Songs with poetic beauty | My Fabulous Five

Poetic Beauty

Malayalam cinema has innumerable classic hit songs bursting with soulful lyrics,and many, many brilliant lyricists. But some songs just stand head and shoulders above the rest, when the words, music and voice comes together as a splendid, magnificent creation. They just grab you, and never let you go. The opulent imagery these songs open up in my mind is matchless.  I would like to share some of them here with you.

1. Shraanthamambaram from Abhayam (1970)

Abhayam (1970) Songbook Cover
Courtesy : MSI

Mahakavi G Shankara Kurup penned these beautiful lines and they were used in the movie Abhayam. Set to music by Dakshinamoorthi Swami, and sung with befitting grandeur by KJ Yesudas, to me this is the epitomy of poetic beauty. Here’s a rough translation:

An exhausted sky;
Burning in a rush of fiery dreams,
Groaning under the burden of painful memories,
My mind,
An exhausted sky.

2. Raathri, Raathri from Ezhu Raathrikal (1968)

Ezhu Rathrikal (1968)
On a dark and dreary night, listening to this song in the midst of the surrounding silence, this song reinforces the power and beauty of Night. PB Sreenivas rendered this  song for the movie “Ezhu Raathrikal” with entrancing music by Salil Choudhary and lyrics by Vayalar. It is a real treat.

3. En Chundil Nee from  Ee Kadha Ente Kadha (1988)

Srishti (1976)
Courtesy : MSI

Every time I hear this song, it tugs at my heartstrings. It is a course on how to say thank you in so many beautiful lines – thanking life for the pleasure and the pain, the happiness and sadness. As usual ONV brings his own brand of beauty to the simple idea, and music director Madhukumar has captured the essence of the lines, and Yesudas has sung it with feeling. It is from a less known movie “Ee Kadha Ente Kadha”. I am not sure whether this movie was even released. Never the less, the song stands tall on its own merit.

4. Srishti than soundarya from Srishti (1976)

Written by ONV Kurup, and set to tune by MS Baburaj, for the movie Srishti, this song has always captivated me with its lyrical beauty. It describes vividly the ordeals of creativity.

5. Polthinkalkkala Pottuthotta from Kumarasambhavam (1969)

Padmini in Kumarasambhavam (1969)
What a stupendously wonderful description of the Himalayas! I love the lines by ONV Kurup, and the awe-inspiring music by G Devarajan. Yesudas bagged the award for Best Playback singer in 1969 (for various songs including this) for his glorious rendering.

Do share your favorites.

11 thoughts on “Songs with poetic beauty | My Fabulous Five

  1. All the songs suggested here are excellent. Thank you for the effort. How about-

    Mauname nirayum Mauname…
    Ente manveenayil koodanayanoru…
    Bodhivriksha dhalangal karinju..
    Mane pullimane malineetheerathu..
    Bhoomiye snehicha devankanayoru..
    Manassilunaroo ushasandhyayay..

    Ofcourse the list can go on.. 🙂

  2. a couple were unfamiliar. thanks for introducing these beauties. polthingal kala is simply sublime.lyrics have always mattered more to me than the music. and i think the lyrics contributed a lot towards raising our old songs to a whole other level than merely being ‘songs’.

    i love ONV’s description of the seasons in Ente Kadinjool

    he often talks about kumkumam, sandhyas etc in his songs, such a captivating beauty to the lyrics.

    1. Hi Remi

      Ah, yes!…how can I ignore all the songs from Ulkadal! My fav is Krishnathulasi Kathirukal…

      Polthinkalkkala I think sounds better just as audio because the visuals look contrived, too gaudily artificial, and is a let-down..

      1. Hi
        Saw this article only yesterday. A few that can be included in this list are 1. Himashaila by M.D.Rajendran (Shalini ente koottukaari) 2. Ushasse nee enne by A.P.Gopalan (Paadasaram) 3.Thottene njan by Vayalar (Kottaram vilkkanundu) 4.Sundaraswapname by P.Bhaskaran (Guruvayoor Kesavan) and of course the evergreen 5. Swarnachamaram by Vayalar (Yakshi) set to the finest of tunes by Devarajan, preserving the beauty of the lyrics. And then there are the remaining poems from Abhayam 1. Raavu poyathariyaathe 2.Paavam maanavahrudayam and 3. Neerada lathagruham.

        1. Hi Jagadish

          Who can forget Swarnachaamaram! And also, the other songs from Abhayam. Great suggestions.



          1. Susie
            And how could we forget Innale neeyoru sundararaagamayen (Sthree)? Also enthinenne vilichu nee and Pushpa thalpathil from Abhinandanam?

  3. Susie
    A very interesting selection from the ocean of lyrical wonders made by our beloved masters. Your selection of Raathri… of Ezhu Raathrikal is excellent. This song is broken into three parts in the film. However, in the record, it is woven into a single song.No need to comment on the song Shrishti tan Sowndarya from the film Shrishti since you read the book on Baburaj by Jamal Kochangadi. Polthingal Kala of Kumarasambhavam is a beautiful composition by G Devarajan in Kalyani(Please refer the song book of Kumarasambhavam).

    But can i add Premakavithakale sung by P Susheela written by Vayalar and music set by G Devarajan in the film Aval, sreevalsam maaril chaarthiya sung by Ayiroor Sadasivan wriitten by Vayalar and composed by G Devarajan in the film Chaayam , Pranaveenathan Lola Tanthriyil sung by P Jayachandran and B Vasantha written by sreekumaranthampi and composed by V Dakshinamoorthi in the film Ezhutaatha Katha, Aarude Manassile Gaanamaayi njaan sung by P Leela written by O V Usha and composed by G Devarajan in the film Inquilab Zindabad, Subha Raathri sung by K J Yesudas wriitten by M T Vasudevan Nair and music set by MBS and Ennittum Nee Enne arinjillayo sung by S Janaki wriiten by M D Rajendran and music set by Johnson from the film Naseema in the list?


    1. Hi Sajith

      I had heard (don’t know whether it is correct) that Ezhu Raathrikal was an art-type movie. I did not know that the song Raathri…was in 3 parts in the movie. Thanks…

      You have given us a taste of the variety of beautiful songs available in our movies! I definitely agree with you there. Prema kavithakale…..and Praana Veenathan …are in my favourite list too. And there are several more….


  4. En Chundil Nee from Ee Kadha Ente Kadha (1988) is a first for me, Susie. Never even knew a composition like this existed. The beginning, somehow puts me off ( sounds as if the MD is trying out various ‘moods’ in quick succession before deciding on the tonal tempo ), but as you said, the lyrics are something else. Never listened to a heartfelt expression of Thanks for everything received in life such as this one. One usually associates gospels entwined around such thoughts but this is a first…Thanks..cinematters

    1. Yes, Cinematters. It is mainly the lyrics which is the reason for the song being close to my heart. But I like the music as well.

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