9 times music composers invoked déjà vu in us
There are those times when you hear a certain portion of a song and you go like, “Hey, haven’t I heard this tune somewhere? I’m sure I must have!” After a few minutes of racking your brain and scratching your head, the tiny idea bulb lights up and you remember a song that sounds pretty much like the one you just heard. A quick look up on the interwebs tells you that the music composer of both the tracks is the same. “Recycling spotted!” your brain instantly whoops!
If we examine the oeuvre of a music composer, I’m sure there would be at least one song pair that resembles each other in certain portions. This could be in the motifs of the song, rhythmic grooves, or even in the chord progressions. Whether this was done as a result of a subconscious self-inspiration or as a deliberate attempt to arouse déjà vu is usually hard to tell. Sometimes, it is also true that songs that belong to the same raga have noticeably resembling characteristics in parts. Having said that, let us take a look at 9 song pairs whose bits, parts, and portions may sound strikingly similar to each other:
Aaroral and Konjam Neram
The first song in this list is Aaroral from the movie Pattalam which came out in 2003. This melodious track has a tiny segment right before the second stanza kicks off that was later revamped into a portion in the Tamil song Konjam Neram from the movie Chandramukhi (The Tamil version of Manichitrathazhu). Apart from both the tracks being composed by the melody raja, Vidyasagar, there’s hardly a thing common in these two songs. That is if you don’t consider the eagerness Biju Menon and Nayanthara show to kiss their pair in the respective songs (gender reversal spotted!).
Jeevamshamayi Thaane and Lulu Sarees jingle
I had no idea that the song Jeevamshamayi Thaane from the 2018 movie Theevandi was an adaptation of the jingle that was composed for the ad of Lulu Sarees until I stumbled upon the ad, recently on Youtube. The fact that the ad video was uploaded in the year 2013 helped clear the “which one came first” confusion that I had. The man behind the jingle is none other than Kailas Menon who gave life to the lovely track, Jeevamshamayi.
Onnamkilli Ponnankili and Marimazha
Unlike the other two pairs above, I can’t say that this one is a ditto match. The original tune was first heard in Onnamkilli Ponnankili from the 2003 Priyadarshan-Mohanlal movie Kilichundan Mampazham. A year later in the song Marimazha from Rasikan, the recycled version of the score was spotted. While both are essentially melodies, the score in Marimazhaye slightly picked up in pace and the dynamics were improvised to set in the rainy feel.
Mounam Swaramaay and Chitti Kuruvi
Though obviously, Mounam Swaramaay came out way earlier than Chitti Kuruvi, I happened to hear the song former much later than the latter. When I heard Mounam Swaramaay from the movie Aayushkalam I felt this kind of a musical déjà vu in a way like no other. After three days of this song being replayed in my head on a loop, I realized that this song is in essence the crawling version of Chitti Kuruvi. Or in other words, to be chronologically accurate, take Mounam Swaramaay, pep it up, throw in some beats alongside lashings of some new instruments, and tada, you’ve got Chitti Kuruvi from the movie Mullavalliyum Thenmavum. The music composer for both these melodious songs happens to be Ouseppachan.
Mamangam Palakuri and Aarum Aarum Kanathe
Raveendran Master’s compositions are in a class of their own. I cannot pinpoint where, but there are those pieces of musical manifestations in every Raveendran Master number that carries an invisible signature of his. The first song I’m referring to here is Mamangam from an album called Vasantha Geethangal that was released more than three decades ago. The beginning of the song was later blended into a brief fragment in the song Aarum Aarum from the movie Nandanam.
Ambalappuzhe and Pinakkamaano
This pair has only the subtlest similarity between each other. In fact, I’m not sure if it is explicit enough for all to recognize. However, each time I hear the musical before the first stanza of the song Pinakkamaano from Anandabhadram, I find myself recalling the song Ambalappuzhe from the movie Adhwaytham. Both these euphonious tracks are composed by MG Radhakrishnan. Another common factor in these two songs is that the male singer in both is MG Sreekumar.
Pathu Veluppinu and Dhevasandhya
Pathu Veluppinu from Venkalam, a creation of the musical genius Raveendran master is a rhythmic number that gets you tapping your fingers as you listen to the beat. It was also one of those songs that gave the singer Biju Narayanan his due recognition in the industry. The opening of this song was heard 13 years later in the song Dhevasandhya from the movie Kalabham, which was the last movie Master had composed songs for.
Karimizhi Kuruviye and Aasai Aasai
The song Karimizhi Kuruviye from the blockbuster movie Meesa Madhavan was one of the many feathers in music composer Vidyasagar’s cap. The part before the anupallavi begins was later heard in the song Aasai Aasai from the Tamil movie Dhool. This tune is also popular among the North Indian audience as the song Aasai Aasai was then remade into a Bollywood number called Rafta Rafta.
Konchi Konchi and Priyane Nee Enne
Apart from Ouseppachan being the composer, the next common thing between these two songs is that they are both from the 2004 Mohanlal starrer movie, Vismayathumbathu. I’ve always felt that these two songs have a lot of strikingly similar features, especially in the stanzas. Both songs convey a similar emotion of pain and are soulfully rendered. In fact, it does occur to me that the song Priyane Nee Enne, at certain portions, feels like the mellowed down female version of Konchi Konchi.
That was our list. Do you know of others? Let us know in the comments section.
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