Vani Jayaram's Tamil Film Songs Chronology - by Saravanan
1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
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As usual, let us meander a bit to wonder how the tfm scene in 1977 would have been. Again, how I wish I was sufficiently old during those exciting years. How I envy those who had the thrill of listening to those songs when they first came out, who read the reviews, who saw those films in the theatres!
All I can do is try to imagine the tfm scene then.
Ilayaraja had arrived the previous year, and while he had only 4 films in 1976, in 1977, the number had increased to 12. His music was refreshingly different and there was mesmerising magic in his early creations. His clientele this year ranged from newcomers SA Rajkannu-Bharathiraja (16 Vayathiniley) to hitherto staunch MSV camp old-timers like Balaji-Sivaji (Deepam). MSV was not much affected by this new star on the horizon, at least initially. He had 20 films in hand this year, and many of them had memorable songs. Chandrabose made his arrival felt, both as a singer (Aaru Pushpangal) and as a Music Director (Madhura Geetham). Veteran S.V.Venkataraman composed music after a long gap for "Sri Krishna Leela", which would be his last film. TMS composed the music for "Balapareetchai" in which there were a couple of good songs. V.Dakshinamoorthi was spellbinding in "Nanda En Nila". KVM, V.Kumar, Vijayabhaskar, SG and Kunnakkudi Vaidyanathan were the others in the reckoning.
Among the singers, SJ was painting the town red. After 20 years of being in the industry, she won her first National award this year for her "Sendhoorappoovey". She bagged the TN State Government award too for 1977. The Janaki juggernaut, with Illayaraja in the driver's seat, had started on its historic journey. And whilst she gave hit after hit under Illayaraja, others MDs too were giving her songs in greater numbers than ever before. For example, MSV made "Avargal" a scintillating SJ show all the way, KVM ensured that she gave "Oru kodi sugam"(Mazhai Megham), SG made her ask "Varalaamo Sugam tharalaamo?"(Aasai Manaivi) and V.Kumar gave her the haunting "Ennai azhaithathu yaaradhu kanna"(Oruvanukku Oruthi).
PS continued to play a major role in the proceedings. While MSV gave her wonderful songs (Vanakkam pala murai sonnen, Asadaatum aambalaya, Edho oru nadhiyil, Annan oru koyilendraal), she was also very much part of Illayaraja's works this year (Thenil aadum roja, Sugamo aayiram, Chella pillai saravanan, Sevvandhi poo mudicha chinnakka, Kannan enna sonnaan, Oru kaadhal devathai). And of course, the SG-Devar combo would always swear by her (Aatukkara Alamelu, Swargam Naragam). V.Kumar too, stood by his favorite singer. "Vaazhvil Sowbhaagiyam vandhadhu" and "Pennalla nee oru bommai" were outstanding creations from this collaboration in 1977.
Sujatha, hardly in her teens, made waves with "Kaalai paniyil"(Gayatri) and "Kaadhal Oviyam"(Kavikkuyil). BSS made everyone sit up with "Vaazhve mayamaa". T.K.Kala sang "Oru Kaadhal samrajyam kannil varaindhaal"(Nanda En Nila) while Renuka gave the rollicking "Suraangani"(Avar Enekke Sondham).
Among the veterans, S.Varalakshmi enchanted listeners with her soulful "Kanniraindha uruvam Kanna"(Sri Krishna Leela). And in the same film, T.V.Rathnam and Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi were captivating in "Anbe uyarndhadhu avaniyiley". LRE was but a feeble shadow of her former boisterous self in "Vaangadi chittukkala"(Pattina Pravesam).
In this year of sweeping changes and wonderful music, let us dwell on Vani's songs. As usual, let us commence with her work with the Mellisai Mannar.
Mannulagil indru Devan - Punitha Anthoniar
Naalu pakkam vedarundu - Annan Oru Kovil
Kunguma kolangal kovil kondaada - Annan Oru Kovil
Senthamizhil oru pattezhudhi - Punniyam Seithaval
Nee Punniyam seithaval - Punniyam Seithaval
Ammadi konja neram - Deviyin Thirumanam
Sridevi varam ketkkiraal - Deviyin Thirumanam
Veru Idam thedi povaalo - Sila nerangalil sila manithargal
En Yoga jaadhagam - Indru pol endrm vaazhga
Pudhumai penngal - Indru pol endrm vaazhga
Ammaanai azahagu migum - Avan Oru Sarithiram
Maalai ittaan oru mannan - Avan Oru Sarithiram
Thaai paadum paattu - Naam Pirandha Mann
Arai koduthaal theriyum - Ilayathalaimurai
Andhiyil chandiran varuvathen - Enna Thavam Seithen
Vizhiyo urangavillai - Nee Vaazha Vendum
Gangaikkarai kannan - Perumaikkuriyaval
Engengo sila manigal - Sonnadhai Seiven
Kaadhal deivam kanden - Gaslight Mangamma
Thangathil mugameduthu - Meenava Nanban
Neram Pournami Neram - Meenava Nanban
Pogum kadalosai - Meenava Nanban
Kannazhagu singarikku - Meenava Nanban
Poonkuyil koovuthu - Aadu Puli Aattam
Maname solayaam - Aadu Puli Aattam
Enakkoru udhavi sei - Kaalamadi kaalam
Maamadurai naattinil - Olimayamaana Ethirkaalam
Kudumbathin thalaivi kulavilakku - Olimayamaana Ethirkaalam
Vaishnava janatho - Olimayamaana Ethirkaalam
Thaayaakki vechcha en thangame - Rowdy Rakkamma
Aalamarathu kili - Paalabaaishegam
Machaane achaaram podu - Paalaabishegam
Padamedukkira paambappole - Paalaabishegam
Iraivan irandu bommaigal - Uyarndhavargal
Mangala Kannagi - Thaaliya Salangaiya
Indha Radha Krishnan kaathal - Sondhamadi Nee Enakku
Azahithaal varaavidil thudippen - Ellam Avale
Kuruvikkara Machchane - Navarathinam
High on a hill - Navarathinam
Ungalil nam Annavai - Navarathinam
Ladke se mili ladki - Navarathinam
Kettaal ketta varam - Durgadevi
Poonthendrale - Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri
Manjal araikkum pothu - Aalukkoru Aasai
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Mannulagil indru Devan - Punitha AnthoniarSingers:VJ - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill towards men.
What a tour de force song we are beginning the year with! What wonderful tidings VJ brings in this song!
"Punitha Anthoniar" was another film in the line of Christian devotionals that appeared from time to time over the decades (Gnaana Soundari- Citadel and Gemini versions- both 1948, Magadalanaattu Mary-1957, Annai Velankanni-1971, Villiyanoor Madha-1983 and Kuzhandhai Yesu-1984, not counting dubbed films like Karunamoorthi and Jesus). The film starred Muthuraman, Jayachitra, Major Sundarrajan, Savithri and others.
Another famous song from the film is "Anandamaanadhu arpudhamaanathu naan andha marundhai kandu konden"-KJY.
Vinnil thondrum thaaragaiyellaam Devadhaiyaagum
Vennilavo Devan amarum vaaganamaagum
Gyanajothiye, Uyarvaana jothiye
Thaanagave ulagail irangum Dharmajothiye!
Mannulagil indru Devan irangi varugiraan
Nalla manithar naduvil kuzhandhai vadivam perugiraan
Ennilaatha adhisayangal seithu kaattave
Oru punnianin madiyinile pudhalvan aagiraan
Mazhalai mozhigal ketkka ketkka manadhu thulladho
Madiyil vandhu amarum pothu mayakkam kollaatho
Paarvai pattaal pothum nam paavam yaavum pogum
Kaigal thottaal pothum udan kavalai ellaam theerum
Adiyavarin madiyiniley Aandavaraam Pillai
Aravanaikkum adiyavaro Iraivanukkum Annai
Kodumai paavam thuyarilirundhu meetppavar vandhaar
Kulam thazhaikka kuzhandhaiyaaga meippavar vandhaar
Fervor-filled lyrics (Thanjaivaanan- Real name: Govindaramanujam), heralding the birth of the Lord. The tolling of the church bells and the choral voices set the mood for this divine song, and Vani makes us close our eyes and bow our heads with the thogayraa itself. Wonderful music by MSV, indeed the song takes on a hallowed aura of a powerful psalm, and Vani glitters as the harbinger of happiness. She changes the pallavi in the end to "Mannulagil indru devan vandhu iranginaan", announcing that the Lord is already born.
Vaniyin paadal ketkka ketkka manadhu thulladho!
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Naalu pakkam vedarundu - Annan Oru KovilSingers:VJ&SPB - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
Sivaji Productions film starring the Nadigar Thilagam, along with Sujatha, Sumitra, Jaiganesh, Manorama and others. Sivaji wore glasses in the film, which was considered rather trendy just then. Rajini would follow in "Dharmayudham", while Kamal would affect it in "Sigappu Rojakkal". I think he was bespectacled earlier in "Manmadha leelai" too.
I saw the film long back, so have only a hazy recollection of the storyline. Sivaji plays a doctor who dotes on his only sister, Sumitra. She suddenly disappears after being molested. She loses her memory and is taken care of by Jaiganesh, who is also a doctor. Jaiganesh marries her and she slowly regains her memory after he sings her song "Annan oru Kovil endraal".
Meanwhile Sivaji is on the run, having committed some crime, perhaps the murder of the villain (Mohanbabu?). His pair is Sujatha, and they indulge in some romance while being chased by the police. Other good songs from the film include TMS's manam veesum "Malligai mullai" and "Annan oru kovilendraal"-PS and SPB versions.
SPB: Naalu pakkam vedarundu
kaadhal, inba kaadhal
VJ: Kaatiniley koodu katti
koodal, konjam oodal
A lovely romantic duet, with an interlude with a change of pace to indicate the chase! Of special note are VJ's soft repetition of "thalaiyadiyil kai vaithu" and the humming in the second interlude, especially her gradual fade-out as SPB begins the charanam is marvelous.
Kunguma kolangal kovil kondaada - Annan Oru KovilSingers:VJ - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
When Sivaji is on the run, he espies a woman in white in the middle of the night, who goes her way, singing her song. He chases her, hoping that she might be Sumitra. But, in the end, she turns out to be Swarna, another of Mohanbabu's victims. She has lost her mind due to the trauma and wanders alone, searching for him, singing this plaintive song.
Kunguma kolangal kovil kondaada
kothai nayagan varuvaanadi
kodi kaalangal naan thedi nindren
MSV brings in the nocturnal special effects, the hooting of the owl and the suspense filled music adding a sepulchral sheen to the song. VJ turns into a damsel in distress and portrays the thoughts of a grief-stricken mind with evocative depths of understanding. Haunting!
Senthamizhil oru pattezhudhi - Punniyam SeithavalSingers:VJ&SPB - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
The film starred Muthuraman, Vijayakumar, Sripriya, Fadafat Jayalakshmi, Pandaribai, Sukumari and others. Again, I remember the story only vaguely.
Muthu is a rich man, with Vijay is his poor bosom pal, whom he treats like a brother. Similarly Fadafat J (what a wonderful artist she was!) is a rich girl, with Sripriya as her poor friend. Muthu falls for Sripriya and Vijayakumar for Fadafat J. They get married and start their marital life with bliss.
This song is sung by the two couples, while on their honeymoon. (Kodaikanal?)
SPB: Senthamizhil oru pattezhuthi
adhil naan unnai azhaithen
sindhanayil vandha thenaruvi
adhu neeyendre ninaithen
VJ: Thenpodhigai varum thendral edhu
Adhu neeyendre ninaithen
Kannkavarum oru sengamalam
Ena naan unnai anaithen
MSV evokes nostalgic memories of his "Nenjathai alli konjam thaa thaa" in this fast-paced cheery duet. The opening humming and whistle leading to the pallavi give beautiful start to the song, and the enchantment continues till the last notes. The humming in the second interlude makes you long for more.
Nee Punniyam seithaval - Punniyam SeithavalSingers:VJ - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
Tragedy strikes right after "Senthamizhili oru pattezhuthi". They meet with an accident and Sripriya is injured the most. The doctors say she can never conceive now. Though they try to hide the fact from her, she comes to know of it.
Time passes. Fadafat Jayalakshmi is in the family way. And Sripriya sings this song during the valaikaappu.
Nee Punniyam seithaval thozhi
un punnagai endrum vaazhi
Ponnira kadhirgal minnidum sudar pol
sonnaal kann padum azhagu
Naan unnaal oli vidum nilavu
Aandavan thottathil aayiram kodigal
Maalaigal soodiya mangayarkkellaam
Ezhai en vaazhvil vendiya selvam yaavayum nee koduthaai
Adi ennuyir paavai, ennokoru thevai
adhayum nee tharuvaai
Vaanam paartha bhoomiyai poley
vaazhvathu en paavam
Indha bhoomoyai nambum
Maamikku indha pedhayin anudhaabam
Unnidam allaal yaaridam solven, udhavikku vaa thozhi
En ullathin noikkoru marundhillaiyamma
Naan oru neerkkumizhi!
Meaningful lyrics, bringing out her innermost thoughts in a touching manner. She laments at her barren state and seeks solace from her friend.
I have heard songs in mostly similar situations sung by a variety of singers, "Illadha pillaku naan" (Appa Tata-Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi), "Kanna unakku enna kurai" (Ellaikkodu-SJ), "Enakku neeyum" (Thaali dhaanam-PS), "Ezhuthigiren oru kaditham" (Kalki-KSC-Anuradha Sriram) to name a few, and though each of them is appealing in its own way, VJ's "Nee Punniyam seithaval" tugs at your heart-strings in an inexpressible way. It is an anguished wail from the heart and the agony makes you want to sit down and sympathise. Hark at the high note VJ hits in the last line. Superb!
Indha paadalai kettavargal punniyam seithavaragal!
Ammadi konja neram - Deviyin ThirumanamSingers:VJ - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
The film had Muthuraman, K.R.Vijaya and Padmapriya. I have a vague memory of the eternal triangle. I do remember a game played in the film. "Puli, aatukkuttiyai kandeeya?" – it caught my childish fancy. I confess that I don't remember anything else.
