“Rama Hare, Hare, Krishna Hare!”

Review of the Evergreen Song Collection – ‘Sri Krishna Ganam’ 

Kavignar Kannadasan and Music Director, M. S. Viswanathan got together and produced the compilation of songs – ‘Sri Krishna Ganam’. The wonderful poet had composed eight songs on Lord Krishna, and he left it to M. S. V. to do the rest. Viswanathan brought in the best of talent and got them to render the songs. The committed music director was a popular singer too and he rendered the song, ‘Amara Jivitham’.  

Those were the days when music was enjoyed through a record-player or an audio-cassette player. “I remember my uncle P. B. Seetharama Gupta playing this record at our home those days. This compilation was a rare one. All the leading singers of the day had rendered one song each. ‘Sri Krishna Ganam’ was a combination of poetry, devotion, and music. It was a big hit with the lovers of music and the faithful as well. 

The seventies and the eighties of the twentieth century witnessed a revival of sacred pilgrimages. The world of cinema and modern music came to the aid of these activities. Sensible composers and musicians played a seminal role by connecting common man with divinity. The rendering by celebrities made devotional music extremely popular with the citizens of the land. After which, several movies popularized this approach. This motivated people to produce more in this arena.  

‘Sri Krishna Ganam’ happens to be a compendium of eight songs. The first song, ‘Guruvayurkku Varungal’ was delivered by the playback singer, P. Susheela. The lines, “Sandhyakalathil neeradi avan sannidhi varuvar oru kodi…” speak volumes about the popularity of the temple of Lord Krishna at Guruvayur. The second song, ‘Pullanguzhal koduttha moongilgale’ was presented by T. M. Soundararajan. The line, “Paandvarukku urimai ulla pangai koduthaan” makes us realize that the God will forever come to the succor of his devotees. 

The energetic singer, L. R. Eeshwari, had delivered the song, ‘Gopiyare gopiyare’ and she was not alone in this rendition. The outstanding singer, S. P. Balasubramaniam became even more popular with the song, ‘Ayarpadi maligayil thaai madaiyil kandrinnai pol mayakannan thoongugindraan Thalelo’. This rendition helps us to picturize Lord Krishna sleeping on the lap of his mother, Yashoda. He is compared to a calf here. Lord Krishna was always known as ‘Mayon or Maayavan’ in Sangam Literature. Here, Kannadasan takes us back about 2000 years. 

‘Gokulathil orunaal Radhai’  by P. Susheela talks about the possessive nature of Krishna’s beloved Radha. The dear Lord belongs to every single soul, however each one of us wants to be with him for good. Possessive devotion is brought out in this song by the great poet. Senior singer, S. Janaki continues to be known for her marvelous voice. She has given her best for ‘Sri Krishna Ganam’ through the song, ‘Gokulatthil Pasukkal Yellam’ . The line, “Andha mohananin peyaryai sollil moodi vaitha paathirathil moondru padi nei irukkudhu Krishna hare” tells us about the miraculous effect of chanting the name of Sri Krishna.  

Well-known devotional singer, Veeramani, reaches his crescendo through the song, ‘Kodhayin thirupaavai’. The song talks about the grace of Lord Krishna, the poet tells us that the pure devotion and not status forms the foundation of a permanent relationship between Jeevatma and Paramaatma. The story of Kucchela is pointed out here. Of course, the composer musician M. S. V had done justice through his voice in the song, ‘Amara Jeevitham’.  

“Our family consisted of musicians and music lovers. All of us enjoyed the fabulous collection, ‘Sri Krishna Ganam’. These songs of Krishna added to our love for music and devotion to Lord Krishna – The Supreme personality of god head.”