guilty pleasure monday: the helsinki complaints choir

this one will cause neither shock nor awe for anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile.

consider the complaints choir project, started in 2005 by Finnish artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen. apparently, there is a phrase in finnish (not a language i’ve tackled yet, btw) Valituskuoro, which literally means complaints choir, or lots of people complaining at the same time. the two artists thought it would be a hoot to organize a real complaints choir.

the first group to take up the call was in birmingham, england (featuring immortal words like:  i want my money back, my job is like a cul-de-sac, and the bus is too infrequent at 6:30.) the song is amusing but not terribly musical or moving.

the next group taking up the call was the helsinki choir. i have to tell you, i voluntarily listen to this. my kids actually like hearing this (and attempt to read the english. whenever we pass the metro on Route 66, BC likes to randomly note: tramline 3 smells of pee.)

these poor folks: they lose to sweden at hockey and Eurovision each year. metre pizza is only a half a metre long. their tights always fall down. they are plagued by people with annoying ring tones (a very clever part of the song.) and their ancestors could have chosen a warmer spot. among many, many other things.

On se niin väärin! (it’s not fair.)

many other places have started a complaints choir, but helsinki’s choir remains the very best. the lyrics balance the picayune with the poignant:  my flat is tiny yet it eats up all my money. so i’m left with nothing to save the world with. the music is superior to most of the others i’ve heard, and i’ve heard most of them.

i would love to start a complaints choir, though i don’t know if anyone would be willing to participate.  i suspect i’d get a lot of entries that mirror the complaints from the helsinki group, but it would be fun nonetheless to attempt this.

in my copious free time, of course.


7 Responses to “guilty pleasure monday: the helsinki complaints choir”

  1. What a great way to start the day! I’d never heard of this before, so THANK YOU!

    I can most certainly come up with some complaints… yes, indeed.

    Why do I always need to get gas when the weather sucks?
    Why does the smoke detector battery always need replacing in the middle of the night? (Chirp!)
    Why do the deer eat all of my lillies every year?
    Why does my washing machine eat socks?
    Telemarketers. ARRRRRGH!

    There are more complaints in my brain… those are just off of the top of my head. The choir sounded good, too!

  2. By far the best of the complaints choirs. I, too, have voluntarily listened to this on several occasions. In fact…I think I will again right now!

  3. A documentary film is in the works regarding the artists and their Chicago and Singapore Choirs!

  4. Wait, there’s a Chicago complaint choir and nobody invited me?
    On se niin väärin!! Hah. Now I can speak some Finnish. Tell me that’s not going on the resume. She writes, she bitches. She bitches in Finnish!
    That ought to put me over the top.


  5. see, now i want to create a virtual complaints choir. and if i do, missy, you’re going to be tapped for a contribution. in english, preferably 😉

  6. Where can I get the LYRICS to “I Want My Money Back” and other songs by The Complaint Choir”????

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