Tag Archives: coffee-house-song

Manna Dey Songs Popular with the Srilankan Audience Too

Manna Dey, the legendary singer who died at the age of 94 mesmerized the audiences not only in the Indian sub-continent, but his popularity was also equal in the neighboring country of Sri Lanka. The language never became a barrier for this legendary singer whose voice alone melted the hearts of the listeners. The singer gained widespread popularity with the song “Buddham Saranam Gachchami” in the island country. This was the song which was part of the film Angulimala. This particular song had enhanced the prestige of the singer among the common people in the country as well as among the Sinhala Buddhists. The song was composed by music director Anil Biswas. The song “Buddham Saranam Gachchami” is a representative of the soul of this sect of Buddhist followers. The song was dubbed in the Sinhala dialect in the year 1962. This was also the same time around which the original film Angulimala was dubbed in the Sinhala language. A popular Sri Lankan singer by the name of Mohideen Baig lent his voice for the Sinhala version of the same song. After the Sinhala version was out, the song was on the lips of the young and the old alike in Sri Lanka. Karunaratna Abeysekera wrote the lyrics for the Sinhala language. He was a famous poet and an eminent lyricist. This heightened the importance of the songs immensely among the people in this country. The theme of the film Angulimala had also created a place in the hearts of the Sri Lankan audience. This is simply because the film was about Lord Buddha. The film showed how Lord Buddha transformed a robber and a murderer and made them follow the path of righteousness. The song also shows the broad outlook of the people in this country. The song has been sung by an Indian who is a Hindu by religion- Manna Dey. The Sinhala version however had been sung by a Muslim from Tamil Nadu- Mohideen Baig. Manna Dey songs started gaining popularity after this Buddhist religious song was appreciated by the audience in the country. The Sinhalese versions of the singer’s songs in Hindi films began to be made available in the form of CDs and tapes. The songs are even performed now at the various cultural occasions and events. The Sinhalese versions of the Manna Dey songs even garner hits and likes on You Tube from the listeners. Even today at every religious function, this song in the Sinhala version is played. The vast importance of the song can be understood in this way. This also shows why the late Manna Dey gained so much popularity in this country. Language did not pose a barrier. Music overcame every barrier and created a place for him in the hearts of the people.

Priyanka Dutta