Seergazhi Govindarajan

Carnatic Musicians

#1  Postby mahesh33 » 09 May 2007 07:24

Wonderful clarity and shruthi based singing, especially his viruthams. Perhaps some of the old timers can provide more information regarding this great artist.
Last edited by mahesh33 on 09 May 2007 07:25, edited 1 time in total.
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#2  Postby Sam Swaminathan » 09 May 2007 09:11

Margazhi maasam, early in the morning 5 or 5.30, plenty songs starting with "Vinayakana Vinai Theerpavane" followed by songs on Murugan and Ambal....plenty of suda suda pongal...not a single temple was spared....timing was of utmost essense....knowing the gurukkal was very helpful....all in the back ground of some wonderful music from Seergazhi sir.....Anda naal gnyabagam nenjile......
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#3  Postby mahesh33 » 09 May 2007 18:13

Sam, by the way, Sri MSA accompanied Seergazhi quite often, din't he?
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#4  Postby thanjavur » 09 May 2007 22:01

Last edited by thanjavur on 09 May 2007 22:22, edited 1 time in total.

#5  Postby thanjavur » 09 May 2007 22:19

Sangeethapriya (Sirkazhi) links

contribution - Vasu Srinivasan
1 RTP - Karaharapriya
2 Thillana
3 Ketu Pogade - Vakulabharanam

Anonymous contribution
01 Orumanikorumani - Hamsadwani
02 Poomel valarum - Anandabhairavi
03 Vinayakane - Kiravani
04 Kalaikalellam - Pantuvarali
05 Enakenna manakavalai - Mohanam
06 Omkari Umamaheswari - Gowrimanohari
07A Unnaye ulaginil - Kalyani
07B Unnaye ulaginil - Kalyani
08 Thamizhisai padukindra - Sivaranjani
09 Virutham, Madurai arasalum
10 Chinnam chiru pen poley
11 Karuvile naan

ZIP file - contribution - TVG
1 Kakkum Kadavul - Gambeeranattai
2 Lemidelpa - Swarnangi
3 Yegnathulu sugamanu - Jayamanohari
4 Anandamrithavarshini - Amrithavarshini
Last edited by thanjavur on 09 May 2007 23:32, edited 1 time in total.

#6  Postby Sam Swaminathan » 10 May 2007 01:54

Absolutely, Mahesh.....Kapaaliswarar temple......great location for Sirkazhi Sir concert with MSA...and every other accompaniment you can think of....mridangam, ghatam, kanjira, morsing and thani avartanams used to run for atleast 30 to 45 minutes...fabulous concerts. the man had tremendous lung power...can hold on to a particular swara....say....GA and keep it going till the audiences lost their breath !!! :)
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#7  Postby mahesh33 » 10 May 2007 07:46

Thanjavur, many thanks for those links. Sam sir, continue, continue...your words r like Koolji's per day, but nourishing nevertheless....
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#8  Postby grsastrigal » 19 May 2007 18:58

It is sad this great person has got few contributions. Going through the liink site provided by Thanjavur, I have few interesting points to share.

"Do you know that his name was rejected twice from the panel for Padmashri and Sangeet natak akademi just being pronounced as the singer for the masses ! "

"Do you know that the letter for recognition of this great singer for Top ranking grade arrived from the ALL INDIA RADIO three days after his demise"

"Talking about SG and TMS I remember reading about the song in agaththiyar, in which agaththiyar and rAvaNan have a pAttup pOtti. TMS had to sing for rAvaNan and (obviously) rAvaNan loses the competition. It seems like TMS declined to sing that song (nAn thORpadhA? nadakkAdhu!). The song was finally completed with ravaNan playing his vINai and ellA stringsum a RundhupOividum"

"Eventhough this movie came in 1957, it is very much valid for 1997 too . . . eppadi kaetkirunala ? Idho paarunga )))

Joke Paadal onru:

mmmm mmmm mootaya kattikka
(H4 Visa vaangi kudukaraen)

H4 Visa:
Edhukku ..

America pOgalaamadi pombalae
Panagaasu thaedalaamadi

and the song continues....."

In "Aalayamani" before that song "Kannaan Kannanukku Avasarama" song, SSR will be waiting for Sarojadevi to show up and then he will start calling her Nick-Name "Vaanambhaadi" and then SD will come running to him and a little later( after some chatting by the Kili ) they both will start singing that song. When SSR yells out "Vaanambhadi", it is Sirgazhi who actually calls the name as part of the song and he would sound so haunting when he calls "Vaanambhaaadi" - you have to hear that to appreciate what I am saying. "

My comments:

I think, web maintained by his grandson may give more insight. Supposed to be an excellant site.

