A young gaana song-writer from Vyasarpadi stormed into Tamil cinema with lyrics that called for a dictionary on Madras Bashai; several songs written by a veteran lyricist were released after his death, and some lesser known ones wrote several chart toppers.
Word-wise, 2014 was memorable.
Our compilation of songs that roused emotions, taught crucial lessons with the simplest of words and also helped us add several new words ( Danga Maari anyone? ) to our vocabulary.
1. Sollividu Sollividu from Kaaviya ThalaivanPa Vijay wrote several memorable songs over the last few years; from the National Award winning Gnabagam Varuthey to the quirky Oru Koodai Sunlight for Rajinikanth.
Sollividu Sollividu from Kaaviya Thalaivan is another example of his versatility. The situation – a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna about war and peace – is complex and layered; but Vijay strings together the simplest of images to convey complexity.
In the bloody war field, a shattered Arjuna beseeches Krishna to stop the war. The reluctant warrior is aware that he is a prisoner of circumstances, but his heart bleeds. He asks,
Yen ambai yendha vaithaai
Yen kurudhiyil neendha vaithaai
Yen ulagathai jeyikka vaithaai
Yen ullukkul thorkkadithaai
Kaandeeban ketkiren Kannaa…
AR Rahman used this song to convey a message of peace during the Israel-Gaza conflict that killed 2200 people earlier this year.
The prelude that was released:
Ulagame yudhdham edharku
Oh uyirgale ratham edharku
Oh Iraivane thuyaram edharku
Oh idhaiyame vanmam edharku…
Podhum intha kurudhi kuliyal
Naalai ulagam nalam perum endru
*****2. Enga Ooru Vandi from Pannaiyarum Padminiyum
Composer Justin Prabhakaran debuted with Pannaiyarum Padminiyum. In addition to the songs, he also wrote the quirky Enga Ooru Vandi.
The song portrays the villagers’ love for a modest Padmini car – owned by a golden-hearted Pannaiyar, and looked after by an unassuming driver.
Much earlier, when Rajinikanth romanced Lakshmi in Padikkadavan, there was no song in the film that celebrated the car (which was a Padmini too). We think Enga Ooru Vandi is a fitting (though, unofficial) tribute to the legendary Lakshmi.
Santhula bonthula cycle gapula
Engala munthala yaarum…
Romba naalaa vendi irukom
Theyatha tire-u naalu
Thariya thariya thariya…
3. Medhuvaagathaan from KochadaiiyaanThe audio of Kochadaiiyaan was launched nearly eight months after Kavignar Vaali’s death. It featured Meduvaagathaan written by him. Later Kaaviya Thaliavan featured a few Vaali songs as well.
Vaalee was the author of several books on ancient Indian mythology – Avathara Purushan, Pandavar Bhoomi, and Krishna Vijayam. If he was around, he would’ve surely loved Kochadaiiyaan.
The song’s short sandhams (metre) provided the perfect vehicle for Vaali’s wordplay, and there is just one word to describe these saranams: fun.
Ennai konju Rana,
Unai minja aana,
Azhagu pogum veena,
Nera pokka venaa..
Thottu vantha mullai,
Konjam anbu thollai,
Kaatum inba ellai…
4. Irandhidava from Madras
Gaana Bala is an awesome singer, and a mersalana lyricist. He can write a chirpy Kasu Panam Dhuddu. And a heart-rending Irandhidava.
The man who restored our love for gaana songs after Deva gave a face-lift to the oppaari in Irandhidava. As the grieving protagonist sobs inconsolably over his friend’s death, Gaana Bala makes the situation gloomier with his words and voice.
Yaasaiyil un udhayam
Yaarukkum un pol illai idhayam
Elimaiyai vaazhnthu, yetram adainthu
Ennilaa nanmaigal nee seithaai…
Puratchi seiya purapattadhu
Anbe unmaiyai nambi
Pudhumai pala seivadharkkul
5. En Nenjil Erinaaye from Naaigal JaakirathaiMadhan Karky’s En Nenjil Erinaaye goes thus.
En nenjil erinaaye,
En vaazhvai nee maatrinaai,
Un kaadhal koorinaaye
En sondham nee aaginaaye...
When Karky e-mailed this song to director Shakti Soundarrajan, Sibiraj and music director Dharan, they were very pleased. But none of them could spot the unusual pattern with the lyrics.
Every line ends with the word ‘naai’. Before you go kalakkinaai, wait for the rest of the story.
Actor Sathyaraj, who produced Naaigal Jaakirathai, read the lyrics, and sent a text message to Karky.
Ezhuthinaai, asathinaai, kathaiyai unarthinaai, kaatchiyin thanmaiyai usathinaai…
No kasamusa escapes Sathyaraj.
6. Pogum Paathai from PisaasuPoetess Tamizhachi, a fixture in the Tamil literary scene, turned lyricist with Pisaasu at director Mysskin’s insistence. Mysskin had ‘admired her work and words for years’.
“Pisaasu has a vivid plot and I found the process of penning a song for it very challenging,” Tamizhachi had told us before the movie released.
Pogum Paathai, the only song in Pisaasu, is a motivational number. Ironically, last year’s best song in the genre – Nenje Ezhu from Maryan, was also written by a female lyricist from the literary world, Kutti Revathi.
Pogum paathai dhooram illai
Vaazhum vaazhkai baaram illai
Saainthu thol kodu
Iraivan undhan kaaladiyil
Irul vilagum aga oliyil…
Ovvoru alaiyin pinn
Innoru kadal undu
Nam kanneer inikattumey…
7. Danga Maari from AneganUntil Rokesh came up with Danga Maari, Madras Baashai in films meant words like appaalikka, anaanda-inaanda, gammunu kada, naina, and naashtaa thuntiya – thanks to Chandrababu, Cho, Manorama, Loose Mohan, and Kamal Haasan.
But Rokesh – a 21-year-old Madras Bashai exponent from Vyasarpadi – was asked by Harris Jayaraj and KV Anand to write a song featuring authentic Madras Bashai.
At the audio launch of Anegan, Rokesh explained the meaning behind the lyrics. “Pecha maathi maathi pesaravan,” laughed Rokesh when a curious Dhanush wanted to know the meaning of ‘Danga Maari’.
Apparently, that was how North Madras residents spoke in the ‘70s.
Kalyaanamathaan pannikinu settappayyum vechikinu
Pondaatiya kazhivivuttu pulaingala maranthuputtu
Irukaathada vekkamkettu, poiyiduva maanagkettu…
Ponnungala kevalama ennaadha machchi
Unn kooda vandhu porakalaya akka thangachi
Nalla ponnu thaedi varum unna nenachi…
Classic, we think. And we are no Danga Maaris.