Is it in the Tune or the Lyrics?

Posted: April 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

I’ve got a lot of friends who are fans of Hindi songs, some of which I must say sound wonderfully moving (a big fan of A R Rahman, tbh).

But what bothers me about this is that they don’t really have any clue what they’re singing, when they sing along to these tunes.
Which is kind of why I can never be interested in modern day pop Hindi.

One of the most beautiful things about a song to me is what it conveys.
Needless to point out, most pop songs today of most languages just convey either someone wanting to hump someone or someone wanting to hump someone in dis club. -_-

So meaning is a big deal in my books.
I actually found out what a popular Hindi song with a catchy beat meant the other day.
Turns out my friend has obliviously been enthusiastically singing for all to hear, about how much she wants to ‘kiss you hard till you can’t hold it in anymore! yo yo yo!’

Dude, wtf.
Hold what in?
No, don’t answer that. I beg you.

Another popular Thelungu song that my nine year old cousin has been singing after several youtube listens, turned out to be about two teenage village girls.. (sounds good so far) …who are burnt to death by an angry mob of villagers for having an illicit lesbian affair (dammit!).

Then I got a Maldivean song Raarukugaa translated, which had been one of my uber-favourites because it sounded like it was a tragic melody about a lover who had disappeared at sea or something romantic like that.

Turned out it’s about a farmer who sits on a toddy tree and gets eaten by a ghost.

And my favourite part of the song? Where the singer’s voice gets all deep and his face scrunches up in pain as though his heart was being broken by betrayal?

Uh, turns out he was saying, she ate me! she ate me!

Yep, he was in pain alright. -_-

Melodies are beautiful and just the pure sound of it, though you may not understand its literal meaning, can help you escape, make you forget, or remember.

Does it matter that you might be singing about cannibalism, death and sexual deviance, while not even knowing it?
What do you think?

  1. PseudoRandom says:

    Isn’t that how pop music goes around? Have a look at the lyrics of Britney’s latest song. Or ‘2 Become 1’ by the Spice Girls, which was enthusiastically sung repeatedly by a 5yr old family friend much to her mother’s horror (and my amusement)! Or Inner Circle’s “Sweat (A La La La La Long)”, which I used to happily sing around the house, not knowing that I was telling people I wanted them to push it push it some more :SI think we’re drawn to melody – that’s why classical music works. That’s why religious stanzas more often than not are recited as chants. The lyrics come later. Sometimes the melody alone is enough. Sometimes the melody means more when the words are attached.

  2. Tulie says:

    “She ate me, she ate me!”Hahahaha!Well think of the good side – U didn’t go round singing anything worse in a Maldivian’s presence 😉

  3. Gehan says:

    LOL… oh wow that is jus hilarious… 😀 “she ate me”..?! priceless…!

  4. blackexists says:

    i repeat : “she ate me”? WTF?????lol.. with lyrics like that, i’, thankful i don’t understand what they’re saying. the melody is the you pick up on, obviously – i think u listen to the word later, at least that’s the way i do it. thievery corp doesn’t even have lyrics but they’re music really soothes the soul dunnit? :)thought provoking post though 😀 nice one maks 🙂

  5. TheWhacksteR says:

    hahah. i gotta check that maldivian song. i think ballads are wated on the topic of love anyway. so much better melancholy aspects of life to focus on.. nice post. almost laughed out loud 😛 and very true

  6. Gadgetgirl says:

    She ate me??? o.0Let me tell you, Nothing can beat the good OLDIES man!!!!!!!!

  7. AmethystSoul says:

    I actually understand Hindi so I never wonder about the meaning of those … most of them are actually all about unfulfilled desires … I love telling my friends exactly what it is they’re singing so enthusiastically.Lol @ the Maldivean translation. That must’ve been some disappointment.

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