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)
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,
An exhausted sky.
2. Raathri, Raathri from Ezhu Raathrikal (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)
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)
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.