Dubbed as the easiest raga to learn, Mayamalavagowla is the raga that is used to introduce beginners to Carnatic music. This harmonious raga has been extensively used in many Tamil film songs. There are songs that have happy tones and then there are songs that have melancholic undertones. Nevertheless, this is a joyful raga that is easy on the ears and an absolute cakewalk for singers. My favourite classical composition in this raga is Thyagaraja's ethereal kirtan Tulasi Dalamulache. Let us see some Tamil movie songs composed in Mayamalavagowla raga.
The ancient composition Govinda Varadha Srihari Gopala from the lost Tamil film Thukkaram that released way back in 1938. This movie featured the Carnatic singer Musiri Subramaniam Iyer. Composed by Susarla Dakshinamurthy, the peppy dance number Azhagaana Ponnu Naan from the movie Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna's effortless singing would have elevated the sensuousness of the number. Another wonderful composition is from Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy duo. The song Kallellam Manickka Kallaguma from the movie Alayamani is a perfect example of Mayamalavagowla. Sung by T.M. Soundarrajan and L.R. Eswari, this is one of those rare numbers where this delightful raga is heard in its purest form.
Ilaiyaraaja's foray into this raga began with the composition Andhapurathil Oar Maharani from the 1977 Sivaji Ganesan movie Dheepam. And then he started composing some mesmerizing numbers in Mayamalavagowla. Some of the popular songs include Kaadhal Kavidhaigal Padithidum from Gopura Vaasalile, Poongathave Thaazhthiravai from Nizhalgal (such a beautiful semi-classical composition) and Nandri Sollave Unakku from Udan Pirappu. There are also many innovative Ilaiyaraaja compositions in this raga which include the devotional Maariyamma Maariyamma from Karagaattakaaran and Poova Eduthu from Amman Kovil Kizhakkale. Though there are many more songs to name, these are some of the astounding numbers in Mayamalavagowla.
A.R. Rahman indulged this raga in its purest form in Hai Rama Yeh Kya Hua (Hai Rama Oar Varama in Tamil) from the movie Rangeela and the song Sollayo Solaikili (Sunta Hai Mera Khuda in Hindi) from the movie Alli Arjuna. The song Konjum Mainakale from the movie Kandukondain Kandukondain too has traces of this raga and the most recent composition Oh Nanba Nanba (a catchy foot-tapping introduction song for Superstar Rajnikanth) from Lingaa is based on this raga.
Other songs in Mayamalavagowla are:
1. Solladi Abirami from Adhiparasakthi
2. Andhi Varum Neram from Mundhanai Mudichu by Ilayaraja
3. Enga Ooru Laila Laila from Karagattakaari by Ilayaraja
4. Idho Idho En Nenjile from Vattathukkul Sathuram
5. Kuyila Pudichu from Chinnathambi by Ilayaraja
6. Manadhil Urudhi Vendum from Manadhil Urudhi Vendum
7. Maasaru Ponne Varuga from Thevar Magan by Ilayaraja
8. Sivagami Nenapinile from Kili Petchu Ketkava by Ilayaraja
9. Uyire Uyire Urugadhe from Oruvar Vaazhum Aalayam