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Graduate in Maths, Postgraduate in English literature. Worked as a medical transcriptionist, also as a teacher.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Why this Kolaveri on lyrics?


    'Oh, you did not listen to the newest sensation? Dai Kolaveri(You, Kolaveri) !!.' This will be the reaction from somebody if you say you have not heard Dhanush's Promo song 'Why this Kolaveri'? This song, for which the actor Dhanush penned the lyrics and sang in his own voice to the tune set by an eighteen-year-old debut music director, has become an unexpected rage with more than 8 million viewers touching the YouTube for the song within the first 10 days. This should break all the Guinness records for the YouTube search if there is one.
          I have to say that I listened to this song out of curiosity. To be frank, I could not make any sense of the lyrics in this song. The tune of this song is definitely catchy which made me hear the same multiple number of times. Many of us would have now searched for the meaning of the word 'Kolaveri.' There is one word which still does not make sense to me. This word is 'bouv-u' coined to rhyme with cow-u and love-u,now-u. After hearing this song, I feel any one of us can pen lyrics to a song. One need not be a poetic expert like Sahir Ludhianvi, Javed Akhtar, Vairamuthu, Vali, ONV Kurup etc. who will put down years of sweat and hard work to become an acclaimed lyricist or a poet. You need not be a veteran in a particular language. One can sprinkle some random words and see to it that the tune is catchy. Is this a kind of slap in those well-established lyricists? How long will this kind of music with scanty lyrics last? I do not want to be a pessimist or a person whining with nostalgia as to 'oooh, during the 60s and 70s we listened to those golden oldies with beautiful poetry(lyrics) set to melodious tunes which today's youngsters do not understand.' We have to accept the fact that the current generation does not have the time and patience to listen to the lyrics and grab the true essence of a song. The careful emphasis on good lyrics for a film song started to decline by the 90s and it was enough to have some catchy tunes to make the song a hit. We do find here and there some really soul-stirring music with good lyrics, but those have become far and few.

                   What will make a film song or an album a hit? There cannot be a definite answer to this. The catchy and imposing tunes set to the lines do play a major part. A soulful song or an album which will live through the generations should have good lyrics, melodious tunes and even the scenes that will blend accurately with the song. Many songs are more enjoyed by the public by watching them on the screen than just listening to them. Coming back to the Kolaveri song, this adds an unexpected feather to the cap of the actor Dhanush who doubles as a singer, and also to the cap of the first-time music director, Aniruddh. But, this is a kind of 'Bubble hit' and if the music directors attempt to bring out more songs in similar lines, they maybe in for disappointment.