28 November, 2020

Blog

Sinhala National Anthem & Mahagama Sekara

By Kusal Perera

Kusal Perara

Kusal Perara

Mahagama Sekera was a unique and a versatile artiste, rarely met in post independent Ceylon and Sri Lanka. He was poet, lyricist, novelist, painter, script writer and film director, all in one. In January 1976, his death was untimely and left many unpublished works. Some were collected into a volume of unpublished poems and songs, edited by Ranjith Amarakeerthi Palihapitiya in 1984 and published by Pradeepa Publishers.

The preface to this collection was a lecture delivered by Sekara on “Patriotism in Verse”. This Sekara lecture had this long excerpt on the Sinhala version of the “National Anthem”, with Sekara making his thoughts abundantly clear.

Mahagama Sekara

Mahagama Sekara

I picked this part from a facebook post and thought it would give those who debate over the holy right of singing the national anthem only in Sinhala, a different pedestal to stand on.

Sekara’s reading of the Sri Lanka National Anthem

When discussing “national pride” in film songs, we are compelled to refer to the “National Anthem”. I personally feel our national anthem has few flaws. What is evident when reading the lyrics of the national anthem is, Ananda Samarakoon’s creative ability had gradually eroded at the time of writing the national anthem. That is why these shortcomings are so evident. This song is not strong enough to create a heroic feeling and that of pride in us. What we hear in this national anthem is a “pleading”. It could also be the melody that makes it so. Also the repetitive phonetics. When there are too many such repetitions, any song sounds more like a lullaby. When we look at the words, this certainly is a pleading.

ශ්‍රී ලංකා මාතා… අප ‍ශ්‍රී…… ලංකා
නමෝ නමෝ නමෝ නමෝ මාතා……
සුන්දර සිරි බරිනි සුරැදි අති සෝබමාන ලංකා…..
ධාන්‍ය ධනය නෙක මල් පලතුරු පිරි
ජය භූමිය රම්‍යා
අප හට සැප සිරි සෙත සදනා…..
ජීවනයේ මාතා…..
පිළිගනු මැන අප භකිතී පූජා
නමෝ නමෝ මාතා…..
අප ශ්‍රී…. ලංකා
නමෝ නමෝ නමෝ නමෝ මාතා……
ඔබවේ අප විද්‍යා…… ඔබවේ අප සත්‍යා
ඔබවේ අප ශක්තී…… අප හද තුල භක්තී……
ඔබ අප ආලෝකේ…… අපගේ අනුප්‍රානේ
අප ජීවන වේ…… අප මුක්තිය ඔබවේ
නව ජීවන දෙමිනේ
නිතින අප පුබුදු කරන් මාතා….
ඥාන වීර්ය වඩවමින රැගෙන යනු මැන
ජය භූමි කරා….
එක මවක‍ෙග දරු කැල බැවිනා
යමු යමු වී නොපමා…..
ප්‍රේම වඩා සැම භේද දුරැ ල ලා….
නමෝ නමෝ මාතා….. අප ශ්‍රී…. ලංකා
නමෝ නමෝ නමෝ නමෝ මාතා……
අප ශ්‍රී…. ලංකා……. නමෝ නමෝ නමෝ නමෝ මාතා…

In the first lines, the writer captures the scenic beauty, the grace of Ceylon. He says, Ceylon is a land of joyous wealth, abundantly rich in everything good on earth. In the next lines he addresses Ceylon as “Mother” and says, ‘you bring us plenty prosperity. You are our Knowledge and you are our Truth. You are our strength and our faith. What does this mean ? It means, Mother Lanka is complete with everything. It also means we have nothing. The line, “You are our strength” also means we have no strength, if not for you. Similarly the lines, “You are our sentient, our divine path” says we on our own have no freedom and a divine path. So, what does the writer wants Mother Lanka to do ? He wants Mother Lanka to give us new life and keep us enlightened always. We have no life, no energy, or we are lifeless. That may be why he wants Mother Lanka to give us new life. Why is he asking us to be always enlightened? Are we otherwise dumb? Why say give us wisdom and strength ? Is it we lack wisdom and strength ? The writer pleads with Mother Lanka to remedy our shortcomings, make us complete and to lead us to the land of victory. No one can lead a people like this to a land of victory. The other issue is, what this land of victory is. The writer started off by saying this is a land of victory. Then, we are here on the land of victory. Yet the writer is asking ‘Lanka’ to take us to the land of victory. Where is that second land of victory ? That is the next question.