This song was quite popular on ilangai vaanoli those days, especially the "Vidumurai viruppam" in the weekends featured it frequently. I am not certain about the lyrics:
Ammadi Konja neram konja vendum odi vaa
ival thane thottil ittaal
ival thane tholil vaithaal
naal thorum nenjil vaithu nanooru mutham thandhaal
Paalaadai neeraati pattu kacham kondu
panineeril manivaangi pazhachaaru thandhu
pennppoovai koduthu koduthu
pon pola eduthu eduthu
Thaththai sugathin viththai padithu
Andha naadhan konda kaalam ninaikka ninaikka inikkum
Boopaalam paadaamal pongum inba vellam
pozhuthellaam iravaaga vilayaadum ullam
Eppothu nadakkum nadakkum
en vaazhvu manakkum manakkum
Andha sugathai sindhum mugathai
andhi saayum inba neram nianaikka ninaikka inikkum
The catchy music that follows "Odi Vaa" and continues is a stroke of genius! VJ glimpses MSV's vision of enchanting vistas of romantic pining and longing, and her vocal chords translate the beauty envisaged by the Master into a rare rhapsody. These are my scales to weigh reality - chord, a dream, a longing, love of thee! Ninaikka ninaikka inikkum!
Sridevi varam ketkkiraal - Deviyin ThirumanamSingers:VJ&PS - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
Two women singing about the same man. Situation as old as the hills, remember "Unadhu malar kodiyile, enadhu malar madiyiley"? Here K.R.Vijaya and Padmapriya, each one asserting that he belongs to her, two great voices, each one distinctly attractive.
VJ: Sridevi varam ketkkiraal
Endha managai sondha managaiyo
Endha Gangai deva Gangayo
En kaiyil en veenayil
En sollil en jaadayil
Naan thane paadinen om swagatham
En koyil pon vaasalil
En maarbil en medayil
En oonjal medai thaan pon aasanam
MSV, having created many songs of the same genre over the years, still manages to stamp uniqueness in each of them. Here he manages to create a multi-hued mosaic from a situation so pedestrian and prosaic. This song, perhaps the situation demanded it, has some Vedic chanting in the interlude. VJ presents her case, and packs up. PS then enters with her assertive rejoinder. VJ is amazing in each repetition of "Sridevi" and her charanam is spellbinding! PS's verse is just as enthralling. The song has a timeless appeal.
Veru Idam thedi povaalo - Sila nerangalil sila manithargalSingers:VJ - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
Jayakanthan's story, crafted in celluloid by A.Bhimsigh. Starred Srikanth, Lakshmi, Nagesh (wonderful cameo), Sundaribai, Rajasulochana, Sukumari and Y.G.Parthasarathy.
1977 was the year when I got to see my first film in a theatre (Aatukkara Alamelu-How I enjoyed it!!) I did go to SNSM, tagging along my parents, (Leo theatre, Chennai), but couldn't follow head or tail of the proceedings, and expressed my disgust by going to sleep. It took me many years to appreciate this masterpiece. I saw it on DD when I was much older. It remains a milestone in the annals of Tamil cinema.
Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns. These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. We too often confound them, they should not be confounded. Appearance should not be mistaken for truth. Narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is a difference; and it is a good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them.
The world may not like to see these ideas dissevered, for it has been accustomed to blend them; finding it convenient to make external show pass for sterling worth, to let whitewashed walls vouch for shrines. It may hate him who dares to scrutinize and expose, to raise the gilding and exhibit the base metal beneath, to penetrate the sepulchre and reveal charnel relics; but hate as it will, it is indebted to him.
There is such a writer in our own days, Jayakanthan (birth 24.4.1934). He is a glittering star in the firmament of Tamil literature. A trendsetter in many ways, he was the natural successor of Pudumaipithan and will forever remain the role model for all future writers.
His forays into the film world have been limited, but he has left an indelible mark and brought a refreshing whiff of realism into the melodramatic portals of Kodambakkam. His first film "Unnai Pol Oruvan"(1965) fetched the President's Award. His next was "Yaarukkaga Azhudhaan"(1966), which sank without a trace. Surprisingly, A.Bhimsingh, the Mughal of Melodrama in the 60s, did a volte-face in the 70s and thought it fit to film Jayakanthan's novel "Sila Nerangalil Sila manithargal". He expressed profound admiration for JK's thorough professional approach and brilliant screenplay. The Bhimsingh-JK collaboration brought one more offbeat venture, "Oru Nadigai Nadagam Paarkiraal"(1978). JK's "Pudhu Cheruppu Kadikkum" never saw the light of the day, which fate was shared by "Ethanai konam ethanai paarvai".
Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal was first published as a novel (Meenakshi Puthaga Nilayam, Madurai, June 1970). It won the Sahitya Academy award in 1972.
Lakshmi got the "Urvashi" award for her superbly realistic portrayal of Ganga, the chief protagonist of the tale.
However, the newly elected Tamilnadu government, which revived the State Awards, did not seem to be too enthusiastic about the film. See the award winners for 1977-78: 1st Best Film: 16 Vayathiniley, 2nd Best Film: Madhurageetham, 3rd Best Film: Balapareetchai!
And, with MGR at the helm, no prizes for guessing who bagged the best actress award. Of course, it was Latha for "Maduraiyai Meeta Sundarapandian" (which came out in 1978). Srividya got the Special award for "Madura Geetham". "16 Vayathiniley" made a clean sweep with SJ, IR, Kamal and Bharathiraja collecting honors in the respective categories.
The only consolation for the film SNSM was the Award for the best Kadhasiriyar to JK.
A bold story of a college student Ganga, who, one rainy evening, accepts a lift and allows herself to be seduced by a stranger in the back seat of his car, her life would never be the same again. Years later, she meets him, and they develop a platonic relationship. She is shunned by all, and in the end he too leaves her. Where would she go now? What will she do next? Lakshmi drapes over her shoulders the coat that Srikanth has left behind, and as she ruminates over her past, present and future, this song is heard as an asareeri from the aathmaa, and the film ends with the questions unanswered.
JK proved time and again that he was also a poet of rare merit. Read this verse written by him:
Vaazhvadhammunnar naan seththirundhen
Seththadhan pinnaalum vaazhndhiruppen
Sorvukku munnaal naan sugithirundhen
Sorvikku pinnaalum sugithiruppen
Viththukku munnaal naan vilaindhirundhen
Vilaivukku pinnaalum viththaaven
Mudivukku munnaal naan mudhalaanen
Mudindhaalum mudivukkor mudhalaaven
Asaivukku munnaal naan anuvaaven
Anu pilandhaalum pilavukkul asaivaaven
How profound! JK has written a handful of film songs, and all of them are memorable:
Thenankeetru oonjalile (Paadhai theriyudhu paar - PBS&SJ), Azhudha kanneerum paalaagumaa (Paadhai theriyudhu paar - PS), Kandathai sollugiren (SNSM - MSV), Veru idam thedi(SNSM - VJ), Nadigai paarkkum nadagam (Oru Nadigai Naadagam Paarkkiraal - Jolly Abraham&BSS), Ethanai malargal (ONNP - TMS&VJ), Chithirappoo selai (Pudhu seruppu kadikkum - SPB), Udal enbaar (Pudhu seruppu kadikkum - VJ), Pugazh serkkum (Ethanai konam Ethanai paarvai - MVD), Enna Vithiyaasam (EKEP - MVD&GA) and Ethanai konam (EKEP - MVD).
Veru idam thedi poovaalo
Indha vedhanayil irundhu meezhvaalo
Nooru murai ival purappattaal
Vidhi noozhilayil ival agappattaal
Paruvamazhai pozhiya pozhiya
payir ellaam sezhikkaatho
Ival paruva mazhaiyaale vaazhkkai
uravu thaambadhiyam aagaatho
ival tharavillai, peravillai
Siru vayathil seitha pizhai
siluvai ena sumakkindraal
ival marupadiyum uyirppaalo?
VJ's voice, as usual, slips effortlessly into the prescribed mood, and she lends a tragic touch to the philosophical lyrics. The significance of the words is clearly highlighted by the manner in which she prolongs some of them - "Povaalo", "Sezhikaatho", and the manner in which she lays emphasis on some of them - "vidhi", "tharavillai, peravaillai" shows rare comprehension. Throughout the song, she showers heartwarming compassion, that we are left with heavy hearts, long after the film ends, bemoaning the fate of the wretched Ganga.
En Yoga jaadhagam - Indru pol endrm vaazhgaSingers:VJ&SPB - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
IPEV was a MGR horror directed by K.Shankar and produced by Lakshmanan Chettiar. Heroine was MGR's protege Radha Saluja (of Idhayakkani fame). Film also had Vijayakumar, Vennira Adai Nirmala, Pandaribai and others. MGR appeared as a rustic simpleton with a heart of gold, arriving in the big bad pattanam and setting right a few things. Other songs include "Idhu naattai kaakkum kai"-TMS, "Welcome Hero Happy marriage"-TMS,PS&BSS and the best of them all "Anbukku naan adimai"-KJY.
The song seems to be the dream of Radha Saluja, and MSV tries to recreate the magic of "Azhagiya thamizh magal ival"- but somehow the song doesn't appeal to that extent. However it remains a good duet with a change of pace and tune in every charanam, like "Oru raja raniyidam", and the chorus voices help to usher in the dreamy effect, as in "Kanavugaley aayiram kanavugaley".
VJ: En Yoga jaadhagam
naan unnai serndhadhu
Inba loga naadagam
un uravil kaanbathu
SPB: Un azhagu allavo
ennai adimai kondathu
Then amudham allavo
naan alli undathu
SPB:Pon vanna pushpangal un aadai aaga
adhil thendral neendhattum kulir odaiyaaga!
VJ: Mai sindhum kannukkul undhan meni aada
Indha sorga theevukkul sugam kodi theda!
SPB:Kadal neelam kondu jaalam kaattum karuvizhigal
VJ: Endha kaalam thorum paalam podum un vizhigal
SPB:En pathu viral thazhuva thazhuva
un muthu udal thuvala thuvala idhamo
VJ: En kattazhagan kulava kulava
Kai thotta idam kulira kulira
Sugamo sugamo sugamo
SPB:Thaththaikkoru meththayendru tholirandum aada
VJ: Viththaigalin arthangalai nee eduthu koora
SPB:Iravo pagalo madi meley
VJ: Varuven vizhuven kodi poley
SPB:Idhazho idaiyo parimaaru
VJ: Idhuvo adhuvo vilayaadu
SPB:Iravellaam inbam ennum poigai ingey pongum
nam angam neeraatta
Ennam ellaam un vannam paaraatta
VJ: Thangathai vairam sandhikkum neram
Ulagellaam unnai sutri kanden kanna manna
en ullam thallaada
Mangai en kai
Un maalai endraada
MSV shows his class in the effortless transition to the pallavi after the charanams. VJ scintillates in her prolonging of "Sugamo" and in the "Mehbooba" like "Idhuvo adhuvo vilayaadu".
Pudhumai penngal - Indru pol endrm vaazhgaSingers:VJ - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
This is a song about the "modern girl" – Bharathi's "Pudhumai penn".
Chorus: Puratchi kalai kavithai nadaiye
Pongi perugum Gangai nadhiye
Pennin permai pesum azhage
Pudhumai penney varuga varuga
Then VJ begins her essay in a breezy, assured manner:
VJ: Pudhumai penngal arivukkakanngal
Pirandha naattin sirandha selvam
Endre naam vaazhom
irandum engal inathil undu
endre naam paaduvom
Anbu raajaangam ingey kaanuvom
angu ellorum ondraai vaazhuvom
The lyrics offer good counsel. This pudhumai penn does not completely shrug off acham, vetkkam etc. She tells where these womanly qualities are still needed:
Acham endrum naanam endrum adakki vaithaargal
Aanngal nammai aala thittam theetti vaithaargal!
Theemai thannai ennum pothu acham kollungal
Paavam vandhu serum pothu vetkkam kollungal!
Pudhu panpaattai konjam keladi
Idhai pann paadi sonnaan Bharathi
Excellent song and VJ gives the punch lines a casual, yet strong delivery. We can only sigh and convey our wishes to her "Andru pol indrum vaazhga!".
The next few songs of VJ-MSV story is "Sivaji Special". Let us spare a moment reflecting on that thespian nonpareil. Long live his glory! He bestrode Kollywood like a colossus and will be enshrined in the hearts of so many of us as the greatest actor ever.
On our part, let us look at VJ's works in Sivaji's films in 1977. We have already seen that she sang two memorable songs in Sivaji's in-house production "Annan Oru Koyil". Including AOK, Sivaji had 5 films in 1977, and VJ was there in all but one, which is "Deepam". And while the others were by the Mellisai Mannar MSV, "Deepam" was the first Sivaji film to have music by Ilaiyaraja. And with what lovely songs did IR light the deepam! While IR retained TMS as Sivaji's voice, and used KJY to sing for Vijayakumar, Janaki was Sujatha's voice and both her duets "Andhapurathil oru maharani" with TMS and "Poovizhi vaasalil" with KJY were class!
Now, let us dwell on the 4 songs that VJ sang in MSV's music in the other films of Sivaji.
Ammaanai azahagu migum - Avan Oru SarithiramSingers:VJ&TMS - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
Avan Ore Sarithiram starred Sivaji, Srikanth, Kanchana, Manjula, Cho, Manorama and others. As usual, my senescent memory lets me have only a hazy recollection of a story set in pre-independence India. Kanchana comes as phoren-returned Kalpana, but preaches Swadeshi. Sivaji is paired with innocent Manjula, who in a fit of jealousy against Kanchana, declares that if Kanchana has studied in London, she would better her by going to Calcutta for her education!
MSV worked wonders with the film's music score. Other great songs include TMS-PS's "Vanakkam pala murai sonnen" and MSV-Nellai Ganapathi's title track "Aayiram ponnai bhoomiyil kandaan, avan oru sarithiram".
TMS: Ammanai, azhagu migum kann maanai
Aadi varum pennmaanai
Thedi varum perumaanai
VJ: Nambiya pennoru thaaragai
Aval naadiya neeyoru vaanagam
Vinnagham maariya pothilum
Indha pennagham maaruvathillaye
TMS: Paalinil maraindhulla suvayena
vizhi palinginul maraindhadhu un mugham
Aazhiyil maraindhulla maniyena
un aasayil maraindhulladhen manam
VJ: Kanniyin naal vagai saathiram
than kadhalan kanngalil maathiram
Unnidam naan oru paathiram
adhil ootriya then mazhai un mugham
VJ: Ponnira vandugal paadina
avai poovenum meththayil koovina
Enniru kanngalum thedina
avai yekkathil unnidam odina
TMS: Mangala changugal azhaithana
Thiru mandhira mullaigal izhuthana
Unnidam udaluyir kalandhana
Ingu ondrumillai ini enakkena
When the whole world seems arrayed against you, what can you do? I'll tell you to shut the door, switch off the lights, and play "Ammanai" and close your eyes.
