Onam Songs from Old Malayalam Films | My Favorites – 2

Paddy Fields of Kerala
Pix Credit : KC Bimal

Taking off from a list of favorites that was compiled a year back, during the eve of the Onam festival, this is another handful of songs from old Malayalam movies that bring out the spirit of our harvest festival.

[ All track excerpts are courtesy of MSI ].

Amma (1952)

Amma (1952)
Pix rights : The Hindu

A bi-lingual, produced in Tamil and Malayalam by the legendary TE Vasudevan, this was a social drama that rode to success on the ‘maternal shoulders’ of Aranmula Ponnamma.  Of the 14 songs written by P Bhaskaran, set to tune by V Dakshinamoorthy, it also had a qawwali, which according to Vijay ji is the first Qawwali ever sung in Malayalam films. What makes it all the more interesting that it is led by none other than V Dakshinamoorthy himself, which was also his debut as a playback singer ! Pon thiruvonam is sung by P Leela and is the best as they come as one that heralds the arrival of the festivities.

Ponthiruvonam by P Leela and Chorus. [ Track excerpt]


Mudiyanaaya Puthran (1961)

The first in the series of the KPAC plays to be adapted on to the silver screen, the popularity of KPAC’s play which debuted in 1957 helped in its own way fuel up the popularity of its screen version too. The movie was produced by TK Pareekutty for his Chandrathara Productions, and was the debut of Ramu Kariat, Adoor Bhasi and S.Konnat – the art director who would later become a staple for all of Udaya’s productions, specially the Vadakkan Pattukal. The main roles of the village rebel Rajan was played by Sathyan ( O Madhavan in the stage version), his lady love Chellamma was Miss Kumari( KPAC Sulocahana in the stage adaptation), and the play had even won the the Kerala Sahitya Academy award for best literary work in the drama category in 1959.  The film adaptation won the President’s Silver medal for best regional film for 1961. You can read an exhaustive review of the film adaptation here, done by B Vijaykumar. I have written in detail about the KPAC Drama songs here. The music for all the songs was by MS Baburaj, for lyrics penned down by P Bhaskaran.

Onathumbi Onathumbi by Kaviyoor Revamma.

Puthiya Aakaasham Puthiya Bhoomi (1962)

Puthiya Akasham Puthiya Bhoomi (1962)

Puthiya Aakasham Puthiya Bhoomi did not really enjoy the popularity of the spectacular success of the play, even with the presence of the A-list actors of the time, Sathyan, Raagini, SP Pillai didn’t do much to help its faring at the box-office.  Riding on the original theme and the impact it had as a play, it helped win the Regional Award for the Best Film in 1962. Here is one of the early works of MB Sreenivasan from Puthiya Aakasham Puthiya Bhoomi. Lyrics by P Bhaskaran. Its a duet by KP Udayabhanu and P Leela. (The song seems to be an early precursor to Sathyan’s picturisation of Periyaarey in Bharya. The similarity is striking).

Thaamarathumpee Vaa Vaa by KP Udayabhanu and P Leela.

Doctor (1963)

Everytime I listen to Ennane, Ninnane, I am taken aback at the simple imagery that evokes a flood of memories of Onam’s festivities. The song was picturised on Shanthi and Nellikkodu Bhaskaran, sung by KJ Yesudas, P Leela and chorus as a midnight thiruvathira ensemble that is guaranteed to make smile wistfully.
When P Bhaskaran writes about

നീലനിഴല്‍ക്കീറു ചുറ്റും നാട്ടിന്‍പുറങ്ങള്‍
നാലുമുഴം കോടികൊണ്ടു നാണം മറച്ചൂ
പുത്തരിക്കു കൊയ്ത്തുതീര്‍ന്ന പുഞ്ചവയലോ
പുത്തനായ ചേല മേലേ ചുറ്റി രസിച്ചൂ

I can only fervently hope that atleast the Kodi Mundu survives the onslaught of ‘ our times.’ The Punchavayal is almost a memory now.

Ennaane Ninnaane by KJ Yesudas, P Leela and chorus

{Track courtesy : Achinthya}

Vaazhve Mayam (1970)

Vazhvey Maayam (1970)KPAC Lalitha ! That’s all that comes to mind with Kaattum Poyi, how young, impish, supremely talented and confident she looked, not to forget her graceful and natural screen presence. KS Sethumadhavan‘s seminal work on “marital infidelity that grows into a mighty oak from  a tiny seed that harbors suspicion”, based on P Ayyaneth‘s work, Sathyan and Sheela excelled themselves in the movie. The track, Kaattum Poyy, Mazhakkaarum poyy is also a metaphor on the daily expected highs and lows of her life, as seen by Gowri ( KPAC Lalitha), the wife of Kuttappan, career alcoholic, electric linesman and loving husband who also takes evil pleasure in pulverising his crockery daily as a domestic activity every evening, as soon as he reaches home.Another Vayalar-Devarajan teamwork, P Madhuri gives it her best as the lilting melody carries you away.

