Err…not IR!

The other day my friend suggested an Ilayaraja (IR) song to me from 1980s. He was actually quite surprised that I had not heard that song. So I went home and searched for the song in YouTube and in a matter of minutes was completely drawn into it. The song Kaakai Siraginile from ‘Ezhavathu Manithan‘ is based on a poem by the legendary Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi which has been rendered splendidly by Yesudas. There was one nagging thought in my mind though, over the course of repeated hearings – How could I have missed this gem of a song? How come it never turned up during my searches for IR hits?

The answer, when it came, was quite shocking. The song was composed by L Vaidyanathan (elder brother of great violinist and composer L Subramaniam) and not IR! Just a look at some comments on the internet and it was evident that I and my friend were not the only ones who had this misconception. To be frank this was not the first time; I have been in this situation earlier too. Below is a list of few songs, those that I had initially attributed to IR.

1. Puththam Pudhu Olai – Vedham Pudhitu [Composer: Devendran]
I am not sure whether it was the fact that this was a Bharathiraja movie or that the movie was in a rural setting that I had assumed the music to be of IR. I had not even bothered to check the movie’s credits and it was much later that I learnt that the movie’s score was composed by Devendran. I think the orchestration of this song was also a major contributor for my misjudgment.

2. Kaakai Siraginile – Ezhavathu Manithan [Composer: L Vaidyanathan]
The melody, Yesudas and the 1980s – these were the reasons that I was pretty sure this was an IR composition. Even the whistling at the last leg of the song gave it that western touch that was so ‘IR’ish. It is also no surprise that the song was composed by L Vaidyanathan whose title track for the series ‘Malgudi Days‘ is enchanting and still remembered.

3. Sollathe – Sollamale [Composer: Bobby]
The melody and the use of violin in this song, sure has an IR feel to it. For anyone listening to this song, it would be hard to not think about IR as the composer for this song.

4. Enna Ithu Enna Ithu – Nala Damayanthi [Composer: Ramesh Vinayagam]
This song has all the ingredients that are usually associated with an IR composition – a soothing “Pallavi”, great orchestration, a solid violin arrangement. To top it all the movie was a Kamal Hassan‘s production. So who wouldn’t think of IR? The actual composer Ramesh Vinayagam has also done some beautiful compositions for the movie ‘Azhagiya Theeye‘.

5. Nathiyoram Veesum Thendral – Alexander [Composer: Karthik Raja]
This song had the ‘feel’ and ‘quality’ of IR all through it. It was hence only a little surprise when I learnt it was composed by his son Karthik Raja, who despite being a good composer seems to have vanished from the scene.

There are many such songs that seem like composed by IR, when they are not. I am not sure if that is the brilliance of the actual composer or the genius of the Maestro himself who has set his own benchmark for good songs. Either ways, the listeners like me are blessed.


~ by Jayanthan Ravi on October 11, 2013.

2 Responses to “Err…not IR!”

  1. I can add a couple of more songs. Aadiyila sethi solli from En aasai machan was actually composed by Deva while I thought it was IR. Also, the entire album Vaazhve Maayam was by Gangai Amaran, not IR as I had thought! 🙂 🙂

    • True… With such standards, we begin to credit any good music to IR or ARR. Like we say ‘Maniratnam Padam mathiri irukku..’ (KADAL exception)

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