Susie’s Fab Five | Songs that make you Smile

Adoor Bhasi in Lottery Ticket Comedy interludes have been a staple of commercial Malayalam cinema from the beginning. Many of these scenes were picturised as songs. I have not seen many of these songs, because in those days, radio was the only way for me to listen to songs. Many of these still bring a smile to my face even today. It is only recently that I have seen, through Youtube clips, the actual scenes which belonged to those classic songs.

1. Paappee, Appachaa from  Mayilaadumkunnu ( 1972 )

When I think about comedy songs, the first one that springs to mind is the song “Paappee, Appachaa ” from the movie Mayilaadumkunnu, sung by CO Anto and Latha Raju (Vayalar/Devarajan). To sing a whole song with clarity, while giving the impression of inebriation, takes a good deal of talent and effort which CO Anto has carried away to perfection here, with good support and no less talent from Latha Raju. This is one of those songs I still love even though I have never seen the picturisation. It became something of a catch phrase later, and there is even a recent movie with this same song title, and a song in it with the same starting words.

2. Kuruvippetti Nammude Petti  from Sthaanaarthi Saramma ( 1966 )

Sthanaarthi Saramma - Songbook Cover
Sthanaarthi Saramma – Songbook Cover / Credit : MSI

There was a time when one could not imagine a movie without Adoor Bhasi. Although sometimes he tended towards overacting, he reigned supreme in comedy roles for decades.This satirical song, written by Vayalar and set to music by the great LPR Varma, pokes fun at politics, and the fantastically unbelievable promises candidates make in an election so that they can win. They intend to make the Panchayat a paradise by building parks, roads, streetlights, bridges. There will be mountains of rice grains everywhere ( നാടാകെ അരിയുടെ കുന്നുകളാണ് ! ), the Tax Department will be no more, listen on! I cannot imagine that anyone else singing this song would be as effective.

3. Suruma Nalla Suruma from Kayamkulam Kochunni ( 1966 )

KJ Yesudas in Kayankulam Kochunni (1966)

Who could forget the tall, lanky Suruma seller in North Indian clothes and topi, with his tinkling tambourine, extolling the various virtues of his Suruma to all who would listen! Kayamkulam Kochunni ( 1966 ) the movie,  became famous as much for Sathyan in the title role, as Yesudas in the cameo. Lyrics were by P Bhaskaran and music by BA Chidambranath. I don’t know why, but Yesudas in this scene reminds me of Amithabh Bachchan in Mere Angane Mein . The images this song bring to mind are simply hilarious!

4. Theerchayilla from Neeli Saali ( 1960 )

I listened to this record a lot on our old gramophone when I was growing up. It was a fast and funny song of the times. An elephant causing all kind of chaos running amok in a small town. Based in the Mappila tradition of northern Kerala, P Bhaskaran – K Raghavan team has kept it true to tradition with no little help from the legendary Mehboob. It was a new experience with a lot of new words and phrases, and a new way of singing for my ears at that time.

Listen to an Audio excerpt of the song, courtesy MSI.

5. Naagaraadi Ennayundu  from Devaalayam ( 1964 )

It is difficult for me to imagine the great Kaaranavar of Malayalam film music, the living legend Dakshinamoorthi Swamy, singing frivolous or light hearted comedy songs. But indeed he has. This is one such, and I cannot but include it in my selection. Lyrics are by Abhayadev, and it is set to music by Swami himself.

Kaayalarikatthu Valayerinjappol (Neelakkuyil, set to music and sung by K Raghavan, written by P Bhaskaran ), Vandee, Pukavandee (Doctor, Mehboob, P Bhaskaran, Devarajan), ABCD Chettan Kedi (the one and only song Kishore Kumar sang in Malayalam for Ayodhya, P Bhaskaran/Devarajan ), all these are my favourites, too.

Hope you have enjoyed my selection. Do write in with your suggestions.

16 thoughts on “Susie’s Fab Five | Songs that make you Smile

  1. there’s a fun song on soup in an old malayalam movie which i remember hearing in radio, sung by yesudas. dont remember the movie name. it talks exaggeratedly about a soup being very good for health and will make one a wrestler/healthy man. the repeated ending line is ” ellarum bismillah cholli kudi, nigalleaarum bismillah cholli kudi”. another like i can remember in between is “kallan thadiyaakum mallnaayi maaridum”. it even has a mention of a chinese lad who used to regularly drink this soup and is finally become bruce lee!! any body knows this one and can post it will be great.

    1. Hi coolio
      I think the song you mentioned is “Muthurasoolu Salaamathaakkum” from the movie Bheeman.

  2. A few more comedy songs
    1.Marunno nalla marunnu
    2.I could not remember the beginning but in between the lines there is lines like this
    “Kodathikodukkunna warrantum kondodinadakkunna meen ameen”
    3.Parippivada thuppankettiya cheruppakkarathi(dwanthayudham)
    4.About Meesha(moustache)The beginning couldn’t be remembered.But in the middle there is line like this
    “Japaan meesha”

  3. Comedy songs of yesteryears were also ice breakers that came in handy for those shiny curly haired long collared bell bottomed ,panchara chettans .
    am here searching for a song which had ‘mitayi’ in its lyrics and had a dialogue in tamil, asking ‘indha arokyasami ku rubber mitayi,yeppadi arokyam?…and stuff,would be nice if some one could id that song,wanted to play it for my kid .

    1. Here you go, Sunil. Its from the movie Chandanachola (1975), directed by Jaycee. The song has lyrics by Dr Balakrishnan, set to Music by KJ Joy.The song is sung by Dr KJ Yesudas and the effervescent Pattom Sadan.

  4. Susie,
    Congrats for the selection of the songs. I remember the first four lines of Pappi Appacha in the advertisement of the movie in the news paper at that time. There is another song similar to pappi appacha in the film Kaliyugam which starts paalam kadakkuvolam narayana (P Jayachandran, Vayalar, Devarajan). Malayalam Cinema have a vast collection of those songs that make you smile.



  5. കേട്ടില്ലേ…, ഒരു രൂപ…, അരപ്പിരി,… തള്ള് തള്ള്,…, മരുന്നോ … actually the list is quite long. Anyway the songs listed are hilarious.

    1. Yes, they are all good songs! A lot of fun memories associated with them, too. Especially the song “Thallu Thallu” and an old Fiat Millicento car which was in the family for a few years. The mechanic made a fortune from us with it! 🙂
      Thank you, kris tee.

  6. My god! Nagaraadi? Swami? News to me. LOL!
    great selection as usual! Dasettan’s suruma never fails to make me chuckle. so endearing:)
    one i would add to the list:’viralonnillenkilum veeranallenkilum’ from velu thampi dalawa, picturized on adoor bhasi and sukumari if i am not mistaken. 🙂 Keep writing.

    1. Sukumari must have been so young then, in Velu Thampi Dalawa times!

      Adoor Bhasi’s overacting sometimes ruins the scenes for me in many movies. In Paappi Appachaa he is simply mauling the child actor. I am glad I liked the song before I got to watch the video clip!

  7. Nagaraadi Ennayundu is outrageously hilarious, even after close to 5 decades, it still manages to make you chuckle with its irreverence, mainly for the reason that Swamy is letting it rip without a care. Great Collection Susie ! 🙂

    1. I agree, mainly because of Swami’s ginormous stature in the field, the sense of humour seems somehow unexpected. I think he has sung a couple more funny songs. But this is the best.

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