You will find your murmurs ceasing and peace stealing over your troubled mind. You are filled with an indescribable rapture. The quiet contentment, the pervading joy, the happy sigh that escapes you after a full meal at Karpagam Mess, or at the sight of Mamis and their daughters bedecked in their best and coming to the Music Academy in December, or when you wake up at 5am in a Maargazhi morning to a faintly audible LRE's "Thaaye Karumaari" from a distant temple's loudspeaker or the sight of your paatti arriving from the village, carrying loads of affection and dabbas filled with seedai and murukku - adhey, adhey thirupthiyaana sandhosham fills you when you listen to this song! Pure, unfiltered, old-fashioned enchantment!
This song has been discussed so many times in this thread which itself goes to show that it has held listeners in its sway over the decades. Someone in this thread recently said that this song is in Dharmavathi Ragam. "Edhu sugham sugham adhu" is also supposed to be based on the same ragam. Sugamaana ragam thaan!
The opening bars of music are arresting and TMS makes a majestic entry. VJ enthrals in her opening lines "Nambiaya pennoru..." and goes on to embellish the song with her own dainty and delightful touches throughout. Among her best duets ever!
Maalai ittaan oru mannan - Avan Oru SarithiramSingers:VJ&TMS - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
Another enticing duet from the same film. A simple, beautiful melody set in the backdrop of a wedding.
VJ: Maalayittaan oru mannan
Angu mayangi nindraal oru annam
Getti melangal muzhanguthu vaanam
Mazhai megangal pozhiyuthu geetham
TMS:Maadulam pazham pol kannam
Kalai manmathan vazhangidum kinnam
Inba then malar thooviya manjam
Sugam thedum paavayin nenjam
VJ: Maanikka thaaragai nilaviniley
Engum mangalam isaithidum thendralile
Therinil Devan oorvalame
andha deviyin vaazhvinil kaaviyame
TMS:Aayiram Kambanin paadal
adhil ananda thogayin aadal
Anbu paadalil pirandhadhu ragam
Aval aadalil valarndhadhu mogam
VJ: Oonjalil ullangal uravaadum
varum oodalil leelaigal sadhiraadum
Kaadhal tharuvadhu sondham
Ini kaalam yaavum vasantham
Someone said that this song is based on the Ragam Dwajavanthi, with shades of Saranga. MSV, with his enchanted baton, conjures up the marriage atmosphere with excellent use of Nadaswaram and Melam, which dominate the heavenly interludes.
Thaai paadum paattu - Naam Pirandha MannSingers:VJ&PS - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
The film starred Sivaji with Gemini Ganesh, K.R.Vijaya, Fadafat Jayalakshmi and Kamal. I vaguely remember the story. Sivaji and Gemini are revolutionary freedom fighters. Post-independent India finds Sivaji and his family in dire straits. However, he is uncompromising in his principles and ideals. His son Kamal reproaches him for this, and the travails that follow form the rest of the tale.
Another good song is "Aasai povathu vinniley"-SPB for Kamal.
This song seems to be sung by Sivaji's wife K.R.Vijaya and his sister Fadafat J, to make the baby Kamal sleep. PS for KRV and VJ for Fadafat J.
PS: Thaai paadum paattu thane thaalattu paattu
Thangame palli kollu en paattai kettu
VJ: En Pattai kettu
Athai perum penn thane unnodu koottu
Ammadi palli kollu en paattai kettu
PS: Paalum koduthu seevi mudithu
paarkkum thaai thane mudhal sondham maganey!
VJ: Seerum koduthu pennum koduthu
naan sondham illayo en marumaganey?
PS: Thirumagal indha pakkam Meenakshi angey
Thirumaal koorattum mudhal pasam engey
VJ: Thirumaal illamal Sridevi engey?
Serndhe pirandhaal Meenakshi ingey
VJ: Vaigai manakka thendral nadakkum
Madurai thamizh sangam unakkaga thirakkum
PS: Devi mugathai maarsil anindha
Thirumalai karpooram unakkaga jolikkum
VJ: Azhagiya Chokkalingam sila naalil varuvaan
Avan vandha pinnale penn ondru tharuven
PS: Aval oru pennodu unnai thedi varuvaal
angeyum naan thane munnaadi varuven
aayiram per munne aalaathi eduppen
Excellent performance by both the divas. It is a friendly bout between the Annai (KRV) and the Athai (FadafatJ), as to who has more claims to the child. The mother sings of all that she does for her child, while the Athai tries to pull him to her side by offering the bait of her yet-to-be born daughter! (In fact Fadafat J is not even married at this juncture!) VJ scintillates in her very entry. The short humming that precedes her assertive "En paattai kettu" is captivating. How shy and coy she sounds while singing "Azhagiya Chokkalingam sila naalil varuvaan" ! The question and answer which follow the line "Serndhe pirandhaal Meenakshi ingey" is short, simple and subtle, PS asks "Hmm?" and VJ replies "Hmm!" PS's soft last line gives the song a lingering, caressing finish. And PS has rendered her lines in some "vattara vazhakku", hark at her "maarsil" instead of maarbil and "aalaathi" instead of aarathi.
Arai koduthaal theriyum - IlayathalaimuraiSingers:VJ&TMS - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
The film starred Sivaji, Vanishri, Srikanth and others. Malliam Rajagopal's story, directed by Krishnan-Panju,the directors of Sivaji's first film Parasakthi.
While I do remember watching the film (Chitra theatre, Chennai), I don't remember the story too well. I feel it was a "To Sir With Love"/"Nammavar" kind of kadhai with Sivaji as the college professor, trying to reform a gang of unruly maanavamanigal.
Other songs include the title song "Ilayathalaimurai"-MSV&Kovai Soundararajan, "Thalai mudhal kaal varai sogam"-TMS, "Singaara ther kooda"-TMS, "Yaar enna sonnaar"-TMS, and "Kettaye oru kelvi"-TMS&PS.
TMS: Arai koduthaal theriyum
Oru arai koduthaal theriyum
Ivan adakkam enna pazhakkam enna
mayakkam enna mahimai enna
Oru aria koduthaal theriyum
VJ: Andha arai palli araiyaaga irundhaal
indha arai kooda angu inbam tharume
Naan enna sonnaal aadavarkku kobam varumo
adhai chonnen, iniyenum mogam varumo?
Valibam enbathu kelviyil maathiram puriyaadhamma!
VJ: Naanam undu acham undu paavai enakku
naanamindri ketppathoru kaadhal kirukku
Naan allimagal pol irukka aasaigal konden
adhanaale Arjurakku kobam koduthen
TMS: Idhuvarai podhuma?
Innoru araikku ennadhu anbathai naan sollavaa?
VJ: Andha arai palliyaraiyaaga irundhaal
Vandha varai inbam endru vaangi kolluven
Or oodal undu kaaviyathil
nee adhai kondaai
Idhu koodalukku vaasal endru
naan adhai kanden
This song reminds me of one of O Henry’s stories. There is a woman, say 'A', who leads a placid, boring life. Her husband goes out for work and comes back in the evening, reads his paper, has dinner and goes to sleep, day after day. There is another woman, say 'B', whose husband drinks and comes home and beats her up. Seeing her bruises the next day, he is filled with remorse and buys her all kinds of gifts and takes her out too. 'A' also longs for such excitement. So, under B’s advice, she makes a plan. When her husband arrives home one evening, ‘A’ shouts at him rudely, and tells him that he would have to wash his own clothes in the future. She closes her eyes in delicious anticipation, waiting for a slap, but she finds her husband obediently washing his clothes! She bursts into tears of disappointment, rage and frustration!
Here too when Sivaji threatens to slap her, Vanishri coyly replies that if that slap were to fall on her in the bedroom, it would give her masochistic pleasure! Interesting pun on "Arai" adds allure to the song. VJ is at her seductive best, her "ish-aah" after "indha arai kooda angu inbam tharume" sends you reeling! Watch the play after TMS's "Sollavaa". The first time, he sounds angry, and VJ gives a mischievous humming "hmmm" in reply, the second time he trembles as he asks "Sollavaa" and VJ gives a knowing repartee and the last time, TMS asks it, it is in abject surrender and VJ's humming sounds so triumphant, gloating in the knowledge that he is now hers!
The humming notes in the end are also exquisite and expressive.
Andhiyil chandiran varuvathen - Enna Thavam SeithenSingers:VJ&KJY - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
Enna Thavam Seithen starred Vijayakumar and Sujatha. Other good songs in the movie "Naan indru kettadhoru geethopadesam"–PS and the lovely "Etho oru nadhiyil naan iranguvathaippole"-SPB&PS.
VJ: Andhiyil chandiran varuvathen
adhu ananda bodhayai tharuvathen?
KJY: Chandiran varuvadhu oli thara
adhu thamizhukku aayiram kavi thara
VJ: Ilaigalil ilanthendral padippathennavo?
KJY: Adhu ilayendru theriyaatha kuzhappamallavo!
VJ: Malaigalil ven megam vizhuvathennavo?
KJY: Adhu mariyaadhai ponnaadai tharuvathallavo!
VJ: Penn manam ondrodu inaivathennavo?
KJY: Adhu pizhaiyaaga irundhaalum irukkumallavo!
VJ: Sammadham tharuvadhil thollai ennavo?
KJY: Adhai thaanaaga kelaadhu pennmai allavo!
VJ: Thalaiviyin sandhosham thalaivan allavo?
KJY: Adhu irupperum ninaithaal thaan pirakkum allavo?!
VJ: Idhu varai en kelvi purindhadhallavo?
KJY: Sari iththodu un kelvi mudindhadhallavo?!
Poets all over the world, in every language, have always called upon the "Night" and the "Moonlight" to give a romantic sheen to their love verses. John Keats asks "What is there in thee, Moon! that thou shouldst move my heart so potently?". Tamil film lyricists from Udumalai Narayana Kavi (Chandrodayam idhile) to Vairamuthu (Vennilave vennilave) have sought the support of the moon for their lyrics, and the ever-obliging satellite has never let down the Kodambakkam Kaviarasargal.
Both VJ and KJY make this a memorable question-answer session (they would do an encore in "Ithu iravaa pagalaa"-Neela Malargal). VJ's sweet value additions enhance the lyrical and compositional beauty of the song. Of special note is VJ's enchanting repetition of the line "Malaigalil ven megam vizhuvathennavo". We inwardly curse KJY for bringing this soiree to an end by asking her "Iththodu un kelvi mudindhathallavo?"!
Vizhiyo urangavillai - Nee Vaazha VendumSingers:VJ&JC - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
I have no clue about the starcast and story of the Nee Vaazha Vendum.
VJ: Vizhiyo urangavillai
oru kanavo varavumillai
Kanavinilenum thalaivanai kaana
kanne nee urangu
avan kaatchiyai nee vazhangu
JC: Vizhiyo urangavillai
en manadhinil amaidhi illai
kanne nee urangu
aval kaatchiyai nee marandhu
VJ: Thalaiyinil sooda, malarcharam ketten
mul mudi sootti vaithaai
Karangalil poda valaigalai ketten
vilanginai pootti vaithaai
JC: Kadalukku kooda karai irukkum
andha alaigalai thaduppadharkku
Manadhukku mattum karai illaye
indha ninaivinai thaduppadharkku
VJ: Uravinai kaatti pirindhavarppol
ingu pagaivargal yaarumillai
Oliyinai thandhu vizhigalai ketppadhu
JC: Bhoomiyai vaanam thoduvadhuppol
ingu paarvayil therigirathu
ellaam mayakkamaai irukkirathu
What an inbamaana vedhanai it is to be sleepless thinking about your love! Sleep seems to be the panacea which both the lovers hanker after, but for different reasons. She asks for sleep, so that she can behold him in her dreams. He cries for sleep, so that he can forget her for a while and slumber in peace! Keats seems to agree with both of them, for he opines "O magic sleep! O comfortable bird, that broodest o'er the troubled sea of the mind till it is hush'd and smooth!".
What a caressing melody by the Master! The opening flute notes give the song a captivating curtain raiser and the magical chemistry between JC and VJ works overtime to create a thing of beauty, which is a joy forever. (Keats to the rescue, again!) Hark at our Vani's "Hmmm" after the lovely prolonging of "Vazhangu" ...mesmerizing!
Gangaikkarai kannan - PerumaikkuriyavalSingers:VJ,SPB&Chorus - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
Prumaikkuriyaval had Sivakumar, Padmapriya, Fadafat Jayalakshmi, Srikanth and others in its cast. I have seen it long back. So only a blurred recollection of the proceedings. Sivakumar loves Padmapriya. Padmapriya and Fadafat J are sisters. Fadafat J is an impetuous, strong-willed and selfcentred person and she loves Sivakumar, oru thalaiyaaga. Sivakumar has a much younger brother who is the apple of his eye(I think the thambi was handicapped).
I don't recollect much more. Fadaft J somehow marries Siva, Siva loses his brother, in the end Fadafat herself loses her legs or something like that and thirundhifies, but it is too late. Fadafat J gave a wonderful performance, bringing out various shades in a complex characterization.
Other good songs in the film include "Niraindhu vaazhga"-SJ&PS and the famous "En manadhu ondru thaan"-TMS&PS.
SPB: Gangaikkarai Kannan ingirundhaan
kann moodum nerathil engu sendraan?
sellumidam sollaamal parandhuvittaan
Ponnandhi pozhudhinil thedugindren
un poo mugathai kaanaamal vaadugindren
Thanga manam thedi thavikkindren
Anbu thambi undhan pirivaal thudikkindren
VJ: Chinnakkili ondru parandhathendru
Oru vanna mani paravaiyai marandhaai indru
Vanna mani paravaiyai ninaithirundhaal
andha chinnakkili ingu thirumbi varum
Gangaikkarai Kannan ingu varuvaan
Singara maganaaga vandhu pirappaan!
