Today, I’m playing a live soundtrack to a sound theater play. Laura Jaakkola has directed Tove Jansson’s classic Taikatalvi (Moominland Midwinter) in a series of “adults’ bedtime stories”, that are theater plays performed by voice actors and a musician.

This seemed a good chance to repost an old song that never got much attention but one that I’m really happy with.

“The Death of Snufkin” was written (and recorded) during February Album Writing Month 2011 (14 songs in 28 days). It tells the story of the death of Snufkin from the Moomins. I remember describing it back then as a “Moomins at Spoonriver murder ballad”.

The song is based on a dream, which was most probably influenced by watching too much tv with my 1-year-old daughter. The story goes: the Moomins have locked themselves in their house because the Groke is coming. They’re scared and nervous. Alice, the daughter of the Witch, is with them. She’s holding the shotgun of Moominpappa. Suddenly she sees a shadow behind the window. Panicking she fires the gun. People run out to see if someone is hurt. Snufkin is lying on his back in the middle of broken glass, shocked but unhurt. No blood. Only a see-through hole in the middle of his chest. It is revealed that he doesn’t have a heart and is thus unharmed by the shot. (This is also why he can seem such a cold bastard sometimes.) He says it hurts nonetheless and he’d better be leaving. Moominpappa gives him a horse and tells him to ride to the nearby town for a doctor. Snufkin answers that the place where he goes next is a very dark place. The end of the dream.

They ought to film this. People with animation skills, contact me. I wanna see this as a dark black and white oldschool Tove Jansson style short animation!

Lyrics:

my life from the start was a neverending road
the continous movement of soul was my home
friends i had all over but they never had me
i left them when i wanted to feel i am free

now that i am gone the longing you feel
is exactly the same that always drove me

i hated the tyrants and scorned all the rules
made by selfish and ignorant fools
i didn’t own anything, only memories i kept
(because) i thought of property always as a theft

now that i am gone the longing you feel
is exactly the same that always drove me

if you needed advice you came to me
but what made me wander i couldn’t see
i felt if i stayed i’d be smothered to death
by your kindness and that’s why i left

now that i am gone the longing you feel
is exactly the same that always drove me

in a fear-born accident i got shot through the chest
the shooter was a girl and like me just a guest
i said it hurts even though i don’t have a heart
then i stood up and left to a place in the dark

now that i am gone the longing you feel
is exactly the same that always drove me

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