Even duet/love songs also, he rendered very clearly. I just heard one sivaji (Rajni) song-supposed to be a super duper hit song- "Aambal Aambal"..... "Vavval Vavval". Iam searching Tamil Dictionary to know the meaning, leave along not understanding the whole song...

Thanks to Udit Narayan for remembering Sirkazhi and his Prounciation ??????
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#9  Postby thanjavur » 20 May 2007 16:30

Remember listening to AIR Madras/Tiruchi/Tirunelveli broadcast (between 1968 and 1975) of
Kosalai Pudalvanai Panivai Maname by Sirkazhi S Govindarajan. The broadcast duration
was at least one hour. Is this from Kamba Ramayanam ? If so, from which padalam ?

Does anyone have a recording of the same ? If so, need info on duration of the broadcast, and
the end stanza (?) of the recording.


#10  Postby new1 » 21 May 2007 14:37

Many thanks for initiating a thread on this great singer and also posting links to his songs. There are very few songs that you can listen again and again hundreds of times and yet not get bored. His 'Chinnanchiru pen pole' is one of those...

Somehow you feel both Govindarajan and his son have not been given the right importance in the classical music world..
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#11  Postby kaumaaram » 22 May 2007 18:08

It is not that SG was not given importance. In fact he was given more importance by Tamil Isai Manram. He had a majestic voice but his pronounciation of Sanskrit went for a six. Some common errors that occured are : "VinayaGane"; "Sagala" (for sakala) and so on. Yet, he used to attract large crowds because he used to sing his popular devotionals after the main song of his concert. To him a mike was a mere carrier of his voice. He could be heard well even if you are far away. Such was the depth and tone that he could generate. He gave extraordinary importance to CM and he chose songs of many new composers.

The only thing I disliked with this artist was his singing for the political party - DMK. Well, that could be his personal choice. Possibily, he got due encouragement in those circles.

I like listening to his RTPs and pure CM based songs. His popular devotionals had a flavour of lot of CM. A neighbour of ours who settled down in Chennai from Sri Lanka used to record his programs live and listen to them in the open space before our compound. The songs that he chose were pure Tamil sahityas. And finally he did have a name in Tamil Music.

Students who were sparrows (they get up early in the morning for their studies for half-yearly exams in Dec) used to curse him unwittingly. The loudspeakers used to blast his voice much to their dismay and horror. The moment the loudspeakers played "Vinayagane", they would start cursing the artist first!. The temples and institutions celebrating Margazhi obviously would choose his LPs. [Students who were owls had a different problem - they would not have power supply during the annual examinations!].

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#12  Postby thanjavur » 25 May 2007 00:29

kaumaaram wrote:Some common errors that occured are : "VinayaGane"; "Sagala" (for sakala) and so on.


It is not fair to single out Sirkazhi. Have heard artists like SKR,Sudha (just two examples, but the list is long) pronounce Maha(ganapathim) as Maga/Makka.

Mahaganapathim - Nattai by SKR
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#13  Postby grsastrigal » 25 May 2007 08:13

You cannot deny his immortal cinema and Bhakthi songs. Let us give credit to this departed soul in this aspect . Also heard that he made a visit every early morning to Kapalishwar Temple and redered beautiful song in front of Karpagamabal/Kapalishwar. He had also been, I believe, one of the trustees. Sam could tell more about this. Rasikas of Sirkazhi can give their top 5 (or 10) Bhakthi and Cinema songs. That could be interesting way to continue/analysis this great man.
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#14  Postby Sam Swaminathan » 25 May 2007 14:40

I have been out of India for well over 34 years and hence the memory is fading. But, did he not live in 5th cross or Norton street in Mandavellipakkam ? Remember once, I was in Vivekanananda college then, walking past his house. He was outside his house talking to some one ( film person, I think, considering the motor car they were standing near). I stopped and greeted him. Sirkazhi sir stopped talking to his visitor and turned his attention to me. I introduced my self (a no body). But I told him how much I appreciated his " Devan koil mani osai" song and how it always brought tears to my eyes. He said goodbye to the visitor and asked me to come into the house. I remember him saying that he got some sort of an award for this song. I then requested him to sing that song ( the sheer temerity of me). By God, he did that ! You would not believe me. The man was a great soul and it would be a pity that his greatness is not spread amongst the youngsters of to-day.
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#15  Postby mahakavi » 09 Jun 2007 20:55

Here, listen to the short clip that sIrgAzhi sings (--I am taking exception here to kaumaram's dig at pronouncing "ka" as "ga"--in Thamizh we don't use "ka" in the middle of a word unless it is preceded by "k"--hence "kAzhi" will be written as well as pronounced as "gAzhi").