Kaattum Poyy, Mazhakkaarum poyy by P Madhuri : Starts at 5:37.

Panchavadi (1973)

Panchavadi (1973)Sreekumaran Thampi‘s dazzling imagery once again comes to the fore with this composition. One aspect that I find very amusing with most of the “Detettive” flicks from Malayalam was the presence of these bunch of amazing compositions, ‘which had no earthly business to be in the film ‘ :).. Poovanipponnum Chingam speaks about the lovestruck male finding the beauty of all the visual delights that Onam represents in his beloved’s countenance. Set to music by Arjunan Master, this is a refreshing take on the usual love song, deftly mixing it with the festivities of Onam. whipping up a magical lyrical treat in the process. KJ Yesudas brings the emotions to life.

Poovanipponnum Chingam by KJ Yesudas

Thiruvonam (1975)

It is the Sreekumaran ThampiArjunan Master magic once again, in the dulcet and flawless voice of Vani Jairam. As the poet reminisces about

കാവിലെ പൈങ്കിളിപ്പെണ്ണുങ്ങള്‍ കൈകൊട്ടി പാട്ടുകള്‍ പാടിടുന്നൂ….
പാട്ടുകള്‍ പാടിടുന്നൂ….
ഓണവില്ലടിപ്പാട്ടിന്‍ നൂപുരം കിലുങ്ങുന്നൂ…പൂവിളിത്തേരുകള്‍ പാഞ്ഞിടുന്നൂ….പാ‍ഞ്ഞിടുന്നൂ………പാഞ്ഞിടുന്നു….

I wonder if the future generations would be able to relate to any of the imagery as time goes by.
Thiruvonappularithan by Vani Jairam

{Track courtesy : Achinthya}

Minimol (1977)

No Onam is complete without the customary rendition of this composition in the popular mainstream media. It has come to represent a staple ingredient of every single “Channel Onam Celebrations”, and not surprisingly, its yet another masterpiece from Sreekumaran Thampi.

Keralam Keralam by KJ Yesudas

Warm wishes of the Season !

Related : Onam Songs from Old Malayalam Films | My Favorites – 1

8 thoughts on “Onam Songs from Old Malayalam Films | My Favorites – 2

  1. I want the onam song which starts ..Onappattum padi………….Which resembles in music with a Bengoli song Dittam Dittam Bole…………
    Any help please………..

    1. Hi Binu,
      I presume you meant Theyyam Theyyam Thare from Neelaponman (1975), set to music by Salilda.But it has NOTHING to do with Onam as the visuals would tell you. Here is the song from Neelaponman.

      Here is the Original version by Hemanta Mukherjee.

      Hope this is the one..cinematters.

  2. a million thanks for uploading “poovani ponnum chingam too, another number that perhaps didn’t get the att so liltingly and with verve and feel that only the gandharvan can bring!ention it deserved.sheer melody sung as usual

  3. Hello Paattu 54
    The song is from the film Paavengal Pennungal wriiten by Vayalar and composed by G Devarajan. Premnazir and Vijayashree appears in the scene. The film was produced by Udaya and released after Tenaruvi. I got the audio version of the song with me


  4. Thank you thank you for the number “Ennane ponnane’.As you rightly remarked it suffuses one with its nostalgic feel for the good ole times.Leela chechi sings it with the verve and the Malyalee” thanima” that only she can bring.The sustain at the point “Yemoola thevi yaaneeee”(?) is so so sweet every single time.And a VeryYoung DASETTAN’S ENTRY WITH JUST TWO LINES IS SIMPLY OUT OF THIS WORLD.MANY POINTS IN THE SONG WHERE YOU GET” ROMANCHAM”

  5. What about Onnaam Ponnona Pooppada theerkkan – Yesudas and P Susheela (Paavangal Pennungal), Ona Thumbi Vannatte – L R Easwari (Althaara) Muthe Nammede Muttathum Muthukudakal vidarnallo..Onam Vannu – P Leela (Priyathama)? These songs, i think, can also be included in the list.


    1. Dear Sajith,
      What about it ? The More, the merrier ! 🙂 As I keep repeating, why not put your thoughts associated with the songs that you just mentioned, and it would be a perfect follow-up to the ones that is already there. Think about it :)..Regards..cinematters

    2. YES sajith I hope you saw my post on “Onnam ponnona poopada theerkan”.Dying to hear it! However my attempts have not been successful.Any ideas? It is an Udaya film.-Pattu 1954

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