Saturday, March 07, 2009

Worst Lyrics in Tamil Romantic songs

Me and Mr.Alla here were discussing movie lyrics and he wrote an excellent blog on Telugu Movie Song "Sahitya" (in Telugu everything sounds literary - I thought he was referring to Thyagaraja when he mentioned Sahitya). This is the Tamil counterpart.
Some of the worst lyrics in Tamil movies have been written in the last 10-15 year period. Earlier, there was Kannadasan and then initially Vairamithu wrote some excellent lyrics. Around the 80s, they started substituting random words in romantic songs, but it still sounded good.
Now, I am referring to romantic songs specifically here - Kuthu song lyrics have become better and better. For example the recently released Nathamukka song has the following lyrics:
பொண்ணுங்கல்லாம் பொறக்க வச்சான்
பொண்ணுக்குள்ள கருவ வச்சான்
கருவ வச்சான் கற்ப வச்சான்
கற்புக்குள்ள தீய வச்சான்
தீய வச்சு எரிய வச்சான்
எரிய வச்சான் எரிய வச்சான்
மதுரை எரியுது அணைங்கடா அணைங்கடா

He created women and he put the womb inside them
He put the womb and he put chastity inside them
Inside chastity he put fire
He put the fire and he caused it to burn
he caused it to burn, he caused it to burn
And Madurai burns, let us put out the fire..
This is a reference to Kannagi burning Madurai, and it is woven in nicely into the breathless style of the song. (Lyricist P.V.Prasath)
Another really nice "Gaana" song was Vaala Meenukkum in the movie Chithiram Pesudhadi. It described a marriage ceremony celebrated by the different kinds of fish in the sea. Lyricist and performer was "Gaana" Ulaganathan.
(Gaana is a special Chennai inner city folk music that has lots of potential)

So, the Kuthu songs are fine and they satisfy their audience. It is the romantic songs that had really bad lyrics. The situation is changing with Thamarai, Naa>Muthikumar and others but check out some choice romantic lyrics from the last 10 years - just the ones that REALLY make you want to tear your hair.

Movie: Kaadhalan (Lover)
Lyricist: Vairamuthu (DiamondPearl)
Song: Yennavale Adi Yennavale
The hero Prabhu Deva is really taken with Nagma (she being the governor's daughter and him being jobless, sigh). He starts singing to her in his dreams. He really loves her and here is how some of the lyrics go:

காதல் என்றால் பெரும் அவஸ்தை என்று
உன்னை கண்டதும் கண்டு கொண்டேன்
எந்தன் கழுத்து வரை உந்தன் காதல் வந்து
(wait for it)
இரு கண் விழி பிதுங்கி நின்றேன்

I saw you and I realized Love is a great pain
Your love has filled me till the neck and
I am standing with my eyeballs squeezed out
Now, right when I heard that I had an uncomfortable feeling in my eyes and it continues everytime because Unnikrishnan, the singer, insists on singing this in every concert.
But hold on, DiamondPearl goes on:

வாய்மொழியும் எந்தன் தாய் மொழியும் இன்று
வசப்பட இல்லையடி
வயிற்றுக்கும் தொண்டைக்கும் உருவமில்லா ஒரு
உருண்டையும் உருளுதடி

Neither speech nor my language are under my control now
In between my stomach and my throat a formless sphere is rolling

Now, I don't know what is this formless sphere, but come on. The words Urundai (sphere) and Pidhungudhadi (squeezed out) in Tamil are really really not meant for romantic songs.
Whoever wants to have an image of eye baslls squeezing out while hearing a song?

Movie: Love Today (that is really the name of the movie; it was before the Tamil Nadu government started paying movie makers to name their movies in Tamil)
Lyricist: Vairamuthu
Song: Yen Pen Endru

Vijay is roaming around in despair because Suvalakshmi has not been reciprocating his love. He starts singing in a classic melody. This song is tuned beautifully and is a pleasure to hear until you reach this:

தூக்கத்தை தொலைத்தேனே துடிக்குது நெஞ்சம்
தலை போன சேவல் போல் தவிக்குது அங்கம்
I lost my sleep and my heart is hurt
My body is twitching like a chicken whose head has been cut off
Seriously, this man...there is that image of a chicken running around with its head cut off.
Have pity on us.

