I love melodies, or rather - I prefer melodies. Though not even semi-fluent in Carnatic, I find it soothingly beautiful. There is something magical about being able to produce something beautiful out of laid rules. Music teaches discipline. The line that separates a rendition from cacophony is singing to the notes, or playing to the tunes - adhering to which a well written set of notes results in a wonderful string of tones. Every song has its voice. Voices lend feeling to the song.
There are many songs in which I lose myself, lose track of time, and lots of time, eventually. But, there is loads of peace, and happiness in it. Sometimes, a puddle of energy. Some songs have excellent lyrics, some are so awesome on the music front alone you don't care what the lyrics sound like. Some songs introduce you to voices that you never heard before, and you would want to hear nobody else. These are the songs you play over and over, but never get tired of.
One such song is Narumugaiye, from the Tamil movie Iruvar.
It is a Carnatic styled romantic song eased into the movie (in the movie). I am no good when it comes to Tamil literature, I can barely string words together while reading; and have a tough time interpreting the purest form of the language. But, even for someone half as literate it sounded so soulful. I read the lyrics to slow the song down, and it makes more sense. I decipher the lyrics and see the simplistic beauty in it.
The song basically describes two lovebirds wondering how they fell in love, and probably list out all the reasons why too. It is the rendition meted out there by the singers that plays the trick. And the back ground music, of course. You can easily be listening to this track and imagine yourself by the shores of a lake in the forest, meeting your loved one there. Not a lot can be left to imagination when the singers carve out the duo out there for you.
The shrills, the control, the pitch, the tone, the raga, the lyrics, they all combine to give a soothing effect. It is no grand song, it is not going to set a stage on fire. It is what you need to go to when you want to do some soul searching. A romantic weather, mild rainshowers, early morning wintry sunshine, late evening breeze etc go well with this in the background. In any case, Narumugaye makes you forget all that is around you.
The song was written by Vairamuthu and sung by Unnikrishnan and Bombay Jayashree, and soundtracks courtesy A.R. Rahman. That's a great combination in there already!
Listen to the song here.
Here is a webpage that has the lyrics and translation for the song, and the video (also beautiful).
The movie includes many more wonderful songs that takes us a few years back. Aayirathil Naan Oruvan, Hello Mister Edhirkatchi are two to name.
Do let me know of similar songs, in any language.