This setting of a traditional Finnish folksong was make while David Hamilton was in Finland in 1989 with his choir Opus New Zealand. The choir had been invited to take part in an exchange with the Youth Choir of Oulainen in the north-west of Finland. At the end of the final concert in Oulainen, the host choir joined with the New Zealanders to sing several pieces together.
This folk song was arranged especially for that occasion – originally with 4 verses sung in Finnish given to one choir (the host choir), leaving only one verse in Finnish to be learnt by the visitors! Accompanying material (in the other choir) was limited to wordless vocalises. This slightly revised version gives a more even distribution between the two choirs. The accompanying choral material suggests the traditional folk instrument of Finland, the kantele (2 5-stringed plucked instrument). The text tells of a girl sitting by the waters waiting for her loved one who has sailed away. Although she fears that her loved one will not return, the story has a happy ending.