“Thean Inimaiyilum Yesuvin” – Kelungal Tharappadum (1962) – Devotional Gospel Hymn

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Devotional Hymns & Spiritual Series by Vicky Iyengar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Devotional Hymns & Spiritual Series


“Thean Inimaiyilum Yesuvin” in E Major (Kelungal Tharappadum – 1962); “தேன் இனிமையிலும் இயேசுவின்”-கேளுங்கள் தரப்படும் (1962) – Voice: P Susheela (பி சுஷீலா) & Composed by T A Kalyanam (டீ எ கல்யாணம்); Carnatic Raga: Khamboji  (கர்நாடக இசை ராகம் “காம்போஜி”)

Vintage Ethno-Regional Gospel Music & Gana Saraswathi P Susheela’s Varied Repertoire


Gospel Hymns or Sthothira Paadalgal, sometimes referred to as country gospel music, is a subgenre of gospel music with regional country flair. Unlike the European Choral Arrangements, Bach Fugue, “Kyrie” from Padilla’s Latin Mass or the ethereal “Ave Maria” (Charles Gounod version), the ethno-cultural laced country gospel music was tuneful and easy to grasp by the native Church going audience.


The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varied according to culture and social context. In the early 60’s the radio (AIR) continued to develop an audience for Tamil gospel music and came to be known as Sthothira Paadalgal and stirred quite a few souls in the process. Collectively, the “Stothira Paadalgal” themselves were rudimentary harmonies with characteristic motor rhythms (a classic example being “Thandhanai Thudhipome Thiruchabaiyore” by Pillavalla Gajapathi Krishnaveni – Jikki) and varied metric schemes with use of chorus and set to Carnatic raga. In the south, the Gospel music had dominant vocals with Tamil lyrics.


Digging into the literature by this writer about Composer T A Kalyanam’s filmography yielded very few movies. His formative years were spent as an associate with “The Gramaphone Company” (HMV) and later transitioned to conducting/arranging orchestras under the noted S V Venkataraman (Kannagi Fame). He was also associated with Master Sudarsanam during the making of AVM’s Srivalli (1945). Later, like many of his peers before him, joined the prestigious Salem’s Modern Theatres production team. T R Paapa was also part of the Modern Theatres Orchestra. They were later on joined by K V Mahadevan and T G Lingappa as well. While K V Mahadevan went on to compose music for two of the famous Modern Theatres productions – Kaithi Kannayiram & Vannakili and several hundreds in Tamil & Telugu not many films were coming T A Kalyanam’s way for reasons unknown.


The year 1952 saw T A Kalyanam joining forces as a co-composer along with Isai Medhai Gopalsamy Ramanatha Iyer for the MKT Film “Amarakavi” & S V Venkataraman for the S V Sahasranama –Lalitha-Padmini starrer ”Singari”. He became an independent composer with three Telugu film productions “Praignya” (1953), “Vanjam” (1953) & “Vaddhante Dabbu” (1954). He was back collaborating with T R Paapa for the Telugu film “Iddarau Pellalu” (1954). “Beedala Aasthi” (Telugu-1955) & “Sukradeshe” (Kannada-1956) were other notable films where he wielded the baton. After a five year hiatus he was back with “Malliya Mangalam” (Tamil-1960). His stint as an independent composer ended with the Kannada film “Srishaila Mahathmane” (1961). However he continued with his non-film devotional Hindu, Gospel Christian & Islamic albums collaborating with Nagoor Hanifa & Bangalore Ramani Ammal.


One such Gospel Christian album was “Kelungal Tharappadum”, which found favor with the church going audience. The tunes composed by T A Kalyanam became popular hits and still is in rotation even today. All the songs, including the mentioned one had an easy rhythm to it. P Susheela had sung quite a few numbers in that album. Set in Raga “Khamboji” the purity of the sound coupled with Susheela’s gospelic diction enhanced the spirit of the song. Kambhoji or Kambodhi  is a sublime classical raga or musical mode (anciently known as Kambhoja or Kamboja), which is very popular in Indian Classical musical landscape. It is known as Thakkesi Pann in ancient Tamil music (3BCE) which is the oldest reference to this musical mode.

