A Song for Lemminkäinen, written for male chorus and orchestra, premiered in December, 1896. The work was later published as the first of Three Songs for Male Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 31. Lemminkäinen is a heroic figure in Kalevala, an epic poem inspired by Finnish mythology. The text, however, is not from Kalevala—it was newly written by Yrjö Weijola. Portions of A Song for Lemminkäinen come from the original version of Lemminkäinen’s Return, the final movement of Lemminkäinen Suite (or Four Legends from the Kalevala), Op. 22.