In the last two lines, the writer completely forgets about Mother Lanka. He therefore tries to mobilise people in a different way by saying, “As children of a single mother, let’s march together”. This disorganised format of the song is one flaw. If Lanka was treated as a Mother in addressing her, then such should have been the approach all though out the song. The writer first worships Lanka, treating her as a Mother. Thereafter Lanka is no mother, but a land of victory. Yet again, Lanka becomes a mother. Thereafter he forgets he is addressing Mother Lanka. He thus turns towards the people to start another dialogue. He says, let’s forget differences and arguments, let’s march forward. It’s not necessary here to remind about differences and arguments. That gives attention to a weakness. Mere saying we should give up our differences and arguments, does not help remove them. If such differences and arguments were by then forgotten, this is a reminder. In the song, the two references on unity and giving up on differences does not bring about the same feeling.

The larger flaw in the song is its content and meaning. As I said earlier, this song is one that pleads for help. It means as a nation, we are a weak nation. The only hope we have is Mother Lanka. We therefore appeal to Mother Lanka to wipe out our weaknesses and march us to prosperity. This makes us accept our own defects. It is not possible to make us feel proud about us as a nation and feel a heroic nation.

In a song of national pride, we can mention about heroes in our past history. We can dwell on our rich cultural heritage. We can talk of gems, of tuskers and of our scenic natural beauty.

I honestly believe, the national anthem should say exactly the opposite of what is being said in it. The national anthem should pronounce our commitment, our strength in safeguarding our motherland even by sacrificing our lives. Not plead for her help.

*Translation – Kusal Perera

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 13
    6

    National anthem should reflect the diversity and languages along with truly a unity national flag. the current flag is extremely divisive and devoid of a sense of unity.

    • 11
      4

      Aye aye Sir.

      • 4
        1

        I feel that their should be one National Anthem.

        The Anthem should be meaningful to the citizens and hence should be a composite of the Languages of the country. Only then will we have inclusiveness.

        There can be no valid argument against a composite anthem.

        Here is a good example of such a song “Kiri Kodu” at this link http://sarigama.lk/profile/song_profile/18287/kiri-kodusinhala-and-tamil-bathiya-and-santhush-mp3-song-download-online-listen)

        • 2
          0

          There can be any number of arguments for or against a national anthem in one language, a composite one, or in different languages of the country.

          One can always use logic to suit one’s intents.

          My question, in the spirit of Diogenes, is this:

          Why should one be forced to sing something he or she does not understand? Isn’t it meaningless to the person singing the anthem?

          Mind you we talking of indigenous peoples, not immigrants with different languages.

          Do you need any better logic than that?

    • 6
      2

      Totally agree.

      A national anthem should send shivers down your spine. Ours is downright boring. The song itself, rhythm and lyrics too.

      Same goes for national flag. Too complicated as a design. I would prefer something more simple.

      We should encourage a civil debate on these national symbols. Eventually improve or renew them. They should be more inclusive.

      Cheers!

      • 9
        2

        Ben Hurling

        “Same goes for national flag. Too complicated as a design. I would prefer something more simple.”

        You are right, it should reflect something, cute, cuddly, represent the cross section of people and symbol of peace and wisdom.

    • 1
      2

      Kusal Perera

      “Why is he (Mahagama Sekera) asking us to be always enlightened? Are we otherwise dumb? Why say give us wisdom and strength ? Is it we lack wisdom and strength ? The writer pleads with Mother Lanka to remedy our shortcomings, make us complete and to lead us to the land of victory. “

      I guess, it is the reflection og Mahagama Sekera’s Character that is, unfortunately, reflected in the National Anthem.

      “I honestly believe, the national anthem should say exactly the opposite of what is being said in it. The national anthem should pronounce our commitment, our strength in safeguarding our motherland even by sacrificing our lives. Not plead for her help.”

      and Justice for All.

