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Vairamuthu on lyrics then and now

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: "My predecessors were a fortunate lot. Udumalai Narayana Kavi, Maruthakasi or Kannadasan had some of the best situations and good family stories to write lyrics," said lyricist Vairamuthu.

At a meeting organised recently to felicitate him on his birthday, Vairamuthu noted, songwriters of the yore wrote most of their works and only then they were set to music.

"But when I entered the scene it was different. I was forced to write for `mettu' (tune). Except for a few, all my songs were written after the tune was composed. Some songs took hours to write and some took only minutes. The song `Sangeetha Jathi Mullai' from the film "Kadal Oviyam" was written after hours of thinking. But `Ra Ra Ramaiya' (Basha) took only a couple of minutes to write. If I could get more freedom, I will certainly take Tamil lyrics to a higher plane," he noted.

He mentioned a song he worked for director Seeman in a coming film. Vairamuthu gave two sets of lyrics. One showed how Tamil was spoken 20 years ago and another showing how Tamil would be talked 20 hence. After seeing the lyrics director Seeman told him that he was hesitant to use the song as he feared the people may not accept it."

The birthday celebration was organised by Lions Club of Madras Seven Hills.

Music performance

The evening began with a music performance of nearly 35 songs written by Vairamuthu and rendered by popular playback singers such as S.P. Sailaja, Srinivas and Theepan Chakravarthi. Sruthilaya was behind the orchestration for the songs. Vairamuthu was felicitated by Bharathiraja, Sivakumar and the Lions District Governor Dr. Natarajan, and the club president Tanuja Tiwari.

Bharathiraaja said "I know how powerfully Vairamuthu can use Tamil. I am happy that he is my useful introduction to the Tamil literary world".

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