Movie: Kannedhire Thondrinaal (She appeared before my eyes)
Lyricist: I don't know
Song: Kanave Kalayadhe

Great song, Prasanth and Simran are singing a duet. And here is the offending line:

இது வரை இதயத்தில் யாருமில்லை
சந்து கிடைத்தால் நுழைவாயா?

There is no one in my heart till now
If you find a gap would you enter?

?? Enter what? Where? Plus the word Chandhu (gap) in Tamil literally means an alley. I can understand writing:
பாதை கிடைத்தால் வருவாயா?
or something like that..but chandhu? Nuzhaivaaya? Is that an appropriate word in a romantic song.

Movie: Alai Paayudhe (Waves are breaking)
Lyricist: Vairamuthu
Song: Evano Oruvan

Shalini is despairing because of the tugs of love in her heart and family pressure. This song goes on in the background:
எவனோ ஒருவன் வாசிக்கிறான் இருட்டில் இருந்து நான் யாசிக்கிறேன்
தவம் போல் இருந்து யோசிக்கிறேன் அதைத் தவணை முறையில் நேசிக்கிறேன்
Someone is playing a (flute) and in the dark I am begging him
I sit in meditation and think and I love it in installments
I can understand the first line and even the second half. But, installments? That is "Thavanai Murai" in advertisements for buying cars or cots. It is not a term you associate with love, unless you are paying someone for it. And I don't think they accept installments...or credit cards.

I will leave you with one of the old classics, so that you forget about Prabhu Deva's eyeballs:
நாடாளும் வண்ண மயில் காவியத்தில் நான் தலைவன்
நாட்டிலுள்ள அடிமைகளில் ஆயிரத்தில் நான் ஒருவன்
மாளிகையில் அவள் வீடு
மரக்கிளையில் என் கூடு
For this princess who is ruling the nation, in her epic story I am the hero
But among this nation's slaves, I am one in a thousand
Her home is in a palace
while I nest in a tree branch
And it all rhymes and fits the context!!


Sridhar said...

Poor Vairamuthu! How often does the hero/heroine tongue-tied when falling in love?

வாய் மொழியும் எந்தன் தாய்மொழயும் இன்று வசப்பட வில்லையடி (Kaadhalan)
உன்னைப்பார்த்து எந்தன் தாய் மொழி மறந்தேன் (Bombay)

In other words-

நான் தானம் கேட்கும் ஒரு ஊமையா?
மானம் உள்ள ஊமை போலே தானம் கேட்க கூசி நின்றேனே (Duet)

I agree that sometimes his choice of words are bizarre - but only when you think about them. So, don't think.

Vasanth Kumar Gopalakrishnan said...

Good one! But reminds me other top kuthu songs to add to your list. But i know, there is always a exhaustive list when it comes to kuthu song and only that we will not have space to put them all.

Hail the legend, Kannadasan!

Ending my comment in lighter note

Kannadasan karaikudi pera solli uthi kudi
Kunnakudi machanapol padaporan da

Believe me I somehow like this song

Karthik said...

All these random words usage were started by Vali to make it simple... But most of his words fit to the context and they say its so called contemporary lyrics.They have their own reasons to justify these words..

Vairamuthu might say,"Thavanai Murai" can be elaborated as heroine is still not confidence about her love and expresses @thavanai....:))

Anonymous said...

i would like to mention one of my fav good poetic lyrics:
aval kannakathin kuzhiyil siru sedikalum nadalam,.........
.....pudavayien theardha madipil visirivalaikal,
kattrinil aadum koondhal karisil kaadugal.
movie--khaka khaka
harris composition, sung beautifully by karthick.

Anonymous said...

Yes correct karthik...thavanai just makes sense as u said