A few days back, one such song revealed itself to me. I was watching Idea Star Singer on Asianet, and in the segment involving celebration of Dr. K J Yesudas' 50 years of singing, one of the contestants sang this song. And that's when I listened to it carefully. And I was moved. Nee en sarga soundaryame has a very 'Christian choir song' flavour to it, and truly so - because it's meant for the same, in the movie. Just watch the video below, and you'll see how it didn't become a typical 'choir' song, at that! But even without that distinction, the song very strongly evokes devotion and sense of surrender in front of the Almighty. It's beautifully composed, and there's not a single time since then, that I haven't felt something stir inside me on listening to it.
The trademark bit, of course, is the tune that is played on the Violin. I watched Ouseppachan's (the Music Director) interview on TV the other day, and he discussed this song. This was his debut movie as composer, and the first song he tuned. Being an expert violinist himself, he recorded a rough version on tape using the violin and sent it to Bharathan (the movie's director) who immediately liked it. Call it a coincidence of sorts, but the movie's lead character, Louis (played by Mammootty) was supposed to be a violin artist, and this song fell right into place! Divine intervention, if you could call it. This song, and two others from the same movie (Kathodu Kathoram and Devadoothar Paadi) went on to be huge hits.
And even though it has the strong 'Christian choir' feel to it, what's noteworthy is that the lyrics aren't. They are quite religiously neutral. And in many ways, that makes it universal - I love that. And most importantly, the comparison it draws - The Lord is the real Beauty, He is the Music. We are all nothing but His manifestations (=man-veena ) created by Him to sing His praise in different tunes. It was probably so written, keeping the lead's character in mind; being an instrumentalist, this could be an analogy that meets the situation.
(Probably atheists and their ilk would want to debate on this comparison. But of course, I don't want to digress; I am here to say why I like this song).
I also liked the part where he compares the sky and the earth to His Devalayam, and the stars to the burning candles(okay, so here maybe they are indeed referring to a Church, after all! But hey, it's subtle, right?).
Last but not the least, I'd like to hand it to Dr. K J Yesudas - he has sung it with absolute reverence, respect and devotion. That goes for any religious song he has sung - Harivarasanam, to Oru neram enkilum or any other.
Movie: Kathodu Kathoram (1985)
Song: Nee En Sarga Soundaryame
Lyrics: O N V Kurup
Singer: K J Yesudas, Lathika
Here's the video -