Urho's Wife, the real hero?
(Long Ballad Poem)
heinasirka, mena taalta heiteen!
So all the praise has been going to the boys again!
For many years Sinikka’s spirit has been watching all these doings;
Urho getting all the glory, and Sinikka, lying unknown in dark ruins.
But now, up from the grave, the spirit of Sinikka has risen!
“You know, Urho and I did things together, like a team of oxen!”
Many people thought that St. Urho wasn’t married and needed a wife,
But he was married to the shy young maiden, Sinikka, the love of his
And “So, what,” you ask, “did that Sinikka, St. Urho’s wife
Why Sinikka did all those things that Urho didn’t have the time to!
It’s said Urho chased out all them grasshoppers, almost big as pigs,
To save the vines and grapes in the land where all the Finns live.
Then while Urho was out getting all the honors, many thought him due,
Sinikka was at home tending the vines where those grapes, big as figs,
And when they were ripened, Sinikka would call all their twelve kids,
To carefully pick off those vines those purple grapes, big as figs!
Then Sinikka would heat up the sauna fire, so it was good and hot,
And threw in the twelve children, bare naked, all in one lot!
Sinikka scrubbed them all clean from their heads to their toes,
Wiped them down dry, and into the big grape barrel they did go!
“Now, stomp, jump, and play on those purple grapes, big as figs!”
Sinikka told all the twelve children, from the little one to the big!
So much fun they did have, all those happy children at play,
And so much grape juice was ready by the end of the day.
That it was then coming out so fast that Sinikka had to build a dam,
To store the juice ‘til she could make it into jellies and jam!
So you see while Urho was getting his sainthood many thought him due,
Sinikka was at home doing all the chores, which were not just a few!
Sinikka pounded their clothes clean on the shores of the great Spirit
Sinikka ground up the grain for the loaves of rye bread she baked.
From Sinikka’s garden they dug up vegetables to store in the cellar,
So the family could eat with rye bread, pottuja and mojakka all
Then Sinikka had to reap the bees’ harvest and sell some honey,
To buy the yard goods and shoe leather, as they cost money!
Sinikka then taught the six girls how to sew all the family clothes,
And to trim the skirts and shirts nicely with braids and bows.
Sinikka showed the boys how to cut and stitch all the family shoes,
And keep them in good condition for the whole family to use.
Sinikka milked the cows and made the feelia sour, she gathered the
and from the sheep’s wool, Sinikka spun and knitted leggings for all
of their legs!
So, you see, while St. Urho has been getting all the glory for so many
It’s time to honor Sinikka, she stood by him through blood, sweat,
Goodhearted, kind, and very hardworking was that Sinikka, wife of St.
And it was said by many that maybe Sinikka was the real sainted hero!
wanted to honor a woman, though a deserving Finn,
And give sainthood to someone whose name started with “Sin!”
By Priscilla J. Harvala ©10-16-01