Malayalam Melodies From the 90s

1990-2000 is a golden period for me because, I was born in late 1980s. So this span of time was my childhood. I grew up listening to plenty of Malayalam songs and some of them never left. Here they are, just a random few that came into my mind while writing.

Nilave Mayumo – This song from Minnaram reminds all the Malayalis the chemistry between the legendary actors Mohanlal and Shobhana. Rendered beautifully, this song will be in the favorites list for the 90s kids and elders alike.

Aaro Viral Meeti – All the songs from the movie Pranayavarnangal were loved by the mass. While Kannadi koodum kooti was considered a dance number, Varamanjal & Aaro Viral Meeti were listened to over and over again. The minor chords and the lyrics ensured that we had a special place for this song in our hearts.

Vaalkannezhuthiya – From the movie Paithrukam, this song is still on the evergreen list for many. With Yesudas sir’s deep voice, the music takes us back to the early 90s and the temple visits then. The lyrics mention Gandharvas, music, raagas, mansions in Kerala etc. Overall, it has an old Malayalee feel to it that nobody can miss. It reminds us of joint families and the culture then.

Etrayo Janmamai – This was one sung that went unnoticed. They played it everywhere, sang it everywhere, it was THE song for the hardcore romantics. With the enchanting music, Sujata’s husky, sexy voice and the lyrics that would make anyone listen to it twice, the song had all the Malayalees running for it.

Shot in the cold, misty high range areas and supplemented with creative visuals, they ensured that this song gives us the essence of romance; whether you are in love or not.  Even now, when the song is played, the familiar feeling of ecstasy envelops me. There is no other song like this.

Kilukil Pambaram – From the famous movie Kilukkam, this song is sung when the heroine who is mentally challenged is attacked by a bull. Well, to know about the movie, you have to watch it. It is one of the legendary movies Mollywood has ever seen. The part in the song ‘chanchakkam’ is a sound used to talk to little children. Here, it is used to put her to sleep. It is a beautiful song in an adorable context.

Kalli Poonkuyile – I love the music, but more than that, the lyrics is what amused me. It says,
cunning cuckoo, whisper in my ears,
when you laid eggs in the crow’s nest,
why did you fly around the forest and tell lies?

It has been worded so beautifully that in the contest, you know no other song could have replaced this one. It is sung by the protagonist when he gets cheated by someone he knew.

Paathiramazha etho – A classic! It is the type of song that tops the list of collectors of old songs. Words elude me when I try to express the bliss I feel when I listen to this. I love singing in this song for the path the tunes take. Another song like this is Aalila Manjalil from the movie Soorya Gayathri. The song, like the movie, claws our heart.

Endowed with umpteen number of gifted musicians and lyricists, Malayalam movie songs are as vast as an ocean. To be honest, I cannot call these my top favorites. There are a hundred songs I love and I can’t pick just a few. But these are the ones that came to my mind and as most of them belonged to the 90s, I completed the list with 90s songs alone. 🙂


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