Kunguma mangai nadandhu vara
nenjil kolangal aayiram poothirukka
Mangala pennmai kanindhirukka
Thangai madiyinil pinju thavazhndhirukka
Konjum kanavan inaindhu vara
Pongum kanavugal vizhithirukka
Poovizhi Kannan varuvaano
Poovizhi Kannan varuvaano
It is apparent that Siva is lamenting the loss of his brother (SPB brings out the heart-rending sorrow of the loss so effectively) and Fadafat J (VJ) consoles him by telling that he will be reborn as their son. The tempo of the song changes suddenly where VJ (this time for Padmapriya?) and the chorus voices break into "Kunguma mangai nadandhu vara". Perhaps to herald the birth of the child. VJ's voice is soft, tender and soothing, like a cooling balm for his wound. She rebukes him, ever so slightly, for slighting her while mourning for his lost brother and holds out a ray of cheer in the impending arrival of their son. The song ends on a cheerful chorus note, heralding the birth of the son.
Engengo sila manigal - Sonnadhai SeivenSingers:VJ,SPB&PS - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
No clue about the details of the cast or story of Sonnadhai Seiven.
SPB:Engengo sila manigal
Ingeyum oru manithan
Ulagil idhu thanippaadhai
Uyarndha idathil pirandha ullangal
Kallukku malaiyitta nenjam, kanneerai thudaikindrathu
Kaagitha odamum vaazhgindradhu, karunayil uruvaana megamidhu
Engengo sila manigal
VJ: Ingeyum oru manithan
Irandu nirathil nanaindha ullangal
Engengo sila manigal
Azhgaaga vilayaadum karunaagangal
ingu adhanodum vilayaadum sila ragangal
Azhagaana penn thedum avamaanangal
thannai ariyaamal aval kattum abaraadhangal
Sattam idhai yetraalum
Dharmam idhai yelaadhu!
Vazhakkai eduthu vilakkam sollungal!
PS: Engengo sila manigal
Ingeyum oru manithan
Ulagam idhai ariyaadhu
Kalagam ingu nadakkadhu
Arindhu purindhu inaindha ullangal
Nizhal kooda sila neram karunagam thaan
silar vizhi modhi vilayaanda suga ragam thaan
Aval maanam silar kannil avamaanam thaan
avadhooru purivorkku abaraadham thaan!
Dharmam idhai maruthaalum
Deivam idhai marukkaadhu!
Arindhu purindhu inaindha ullangal
Good lyrics, but I am unable to appreciate them fully, without knowing the situation. Melottamaa it appears to be another scalene triangle, where the hero is unable to marry his beloved, and ends up marrying a woman with a heart of stone (kallukku malayitta nenjam), and his kaadhali also, in the meantime, marries a villain (Kalvanukku manamaalai). Sarvam Soga Mayam!
Anyway, it is a good song, boasting of three great voices.
Kaadhal deivam kanden - Gaslight MangammaSingers:VJ&KJY - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
The film starred the Navarasa Nayagan and the Punnagai Arasi. KRV carried not only the gaslight, but the entire film as well on her shoulders. I remember watching the opening scenes of the film many years back on DD. A large KRV came as a college student, which put me off completely, and I went out to play with my street friends instead. So, can any one elucidate the circumstances under which the college student comes down in life to become "Gaslight Mangamma"?
KJY: Kaadhal deivam kanden
VJ: Naan saranam saranam saranam!
KJY: Un kaaval deivam vandhen
VJ: Pakkam varanum varanum varanum!
KJY: Naan poojai seyyum neram naanam thevai illai
VJ: Allitharanum tharanum tharanum!
KJY: Kalyana pooppandhal paarvayile
katcheri raagangal vaarthayile
kondaadum devadhai varugayile
pandhaada vendumo iru kaiyile
VJ: Thenoorum odayil nee vizhundhu
thallaadum velaiyil naan virundhu
Poochendu vaa endru vaai thirandhu
Pon oonjal aaduthu thannai marandhu
KJY: Sevvaanam kadal serum valaiyidhu
Sendhoora niram kaattum malaiyidhu
Ven mullai thalai neettum solaiyidhu
Unnodu naan kaattum leelaiyidhu
VJ: Mazhai mugil idum muththam malai meedhu
Panithuli idum muththam ilai meedhu
Maankuyil idum muththam kani meedhu
Mannavan mudhal muththam idhazh meedhu
It is a lovely duet, the opening humming by both VJ and KJY is enthralling, and the closing line "Mannavan mudhal muththam idhazh meedhu" shows a coy and bashful VJ, thus acquitting at least herself of any hand in the hidden meanings of the lyrics!
This week, lets dwell on 4 tour de force songs from a single film- a film where Vani was there in almost all the songs. She had 3 wonderful duets, with 3 great male singers - TMS, KJY and SPB, and a scintillating solo as well.
By now, you must have guessed the film I'm talking about, yes, it was "Meenava Nanban".
MGR's film, which was released around the time he became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. It was his last but one venture, his last film being "Madurayai Meeta Sundara Pandiyan", which was released in 1978.
Meenava Nanban was directed by Sridhar, and co-starred Latha, Nambiar and V.A.Nirmala. It was usual MGR stuff and his age was visibly showing. But being Sridhar's film, the songs were truly memorable. Apart from these 4 songs, there was "Pattathu rajavum pattala sippayum" by TMS.
Thangathil mugameduthu - Meenava NanbanSingers:VJ&KJY - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
How many songs were written by the lyricists who were part of the "MGR Hosanna Brigade", praising the ageless beauty of the Puratchi Thaivar! "Endrum ilamai maaraamal vaazhum sarithirame" goes one line from the song "Azhagenum oviyam ingey"(Oorukku Uzhaippavan), "Unnai engengum thottaalum ilamai" goes the line from "Nee ennenna sonnaalum"(Netru Indru Naalai).
Here's what our Cinema Virumbi had to say about the lyrics of this song:
"It seems MGR, in the last few films, used to positively reserve one song for Kavignar Muthulingam. When Kavignar thought he had been left out of "Meenava Nanban", MGR rang him up and told him one song was still awaiting him, as usual! Kavignar wrote "Azhagugal unnidathil adaikkalam, un angangal manmathan padaikkalam (weapon)". It seems Sridhar and MSV commented it should be "padaikkaLam" (Battlefield). Kavignar said both are applicable but he had only weapon in mind. Then there was a wisecrack from someone that Adaikkalam sounds like a Padhiriyar's name! Then Kavignar dropped the whole thing and then wrote the now famous "Thangaththil Mugameduththu".
KJY: Thangathil mugameduthu, sandhanathil udaleduthu
Mangai endru vandhirukkum malaro
Nee malai near pon manjal nilavo
VJ: Thangathil mugameduthu sandhanathil udaleduthu
Kaman pola vandhirukkum vadivo
Andha Deva loga mannavanum neeyo
KJY: Mullai malar chendugal kondu kodi aaduthu
Thendral sathiraadinaal andha idai thaangumaa?
VJ: Indha idai thaangave kaigal irukkindrathu
konji uravaada malar manjam azhaikkindrathu
malarndhu kanindhu sirithu kulungum kaniyaagavo
VJ: Endhan manakkoyilil Deivam unai kaangiren
Undhan nizhal polave varum varam kettkindren
KJY: Indha manaraajiyam endrum unakkaagave
Sondha Maharani nee endru naan solluven
Ninaikka inikka koduthu magizhndha muthaarame
This song too has timeless enchantment. Vani's emphasis on "eduthu", her short "swara" jaalam in the first interlude, followed by KJY's humming, the humming which leads back to the pallavi after each charanam, these minute touches all add to the beauty of the song.
Neram Pournami Neram - Meenava NanbanSingers:VJ&SPB - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
Another duet, this time with SPB. Another "Moonlight" romance.
SPB: Neram pournami neram
Uravu ennum thirunadanam
Mella mella iravinil arangerum
VJ: Ilan thendral kaatrum
Kulir kondu vaattum
Idhayam kidandhu thavikka
SPB: Inaiyum varaiyil thudikka
VJ: Ilamai kavithai padikka
SPB: Vaan padaitha megam, thaan kodutha neelam
meen padaitha kannil midhappadhenna jaalam?
VJ: Then padaitha poovum, thedi vandha kaatrum
naan padaitha inbam, ennavendru kaattum
SPB: Innum innum inbarasam kaana vendum
VJ: Penn manadhu konjam konjam naana vendum
SPB: Thennai konda neerum, dhraatchai konda saarum
unnidathil oorum, ennidathil serum
VJ: Poovidhazhgal naangum, paarthu paarthu yengum
Paal mugathil thengum pazharasathai vaangum
SPB: Micham enna ulladhendru paarkkavendum
VJ: Achcham vetkkam vitta pinbu serkka vendum
A song which starts off in a high pitch, which climbs steadily to "arangerum", and high on that alluring arangam, VJ meets SPB, with "Ilanthendral kaatrum". SPB sounds playful in his "Aaha?" just before "Inaiyum varaiyil thudikka", while VJ too is equally full of mischief in her "Oho?" before "Ilamai kavithai padikka" and the enthralling brigha laden prolonging of "padaikka", leading back to the pallavi makes you long for more!
Pogum kadalosai - Meenava NanbanSingers:VJ - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
Easily among Vani's best solos. How can I describe the magic of the song in mere words? The song is an experience. Listen to it, and be spellbound.
Pachaikkili oru thoniyil, pakkam varum adhikaalaiyil
Mannavan odam paarthatho, mayakkam kondu aadutho
Velli alai vandhu modhalaam, sellum vazhi dhisai maaralaam
Ponalai kaatru veesinaal padagu thaalam podalaam
Solliththara oru vaadhiyaar, ennaivida ingu veru yaar?
Pattadhu podhum endru nee paavai odam thedi vaa
Sorndhadhu pothum vaa
serndhu naam pogalaam
The third charanam is one that finds place only in the film track.
This is such a "Belessed" song. Vani puts you into a trance with her opening humming, as as she begins her konjum thamizhosai, you are totally lost in an enchanting world. MSV weaves, with his silky strings, a tantalising tapestry of wondrous hues, and Vani is the warp and waft, verily has she put her heart and soul into the song. Each bit of the interlude music is awesome (the first and the third interlude being similar). Even if you happen to catch a just a tiny bit of it from some roadside shop's radio you will immediately recognize the song! There is an ageless beauty in every bit of the song, from the initial humming right upto the class, caressing fade out in the end. Visuvum Vaniyum vazhangiya indha Valaji, oru vaseegara vindhai!
Kannazhagu singarikku - Meenava NanbanSingers:VJ&TMS - Music:M.S.Viswanathan
A lovely, folksy duet. I wonder why it didn't reach the popular heights of the other two.
TMS: Kannazhagu singarikku vizhiyirandil kanni vaithen
kaadhalukku seedhanamaai idhayathaye kondu vandhen
Amudhe senthene thirunaal kandene
VJ: Ponnazhagu aththanukku ilamanadhai allithandhen
poovidhazhin osaiyile kadhai kadhaiyaai solla vandhen
Thalaivaa vandhene, enai naan thandhene
TMS: Kallavizhi mogam enna mozhi pesum
innum enna naanam ennodu?
VJ: Anji nindra pothu, annai varum pothu
mella varum thoodhu kannodu
TMS: Panjanaiyin medaiyil enaiththodum anbu manam
VJ: Nejamenum oonjalalil dhinam varum inba sugam
TMS: Amudhe senthene thirunaal kandene
VJ: Minnumezhil thangam mannavanin angam
Moondru thamizh sangam ingey thaan
TMS: Devi udalengum thenaruvi pongum
aasai manam yengum angey thaan
VJ: Thottavudan meniyil mazhaimugil minnal varum
TMS: Thulli varum kaigalo thalir udal pinni varum
VJ: Thalaivaa vandhene, enai naan thandhene
VJ as always, sprinkles enchanting value additions all over the song. The expressive "inba" sugam, the rhythmic emphasis on "hangam", "angam" and "sangam", the soft and suitably bashful "thottavudan meniyil".
Let us recollect Vani's songs for Vijayabhaskar in 1977. VB had 3 films in 1977 and his "Aasthana Paadagi" was there in all three films.
Poonkuyil koovuthu - Aadu Puli AattamSingers:VJ - Music:Vijayabhaskar
Aadu Puli Aattam starred Kamal, Rajini, Sripriya and Sangeetha. I think it was directed by S.P.Muthuraman. Rajini had already made a mark as a villain of style and substance. His signature gimmicks with his cigarette and his glasses and his fast walk and faster talk, all earned him many admiring fans. For the first time, people adored a villain. Satyaraj and Saratkumar would later traverse this trail to stardom. I have seen this film as a child, but don't remember much, except that Rajini's name was Rajini in the film too, while Kamal's name was Madan. Rajini proclaimed throughout the film "Idhaan Rajini Style". However in the end, Kamal manages to bring him to justice, proclaiming "Idhaan Madan Style"!
The other songs in the film were "Vaanukku thandhai evano"-SPB(with LR Anjali chipping in with "Lahilaha illallahi") and "Uravo pudhumai, ninaivo inimai"-SPB.
kathal ragam paaduthu
aasai vandhu modhuthu
Vaazhvil kaigal inaiyume, vaazhkai angey thodangume
Maavilai thoranam manakkolam kaana
Kattil araiyin pudhu sugam, katti thazhuvum thani sugam
Aadhiyil Evaalum Aadaamum thodanga
This song is perhaps the predecessor of the "Koo-koo kuyil" songs, which flooded tfm in the 80s! (Of course, SJ's enchanting "Kuyile kavikkuyile" was also heard in 1977) The song begins with a cooing of a poonkuyil, and then our Penn kuyil starts off in a breezy, light and lively mien. Romance is in the air, and VJ–VB magic is at work again! The ending lines of each charanam are an aural treat.
Maname solayaam - Aadu Puli AattamSingers:VJ - Music:Vijayabhaskar
I don't remember the situation of the song, but there is an air of poignant disillusionment in the song.
Netru nadandhadhellaam karpanai
indru kanbathellaam en vinai!
Varavu yen? Selavu yen? Kalakkam yen?
Odum nadhigallellaam kadalile
uravil seruvathe sangamam
Paathaigal oridam seruma?
Pooththa malargallellaam kaikkuma?
Kaaiththa kaaigallellaam kaniyuma?
Unakkathu theriyuma? Puriyuma?
A slow and melancholic melody. VJ brings out the sorrow and the uncertainity of the morrow, with subtle finesse she mirrors the agony of a soul athirst and forbidden to drink, a heart famished and never to be fed. Hark at that plaintive variation in the "Maname" after the first charanam. The soul of the song is just there!
Enakkoru udhavi sei - Kaalamadi kaalamSingers:VJ&SPB - Music:Vijayabhaskar
I know that this song is frequently referred to as being from "Aayirathil Oruthi", but I have recorded this song from the record of "Kaalamadi Kaalam", so I am listing it as from KK. KK starred Jaishankar and Jayachitra. The record had, on one side "Enakkoru udhavi sei" and on the other side "Thodangalaam thodaralaam"-SPB, and "Kaalamadi Kaalam"-SPB&chorus.
