous, gory fields
towards the coast of rising Finland. :;:

Note: This song contains some pretty old Finnish. Some peculiarities:

  • hurmaten, hurmeisten. (hurmata) Nowadays "hurmata" means to charm, to be charming or enchanting. War cries, however, are rarely charming. There is a related, stronger word, "hurmos", which is a state where you are so enchanted or mesmerized by something that you no longer very well control yourself. It is a fairly rare word. Presumably what is meant here is being enchanted/excited by war, but at least in today's language, it sounds as if the songwriter were saying that war is bliss, which may or may not be the intention. "Hurmeisten", on the other hand, is derived from the obsolescent word "hurme", "gore", so "yli pauhun kenttien hurmeisten" is talking about fields of battle covered in blood and gore.
  • "soma on sodan kohtalot koittaa". "Kun kohtalo koittaa" would be normal even today, if poetic. It means "when destined [to happen]". However, the beginning in actual fact means "it is sweet to experience the fates of war". "Koittaa" is an obsolete form of the modern "kokea". In the end, the meaning is living through the times of war, seeing what kind of destiny lies before us. How exactly that is sweet is another good question. Perhaps it is in contrast to the thousand pains and dark night in heart.fi:Jääkärimarssi
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