Christian Songs From Old Malayalam Films -3

Salil Choudhary had this amazing sensibility to really get under the skin of any genre of music that he was briefed to create according to the Director’s vision. Add to the sound tapestry that we are familiar with, when it comes to Salilda‘s contribution to Malayalam cinema, a Russian composition for Nellu (1974), and I would say the most perfect Christian harmonic church chorale I have ever heard onscreen was in Aparadhi ( 1977), Nanma Cherum Amma. It is also surprising that he never repeated that composition anywhere, maybe because it was so appropriate and unique, just perfect for that moment for that one film in Malayalam. I have had the misfortune to listen to countless versions ( really really horrible, terrible, scary covers) of the song available in the market, and I chuckle to myself when you realise that even with the latest cut-and-paste sound engineering magic in recording studios these days, NO ONE has been able to replicate the haunting harmony of the song!

Nanma cherumamma

Film : Aparadhi (1977)
Music : Salil Choudhary
Lyrics : P Bhaskaran
Sung by : Sujatha, Latha Raju, Master Satyajith Master Sreejith ( Thanks to Achinthya)

Yerusalemin Nadha

An added bonus from LPR Varma, as songs of this nature was so rare in his body of  work. Trust KS Sethumadhavan to come up with another great movie, based on the story by Muttathu Varkey, Sthanarthi Saramma also had the famous Kaduvappettikkottilla sung by Adoor Bhasi!

Film : Sthanarthi Saramma (1966)
Music : LPR Varma
Lyrics : Vayalar
Sung by :  P Leela

Aakashangalil Irikkum

I have covered in detail about the history of the song here.

Film : Naadan pennu (1967)
Lyrics : Vayalar Rama Verma
Music : G Devarajan
Sung by : P Susheela

Yerusalemin Naayakaney

Rebecca (1963) and directed by Kunchacko, was a tale of unrequited jealousy, combined with an O Henry twist. There is some considerable debate as to the music direction of the film. The pattupusthakam of the movie tells you the music direction of the 10 songs written by Vayalar, was composed by a certain “Molly” which seems to be very strange and curious.

Though other trusted sources affirm its K.Raghavan‘s work, I am trying my level best to get to the ‘truth’ of the matter.  ( Update, 24 Dec 2010 | It is K Raghavan‘s work, as Felix confirms it through his trusted and reliable sources. Thanks Felix)There were two songs of the ‘Christian Devotional’ kind in the film, one was the PB Srinivas classic, Baliyalla, Baliyaalithu and the second was Yerushalemin Naayakaney sung by P Leela.

I do not have a copy of the former to share, We do have one now along with the latter on Youtube.

Film : Rebecca (1963)
Lyrics : Vayalar
Music : K.Raghavan???
Sung by : P Leela


Baliyalla by PB Sreenivas


Yesumathaavey Janani

Yesumathaavey from Nathoon (1974) is one of the rare gems from MS Baburaj/ S Janaki collaboration in the ‘Christian Devotional’ ouvre. Needless to say, Janakiamma’s voice wraps around you like silk. The lyrics were by Sreekumaran Thampi, set to music by MS Baburaj.

Film : Nathoon (1974)
Music : MS Baburaj
Lyrics : Sreekumaran Thampi
Sung by : S Janaki

Related : Christian Songs From Old Malayalam Films – 1

Related : Christian Songs From Old Malayalam Films – 2

………To be continued

21 thoughts on “Christian Songs From Old Malayalam Films -3

  1. Hats off to all of my unknown friends who have posted citsomments.Let me post certain tips.Composer of RABEKKA is K.Raghavan who used names such as Molly and Raghunath since he was employed in A.I.R. He used Molly in Rabeka and Neeli Sali. Further,the first Christian devotional song is KANIVOLUM KAMANEEYA HRIDAYAM of Snehaseema by P.Leela.But we won’t find a devotional touch since D.Moorthy Swamy composed in pure carnatic style.For me the best one is YESUNAAYAKA DEVA SNEHAGAYAKA of film Thankakkudam in the best.This is composed by Baburaj. PAATHAYIL PRAKASAMAY sung by Thampi in Mulkkireedam composed by Pradeep Singh also shouldn’t be ignored. I bow before all concerned who have given me a chance to scribble these lines. Ravi.C.V Ambalapara, Ottapalam.