SPB: Enakkoru udhavi sei
Madiyinil idam kodu kanne kanne
VJ: Thirumanam padhivu sei
Adhu varai poruthiru kanna kanna
SPB: Udhattai paadhiyil madippathenna
nagathai aasayil kadippathenna
VJ: Idaiyai kaigalil pidippathenna
Irandu kanngalum thudippadhenna
SPB: Oru tharam siruviral pattaal paavamo?
VJ: Unakulla mayakkangal thottaal theerumo?
VJ: Paruva raajiyam iruvar kaiyil
Padhavi erppathu Iraivan kaiyil
SPB: Thalli poduthal edhu varaiyil
thaanga koodumo adhu varaiyil?
VJ: Varum, varum, samayangal anbe kaathuru
SPB: Adharkkenna, inai karam, indre serthiru
Again the age-old argument, the hero is unable to arrest his physical cravings and the heroine is firm that the marriage has to be solemnised first, literally, for she insists "Thirumanam pathivu sei"! Vijayabhaskar's favourite pair SPB and VJ are at their playful, romantic best here. If Vani's konjal in each "Kanna" is endearing, SPB's "shabadaba" yodelling and his lusty longing in "Thalli poduthal edhu varaiyil" are equally enticing.
Maamadurai naattinil - Olimayamaana EthirkaalamSingers:VJ&SPB - Music:Vijayabhaskar
"Olimayamaana Ethirkaalam" starred Vijayakumar and Sripriya. No clue as to the story etc. If at all the film is remembered today, it is because of the wonderful songs of Vijayabhasker. How many such uninspiring, eminently forgettable films has Vijayabhasker immortalized by the touch of his magic baton!
SPB: Maamadurai naattinil Vaigaikkarai kaatrinil
kaathal paatrondru ketten
kanngal kooduvathai paarthen, aah
kanngal kooduvathai paarthen
Thogai kondaadum thottam
Aadai- mel naattu jaadai
SPB: Maandhalir manjal pallaakku
mayangithu nenjil ennodu
Mai vizhi thaan sollum thoodhu - ah ah
mai vizhi thaan sollum thoodhu
SPB: Kovil sirppangal ellaam
neril nindraada kanden
Aadum panpaadu kanden
Naanum pann paadugindren
VJ: Ponniyin vellam kandaayo
poovayin ullam kandaayo
Yaarukku yaar solla vendum
Yaarukku yaar solla vendum
SPB: Yedho naan solla vandhen
Ennam mullaaga nindren
VJ: Naanum ododi vandhen
naanam thallaada nindren
SPB: Achchathil vaarthai varaathu
VJ: ayinum aasai vidaadhu
Both: Naam ini namakkaaga vaazhvom
VJ: Naam ini namakkaaga vaazhvom
A simple, enchanting duet. SPB and VJ again, and both bestow upon the song an aura of youthful romance. SPB gives a short "Aah" in between the two "Kanngal kooduvathai paarthen", while the only time VJ sings these lines, she just prolongs the last syllable of "paarthen", leading to the second "Kanngal kooduvathai paarthen" in style. Again the "hmm" she asks just after "Yaarukku yaar solla vendum" is full of mischief! Just listen to her "Aasai theeradha bodhai" ...intoxicating!
Of special mention is the surprise element in this song, the classical bit in the second interlude. VB catches you off-guard with his dance music, the flute, miruthangam and the sound of anklets all adding to the allure.
I am sure Sripriya must have acquitted herself well in this part, mind you, not the ‘Chinna papa’ of these days, (Oh, the ravages of time!) but the Sripriya of 1977. We must not forget that she was a trained dancer, her father Pakkiriswami Pillai was said to be a Dance master, while her sister Vyjayanthi was also a reputed dancer.
Kudumbathin thalaivi kulavilakku - Olimayamaana EthirkaalamSingers:VJ - Music:Vijayabhaskar
A lovely song!
Kudumbathin thalaivi kulavilakku
Kondavan manathil saravilakku
Kaalaiyil ezhunthathum manjalil kulithu
Kanavanin nalangalai panivudan mudithu
kudumbam nadathida vendum
Uyarndha panbugalai endrum madhithu varum sirandha penngalidam Deivam vaazhaatho
Kuzhandhaigal peruvathum maarbudan valarppathum
kothaiyin kulathukku Kadavulin parisu
Thaaimai karunaiyin vadivam
Ulagam muzhuvathum vanangum
Kallangkapadamindri pillaichelvangalai konji valarthuvidu, Deivam paaraattum!
We have had many songs advising how a good housewife ought to behave. TA Mathuram's "Nalla Pennmani"(Manamagal), which also had an amusing parody "Ketta pennmani"–T.V.Rathnam&Chorus(Mangaiyar Thilagam), Tiruchi Loaganathan's "Purushan veetil poga pgum penne"(Paanai Pidithaval Bhaagiyasali) and TMS's "Thuyil neengi"-Nalla Thangal(thangai?), just to name a few.
This song too sermonizes on the traits of a good housewife. I have seen the record of the film. The cover shows a hirsute Vijayakumar sitting with a towel draped around his waist and Sripriya mudhugu theichufying with devotion. One of the kadamais of the kulavikku, I gather!
However, this song is a treasured classic! Vijayabhaskar is more often labelled as a genius in melodies with western leanings (he himself was a brilliant pianist). Here he shows that he was a past master in Indian classical music as well. The song seems like a mini-cutcheri, and offers vast scope to a singer with artistic and technical excellence, a trained voice and commendable manodharma, all of which our Vani is gifted with in abundant measure. How aesthetically does she cover the entire gamut of the creation in a step-by-step treatment, most unhurriedly, with brigas and gamakas being more a decorative aid than a piece of showmanship!
Vaishnava janatho - Olimayamaana EthirkaalamSingers:VJ - Music:Vijayabhaskar
I was amazed that this hymn finds palce in full in this film. I wonder at its relevance in the story line.
This was the favourite hymn of the Father of the Nation. It celebrates the equality amongst men. It became popular even in the South. D.K.Pattammal had sung the song in Sindhu Bhairavi Ragam and made it immensely appealing. Of course the first verse is heard in "Hey Ram" too, sung by Vibha Sharma, before "Vaaranam aayiram" follows. I have heard that originally D.K.Pattammaal did sing "Vaishnava Janatho" for "Hey Ram" under the baton of L.Subramaniam, who was later replaced by Ilayaraja.
Vijayabhaskar restricts the instrumental music to a bare minimum, the tampoora and tabla, a little bit of flute in the interlude. Vani is simply spellbinding and sings the lines with remarkable understanding and fervor.
The hymn is in Gujarati and was written by Baghat Narsingh Mehta. Here are those famous lines, with a translation:
Vaishnov Jan to taynay kahyeeje
Jay peerh paraaye janneyray
Par dukkhey upkar karey koyey
man abhiman na anney ray
(A godlike man is one
Who feels another's pain
Who shares another's sorrow
And pride does disdain)
Sakal lokma Sahuney bandhey
Ninda Na karye kainee ray
Baach kaachh, Man nischal Raakhey
dhan-dhan jananee tainee ray
(Who regards himself as the lowliest of the low
Speaks not a word of evil against any one
One who keeps himself steadfast in words, body and mind
Blessed is the mother who gives birth to such a son)
Samdrishi nay trishna tyagee
par-stree jaynay mat ray
Vivihva thaki asatya na bolay
par-dhan nav jhaley haath ray
(Who looks upon everyone as his equal and has renounced lust
And who honours women like he honours his mother
Whose tongue knows not the taste of falsehood till his last breath
Nor covets another's worldly goods)
Moh maaya vyaayey nahin Jeynay
dridth vairagya jana manma ray
Ram-nam-shoom taalee laagee
Sakal teerth seyna tanma ray
(He does not desire worldly things
For he treads the path of renunciation
Ever on his lips is Rama's holy name
All places of pilgrimage are within him)
Vanloohee nay kapat rahit chhay
Kaam, Krodh nivarya ray
Bhane Narsinhyo tainoo darshan karta
kul ekotair taarya re
(One who is not greedy and deceitful
And has conquered lust and anger
Through such a man Saint Narsaiyon has a godly vision
Generations to come, of such a man, will attain salvation)
What wonderful lines! And how relevant it is even today! Especially in the present times, when the happenings in Gujarat make us hang our heads in shame. Let us remember the great Mahatma, all that he lived for and the cause he died for. In a touching tribute to Gandhiji, Pandit Nehru said "In ages to come, centuries and many millenniums after us, people will think of this generation when this man of God trod the earth and will think of is who, however small, could also follow his path and probably tread on that holy ground where his feet had been. Let us be worthy of him. Let us always be so".
Let us at least try.
Now, let us dwell on the songs that VJ sang for Shankar-Ganesh in 1977.
Shankar Raman and C.S.Ganesh were part of MSV's orchestra for a few years. Shankar was the younger brother of the great C.R.Subburaman. "Kavignar Vazhangiya Devarin" S-G's first film as MDs "Nagarathil Thirudargal" turned out to be a non-starter. Their first film to be released was Maharasi(1967).
They were undoubtedly talented, as their scores for their early ventures "Maanavan", "Kannan Varuvaan", "Pugundha Veedu", "Naan Yen Pirandhen", "Idhaya Veenai" are remembered to this day. They were instrumental in giving A.M.Raja and Jikki a fresh lease of life in the 70s, they brought back neglected people like A.Maruthakasi back into the reckoning, they were also responsible for popularizing newcomers like SPB and KJY, and most importantly, they were a God-given boon to the low-budget producers. Sadly, they fell into a rut and took to unabashedly lifting tunes from other languages and started churning out mediocre songs by the dozen. Nonetheless, there were still some flashes of brilliance here and there, reflecting the extent of their capacities.
They played an important role in shaping up VJ's career in TFM. Along with MSV and Vijayabhasker, they formed the trio (quartet, actually!), who were VJ regulars. As we have seen, VJ's first Tamizh song to be released was S-G’s "Oridam unnidam" in Veetukku Vandha Marumagal(1973), and though she did not sing too many songs for them in her early years, from the late 70s onwards, many of her songs were for S-G.
Thaayaakki vechcha en thangame - Rowdy RakkammaSingers:VJ - Music:Shankar-Ganesh
The filmed starred Srividya in the title role, and co-starred Jaishankar and Kavitha. I think it was directed by K.S.Gopalakrishnan. I remember watching it on TV many years ago. Jai came as a Police Officer, and adopts a reformed Srividya as his sister. Srividya sings this song to Kavitha on the occasion of Jai's wedding/first night with Kavitha. She looks upon Kavitha as her daughter, I suppose!
Thaayaakki Vechcha en thangame
Ennai thaayaaki vechcha en thangame
nee pogumidam selvam pongume
Vaayum vayirumaai irukkaame
naan masakkai vandhadhennu padukkaame
Maavaduvai vaangi kadikkaame
Ennai maruthuvachi thaangi pidikkaame
Poosai punaskaaram paname
oru punniya seyalum ennaame
Pesum deivam onnu vandhadhadi
Kooda pirakkatha thangaiyaai kondadhadi!
Deivathai deivamaai kondavale
Perum selvathin selvathai kandavale
Koyyaatha kaniyaaga irundhavale
en kuzhandhaikku kuzhandhaiyaai vandhavale
Azhagukku azhagoottum pillai mugam
unakku aandavan vazhangiya vellai manam
Azhagu mugam idhu maaridalaam
un anbu manam maarakkoodathu
Meaningful lyrics by veteran A.Maruthakasi. The words reflect the situation how Srividya attains motherhood without going through the rigors attached to it!
S-G give melodious, lilting opening to the song and the interludes are also gently caressing.
In the 50s, Ravvu Balasaraswathi was famed for her compassion filled voice, and so many memorable lullabies came her way. Vani reminds us of Balasaraswathi in this lovely song, kuralil appadi oru vathsalyam! Mayil iragaal varudum oru idham! Pattu meththayil paduppadhuppol oru sugam! I love the tender tone that VJ adopts throughout this song. She sparkles by adding a different prefix each time she returns to the pallavi. For instance, if once she says "Ennai" thaayaaki vecha en thangame, the next time she varies it as "Peththa" thaayaaki vecha en thangame! She gives the song a lovely lingering ending by prolonging the last "Thangame".
Aalamarathu kili - PaalabaaishegamSingers:VJ - Music:Shankar-Ganesh
Kalavalli Combines' "Paalabishegam" starred Jaishankar, Sripriya, Ashokan, Pandaribai, Rajasulochana and others. Chinnanjiru vayathil Chennai tholaikkaatchiyil paartha gnyaabagam. Story which is as old as Tamil cinema itself. If Manohara told it with a royal backdrop, Paalaabishegam tells it against a rural backdrop! Jai is the brave son of Ashokan and Pandaribai. The wily Rajasulochana is the "villi" vixen whom Pannaiyaar Ashokan falls for. She manages to drive out Jai and Pandaribai from the house. How Jai takes revenge on her forms rest of the story. The only song whivh VJ didn't sing in the film was "Kundril aadum Kumaranukku"-Krishnamoorthi, S.C.Krishnan and T.K.Kala.
This song has Sripriya gambolling about lush green fields, coconut groves and bubbling brooks and singing a pretty ode to Mother Nature.
Aalappaarthu pesum kili
Manam velutha pachaikkili
Muthu mutha pani thuliyaa
mugam paarkkum kannadiya
Koththu koththaa pazhakkolaya
kumari pennin munnadiyaa
kumari pennin munnadiya
Pullaiyil usandha pulla
bhoomiyile endha pulla?
Adhu vallalaattum ulladhellam
Vaari vazhangum thennampulla
vaari vazhangum thennampulla!
Oorirundha ulagathile ellam irukkum
Unmaiyodu nanmaiyellaam nalla sezhikkum
This song ranks as one among VJ's most popular solos from the 70s. It used to be aired both on Ilangai Vaanoli and Vividh Bharathi ever so often. Simple, good lyrics by A.Maruthakasi. The song begins with the sound of a parrot screeching after each line in the pallavi, as though in reply to VJ. As always, VJ is alluring, be it the long "Aala", or the enticing "Vayasu kili", or even the prolonging of lines like "Endha pulla" and "Vaar irukkum". Truly, this song stands testimony to the adage "There is great beauty in simplicity".
