Onam Songs from Old Malayalam Films | My Favorites.

Onappaattukal that transcend time.

Onam Songs from Old Malyalam FilmsSongs that celebrate the festive spirit of Onam, the harvest festival of our homeland ( wait a minute, harvest festival? I can’t even recall the last time someone celebrated a decent harvest), have got themselves their own special place in the realm of Malayalam Cinema. Come to think of it, it has been quite some time, since someone decently picturized a traditional Thiruvathira recital or an Onappaattu worth its salt in recent years. Should we blame the increasing disconnect with our traditions, and as an implication, less recognition by the movie-watching public, which again means less marketability? I don’t know.

If I  close my eyes and delve deep into my memories, I unfailingly come up misty-eyed with this wonderful gem, the obvious favorite, everytime called Thumbi Thumbi Va Va, rendered by Shanta P Nair.  The affectionate bond with the dragonfly ( more so in the Onam season) is another fond topic that I have written about here. These songs that follow are in no way a complete compilation, nor do I claim so, these are just a handful of songs that evoke the timeless memories of Onam in me. Hope you would love it as well.

Thulabharam (1968).

Lyrics : Vayalar
Music : G Devarajan
Sung by : KJ Yesudas and P Susheela

Koottukudumbam (1969).

Lyrics : Vayalar
Music : G. Devarajan
Sung by : P Susheela and Chorus

Randu Lokam (1977).

Lyrics : Yusuf Ali Kechery
Music : G. Devarajan
Sung by : KJ Yesudas and Chorus

As famous as the song is, I still wonder, what has Vembanattu Kayal got to do with the traditional Uthruttathi boatraces? Wasn’t it supposed to be Aaranmula?

Vishukkani (1977).

Lyrics : Sreekumaran Thampy
Music : Salil Choudhary
Sung by : KJ Yesudas and Chorus

Ee Ganam Marakkumo (1978).

Lyrics : ONV
Music : Salil Choudhary
Sung by : KJ Yesudas and Chorus

Njanonnu Parayattey (1982).

Lyrics : Mullanezhi
Music : K Raghavan
Sung by : Vani Jayaram and Chorus

Oru Minnaminunginte Nurungu Vettam (1987).

Lyrics : ONV
Music : Johnson
Sung by : KJ Yesudas and Lathika.

I think this is the most perfect song that effectively captures the soul of Onam celebrations in Kerala. You could also listen to ONV speaking about the story that went behind making of the song here.

Continues at : Onam Songs from Old Malayalam Films | My Favorites – Part 2

Onaashamsakal !

11 thoughts on “Onam Songs from Old Malayalam Films | My Favorites.

  1. In the history of Malayalam films ever green actress Jayabharathy received the opportunity to act in 14 female playback’s songs. This is a wholetime record.

    1. P. Leela
    2. L.R. Eswari
    3. P. Susheela
    4. S.Janaki
    5. P. Madhuri
    6. B. Vasantha
    7. Vanijayaram
    8. Jayasree
    9. Latha Mangeshkar
    10. Asha Bhonsle
    11. K.S. Chithra
    12. Sujatha
    13. Lathika
    14. P. Ambili

    1. Wow, Manoj, that is SOME trivia ! Thank you. 🙂 Knew of the Asha-Latha songs with Jayabharathy, but this whole list is a delightful, pleasant surprise. Thanks again.Regards..cinematters.

    2. Dear Manoj
      One more singer you can add in the above list. Sudha Varma rendered the female vocal in the song Sangalpathin Tangarathathil (C I D Nazir). The male vocal is by P Jayachandran.
      In the film Prem Nazir and Jayabharathi appears in the scene.

  2. Your knowledge and passion for the movies and the songs, your detailed,sensitive and critical analysis–ha great congrats–quite a treat.! For me there are two Devarajan gems which I hold close to my heart and would love to listen every Onam-one is the melodious but very seldom heard “Onnam ponnona poopada theerkan,pookani kaanan,poomala korkan,aadi vaa thumbi poothumbi tha thai” –Yesudas Susheela from the Udaya film “Paavangal Pennungal”.The song has a very rhythmic up and down swinging beat, and those melodious touches of Susheela are goose-bumps inducing!The other is the more well known Yesudas -Madhuri number ”Poothumbi,poovan thumbi nee yenthe thullathu” from the film “Surveykallu” Can you please upload these songs for me/ I would be eternally grateful–pattu 54

  3. There are so many other beautiful onam songs in Malayalam almost forgotten by Keralites. A few of them are:

    Kattum Poyi : P. Madhuri in Vazhvemayam.
    Thrikkakara poo poranju: P. Madhuri in Line Bus
    Athapoo Chithirapoo : Jency in Ragam Thanam Pallavi
    Thiruvonapularithan : Vanijayaram in Thiruvonam
    Ponnonakkilikkarukadakkan : Ambili in Nagaram Sagaram
    Poothumbi, Poovan thumbi : Yesudas & Madhuri in Sarvekallu
    Onnam Ponnona : Yesudas & Susheela in Pavangal Pennungal
    Chingapenninu kalyanam : Vanijayaram in Adhikaram
    Mavelikkum Pookkalam : Yesudas in Ithu njangalude katha
    Chellacheruveedu tharam : Chithra in Nyayavidhi
    Veera Verradakumara Vibho : Madhuri in Madhavikkutty
    Pankajashan Kadalvarnan : P.Leela in ______
    Athapookkalamorungiyallo : Ambili in Kathirmandapam
    Aranmulla Bhagavante : Jayachandran in Mohiniyattam
    (This list is incomplete)

  4. Dear Friends,
    The most forgetted songs of P.Susheela in Malayalam that tells on Onam are “Maaveli vaanoru kaalam…”(Kuttavali-1971) and “Athapoo…”(Bheegaranimishangal-1971).I don’t know why these songs are been forgotten by malayalam radio stations even.Another rare song, but only a bit of P.Madhuri is “Poove Poli poove”(Chembarathi-1972)

    1. Hi Manu,
      Thank you for your interesting insights as usual. These are all ‘news’ to me. And once you have listened to it, I too wonder why these songs have been relegated to the backburner by our FM Channels. Was able to get their links shared from the web. Here they are :
      1. Maaveli vaanoru kaalam from Kuttavali (1971), sung by P Susheela. Music : Dakshinamoorthy. Lyrics : Vayalar.
      Track excerpt, from MSI.
      [audio http://malayalasangeetham.info/published_clips/1To3/2315.mp3|bg=0xd1ad80|righticon=0x767676]

      2. Anjalipoo from Bheekaranimishangal (1971), sung by P Susheela. Music : MS Baburaj. Lyrics : Vayalar.

      3.Poove Poli poove from Chembarathi (1972) sung by P Madhuri. Music : G Devarajan. Lyrics : Vayalar.

      Thanks again, cinematters

      1. Dear Manu
        I believe that the song from Bheegaranimishangal actually starts with Anjali Pooo… Pooo Pooo Pooo. Am i right?

    2. Manju Krishnan, are you referring to the Susheela number “Athapoo,chithira poo, akkare ikkare pookalam,MALLI POO MALATHI POO,PUTHEN PENNINU POOKALAM’ tHIS SI FROM THE FILM KATTUPOOKAL”

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