SG sings one of the abhirAmi padigams "kalaiyAda kalviyum.." and andAdi # 69 "dhanam tarum.."
Last edited by mahakavi on 09 Jun 2007 20:57, edited 1 time in total.

#16  Postby arasi » 09 Jun 2007 21:05

Thanks, mahakavi. mozhi azhagA, kural azhagA, poruL azhagA? (is it the language, the voice or the meaning of the song)?
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#17  Postby mahakavi » 09 Jun 2007 22:30

Everything! SG adds the final touch through his veN kalak kural
(resonant with striking a bronze vessel)

#18  Postby kaumaaram » 26 Jun 2007 14:25

mahakavi wrote:Here, listen to the short clip that sIrgAzhi sings (--I am taking exception here to kaumaram's dig at pronouncing "ka" as "ga"--in Thamizh we don't use "ka" in the middle of a word unless it is preceded by "k"--hence "kAzhi" will be written as well as pronounced as "gAzhi").

SG sings one of the abhirAmi padigams "kalaiyAda kalviyum.." and andAdi # 69 "dhanam tarum.."

Mahakavi: Thanks. But "sakala" cannot be pronounced as "saGala" just because SG is a Tamilian. My point of view is that not only Telugu, even Tamil songs suffer from the malady of wrong pronounciation. If I slightly stretch the way this word is pronounced, it gives me an entirely different meaning - saGalai [co-brother-in-law].

I am not accusing SG inasmuch as I like his voice, rendition, etc. In fact such faulty pronounications are acceptable; but these are avoidable too. While so, I believe that SG must belong to the school of thought that isolates Sanskrit from Tamil. If the word Sivakami is pronounced as SivaGami, it sends a jarring note into your ears.

If I go by your argument as to the correctness of your claim, I believe I can do as follows:

Bathma for Padma
Thanyasi for Dhanyasi
MuGAri for MukAri
Dhavam for thavam
Gobi for Gopi
LaLitha for Lalitha [listen to KJY singing "LaLitha-sodharam param" in Pavanaguru].
Reghu for Raghu

so on and so forth. All because I am Tamilian or Keralite as the case may be.

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#19  Postby mahakavi » 26 Jun 2007 20:47

>>saGalai [co-brother-in-law].<<

There is no such word as "co-brother-in-law" in the English language. Think about it! Co-chairman ( one of the two chairmen). Co-brother-in-law (one of the two brothers-in-law--??). I have also heard the term expressed as "co-brother" to express the relationship between two sons-in-law for the expression shuDDagar(?). The "co" doesn't belong in "co-brother-in-law". Just brother-in-law will do. This is, of course, in good humor--not to be taken as a dig. I get an opportunity here to make the point. That is all.

As for the regional variation of pronunciations my contention is that it is not to be used as something negative. Thamizh folks pronounce "table" and "trouble" as "tabLe" and "troubLe". Likewise KeraLites pronounce "Kentucky" as "KenDucky". So be it. If we start taking exceptions to such variations there is no end.

#20  Postby arunk » 26 Jun 2007 20:47

Ah the argument goes on!.

I will first note that it will never end ;)

kaumaaram - the trouble is sanskrit based words deviate original tamil language pronounciation rules. And there was no single, unambiguous remedy/solution to handle it. So you have 2 sides : one claiming that sanskrit based words must retain pronounciation even in tamil contexts, even when used in tamil constructs (naTamAdidum), and one side who claims they must be morphed as per tamil rules.

Actually you have 3 sides - the third one being sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other depending on context (i guess I am on that side!).

So while sivagAmi and sagala indeed would be jarring from a non-tamil perspective, I will put forth that they are morphed by practioneers is not unique to tamil. In other words, words of foreign origin get morphed in other languages too. It is one of the dynamics of language evolution - not very different dynamic which has a single latin root but widly different end results. Can you believe that satam is linguistically related to hundred? But linguists claim that they are - and in a proto language there was only one word. Now lucky for us the proto language is dead or is a theoritical claim. Else a purist of that language would claim that either hundred or satam is a pronounciation malady! (ok - i am exaggerating a bit here :)).

For a more palpable, modern example - take John and Xavier (zAvier) in English. Consider how john is pronounced in french (i cannot express it here). Also consider how Xavier is pronounced in spanish (hAviEr).

