KERALA INFO: Folk Songs of Kerala

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Folk Songs of Kerala

by by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)  (Feedback)

Folk Songs

Kerala has a very rich folk song tradition. The farmers, the peasants, the boat men have all contributed to this tradition. They forgot the tedium of toil by singing songs. Even the happiness of the harvest season, the sacramental union of man and woman, and the advent of progeny also found expression in beautiful melodies. Irayimmam Tampy, wrote a lyric for the melody of the traditional lullaby which is one of the most beautiful songs of this kind in Malayalam. Another lullaby melody was chosen by Cherrusseri in the 15th century to retell the Krishna story from the Bhagavatha in mellifluous verse in a Kavya of classical dimensions with forty-seven cantos. The boat song melody was used by Ramapurath Warrier in the 18th century for a fine narrative poem on the story of 'Kuchela' and by Kumaran Asan, for another narrative poem on the great compassion of the Buddha and the disciples who were inspired by him.

Mappila Pattukal (Mopla Songs)

Mopla Songs also known as Mappila Pattukal reflect the Muslim arts forms. These songs represent a long tradition of a happy blending of Arab and local elements of music. The language used in these songs represents a mixture of Arab, Persian, Urdu, Hindi, Tamil, Sanskrit and Kannada. It is believed that the rich literature of Mopla songs has a long history going back to 700 years. These songs sung in rituals, household ceremonies like marriage and as a vocal accompaniment for dances. Love, heroism and devotion to God are the basic sentiments in these songs.

Christian Songs

Pattu literature has many Christian songs which were meant to propagate the Christian faith. One of the main songs deals with the life and deeds of St. Thomas. These songs blend the touch of western music and folk tunes of Kerala. 

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