Monday, August 22, 2005

Review of Bihari song

Bihari Song :
saasooji tera laadlaa love you, love you kehta hai
saasooji tera laadlaa love you, love you kehta hai
saasooji tera laadlaa love you, love you kehta hai
saasooji tera laadlaa love you, love you kehta hai
saasooji tera laadlaa love you, love you kehta hai
saasooji tera laadlaa love you, love you kehta hai
saasooji tera laadlaa love you, love you kehta hai

Review :
Fascinating.
Notice the formal incantatory structure, with it's hint of temple chants and sacred ritual, so reminiscent of Nietszche's idea of infinite return, and a wonderful allegory for the mindless repetitiveness of life in the late 20th Century. Notice also the abrupt changes in language, signifying the essential confusion of the narrator and his struggle to find identity in a rapidly changing multi-cultural world, where traditional norms are collapsing like nine-pins in a bowling alley. Finally, note also the brilliance of that comma, deftly inserted between the two "love you"s - a simile for the essential division between man and man, for the impossibility, even in the face of true love of uniting two human souls and the consequent necessity of some distance, if only a heartbeat of a punctuation mark, between them.

The other interesting thing about this song is the similarities between the form here and traditional folk songs / ballads from elsewhere in the world. I'm reminded for instance, of the classic Edwardian hunting ballads ("With a heigh ho! the wind and the rain" type stuff) or of how a favourite conceit in classical music (both choral music and Indian classical) is the repetition of the same line, though with different stresses. Think Bach cantatas. Admittedly, the song does suffer a little from the lack of a punch line (I'm reminded of this episode ofJeeves and Wooster where Stinker Pinker is singing a hunting song at the village festival which consists of the single line "A hunting we will go" repeated over and over again), but it more than makes up for this with the wonderful alliterations of the s and l sounds.

1 comment:

Manu said...

Get off your high ground of cantatas, Bach, Nietzsche. This song is not bihari. It's an Ila Arun pop song.

On a related note, in my wedding's ladeej sangeet chachis and mausis sang:
"zindagi ik safar hai suhana,
aaya love marrij ka jamaana"