‘Kangalirandal, un kangalirandal’ - this is the song that is haunting me day and night now. And I can say it unabashedly. It is played daily on Vividh Bharati (the old faithful), and on all the Thamizh channels showing songs from new movies.
After a long time, a song the lyrics of which are, should I say, clean enough to be sung loudly without causing any embarrassment to the singer.
I have loved film music, both Thamizh and Hindi from the days of G. Ramanathan and Naushad. It was the melody that caught the imagination then, words had to be learnt, (singing even ‘kaadal’ or ‘pyaar’ in those days was frowned down upon!) and the ultimate pleasure was seeing the song in the movie. And of course, it was not always possible to see all that caught your fancy. TV today has filled that void now with its telecast of old songs.
The music has always been the first thing to attract one to a song – right through Shankar Jaikishan, R. D. Burman, and here in the South, through Viswanathan Ramamurthy and Ilayaraja. And then A. R. Rahman, and a host of others – all very creative.
From the 1980s there was this phenomenon of the words being drowned out by the instruments – now that isn’t always a bad thing, I feel, considering the words of today’s songs. What respectable 60 plus grandma can sing beautiful melodies however sweet they are when the lyrics border on the obscene. Is this what Keats meant when he wrote, “Heard melodies are sweet, those unheard are sweeter”?
Now here is this song from Subramaniapuram,which is set in the 1980s, in a Carnatic raga with a lilting rhythm by James Vasanthan, romantic words by lyricist Thamarai (she also wrote ‘vaseegara’) and singers Belly Raj and Deepa Mariam (new, I think). The melody is rather like the Ilayaraja number ‘Chinna Kannan azhaikkiran’, possibly because they are both in the raagam Rithi Gowla. The picturisation is pleasing, creating a romantic scenario in which the hero’s endearing smile (despite the bushy beard), and the heroine’s expressive eyes are bonuses.
See if you agree!