  2. CM
    You pointed out that there were two songs of the ‘Christian Devotional’ kind in the film Rebecca. One was the PB Srinivas classic, Baliyalla, enikku Vendathu Baliyalla and the second was Yerushalemin Naayakaney sung by P Leela.
    In fact there is a third song Aakaashathile Kuruvikal Vithakkunnilla Koyyunnilla (K J Yesudas). In the film in the same genre. This song is rendered by a bullock cart rider (I believe its S P Pillai – not sure)
    in the charanam Vayalar writes…
    Snehamenna Nidhiyum Kondoru
    Daivaputran Vannu
    Kurusiletti Mulmudi Nalki
    Kurudanmaar Nammal…
    There is also a fourth song Iniyoru Jananamundo by PB Sreenivaas. See the last line of this song… Israelin Mulkireedame Ninte Raajyam Varaaname…


    1. Thank you for the update, Sajith. Always good to have a resident Music archivist around 🙂 Been listening to them after dusting it up, but somehow just doesn’t seem to tug inside like the other two. Thanks again..cinematters

    1. Thank you Pratheesh for writing in. Compositions such as these invariably becomes a part of all those fond memories one associates with childhood. for most. It does, for me.The ones that you have sent are my favorites too.Regards..cinematters

  3. Dear Ones
    Does anybody know about an old christian song “Mulmudiyettu vangiya sirassum,
    Murivukalale nirayum thiruvudalum, kanmunnilennennum mayathe nulkkanam, Mary suthane en rekshakane…..” If anybody has got this song please post it.
    Varghese Benjamin

    1. Dear Varghese Benjamin,
      Thank you for passing through and writing in. Would you be able to recall whether the track was from an album or from a Malayalam film?And if its either, what would be the time period when you first listened to that? Would help a lot in tracking down the details with these pointers…Thanks..Cinematters

    1. Dear Shyam Voiz,
      I believe I have made it very clear that I DON’T ENGAGE IN FREE DOWNLOAD of AUDIO AND VIDEO FILES. I would request you to explore other options for that. Thank you for passing through. Regards..cinematters

  4. Yes, thanks to Salilda’s site I’ve heard most of the other versions of the malayalam songs.
    Biju, I meant that there is no BGM music after the pallavi and before the charanam and again after the charanams. The song is continuous.

    1. Dear Sunny,
      Now I get it 🙂 The interlude/bridge part! Yes! Everytime I listen to that song, I also wonder about why KJY is chugging on, piling verse after verse without a break..:) Thanks.. Have a great day..

    1. Dear Achinthya,
      Just about to sent that link to Sunny 🙂 Thanks so much. I completely agree with what you mentioned about “the way the man makes every song sound true to the respective regional flavour with the mildest differences made in the basic tune” – and I have the highest admiration for his genius. Thank you once again for passing though.. Regards…CM

  5. I would like to point out one other christian song of Salilda.

    Dukithare Peedithare from Thomasleeha. The only song that I know of which has no BGM at all.


    1. Dear Sunny,
      Thank you for writing in. I didnot quite get all of what you said on the BGM part of the composition. Is it that there is absolutely no music at all accompanying the vocals in the movie version, because the recorded one from the LP has a bit of violins overlay and a rhythm section to it. I have also heard that like much of his compositions, this was also adapted and reworked from one of his old Bengali compositions, from a Rabindrasangeeth followup to the famous Krisnokoli folk song – though DP sounds like the same on steroids :).. Warm regards..CM

    2. Dear Sunny
      Please see the film St Thomas (Thomasleeha). The song Dughithare starts with a church chorus about 10 seconds composed by a person like Salil Chowdhury who is the best in composing BGM in the country! But this was mercilessly edited in the record. That was the fate of lot many Malayalam songs

  6. The boy who sang Nanma nerum amma, along with Sujata and Latha Raju is Master Sreejith (and not Sathyajit, as written here), the son of V T Nandakumar, the famous writer.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Achinthya,

      Thank you so much for pointing that out. I have corrected it. There are two more entities that still carry this glaring mistake and I have notified them too, for the same to be corrected, thanks to you. Its interactions and feedback like this that makes this effort worthwhile and valuable for the community. Thanks again…CM

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