      So, the National Anthem should be revised and sung in All three Languages, Sinhala, Tamil and English, so that All those citizens whose mother tongue is Sinhala, Tamil or English will understand and feel for the National Anthem.

      O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

      The US National Anthem. See the Difference.

      http://www.music.army.mil/music/nationalanthem/

      “The Star Spangled Banner”

      The words were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, who had been inspired by the sight of the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry after a night of heavy British bombardment. The text was immediately set to a popular melody of the time, “To Anacreon in Heaven.”

      The National Anthem consists of four verses. On almost every occasion only the first verse is sung.

      Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
      What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
      Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
      O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
      And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
      Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
      Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
      O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
      On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
      Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
      What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
      As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
      Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
      In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
      ‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
      O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

      And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
      That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
      A home and a country should leave us no more!
      Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
      No refuge could save the hireling and slave’
      From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave:
      And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
      O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

      Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
      Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
      Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
      Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
      Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
      And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
      And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
      O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

      • 0
        0

        Amarasiri,
        Small correction. THis s an English translation of a sinhala article written by Mahagamasekere a famous critic, author, arist. The anthem was written by Mr. Ananda Samarakoon. U hv confused the 2 I think☺
        Cheers

        • 1
          0

          pu

          Kusal Perera was translating to English the National Anthem in Sinhala, as there is no Official English Translation, to get at the meaning.

          Then, as Kusal Perera says, it comes out as a pleading.

          Should the National anthem be something that pleads? Kusal is of Opinion, No.

          I am of opinion, that is the Personal character of Magama Sekera, and not the national consciousness of a Country that gained independence from foreign domination. Beside, it should encompass All the citizens, including the Native Veddah Aethho, the original inhabitants, who walked to claim the Land.

          • 0
            0

            I expect people who comment to read and understand what they read.
            This is NOT an article of mine in any way. I have NOT included any point of view of mine into this.
            It is very clearly said at the beginning. I have only translated Sekara’s lecture part on the national anthem and done nothing more. There is NO English translation of the anthem either.
            Please do not comment for sake of commenting.
            Thanks
            Kusal Perera

  • 7
    4

    Criticizing the Sinhga Mother? This is un-patriotic!

    Where is our chief Justice Dhayan De Silva?

    Anybody there to arrest and put a man into prison for CJ Dhyan de Silva?

    First they came for Indian Coolies,
    I did not speak out, Because I am not a coolie.
    Then they came for North-east Kallaththonies,
    I did not speak out, Because I am not a Kallaththony.
    Then they came for the Kaaththankudy Kalu thambiya,
    I did not speak out, Because I am not a Kalu Thambiya.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
    -a song by a Sinhala Buddhist, double crossed by Sinhala intellectuals.

    • 8
      0

      Mallaiyuran

      You are not a Kallathoni however don’t forget just like your Sinhala brethren you are a descendant of Kallathoni.

  • 14
    3

    Sinhala version SL NATIONAL ANTHEM is being sung in Tamil since 1948 …but after crazy MR was chased out from London by Tamils he took a revenge to force Tamils to sing this anthem in Sinhala and cardboard political patriots modayas are making big noise about this.

    Who is this SL ARMY ask Tamils to sing this anthem in Sinhala suddenly ..what authority they have? Singing national anthem in Tamil is their birth right …

    In South Africa they sing national anthem in 16 languages yes there are 16 official languages there..In Switzerland they sing national anthem in 4 languages..in Canada 2 languages…but many Snhalease are not aware about this …they still live inside the well like frogs and make noise

    Thought Hindi is official language in India they sing national anthem in Bengali…..in Singapore national anthem is in Malay thought majority are Chinese..

    May be one day these jokers will sing Chinese national anthem without any protest……

    • 1
      0

      cholan

      “May be one day these jokers will sing Chinese national anthem without any protest……”

      Do you mean the Para-Sinhala Jokers from Dravidian South India who came by Hora Oru, Illegal Boats, Kalla-Thoni, to the Land of native Veddah aethho?

      Just keep reminding them that they are Paras, and the DNA in their bodies is proof, including 50% of the words in Para-sinhala are Para-Tamil.