Machaane achaaram podu - PaalaabishegamSingers:VJ&Krishnamoorthi - Music:Shankar-Ganesh
A HMV cassette credits this song to TMS, but as it also goes on to refer to PS as the female singer (when it is clearly VJ), we needn't attach too much importance to it. But some say this song is by Kovai Soundararajan. May be. But I am strongly inclined to credit Krishnamoorthi as the male voice in the song. Like Kovai S, Krishnamoorthi too was a TMS clone. He made it big in lightmusic circles, he was known for his superb rendering of "Engey Nimmadhi". It was he who was Nambiyar's voice in "En soga kathaiyai kelu thaaikkulame"(Thooral Ninnu Pochchu). His lines "Mangalatha peththavane un manasa maathikkoda" are memorable!
VJ: Machaane achaaram podu
Naan vechene en kannai un mele thaan
Naan piththaagi ponene unaala thaan
K: Sevvazhai thandaattam vandhu
Nee sonnaal naan vaaren un pinnaadi thaan
Un senthoora kannangal kannadi thaan
VJ: Sevvappu en vanappu un nenappula mayanga
K: Kodiyum mella valayum siru kodiyil kani kulunga
VJ: Thai maasam kalyana naal kurichu
Oorgolam poyya nee kaiyya pudichu
K: Vayalveli varappinil maraividam irukku
VJ: Penne naan vandhen enai thandhen bhayam edhukku
K: Pollaatha kannundu oorukkulle
Poraamai undaagum uravukkulle
VJ: Kaniyidhu kanindhadhu anil varum endru
K: Koththum kili vargam kitta varumo ennai kandu
VJ: Kaayangal aaraamal naan thudippen
Aanaalum then alli naane koduppen
I like this song a lot, mainly for its folksy, catchy beat. It begins with a TMSish humming by Krishnamoorthi and VJ follows with "Dhaiyaari dhaiyaari", which, though enthralling enough, sounds rather incongruous in this thennaattu rustic setting. And again, after each charanam, S-G resort to the famous "Bobby" music, which they never, never tire of! Perhaps, Shankar named his son Bobby only in honour of that music bit which they (mis)handled so many times.
Padamedukkira paambappole - PaalaabishegamSingers:VJ,S.C.Krishnan&Chorus - Music:Shankar-Ganesh
S.C.Krishnan was a very talented singer, with an earthy voice, completely shorn of any contrived ornamentation. He started his film career in 1949, singing in Manthirikumari. He displayed tremendous potential in unforgettable songs like "Varundhaadhe maname"(Porter Kandan) and "Nayagame Nabhi Nayagame"(Gulebagavali). Sadly, he was branded a comedy singer and became K.A.Thangavelu's singing voice, and SCK's career too came to an untimely end with Thangavelu losing out to Nagesh in the 60s. He sang a few songs in the following years and passed away in 1983, unwept and unsung.
VJ: Padamedukkira paambappole palappalappavale
naa kaatti salasalappavale
Thanni kudam edukkira kudumba pennunga kudi keduppavale
Tholirukira sulai muzhungura kalaiya katravale
Soodu soranai maanam vetkkathai kaasukku viththavale
Kalaaiyaattam china pannaiyai edhukka vandhavale
Ippo vaal arundha nariyai pola vaadi nippavale
SCK: Adi adiye nillungadi
SCK: Arundhadhiyai paarkkame
SCK: Alli arasaani vechi kalyanam panname
SCK: Thaali kattame
SCK: Melam kottame
SCK: Thaali kattame melam kottame
Thaana vandhavale, thalaikku pena vandhavale
VJ: Pattanathu theruvaiyellaam suththi vandhavale
Paadhai maari bavusu maari muththi vandhavale
Pattikkaattu Pannaiyaarai yetta vandhavale
Oru pathini thangam irundha idathai paththa vandhavale
SCK: Ettu dhisaiyum pathinaaru kolamum
Ezhu kadalum katti aala vandha gettikkaari
Naatukku naattu mattam, naama rendum sodi mattam
Sodiyaaga ponomunna kodi sanam kaiyya thattum
This song has Sripriya and gang taunting a furious Rajasulochana. They condemn the way in which she usurped Pandaribai's rights. RS's shameless lifestyle also comes in for scornful ridicule. VJ's disgust-filled rejoinders to SCK's lines describing Rajasulochana's live-in arrangement with Ashokan are a treat to listen!
Iraivan irandu bommaigal - UyarndhavargalSingers:VJ&KJY - Music:Shankar-Ganesh
Uyarndhavargal was T.N.Balu's remake of Gulzaar's "Koshish"(Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bhadhuri). A heartwarming tale of a handicapped couple (both deaf and dumb), it looked at the life of such "special" people with refreshing candor. Kamal and Sujatha portrayed their roles with wonderful understanding. The film also starred Srikanth and Thengai Srinivasan.
The other song in the film was "Ramanum Neeye Krishnanum Neeye"(M.Balamuralikrishna).
KJY: Iraivan irandu bommaigal seithaan thaan vilaiyaada
Avai irandum serndhoru bommaiyai seithana thaam vilayaada
Un vaai mozhi mullai, enil thaai mozhi illai
Veyyil enna minnal enna, venmai enna manjal enna
Kaanaadha kanngal rendil ellaamum ondrada
Thendral kaatrum oomai kaatru, Devan paattum oomai paattu
Avan thane nammai seithaan thunbangal enada
Un vaai mozhi mullai enil thaai mozhi illai
VJ: Ungalukkaga naane solven ungalukkaga naane ketppen
Deivangal kallaai ponaal poosaari illaya?
Thandhai pechchu thaaikku puriyum, thatha nenjil ulagam theriyum
Ullathil nallor thane uyarndhavar illaya?
En vaai mozhi mullai, enil thaai mozhi illai
KJY: Malarum pothe vaasam theriyudhu, valarum pothe pasam puriyudhu
Thaai thandhai seitha poojai veenaagavillaye
Kandan andru mandiram sonnaan, Kannan andru Geethai sonnaan
Magan sonna vedham kettu maraindhadhu thollaiye
Un vaai mozhi mullai, enil thaai mozhi illai
Oh the joy of the couple, when they know that their son does not suffer from their disabilities and is perfect in every way! This song is sung by their blind friend Thengai Srinivasan and their son. The son later grows up to be Master Sridhar.
The song is filled with emotion, and KJY and VJ sing the meaning-laden lines with remarkable clarity of expression. VJ makes her entry only in the second charanam, singing for the child. Hark at the tremulous sorrow in the lines "thaai mozhi illai".
Among S-G's best compositions!
Now, let us recollect the 3 songs that VJ sang for 2 different Music Directors in 1977.
We have already seen the memorable songs that VJ sang for MSV, Vijayabhaskar and S-G during 1977. Those three were the MDs whose names are inseparable from any discussion on Vani's works in TFM. They were the architects who helped shape VJ's career and gave her an unassailable position as a front ranking singer, whom no MD could afford to ignore.
This week, we are going to discuss the songs of 1977 that she sang under the baton of K.V.Mahadevan, and V.Kumar.
Mangala Kannagi - Thaaliya SalangaiyaSingers:VJ - Music:K.V.Mahadevan
The film starred R.Muthraman and Vanisri. The title sounds KSGish. So in all probability it was his film.
By 1977 KVM was no longer a name to reckon with in TFM. He was concentrating on his flourishing career in Telugu and had only a handful of tamizh films. He composed the music for only 3 tamizh films in 1977. Muruganadimai, Thaaliya Salangaiya and Mazhai Megam.
Mr. Vamanan, the writer, often used to tell me that the tamizh film song has a much longer life than the film itself. Thaaliya Salangaiya is a telling instance of this statement. Though the film itself is all but forgotten (as perhaps it deserves to be, too!), the songs live on. The KVM-TKP team showed that they could still deliver the goods, and how!! If PS's "Maduraikku sendraal megangale, ithai mangai Meenatchikku koorungalen" is a classic, KJY's "Vanji thu vanji" is also a song that cannot be consigned to the dustbin of history so easily.
And as for this song under discussion, it will stand testimony, for decades to come, to the amazing vocal skills of the singer.
Mangala Kannagi, Kunguma Janaki, nalangal thulanga vilanga aniyum thaaliya?
Nadaga kaaviya kaaviri Madhavi, mayangi kulungi arangil aniyum salangaiyaa?
Manamagal ivalennum deiva bandhama?
Vilaimagal ivalennum dhinasari sondhama?
Irandil ethu nerumo?
Thalaivan oruvan vazhangum bandham serumo?
Sathiyam thathuvam pongum vaazhkkaiya?
Nithiyam methaiyil konjum vaazhkkaiyaa?
Kalaimagal endre marumagal aagum punitha nilai serumo?
Thagatheem thagatheem enave aada nerumo?
Ilamai meni ithu perumaiyodu kollum malargalo?
Sabai yeri aadi nenjai soorai aadum iru vizhigalo?
Oru ullam thannil thanai alli vaikkum uyar angamo?
Malar palli meedhu seiyyum kalla kathal tharum sangamo?
Kaadhalum ennai marukkumo?
Vedamum ennai verukkumo?
Naadhame ennai anaikkumo?
Nallavan ullam manakkumo?
Kannadasan used to write in Kumudam, about different people from various walks of life, who made a lasting impact on him, under the head "Indha Vaaram Sandhithen". These articles were later compiled and brought out as a book "Sandhithen, Sindhithen". It is to Vani's eternal glory that she is the only playback singer the Kavignar has written on. And in no ordinary terms either. He says that there are some people towards whom we develop an inexplicable affection and respect, even though we haven't met them often or spoken to them much, and VJ was one such person. He goes on to heap unreserved praise on her, and if I remember right, he says "Muraiyaana payirchi ullathaal, eliya Carnadagathil Vaniyin kural olikkum pothu, andha sugame alaadhi".
When we listen to this song, we realize all at once, what Kavignar meant and why he chose to single out Vani for such eloquent praise.
I haven't seen the film, and nor am I likely to, and so the contextual position of the song is not known. The song seems to appear in some important turn in the story, perhaps the climax, and Vanisri is in a dilemma, wondering what fate is in store for her, a career as a danseuse and a tranquil life of a housewife seems to be the two options before her, and which path will she take?
And Vani singing for Vani(sri), takes on this emotionally charged song with effortless ease. It is no easy compostion. The pallavi itself is so long and fast-paced and the charanams that follow, ending with the heartrending query "Thaaliyaa? Salangaiyaa?", are filled with long lines. The singer has to do a delicate balancing act here and Vani was indeed the right choice. Only that Kalaivani knows how this Vani managed to maintain the frenzied pace, without besmirching the beauty of the lyrics, the clarity of each syllable is a ceaseless wonder, at the same time reflecting the deep anguish and despair of the character (hark at the emotional crescendo in the end!), even while doing ample justice as a vocalist (the light brigas and gamakas are spellbinding). Aam Kaviarasare, andha sugame alaadhi thaan!
KVM-TKP also must be commended for this masterpiece, and this song was perhaps a curtain-raiser for the future magical creations of Shankarabharanam and Swathikiranam, which remain immortal examples of the KVM-VJ collaborations.
Indha Radha Krishnan kaathal - Sondhamadi Nee EnakkuSingers:VJ&SPB - Music:V.Kumar
Varadarajulu Kumar (1934-1996) was a great man and he was even greater because he was totally unaware of his own greatness. Right from his first film Neerkumizhi(1965) to his last Meendum Mahaan(1987) which he composed under the name "VK", he maintained a high standard of excellence, melody being his first, middle and last names.
He was so much in awe of MSV, that when he wished that MSV should sing for him (Unakkenna Kurachal nee oru raja-Velli Vizha), he asked KB to approach MSV!! He maintained a low profile throughout his career, and till today, the music he has left behind speaks volumes of his greatness. Nijamaagave, Unakkenna Kurachal, nee oru Raja!
It was definitely not an easy task to be able to survive when giants like MSV and KVM were in the pinnacle of their career, but Kumar, with the initial continued patronage of KB, managed to carve an enviable niche for himself.
He gave opportunities to neglected lyricists like Suratha and Alangudi Somu. PS was his all time favorite, and she did ample justice to his mellifluous creations. Other singers to whom Kumar gave good songs, even though their careers had all but ended were Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi (Kuyil koovi-Naanal-1965 and Illatha pillaikku naan-Appa Tata-1972) and Jamunarani (Punnagai mannan-Iru Kodugal-1969 and Ellorum kuzhanthaigal-Avalum Pennthaane-1975). Kumar's "Kaathodu thaan naan paaduven"(Velli Vizha) has become a milestone in LRE's career. Though his wife K.Swarna was a good singer, he gave her only a few songs, thus showing his strict professional ethics. Swarna is remembered for songs like "Ennodu ennenavo ragasiyam"(Thoondil Meen), "Inangalile enna inam"(Nalla Pennmani) etc. SJ and VJ were the other singers who got to sing some good songs for Kumar.
Sondhamadi Nee Enakku starred Jaishankar and Sripriya (or was it Jayachitra?). Other songs in the film include "Pennalla nee oru bommai"-JC&PS, "Naalukku naal"-TMS and "Poojai paattu"-TMS.
I have seen this song on TV long back. I remember the hero and heroine dancing and romancing in the Marina, with a crowd looking at them in wonder. The lyrics also reflect this "Don't Care" attitude.
SPB: Indha Radha Krishnan kaathal enbathu ragasiyamaanathalla
Ithai ooro uravao paarthaalenna yaar thaan kathai solla
VJ: Indha Radha Krishnan kaathal enbathu ragasiyamaanathalla
Ithai ooro uravao paarthaalenna yaar thaan kathai solla
SPB: Moham vilaindhadhu edharkaaga?
Degam thaviththathu adharkaaga
VJ: Gangai irukkum pakkam en Kannan vandhaada
SPB: Mangai irukkum kolam en nenjai pandhaada
VJ: Anubhavam illatha vayathallava
SPB: Adharkkithu sariyaana pozhuthallava
Vaa vaa endhan kaigalil neendhi
The song continues in this style, fast-paced and an unashamed declaration of their love for the whole world to see!