Lyrics
தேன் இனிமையிலும் இயேசுவின் நாமம்
திவ்விய மதுரமாமே – அதைத்
தேடியே நாடி ஓடியே வருவாய், தினமும் நீ மனமே
காசினிதனிலே நேசமதாகக்
கஷ்டத்தை உத்தரித்தே – பாவக்
கசடதை அறுத்துச் சாபத்தைத் தொலைத்தார்
கண்டுனர் நீ மனமே
பாவியை மீட்கத் தாவியே உயிரைத்
தாமே ஈந்தவராம் – பின்னும்
நேமியாம் கருணை நிலைவரமுண்டு
நிதம் துதி என் மனமே
காலையில் பனிபோல் மாயமாய் யாவும் (உலகம்)
உபாயமாய் நீங்கிவிடும் – என்றும்
கர்த்தரின் பாதம் நிச்சயம் நம்பு
கருத்தாய் நீ மனமே
துன்பத்தில் இன்பம் தொல்லையில் நல்ல
துணைவராம் நேசரிடம் – நீயும்
அன்பதாய்ச் சேர்ந்தால் அணைத்துனைக் காப்பார்
ஆசை கொள் நீ மனமே.
பூலோகத்தாரும் மேலோகத்தாரும்
புகழ்ந்து போற்று நாமம் – அதைப்
பூண்டுகொண்டால்தான் பொன்னகர் வாழ்வில்
புகுவாய் நீ மனமே

The functional velocity of the song was kept at a minimal to enhance the apothegm “before you sing you must feel the music”.


தேன் இனிமையிலும் இயேசுவின் நாமம் திவ்ய மதுரமாமே – அதைத் தேடியே நாடி ஓடியே வருவீர் திருச்சபையானோரே The recital of “திவ்ய மதுரமாமே” & “திருச்சபையானோரே” whether emulating a bass or expressing a rhythmic interest – did the composer use Susheela’s voice as an instrument itself? I will leave that to the cognoscente.


காசிநிதனிலே நேசமதாக கஷ்டத்தை உத்தரித்தே – பாவக் கசடதை அறுத்து சாபத்தைத் தொலைத்தார் கண்டுணர் நீ மனமே On can hear Susheela’s internalized bell-like spirited rendering in “பாவக்கசடதை அறுத்து சாபத்தைத் தொலைத்தார்” and anchors with “கண்டுணர் நீ மனமே” – a comforting psalm indeed.


பாவியை மீட்கத் தாவியே உயிரைத் தாமே ஈந்தவராம் பின்னும் நேமியம் கருணை நிலைவரமுண்டு நிதம் துதி என் மனமே – Her maiden voice soars heavenwards knocking on the pearly gates with “பாவியை மீட்கத் தாவியே உயிரைத் தாமே ஈந்தவராம் பின்னும்நேமியம் கருணை நிலைவரமுண்டு நிதம் துதி என் மனமே”


காலையில் பனிபோல் மாயமாய் உலகம் உபாயமாய் நீங்கி விடும் – என்றும் கர்த்தரின் பாதம் நிச்சயம் நம்பு கருத்தாய் நீ மனமே – with kinetic and full of spontaneous energy her voice comforts and assures and painting a colorful tapestry. Watch again the vocal hues and the pitch. See the connection here between the teacher and the taught – How imaginative!


துன்பத்தில் இன்பம் தொல்லையில் நல்ல துணைவராம் நேசரிடம் – நீ அன்பதாய்ச் சேர்ந்தால் அனைத்துனைக் காப்பார் ஆசைகொள் நீ மனமே – blissfully rendered in her trademark style – peak to peak amplitude (a vocal technique). பூலோகத்தாரும் மேலோகத்தாரும் புகழ்ந்து போற்றும் நாமம் – அதைப் பிடித்துக் கொண்டால்தான் பேரின்ப வாழ்வைப் பெறுவாய் நீ மனமே – This composition & rendition deserve every bit of applause for its simplicity and leaving us beatific.


The Bible Says “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make them remember that His name is exalted.” Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth. Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”


“Give praise to the Lord, the God of Israel! He has come to his people and purchased their freedom. He has acted with great power and has saved us. He did it for those who are from the family line of his servant David. Long ago holy prophets said he would do it.” (Luke 1:68-70).


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