Now can we argue that Xavier must retain pronounciation in spanish and hAviEr is a pronounciation malady (or say hAviEr is correct and zAvier is a pronounciation malady in English)

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#21  Postby arasi » 27 Jun 2007 08:24

To continue the confusion, John is yOvAn in thamizh, Jean in french, Juan (pronounced Huan) in spanish, VimalA is BimolA in bengali, and so on.
As for the sanskrit based words in thamizh retaining the sounds--again, problems arise! 'kula pati' is easy. how about 'raghu pati?' It does not sound well at all in thamizh when you pronounce the raghu as in sanskrit. ragu is what goes well with the flow of thamizh words. Another one: how would you say or sing 'nad (t)anam ADinAr, vegu nAgarIgamAgavE'??
While I respect grammar (don't know much of it), I go by the ear. As you seem to point out Arun, we fall into one category or the other of 'proper pronouncers' or 'mispronouncers'!

Point taken! We still have no exact way to go about it. Languages have been evolving and are evolving through the ages. They are alive, kicking and shifting. Linguists have more of a grasp of it than us, mere speakers and singers.
In olden days, people did not move about at all. The grandchild of the corner house Mr. So and so lived in the same house of his grandfather as a child, a grown man and a grandfather too. In present times, we not only move from place to place, we move homes in the very same city. It is so with telephone numbers too. The trouble of keeping our address books current is tough, indeed.
The same it is for me when it comes to writing thamizh in english. Now, while writing the word as 'thamizh' seems fine to me, sanskrit words in it cannot be written that way, I feel. Not 'ranganAthan' with a 'tha' in thamizh (!) because of the ta, tha da dha differences! I am changing too, as I go along, however confusing it is to me.
Examples: 1. the one cited above (ta or tha when it comes to sanskrit words. 2. I now use S for S sounds as in SyAmalA and am happy about it. 3. I am wondering about using c for ch in words like calanam, caraNam. But then, the right way to write CM is (karNAtiK or CarnAtic??)

That's enough for the day!
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#22  Postby vgvindan » 27 Jun 2007 11:36

co-brother-in-law - the Tamil word 'sagalan' is derived from Sanskrit 'saha-kaLatra' but with Tamil 'n' (vihudi);

This should not be confused with co-wife - saha-kaLatra is 'sakkaLatti' சக்களத்தி

In Telugu, 'tODi' is used in place of 'saha' - tODikODalu (co-daughter-in-law)- wives of brothers (to each other)

Every relationship seems to have 'saha' excepting mother who is ever unique - thank God :)
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#23  Postby kaumaaram » 27 Jun 2007 14:16

I concur with Mahakavi's view that Co-brother-in-law is not an English word. In the weekly column entitled "Know your English" in The Hindu, it was stated that it is a South Indian word that has entered the English language without being recognised.

I bow to all popular opinions expressed herein. No offence intended of course.

I have read that "Law is like an apparel; it has to change with changing times". Honestly, I do not know how far and to what extent a language be dynamic enough to accept changes. I a firm believer of the view that Sanskrit being the mother of all languages should continue to be accepted as a contributor to any language and thus should not get delinked in any form.
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#24  Postby Vocalist » 27 Jun 2007 15:55

Forgive me, but really, I don't see how saying "his pronounciation of Sanskrit went for a six" is worthwhile mentioning here. It's unnecessary and uncalled for, as pronounciation will (arguably) differ for different compositions. Despite the fact offense might not be intended, it can still be caused, especially with an avoidable loose-ended general statement like that. Perhaps it's worthwhile creating a separate thread for the various mispronounciations made by singers (in general) and discussing them there, rather than unfairly singling any one vidwan or vidushi out for such errors/blunders. Surely, there are better ways of informing others of what errors to avoid in their pronounciation. Is there really a need for intended/unintended criticisms about a vidwan/vidushi who has passed away?

I also fail to see the relevance of mentioning a personal dislike of his singing for a particular political party.

My 2 cents. :)
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#25  Postby arunk » 27 Jun 2007 19:48

arasi wrote:how would you say or sing 'nad (t)anam ADinAr, vegu nAgarIgamAgavE'??

Dont intend to cause a diversion but it is sort of funny that there was a debate on this precise example too :)! There were two (or three ;)) sides of course to the story. I remember bringing the point that dvi-akshara prAsa for that krithi (between pallavi and anupallavi) maybe points at naDanam.

kaumaaram wrote:a firm believer of the view that Sanskrit being the mother of all languages should continue to be accepted as a contributor to any language and thus should not get delinked in any form.

kaumaaram - you are certainly entitled to your beliefs and this one is not that uncommon. To avoid a major diversion, I will refrain from posting counterpoints to this. I also think it wont be a fruitful discussion at the end - i.e. not ultimately worth it. We can and should talk about music instead :).

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