paramasivan kazhuthil irundhu paambu kettadhu
yarum irukkum idathil irundhu vittaal ellam sowkyame
garudan sonnadhu adhil artham ulladhu
The cobra coiled around Lord Shiva's neck,
asked Garuda (eagle) flying above
'How are you? Are you well?'
'When everyone stays where they are supposed to
Everybody is well',
said the eagle, there's sense in what he said.
The moral of the story
The moral of the song
Is that one should never be
Where one does not belong.
(From 'Franky Lee and Judas Priest')
Kannadasan was a genius poet-lyricist of the Tamil cine field whose career spanned about three decades and whose impact continues even today among the Tamil audience. Educated only till 8th standard, but schooled more than adequately by experience, his songs distilled the profundity of ancient wisdom gleaned from the works of Siddhas and saints, vedas and village folklore, scriptures and the school of Life into digestible simple lyrics that everyone from a rickshaw puller to a college professor could understand.
His songs soothed the souls that had lost something precious, gave hope to those who despaired. They explained the movie in a nutshell, which applied to the character that was singing on screen, and the countless audience.
Much later I stumbled upon Bob Dylan whose songs resonated with me.
Since everybody learns from the common school of hard knocks, I guess the lessons tend to overlap. I found some similarities of expressions between the lyrics of these two poets whose genius somehow cuts through the commercial clutter to connect at a personal level.