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Lyrical Sense of MDs Lyrical sense of MDs

Topic started by Guru (@ on Sun Sep 29 07:09:39 EDT 2002.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

Quality of film songs has gone down: Lyricists
Our Staff Reporter
Chennai, Sept 29:

Leading film lyricists who participated in the centenary celebrations of lyricist and poet Udumalai Narayanakavi organised by the Sahitya Akademi and Kavya Circle in the city yesterday were unanimous in their opinion that the quality of film songs has degenerated. While veteran lyricist Vali candidly remarked that films had nothing to do with aesthetics or arts and that it was purely a business, popular lyricist Vairamuthu blamed it on the changing times. However, poetess Thamarai provided some comfort to those seeking improvement in film songs when she said lyricists should not bow to the whims and fancies of producers and directors who expect abject verses from them. Thamarai said she declined to pen a song on fashion shows and beauty contests recently. Although she had earned a bad name by such acts, she had successfully avoided writing vulgar and obscene lines. Lyricists should have social responsibility as films and its songs have considerable impact on the people especially youth, she said in a soft but determined tone. Film industry was not purely a business and it had artistic value too, she observed. She hailed Narayanakavi as a poet who propagated rationalism and social reforms and vowed to follow in his footsteps.

Thamarai said all Tamil poets from Ilango who created the epic Silappadhikaran were emotionally attached to Cauvery. Cauvery is not only a river. It is our cultural symbol and the origin of of our civilisation. Poets should be in the forefront of an agitation to secure the release of Cauvery water, which is our right, Thamarai said.

Vairamuthu who spoke later said the deterioration of films songs was a reflection of the changing times. He speculated that he would have penned good songs with quality in both content and form if he was in the film industry four decades earlier. He came out with a revelation that the most popular lyricist Kannadasan had planned to take up journalism after he returned from US (where he died) suggesting that the most successful lyricist who reigned supreme in the Tamil celluloid world was not able to cope with the pressures of modern film industry.

Vairamuthu justified English words in Tamil songs saying that they were used only for humour and fun. Only Tamil words were used for serious situations, he said.

Unlike Vairamuthu who offered several excuses and tried to defend the lyricists, Vali who spoke earlier said film songs were penned for loaves and fishes. Those who claim that they are doing yeoman service to arts and literature by producing films are deceiving people. It is all defrauding the common man. I am in this field for more than 45 years and I know what is happening, he observed.

The other lyricist Muthulingam who also spoke, attributed the deplorable standard of film songs to the lack of Tamil literary knowledge among music directors, producers and directors. Apart from Ilayaraja who is well versed in Tamil literature, no music director understands simple Tamil words leave alone poetry, he remarked.

Muthulingam recalled the achievements of the Justice Party and the association of Narayanakavi with the Dravidian movement. Earlier, a book titled Udumalai Narayanakavi written by K Shanmugasundaram was released by Vali and the first copy was received by Lion V Balakrishnan. Muthulingam also released Udumala Narayana Kaviyin Paadalgal, a collection of Narayanakavis songs. Malayalam writer S Gitendranath delivered the introductory address.


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