Azahithaal varaavidil thudippen - Ellam AvaleSingers:VJ&SPB - Music:V.Kumar
I have not seen this film either, but remember hearing somewhere that it starred Mu Ka Muthu. Mu Ka Muthu was the son of Kalaignar and his first wife. His first film was "Pillaiyo Pillai"(1972). The shooting of the film commenced at AVM Studios on 21.10.71, with AVM Chettiar switching on the camera and MGR sounding the clap!! His other films include Pookaari(1973), Samayalkaran(1974), Anaiya Vilakku(1975) and Nambikkai Natchathiram(1975). He was last seen on screen, singing "Surulu meesakkaaranadi Veluthambi" in Veeran Veluthambi(1987).
Mu Ka Muthu was himself a good singer, which is not surprising, considering that there was music in his blood. His maternal grandfather was called "Padaga" Sundaram Pillai, a great singer, and his maternal uncle was none other than C.S.Jayaraman. Among the memorable songs sung by Muthu are "Sondhakkaranga enakku romba perunga"(Samayalkaran), "Nalla manathil kudirukkum"(Anaiya Vilakku), "Moham athu muppathu naal"(Anaiya Vilakku) with PS and "Aayiram kaalathu uravu"(Nambikkai Natchathiram) with SJ.
Muthu doesn't seem to have sung any song in "Ellam Avale". The two standout songs in the film are "Naan varaintha oviyame" (among Jayachandran's best songs and a personal favorite of mine) and "Nalla vaazhvu vandhadhu"-TMS&SJ. Another song is "Kulirukku bayanthavan’-TMS&PS.
Idhu mudhal naal
Thoda thoda irukkum
Mudhal mudhal pazhakkam
Thirumeni vaadaamal, thiru osai vaaraamal
Idhu mudhal naal
Pala nooru pakkangal
Vara vara kuraivaagum vaa vaa
Idhu mudhal naal
VJ: Aaah Vidungal
Kodi idai valikkum
SPB: Adaiyaalam therindhaalum
Adhil oru sugam undu vaa vaa
Idhu muthal naal
SPB and VJ seemed to have had a blast singing this song. Both are at their playful best, and make this song ooze in "Sringara" rasam. VJ sounds so coy at times (hark at that "Aah Vidungal!") and SPB gives his teasing laugh in between.
Let us look at Vani's ventures in 1977 with yet another Music Director, and all 4 of them from a single film. Yes, you got it, the MD was Kunnakkudi Vaithyanathan and the film "Navarathinam".
Permit me to indulge is some random thoughts here. Navarathinam was the film where two giants of Kollywood joined hands for the first and last time, A.P.Nagarajan and MGR. A.P.Nagarajan was hitherto a strict Sivaji-Camp director. But the disastrous "Raja Raja Chozhan" had left a trail of bitterness, and APN crossed over to work with MGR.
It was a repeat of what happened a decade earlier with another disenchanted Sivaji director B.R.Panthulu. BRP was one of the earliest directors who recognized the genius of Sivaji and he was among the architects who helped Sivaji reach the pinnacle of glory. Starting from as early as Kalyanam Panniyum Brahmachari(1954), BRP's films for Sivaji were milestones in the thespian's career graph - Thangamalai Ragasiyam(1957), Sabash Meena(1958), Veerapandiya Kattabomman(1959), Kappalottiya Thamizhan(1961) and Bale Pandiya(1962). However BRP's magnum opus Karnan(1964) disappointed at the box office and his Muradan Muthu(1964) also was an absolute failure. BRP and Sivaji are supposed to have exchanged some angry words, and they split forever. BRP joined with MGR in 1965 and made the immortal "Aayirathil Oruvan". He continued to work with MGR in films like Ragasiya Police 115(1968) and Thedi Vantha Mapillai(1970). It is said that it was BRP who started MGR's last film Maduraiyai Meetta Sundarapandiyan, but didn't live to see its completion.
Similarly, another director whose name will forever be enshrined with reverence in any analysis of Sivaji's films is the great APN. With V.K.Ramaswami as the co-producer, he produced and directed Makkalai Petra Maharasi(1957), and this marked the beginning of a memorable relationship between the director and the actor. Navarathiri(1964), Thiruvilayadal(1965), Saraswathi Sabatham(1966), Kandan Karunai(1967), Thiruvarutselvar(1967), Thillana Mohanambal(1968) and Thirumal Perumai(1968) stand testimony to the success of this partnership. However, if Thirumal Perumai did not fetch the expected returns, Guru Dakshinai(1969) was a total washout. APN resorted to make some low-budget films with lesser actors. A few years later, backed by the financial support of Umapathi, he made Rajaraja Chozhan(1973). But even the fact that it was the first Cinemascope film in tamizh could not ensure its success.
APN later approached MGR and they embarked on Navarathinam. But unlike BRP, who tasted success with MGR, APN tasted the worst ever failure in his career. In the year in which MGR ascended the throne in Fort St.George, Navarathinam was a big embarrassment to all associated with it.
I have seen it on TV long back and time has luckily erased the painful memory. I think APN tried a modification of his own Navarathiri in Navarathinam. Like Savithri who meets nine different people (all Sivaji) in Navarathiri, in Navarathinam, a bewigged and pencil-moustachioed MGR meets nine different heroines. Latha was perhaps the main heroine. Actresses like Jayachitra and Sripriya who had never got to act with MGR previously, were part of the remaining eight. Perhaps Zarina Wahab too was one among them. Friends who remember more, please help in filling the blanks.
Kunnakkudi Ramaswami Vaithyanathan was in charge of the musical score. It was APN who brought KV into the filmworld by using his "Thiruppankundrathil Nee Sirithaal" in Kandan Karunai. And when APN fell out with KVM, it was Kunnakkudi Vaithyanathan he turned to. Starting from Vaa Raja Vaa(1969), KV commenced his chequered career as a Music Director. Recognition came soon enough he bagged the TN State Government Award for the Best Music Director in 1970 for his score in Thirumalai Thenkumari.
He composed music for 22 films, and most of them, being socio-mythological themes, had memorable songs. And whilst he collaborated with giants like Kannadasan, TRM, TMS, Seergazhi Govindarajan, KB Sundarambal, S Varalakshmi, (Radha) Jayalakshmi, Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi, PS, SJ, LRE and later KJY, SPB, JC and VJ to give wonderful songs, he also worked with some lesser known names and introduced some talented singers. Among lyricists, he gave remarkable opportunities to veteran KD Santhanam, Ki Va Jagannathan, Ulundurpettai Shanmugham, Geethapriyan, Puthaneri Subramaniyam, Poovai Senguttuvan, KKS Kumar, Nellai Arulmani and Ira.Pazhanichami. TK Kala and MR Vijaya were introduced by him. He sanctified the portals of Kodambakkam by bringing in stalwarts like Madurai Somu, Pithukkuli Murugadas, Bangalore Ramani Ammal and TN Seshagopalan. If Rajesh and Manohari were an unknown duo who sang for him in Melnaattu Marumagal (Sugam tharum ithu sorgalogame), in the same film he gave Usha Uthup what is perhaps her biggest hit in tamizh "Life is a flower, love is a treasure".
And when I was in school, I think in 8th standard, a song sung by Kunnakkudi was making waves, and all for the wrong reasons, "Kottampatti Roatille hey hey, Kutti pora shokkiley hey hey, Naan rottiyathaan thinbana, Kuttiya thaan paapapana!". I used to irritate my Violin master by asking him the raga of this song (Yes, my parents, with the mistaken conviction that there was a child prodigy lurking inside me, enrolled me for violin classes. It took two long years for my venerable Guru to finally wash his hands off me. I knew long back that a career in music was not my lot!).
Now, (and about time, too), let us dwell on VJ's songs in Navarathinam. Other songs include "Maanum odi varalaam"-KJY and "Puriyaathathai Puriyavaikkum pudhu idam"-PS with dialogues by MGR & Sripriya(?).
Kuruvikkara Machchane - NavarathinamSingers:VJ&M.Balamuralikrishna - Music:Kunnakkudi Vaithyanathan
TMS had a love-hate relationship with MGR, and after SPB(Adimaippenn) and KJY(Ulagam Sutrum Valiban) proved that their voices were accepatable for MGR, they were increasingly singing MGR songs, especially KJY. However, only two MGR films completely excluded TMS, Oorukku Uzhaippavan(1976) and Navarathinam. And while KJY and SPB were also there in Navarathinam, KV added a new dimension by making Balamuralikrishna sing for MGR.
"Padmavibhushan" "Sangeetha Kalanidhi" Dr.M Balamuralikrishna (Birth-1930) needs no introduction. He made an enchanting entry in tfm in Sridhar's Kalaikkoyil(1964) the song was "Thangaratham vanthathu veedhiyile". Indeed it was as though a golden musical chariot had arrived in the avenues of TFM. However, in spite of subsequent success in immortal songs like "Oru naal pothuma"(Thiruvilayadal-1965), he could not make it big as a playback singer. Nevertheless, he brought lingering lustre to each song that came his way, be it T.K.Ramamoorthi's "Arulvaaye nee arulvaaye"(Sadhu Mirandaal-1966), S.Rajeswara Rao's "Aadhi anaadhiyum neeye" and "Chinna china kanne" with SJ in Bhaktha Prahalada(1967) (MBK himself acted as Narada in the film), T.G.Lingappa's "Puththam pudhu meni" with PS in Subadhinam(1969) or the two wonderful songs for KVM in Kann Malar(1970), "Thodudaya Seviyan" (with Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi) and "Ambalathu Nataraja" (with SJ).
After 7 years of a drought in opportunities, it seems to have rained and poured in 1977. S-G brought him back into circulation with "Ramanum Neeye Krishnanum Neeye"(Uyarndhavargal). KV made him sing for MGR in Navarathinam. Ilayaraja capped it all with "Chinna kannan azhaikkiraan" and "Aayiram kodi kaalangalaaga"(Kavikkuyil). MBK sang some more memorable songs in the following years. His achievements in film songs in the other South Indian languages are many. He has the singular distinction of having won both the National award for the Best Music Director (1975) and the National award for the Best Male Playback Singer (1987).
This song is a Kuravan-Kurathi duet:
VJ: Kuruvikkara Machchane
Namma Kadavul serthu vechchane
Kozhi koovum varaiyile
Namma kondaattam thaan araiyile
MBK: Kuruvikkaran ponjaathi
Naan kuravan thaandi un jaathi
Oosi kannai suthaadhe
Udambu poora kuththaadhe
VJ: Thirudanaattam kudisaikkulle, Poonai poley nuzhainje
Purushanaattam manasukulle muzhukka muzhukka neranje
Yo saami, osthaamee
MBK: Summa kidandha udambukkulle soodu porandhadhenna
Semmaankuyilai serthu anaichu china idaiyai pinna
En rani en rani!
VJ: Innathathaan kekirennu sonnaathaane theriyum
Ellathaiyum koduthupputtu sollamale puriyum
MBK: Kaavi pallai kaatti kaatti kaviyathai sollu
Uruvamellam paadudhadi paruvakkaala kallu
Kuravan-Kurathi songs have been part of TFM from ever so long. MLV sang her way into the hearts of the common man with her "Ayya Sami, aavoji sami"(Or Iravu) as early as 1951. Other memorable songs of this kind include "Iththanai naalaaga"(Marma Veeran-1956), "Kochimalai kudagumalai"(Vaazhkkai Oppantham-1959), the most popular of them all "Naanga puthusa kattikkitta jodi"(Oli Vilakku-1968) and "Kurathi vaadi"(Kurathi Magan-1972).
Here MBK and VJ make this song memorable by their fantastic felicity of expression. KV has composed it in such a way, that a prefix is added in each repetition of the lines. For instance, "un" oosi kannai, "En" udambukkulle, "nee" poonai poley, "Ippo" purushanattam, and this adds unexpected beauty to the song. VJ sizzles, as usual. Hark at her playful prolonging of the Pallavi lines and the earthy, sexy appeal in "Yo saami, vasthaami!" ... Yamma!
High on a hill - NavarathinamSingers:VJ&M.Balamuralikrishna - Music:Kunnakkudi Vaithyanathan
The song bears the title "English & Carnatic" on the record. The song begins with the lines borrowed from the song "The Lonely Goatherd" from the immortal English Musical "The Sound of Music", written and composed by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II.
VJ starts off with:
High on a hill was a lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo
Folks in a town that was quite remote heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Lusty and clear from the goatherd's throat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo
O ho lay dee odl lee o, o ho lay dee odl ay
O ho lay dee odl lee o, lay dee odl lee o la
MBK makes a grand entry singing a swara on the same lines as "High on the hill" and after singing "High on a hill", smoothly switches to "Palukku kanda sa kerunu geru ne".
VJ comes back with the a superb western humming and sings the lines:
Golden youth always rules
dwells in thought
dwells in love
Come on dears, cheers
Here is a beautiful stage
Join in hands with age
Join like our image
MBK repeats these English lines and switches over to Carnatic classical once again, singing:
Yetha unara nilakadaneeku, enchi chooda naga badavu
And therafter sings "Golden youth" and "Yetha unara" alternatively in what is an amazing swift jugalbandhi!
Then comes another surprise and a third dazzling dimension appears. MBK breaks into a soulful Hindustani alaap and goes on to sing the famous "Jo thum thodo piya". The crowning glory is the alternate rendition of "Golden Youth" and "Jo thum".
What a song!! What a charming coalesce of the three styles of music, and how beautifully has KV woven them to create a sensational composition! VJ proves that nothing is beyond her grasp and gives a superb yodelling, with her English being just perfect! And as for MBK, he is the juggler who handles the juglebundhi adroitly making each transition effortlessly and delightfully.
Ungalil nam Annavai - NavarathinamSingers:VJ&SPB - Music:Kunnakkudi Vaithyanathan
A typical "Kolgai parappum" paadal.
SPB: Ungalil nam Annavai paarkkiren
Andha uthamaraam Gandhiyaiyum paarkkiren, paarkkiren
Unagalil nam Annavai paarkkiren
Both: Andha uthamaraam Gandhiyaiyum paarkkiren, paarkkiren
Unagalil nam Annavai paarkkiren
SPB: Gangai nadhi pongi varum naattile
Palar kann kalangi vaazhugindraar veettile
VJ: Gangai nadhi pongi varum naattile
SPB: Palar kann kalangi vaazhugindraar veettile
SPB: Sila pergal kodi selvam kondanar
Palar theruvoram kodiyile nindranar
VJ: Sila pergal kodi selvam kondanar
SPB: Palar theruvoram kodiyile nindranar
SPB: Or uyir thaan yaavarukkum ullathu
Adhu orumurai thaan nammai vittu selvathu
VJ: Or uyir thaan yaavarukkum ullathu
SPB: Adhu orumurai thaan nammai vittu selvathu
SPB: Selvam indru vandhu naalai povathu
Seitha sevai endrum makkal nenjil vaazhvathu
VJ: Selvam indru vandhu naalai povathu
SPB: Seitha sevai endrum makkal nenjil vaazhvathu >
SPB: Ezhai kathai medaiyile solluvaar
Avar ettadukku maadi katti kolluvaar
VJ: Ezhai kathai medaiyile solluvaar
SPB: Avar ettadukku maadi katti kolluvaar
SPB: Yaar enna kutram seithaalum kelada
Adhil endrum achcham illai endru koorada
VJ: Yaar enna kutram seithaalum kelada
SPB: Adhil endrum achcham illai endru koorada
VJ doesn't seem to have much work in this song, she just gets to repeat SPB's lines!
