Soft Spot for Old Songs


(One of many great songs from movies starring the legendary MGR. One that stands out is this lyric – “Milk is white, so is the toddy but the truth is only know once I had drink it. Women is the same and I am feeling drunken from her”)

(Kannadasan is brilliant as usual – only a poet like him can think of these words – “the cupid got cheated, thinking all girls are like flowers” which nails the situation in the movie)

No matter where you are right now, no matter how old you are, I am sure you always have your favorite songs that you don’t mind humming the whole day long.

Same goes for me. Despite “starting off” with the music of Illayaraja and later discovering the new age music of A R Rahman and then Yuvan Shankar Raja, Harris and all the new music directors, I always had soft spot for the music from the 1960s and 1970s in particular songs composed by MS Viswanathan – Ramamoorthy and penned by the great poet Kannadasan (I also liked songs composed by KV Mahadevan and AM Raja).

I like old songs for 3 reasons:-

1. It brings back memories from my childhood time. Songs from MGR and Sivaji movies composed by MS Viswanathan were still played as the mainstream songs when I am still an infant. The same songs played during weddings and family functions and it is something that triggers good memories whenever I hear the same songs.

2. The songs itself. Back those days and before the digital age, it is not easy to compose and record the songs and the songs must meet the high expectations of a very demanding directors, producers and audience.

No high tech gadgets to tune the music and composition and the only way to go would be to do things old school – proper orchestrate (instead of music software) and the singers getting the words and tunes just right. MS Viswanathan once told he once worked with a famous director who will drop by the recording studio just to make sure that the singers get the pronunciation of words just right.

3. The lyrics. In those days, every words has a beautiful meaning and it is something to look out for. Who can forget lyrics like “don’t sharpen your knife but sharpen your mind” or “From the neck of Lord Shiva, the snake asked the garuda if it is feeling good and the garuda who will fight & kill snakes replied that if everyone stays at their right place, all will end in an good ending”?

Very deep meaning indeed. Don’t get me wrong, it is not like the new songs has very bad lyrics – quite a number of the songs do have the same beautiful lyrics that one had heard back in the 1960s but sometimes some of it simply get lost within the music.

They say old is gold and the same goes to old songs. It is also ageless too. I just wish someone will compile again all the old songs and re-record them so that tunes that is lost by old technology and analog dust in the past is preserved in pristine condition and made available for the next generation of music lovers.

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Crazy on Luka Chuppi


One for the weekend…

(This song was sung by Kuhoo Gupta and Pradip Somasundaran who did a fine job rendering the song from the original singers, Lata Mangeshkar and A R Rahman)

Damn, it is the song that I have been listening all day long for past one week and I can’t shake it off.

I saw the movie Rang De Basanti starring Amir and the duo from the 3 Idiots sometime ago, liked this song (especially the fast guitarist music in the  background which later transcend to a haunting tabla music) and this song has been one of the must song that I listen at least once in the morning especially when I am starting on my journey.

A R Rahman is simply brilliant with his composition (the other compositions – Tu Bin Bataye and Roobaroo are brilliant as well) but equally brilliant is the lyrics (I don’t understand Hindi – it is not necessary though, music is an universal language – you can just sense the meaning without you realising it).

It makes the song more touching with the beautiful lyrics is the scene from the movie – where a mother loses her loving son and his friends losing a good friend and they know that he will not be back.

The award winning lyrists, Prasoon Joshin who wrote the lyrics for this song said that the lyrics was developed while discussing with Rahman the scene about a mother losing her son. Joshi wrote the lyrics about the mother and son playing hide-and-seek with the sad reality of the son being hidden forever. He confessed to have been in tears while Mangeshkar was singing the song. The soundtrack won the Filmfare Best Music Director Award, and had two of its tracks, Khalbali and Luka Chuppi, considered for an Academy Award for Best Original Song nomination (Source: Wikipedia)

The translated lyrics, from Music & Lyrics blog:-

[Mother]
Luka Chuppi bahut huyi saamne aa ja naa
Enough of hide and seek, come before me.
Kahan kahan dhoondha tujhe
I searched for you everywhere.
Thak gayi hai ab teri maa
Your mother is now tired.
Aaja saanjh hui mujhe teri fikar
Its evening and I’m worried about you
Dhundhla gayi dekh meri nazar aa ja na
Hazy is what my sight is, come to me

[Son]
Kya bataoon maa kahan hoon main.
What do I tell you about the place where I am, maa?
Yahan udney ko mere khula aasmaan hai
There is freedom and independence like the vast sky here.
Tere kisson jaisa bhola salona
Like your stories it is innocent and beautiful here
Jahan hain yahan sapno vala
Its like a dreamland here.
Meri patang ho befikar udd rahi hai maa
My kite (I am) is flying without any worries maa.
Dor koi loote nahin beech se kaate na
Nobody to steal or cut my kite’s string.

[Mother]
Teri raah takey aankhiyaan
My eyes are waiting for your arrival.
Jaane kaisa kaisa hoye jiyaa
My heart is going through various emotions.
Dhire dhire aangan uthre andhera, mera deep kahan
Slowly darkness in creeping in the courtyard, where is my lamp(son)
Dhalke suraj kare ishara chanda tu hai kahan
The sun is setting and gesturing to the moon, where are you?
Mere chanda tu hai kahan
Where are you my moon (son)?

[Son]
Kaise tujhko dikhaun yahaan hai kya
How do I show you what is here?
Maine jharne se paani maa, tod ke piya hai
I’ve drunk water from the fountain maa
Guchcha guchcha kayee khwabon ka uchal ke chuwa hai
I’ve touched several clusters of my dreams
Chaaya liye bhali dhoop yahaan hai
The sunlight along with the shade is here
Naya naya sa hai roop yahan
The atmosphere is so different and new
Yahaan sab kuch hai maa phir bhi
All that I want is here maa… but still…
Lage bin tere mujhko akela
Loneliness is what I feel here without you

Have a nice weekend!

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