Sivan (1890-1973) was born as Ramaiah in
Polagam in Thanjavur district. He spent a
lot of time with his older brother in
Papanasam (near Kumbakonam). It was common
in the early 20th century to confer the
title of Sivan on men of God. Thus he
acquired the name, 'Papanasam
Sivan'. He was
influenced greatly by nIlakaNTa Sivan
(another great composer) in his early life
for a couple of years. He also drew
inspiration from Gopalakrishna Bharathi. He
did not have a traditional musical
curriculum but learnt music occasionally
from several musicians. Konerirajapuram
Vaidyanatha Iyer served as his mentor and
sponsor in his adult life.
He was committed to
Thamizh, Thamizh music and the freedom
movement. He composed around 2,500 songs
(mainly devotional, and occasionally social
and national themes) and performed in
several theatrical productions. He was a
teacher at the famed Kalakshetra during
1934-39. He composed classical music for
several movies and also acted in four
movies. He composed mainly in Thamizh but
also penned a few compositions in Sanskrit
and Telugu. He used the signature
?Ramadasan?. But many of his compositions
did not contain his signature, including the
song discussed here.
He was awarded
?Sangeetha Kalanidhi? by the Music Academy
in Chennai in 1971. During his lifetime, he
published around 400 of his songs which are
currently out of print. Currently, his
daughter, Dr Rukmani Ramani, is
(re)publishing many of his songs with
monetary help from philanthropists, music
organisations and foundations.
Sri Papanasam Sivan
composed more than 2500 songs, mostly in
Tamil. 800 of these were for Tamil films.
This set contain just 400 of his Carnatic
music compositions. It appears that the rest
are yet to appear in print.
He received several
titles including "Tamil Tyagaraja". Some of
the films for which he composed songs are
Ambikapathy, Nandanaar, Sakuntalai (sung by
MSS), Savithri (sung by MSS), Sivakavi (sung
by MKT), Thyagaboomi (sung by DKP). The
Music Acadamy of Madras was extremely late
in recognizing him. He was born in 1890 in
Polagam near Thanjaavoor to Sri Ramamritha
Iyer and Yogambal. He was called Ramaiah by
people close to him. The Papanasam of Sri
Sivan is between Kumbakonam and Thanjavoor,
with its own railway station served by
passenger trains. That is where his brother
stayed and he used to pass much of his time
there. From 1898 to 1910 he lived in
Thiruvanthapuram. In 1917 he married
Lakshmi, daughter of Sri Ayyaaswami Iyer of
Nagapattinam. He also translated many
Malayalam and Sanskrit works into Tamil. He
passed away in 1973 at the age of 83.
Some Of his golden hits
" Radhey Unakku
" Natakame Ulagam..."(Chintamani).
" Gnana Kann Ondru..." (Chintamani)...
" Maa Ramanan Uma Ramanan..."(Seva Sadanam)
" Manamey Kanamum Maravathey..."(Savitri)...
"Manmathan Leelayai..."( Haridas)...
"Krishna Mukunda Murarey..."(Haridas)...
" Dheena Karunakaraney
"Characharangal Varum..." (Thiruneelakantar)
" Vun Azhagai Kaana..."(Thiruneelakantar)...
"Unnai Kandu Mayangaatha ..."(Ashok
"Satrey Sarinda Kuzhaley..."(Ambikapathi)...
"Vadanamey Chandra Bimbamo..." (Sivakavi)...
"Kavalayai Theerpathu Naattiya Kalayey"
" Soppana Vaazhvil..."(Sivakavi) ...
"Nee Illaamal Anuvum
"Enthan Idathu Tholum
And hundreds more!
Papanasam Sivan created them all...
In recent years two of
his film songs, " Maa Ramanan Uma
Ramanan..." and " Manamey Kanamum..." are
sung regularly by classic Carnatic musicians
in their concerts and have won popularity.
Indeed not many are aware that " Maa
Ramanan..." in Hindolam was sung by M. S.
Subbulakshmi in K. Subramaniam's hit film, "
Seva Sadanam" (1938)!