Ladke se mili ladki - NavarathinamSingers:VJ&KJY - Music:Kunnakkudi Vaithyanathan
A song wholly in Hindi in this tamizh film, filmed on MGR and perhaps Zarina Wahab. Some other such wholly Hindi songs in tfm are "Tu hai raja"(Varumaiyin Niram Sigappu-SJ), "Kaise kahoon"(Nandu-Bhupinder & SJ) and "Samundar baar baar"(Jathimalli-KSC).
VJ had struck gold in Hindi in her very first song "Bole re"(Guddi). KJY had won the National award in 1977 for Chithchor, and thus KV had made the right choice of singers to sing this Hindi song.
VJ: Aa Gaye hain woh
Aaj inka inthazaar
Mil gaya karaar
Jhoom utti daaliyaan
Khil gaye hain fool
Maano phir chaman mein
KJY: Ladke se mili ladki
Ladki se mila ladka
Dono ka dil phir
Eh kahke dhadka
KJY: Dhak dhak dhak
KJY: Koyi nahin hain mera yahaan
Meri jaan apna bana lo mujhe
Dushman mohabbat ka saara jahaan
Palkon mein apni chupa lo mujhe
VJ: Dekha hai jab se tuj ko sanam
Is dil ki kasam hum tere huye
Tu chand bankar badle se niklaa
Door nazar se andhere huye
KJY: Alkon mein rahoon teri
Palkon mein rahoon teri
Alkon mein rahoon teri
Palkon mein rahoon teri
VJ: Aahon mein raho meri
Baahon mein raho meri
Aahon mein raho
Baahon mein raho
Chaahon mein raho
Raahon mein raho
Aahon mein raho meri
Baahon mein raho meri
KJY: Lekin dar hai mujko
VJ: Arre, kyaa dar hai tujko?
KJY: Yeh saath rahen kab tak?
VJ: Dhadkan dil me jab tak
VJ enchants in the opening soft thogayra itself and the song gathers romantic momentum with the pallavi. VJ's hushed "Kaise?" is alluring.
Wonder who wrote the lyrics?
There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Ilayaraja (birth-2.6.1943, original name Rasiah), had arrived with "Annakkili" the previous year. From very humble beginnings in Pannaippuram, he came to Madras with an empty pocket, but with loads of determination. The story of his climb from rags to riches is well known. IR and his brother Amar Singh (later Gangai Amaran) worked as assistants to G.K.Venkatesh, when finally Lady Luck smiled on him, and "Annakkili" came his way.
IR was the first Music Director to taste stupendous success in his very first film. Even V-R and KVM had to struggle for years before they gained recognition. But IR became a household name all over TN with just one film, and there was no looking back. Those early years were magical, with IR at his creative best. For many of us, 1976-1980 would be our favourite IR period.
While in 1976 IR had 4 films, the numbers had multiplied threefold in 1977. And the year was especially memorable, as he won the TN Government Award for the Best MD for his score in "16 Vayathiniley".
SJ was his prima donna, and she sang her way to the National Awards in 1977 for her awesome "Senthoorappoovey" (the same song fetched her the TN State Award as well). Among the other lovely songs she got to sing for IR this year were "Kuyile Kavikkiuyile", "Chinna kannan azhaikkiraan", "Udhayam Varukindrathey", all Kavikkuyil, and "Andhapurathil oru Maharani" and "Poovizhi vasalil" both from Deepam, are worth remembering.
PS too got to sing some memorable songs for IR this year. Oustanding among them are "Sugamo aayiram" and "Vaarthai illamal"(Thunai Iruppal Meenakshi), "Thenilaadum Roja"(Avar Enakke Sondham), "Kannan enna sonnan"(Saaindhadamma Saaindhaadu) and "Chella Pillai Saravanan"(Penn Jenmam).
Other singers who made a mark this year singing for IR were B.S.Sashirekha - "Vaazhve Mayama"(Gayatri), Sujatha - "Kaalaippaniyil"(Gayatri) and "Kadhal Oviyam"(Kavikkuyil) and Poorani&Indira - "Devan thiruchabai malargale"(Avar Enakke Sondham).
VJ sang her first song for IR this year. And while she would never be his favorite singer, he did give her some excellent songs. Quality, and not quantity, seemed to be his policy where VJ was concerned. It is rather too late in the day for us to analyze why they did not work together more often. Whatever will be, will be. As it is said in "Rubaiyat" of Omar Khayyam, "The Moving Finger writes; and having writ, moves on; nor all your piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all your tears wash out a word of it".
Let us instead be happy for the wonderful songs that IR did give her and for the singular beauty that VJ brought to these challenging numbers.
Let us now recollect with nostalgia the three songs that VJ sang for Ilaiyaraja in 1977:
Kettaal ketta varam - DurgadeviSingers:VJ - Music:Ilaiyaraja
Does anyone remember this film? Directed by Ra.Shankaran, Durgadevi starred Sivakumar and Srividya. It was a sloppily told tale of reincarnation, or some supernatural stuff. What makes the film memorable, however, is Ilayaraja's enchanting score. The film had one of the best duets by JC&SJ, "Senthoora kolam en singara deepam", a lovely song. There is a haunting pathos version of the song too, and this was by MV-SJ. How Ilayaraja brought about a distinct touch to each version is an early indication of his brilliance.
Now, let us come to VJ's song, perhaps the first song that she sang for IR.
Kettaal ketta varam
tharum thaaye, un charanam
Thedi varum anbarukku
Durgai Amman arul irukku
Neril varum Ammanukku
Aadharikkum manam irukku
Naal vagai vedhangalum
oru sakthiyai kaattudhamma
Aayiram peyar udayaal
Aayiram kann udayaal
Aayiram kai udayaal
Aayiram kodi udayaal
Maavilaikkul kudi iruppaal
Mandhirathil kolu irupaal
Kovilukkul iruntha vannam
Kavalukku thaan iruppaal
Theradiyil kunindha vannam
Devi pugazh paadiduvaar
Indeed, a spellbinding start to the wonderful era of the IR-VJ collaborations. The first sound that we hear in this song is the auspicious clangor of the temple bells, as though heralding the formation of this mellifluous musical partnership, that would create a set of memorable songs in the coming years.
Some classical notes on the veenai lead to the pallavi, and as we hear the devotion-filled lyrics in The Voice, we are engulfed in pure ecstatic bliss. Vani has sung, in the course of her career, many a devotional song. This song would surely fetch a place of pride amongst them.
How masterfully has IR composed the song. Listen to the conches and the folksy Nadaswaram in the interludes, verily does he manage to usher into your inner vision, a rural temple festival, with all its aural accompaniments. Mind you, no cacophony here, only music, and that too of an innovative, imaginative order.
Vintage Vani and Vintage IR, could anyone ask for more? Naangal Ketta Varam, thandha Durgadeviye, un charanam! A song that VJ fans would cherish forever.
Poonthendrale - Bhuvana Oru KelvikkuriSingers:VJ&JC - Music:Ilaiyaraja
Maharishi's story, recreated for the silver screen by S.P.Muthuraman. Screenplay, Dialogues and Lyrics by Panju Arunachalam.
A film that was a decisive turning point in the career of Rajini. While he had in the last two years, consolidated his position as a trendsetting villain of style, it was in this film that he showed that he was an actor of substance as well. Sivakumar was supposedly the hero, though his character was entirely negative. Rajini, in slot of the second hero, effortlessly stole the show from Sivakumar. Sivakumar, himself a good actor, was supposed to have vowed to be more careful while selecting his roles in the future!
Sivakumar, a charming, glib-tongued womanizer, manages to woo the unsuspecting Sumitra, and having had his fling, looks for greener pastures. Rajini, on the other hand, is sincere in his love, but his beloved comes to a gory end. Broken-hearted, he takes to drink. He pities the wretched unmarried mother, Sumitra, and offers her shelter in his humble abode. Sivakumar marries the rich Jaya, but the couple has no childlren. The story goes on thus, the latter half giving ample scope to showcase the emoting prowess of both Rajini and Sumitra. Rajini brought hitherto unseen shades in the characterisation of the drunkard with a heart of gold. Black&White padam thaan, no special effects etc, low-budget settings, yet, for me, this will always remain my favorite Rajini film!
Not "?", but "!".
And IR raised the film to great heights by his simply awesome score. Though the film had only three songs, each song is a glittering gem. Can anyone forget the mindblowing SPB solo "Vizhiyile malarndhadhu" or the lyrical SPB-SJ duet "Raja enbaar mandhiri enbaar"?
This song is filmed on Sivakumar and Sumitra.
nalla neram kaalam serum
Pazhagiya palan uruvaagum
Paadi vaa, paadi vaa
VJ: Paarvai Sollum jaadai
Enna thevai enbatho
JC: Hey ponnana Rani
Tholil unnai saaithu
Andha artham sollavo
VJ: Hey kannana raja
Paalil neitha ilameni paruvam vilayaadum
JC: Pon medai meniyengum naadham uruvaagum
VJ: Ennenna uravugal
JC: Ennenna kanavugal
JC: Thaazham poovin vaasam
undhan degam kondatho
VJ: Hey kannana kanna
Vaasam kannil nesam
Kollum sondham vandhadho
JC: Hey kanna kanne
Yengum nenjam ilavenil inbam kondaadum
VJ: Ennaalum paavai ullam kaadhal pannpaadum
JC: Ennenna uravugal
VJ: Ennenna kanavugal
An enticing duet, and VJ with whom I consider her best singing partner, Jayachandran, add to them the magic of IR's baton, and what you have is this lovely song. Poonthendrale aadiyum paadiyum varuvathai pol oru mayakkam! Hark at the "Hey Kannana Kanna/kannana kanne" in the middle of the charanams, and the breathtaking prolonging by one singer; while the other begins and finishes his/her line. The same prolonging again catches you by surprise in the ending "Ennenna kanavugal" lines. Again listen to how the singers pause after the first word in the charanam, and then continue. Don't miss VJ's breathless fade out act as the song ends!
Class compostion by IR. The interludes are enchanting and refreshingly different. Even the music that follows the word "Poonthendrale" is something wonderful. As though an irresistible summons to the fragrant zephyr! Ennenna inimaigal! A song of timeless appeal.
Manjal araikkum pothu - Aalukkoru AasaiSingers:VJ - Music:Ilaiyaraja
Aalukkoru Aasai starred Muthuraman, Jayachitra, Thengai Srinivasan, Manorama, Vijayanand, Kavitha and others. Screenplay & Dialogues by Panju Arunachalam. Directed by S.P.Muthuraman. Good score by IR. Songs include "Vaazhvennum sorgathai"-SJ, "Kanakku paarthu kadhal vandhadhu"-TMS and "Idhaya mazhayil nanaindha"-KJY&PS.
A comedy of sorts, with the budget conscious Ravi (Muthuraman), tying the knot with Sumathi (Jayachitra) for the sole reason that she is a working woman. Sumathi, unaware of this, resigns her job, so that she can settle into a blissful marital life. When on the first night, Ravi comes to know that she no longer has a job, he is shattered. He takes a vow of celibacy until she finds another job!
Bheeshma Pratignya maadhiri onnu eduthaachu, aanaa, he is finding it increasingly difficult to suppress his physical cravings, she is also in the same position. Though they are sleeping separately on either sides of the wall, they are longing for each other's company.
Indha kattathukkagave, Panju and SPM bring in the buxom and blouseless Raakkaayi (played by Aparna), who lives in a hut adjacent to Ravi's house. Seetha Paatti (of Moondraam Pirai fame) comes as a pookaari and giving flowers to Raakkaayi, asks her if her husband, who went out of station on work, had still not returned. Raakkaayi sighs and replies that he was still away. Then she goes inside the hut, wears the flowers on her hair, lies down on her lonely kayithukkattil, and sings this song of lusty pining, with suitably lewd gestures! Ravi and Sumathi, listen to it, and are moved deeply!!
Manjal araikkum pothu
Mathileri paartha machchaan
Pakkathil vandhaalenna sondham kaana?
Pala naala thookkam illa
Udhadellaam chekka chevakka
Thangam pol meni engum
Javvadhu poosi vechchen
Thazhuvathaan neram valliye
Aalukkoru aasai vechchu
Yekkathai pangu vechchaane
Degathil vegam vechchu
Vegathil bodhai vechcu
Vilayaadum aala kaanene
When I was in +2, a word I came across ever so often was "lovesickness". Now, before you jump into any wild conclusions, let me hasten to clarify that it was only as part of my syllabus, that I chanced upon this word. My Sanskrit master (Yes, adhayum naan vittuvaikkalle! Hearing that it was a scoring subject, and we had to answer only in English, I opted for Sanskrit), used to give this single English word as the meaning for an amazing number of different Sanskrit words and phrases, be it from "Kadambari", "Nalopakhyanam" or "Raghuvamsam"!
Vani expresses this very feeling in such a subtle and fetching manner in this song. The song begins with a hushed humming, which sets the "viraga" mood of the song. IR killadi thaan. By giving this song to VJ, he ensured that it would, in spite of the lyrics, and more important, in spite of Aparna, not become a mere crude cry for cohabitation! At the same time, IR sprinkled his brand of sensuous touches all over the song. Llisten to the music following "Manjal araikkum pothu". kettale kick yerum! VJ also adds her distinct touches. The yearning in the prolonged "theeraadho" is tantalizing, the softy lowered "thazhuvathaan" is mesmerizing, while the controlled moans in the end are intoxicating!
With this, we come to the end of 1977. Before we enter 1978, let me append a ‘Caveat’. While we have discussed around 44 songs by VJ in 1977, this cannot be an exhaustive list. There are bound to be some more songs, perhaps buried in the sands of time. I would be grateful if anyone can add to the 1977 list.
1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 Top