Friday, January 21, 2011

A short history of lyrical eloquence in modern Kannada music

Inspired by A short history of modern African-american music[Image]

Shanubhogara MagaLu - K.S.Narasimhaswamy, 1942

An extraordinarily perceptive, sympathetic and gently humorous description of the joys, unsaid wishes, constraints, little white lies and wisdom of lovable characters in a harsh social mileu.


Amma Loosa - V. Nagendra Prasad, 2011

"Pappa pyaanv..bum bum bumbum...Amma loosa? Appa loosa? ... Baa baa black sheep ..."


I debated for a long time whether to choose Shanubhogara MagaLu or Rayaru Bandaru for the gold standard. While the latter is much lighter, the lyrics are no less brilliant.

The nadir also had stiff competition: I had been intending to write this post for years now, and the prize contender till this clear champion came along was the hitherto apodictic Taliban Alla Alla.

1 comment:

S said...

While you may lack the requisite background to appreciate the rest of the song, surely you can see that the inclusion of "Baa baa black sheep" and "Humpty Dumpty" in the Amma Loosa song is a work of Genius. It is pointed social commentary that shows up the lyrical worth of English-language interludes in Kannada songs; it is, thus, a true work of Deconstruction. By strictly adhering to the formula while stripping it to its core, the lyricist creates a product of Reconstructivist Art, one which can rightly take its place alongside, say, The Princess Bride or Casablanca.