wiki:Udumalai Narayana Kavi

Version 1 (modified by Trupti, 11 years ago) (diff)


Udumalai Narayana Kavi (1899-1981)

Tamil lyric writer. Born in a merchant (Chettiar) family; learnt music from theatre songwriter Udumalai Sarabam Muthusami Kavi. Adopted part of his teacher’s name as a tribute. Early work for gramophone companies like Tasophone, Odeon and HMV, often writing comic songs. Employed as lyric writer by theatre groups, e.g. Arya Gana Sabha, where he also occasionally acted. Film début in Krishna Leela (1934). Worked at Angel Films, Salem (Draupadi Vastrapaharanam, 1934; Thooku Thooki, 1935). Campaigned in 1937 for the Congress Party and wrote several nationalistic songs for films like Maya Jyothi (1941), elaborating his characteristic type of humorous propaganda songs. A Dravidar Kazhagam ideologue and early follower of Periyar. Best-known work in the propaganda genre with the comedian N.S. Krishnan, adopting a rationalist atheism also found in the DMK Film. Wrote several propaganda songs for DK films, starting with Ezhanda Kadal (1941). The most famous one was Nallathambi (1949), scripted by C.N. Annadurai and starring Krishnan. Also wrote classic verse opposing the brahminical clergy in Sorgavasal (1954). Songs were often in the old popular Company Natak style, with simple rhymes. His lyrics and poetry were compiled by the Dravidar Kazhagam (1986, edited by Sanghai Velavan).