The slow death of Kollywood lyrics over the years


When the world looks at Indian Cinema the first thing that comes to mind is Music. Over the years there have been various composers who have taken Indian compositions to the world and beyond. But nowadays there is something that messes with the minds of the people. What happened to our lyrics? 

 As a person who knows Tamil music well right from Gaana Bala to AR Rahman(if I could say so myself), I can't help but think how musical lyricists and lyrics have changed over the years. Gone are the days when Vaali and Vairamuthu transcended mortal boundaries to give us meaningful, out-of-the-world lyrics that would be etched in stone forever. Half our songs nowadays have lyrics that sound like the aftermath of a cat running over a keyboard. 2 or 3  decades ago, every song that was sung had a purpose and a small story within itself which acts as its central source of attraction(I'm not talking about the picturization here, which is another subject altogether).



Whether it was Raja sir with his "Thenpaandi Chemmayile" or Rahman sir with his   "Pudhu Vellai Mazhai"  they have always managed to conjure up some of the best partnerships with our renowned lyricists, creating a synergy that still sounds as good as it did back then. It was all about longevity, sustainability and the 'evergreen' tag back then.



This brings us to today: there are beautiful songs out here which need to be recognised but on the other hand, there are some "Worst-u behaviour" songs which make us wonder about what happened to our precious music. 

Let the comparison begin: 

I know that these comparisons are like comparing Raj Bhavan to Kaiyendhi Bhavan but nammaku vera yenna vellai, SO.. 

In the past songs like "Sundari Kannal Oru Seithi" spoke so beautifully about the love and the promises that Thalaivar makes. Listening to these songs made us think about the one we love, and how much they mean to us. But in today's scenario, with....... 


" Thalukka Vanthu Silukka 

Nee Nightya Thaan Maatikinu 

Pinju En Nenju Athil Mooda Yaethura 

Sokka Oru Pappa Un Kannu Pattu 

Kavunthuputtaen Mama Kitta Vaama 

Nee Yaendi Thittura

En Bittu Padam Di 

En Bittu Padam Di" 



This sathyama sounds like some Nandu brand Nighty jingle. Who will people think about after listening to this? 


This basically takes us "Straight outta Sundari" and "Straight into Shakila". 

Seri, idhu kooda parava illai. Pinju manusu-Chinna Vayasu yezhudhitange. 

In the past, We have seen heroes and heroines tell each other things beautifully through songs like in "Guna" when Kamal-anboodu  writes a letter: 


"Kanmani Anbodu Kaathalan Naan Ezhuthum Kadithamae.. 

Ponmani Un Veetil Sowkiyama Naan Ingu Sowkyamae.. 

Unna Enni Paarkaiyil Kavithai Køttuthu.. 

Atha Ezhutha Ninaikaiyil Vaarthai Muttuthu..

Kanmani Anboda Kaathalan Naan Ezhuthum Kadithamae.. 

Ponmani Un Veetil Sowkiyama Naan Ingu Sowkyamae.." 



Now this song was about a letter that a man tries to write his lover; a conversation slowly shifting back and forth to the song. His intentions are expressed and his message is fused with the song. 

This was before, Nowadays heroes have "Such Valuable" information to tell their lovers. To quote a song from "OKOK": 

 "Agilaa Agilaa En Chedi Poo Poothathae 

Nee Thoda Thaen Sinthuthae Poo Manam Engengum Ok Ok 

Aanala Mugila En Nodi Thithikuthae 

Neee Vara Pathikuthae Ini Ennai Kondralum Ok Ok" 

WAOW, This song is so sly that it makes you wonder if this is a genuine message or a booty call. The amount of layers in terms of double and triple meaning has got even Nolan going "Enna Achu?". 

From "Kanmani Anbodu Kadhalan naan yezhuthum letter", we have moved to "Akila Akila, yen chedi poo poothathae".  

What an AI padam transformation :O 


But the efforts are to appreciated, I say. At least they don't repeat one single word for 5 minutes calling it background music (Surya vandha "Singam Singam Singam", Vijay vandha "Puli Puli Puli" , Thala vandha "Veeeeeeeram"). But we can't blame them, they have a very strong theory. 

Why do I need lyrics? When I have a Title ITSELF? 

Lyricist Kaasu Kammi 

Director is Happy, Producer is double happy. 

Pah, Composer must be a "Rockstar" (Slyness).




At the same time it is not to be mistaken that we do not have good music today, there definitely are some brilliant music and lyrics like... 



"What a Karuvad" No no, Sorry. What about? 

"Hasilli Fisilli" DEFINITELY. 


These songs have got Vadivel going like

"Bijli ah ma? Adhu Deepavali Kaalathula kovilliku veliya vipaange". 


Anyways, Jokes apart. Oh Idhu joke eh illai nu sollringala? Parava illai. 

We do house some really good musicians and singers today which make us wonder why we go wrong in some places in terms of lyrics and music. I don't know, the time before we were born until we hit our teens, it was all about making something that will go down in history, and today it's all about making something that will go down on your sister.

Sustainability has given way to short-lived trends, words have given way to double entendres. Tell me, can you really think of a song from last year that you listen to even today? My bet is that won't cross 2-3 songs, if you're lucky. Is it because the standards are set too high? Or is it because there's too much information and too less time? Whatever the reason is, let's hope that Akila stops gardening and the Bittu Padam ends paving way to a larger scale of meaningful music. 

Oh, What about Beep song? 

Illai paavam, that man has enough problems.


Written by Kishen Das 

1 comment
Gopika a October 27, 2019

I’m not a person to leave any comments. I’m sure half of your comments start like that. So i really enjoyed this post. Loved it. So relatable, so true and so funny. Its difficult to make people laugh through a blog. But wow man you killed it. Loved it. Made my day. Keep writing.

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