  • 6
    0

    National Anthem is sung by all no matter what nationality they come from but the land is equally shared and cherished by all who live in that land. No matter in what language they sing but the contents / translated version should be of the same meaning. All these journalists trying to manipulate the meaning of a national Anthem is laughable. With the idea of nationalism and racism they try to distort the meaning of A NATIONAL ANTHEM and to hurt the feelings of true patriots. I call it selfishness.

    As far as I can remember The Tamil version was sung by the Tamils long before the SWRD ERA.

    It’s time to pick up where it was left by the Yahapalanaya.
    Selfishness and greediness will lead to national destruction.. We all live once to enjoy what ever we created in this birth now .good karma will follow us to the next birth. If all human beings can think that way the world will be a better place to live.
    The so called bloggers here please do not distort the meaning of a national anthem and learn to live in a peaceful and prosperous nation.

  • 2
    7

    Learn a lesson from your democratic idol. The US oath of allegiance cannot be taken in Arabic. “In our school District the Pledge of Allegiance will only be recited in English as recommended by the Commissioner of Education” No Spanish, French, Sinhalese or Tamil.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/school-divided-reading-pledge-allegiance-arabic-article-1.2154933

    • 8
      1

      taraki

      What is your point if there is one?

    • 10
      2

      taraki,

      What is your point? Stop being an arrogant so and so! Sri Lanka is not the US; Sri Lanka came into being after the Brits amalgamated the regions together. Do you understand this part of the history? You can talk a lot of tosh but this is the reality and build a nation with this in mind!

    • 5
      1

      Then go to USA and take your oath if they allowed…in some countries only they have to raise right hand when they take oath …don’t parade your ignorance here..Tamils are living here 1000 years ago before your forefathers came from todays Kerala in India then Tamil Sera Kingdom …

      after 30 years suffering these jokers still want to go back to SWRD era……

      From the inception Radio Ceylon later SLBC played national anthem in Tamil at the end of the Tamil service …but later some donkeys made this an instrumental music….

      When Chinese divide this country all you will sing Chinese national anthem without raising your fingers ..just wait …Cowards

      • 5
        0

        The village idiots became more idiots after the nationalism created by SWRD. Well the citizens of SL lived harmoniously with the IQ of 92 I guess until then. After the Nationalistic explosion The Colombites became well versed in English and was claiming top jobs etc while the village idiots were brain washed by SWRD and his explosive speeches , The Swabasha medium took hold .We see the effects now the Modayas from the villages were simply out done by the Colombites.English became Singlish.
        In the last regime most of the politicians and the diplomats (political nominees) became the rulers and the shakers of our poor old SLankan Nation were the products of that era. Uneducated politicians became thugs , thieves and criminals to rule the country.
        We cannot go back in time at least we can learn from mistakes made by power hungry politicians .

  • 7
    0

    Enlightening analysis by KP.
    However for some it will not be.

    I won’t be surprised the Gang of 4 plus DJ bring the national anthem in Tamil as big issue at the forth coming rally in Ratnapura to get support for MR candidacy for the PM position.

    • 0
      0

      Good if they will bring this national anthem issue in forthcoming election then the world will know why Tamils ask for separate state…

      These jokers wanted this country to go back 1950s and are going to pay a heavy price..

      Soon they will say that Tamils must eat kiribath..and offer dhana to monks ..

      This country will divide one day certainly even Buddha come alive he can’t stop this

      what ever these cowards write and talk is not racism ..but if a Tamil talk about his rights they make haas kooo

  • 7
    0

    I first came across the Ceylon’s National Anthem when the 1952 Olympic Team composed of 2 Sinhala boxers, 1 burgher boxer, 1 burgher diver, 1 burgher swimmer and 1 Tamil high jumper. Then we did not think in terms of our ethnicity. We were sportsmen. After 1956 we learned to give identities to all citizens.
    None of us knew the national anthem. So the Manager wanted us to learn to sing the National Anthem. None could carry a tune to save their lives. But we did memorise the short version (There was a short version then for ceremonial occasions – first two stanzas I think.)I don’t think any of us sang it loud in any ceremonies.

    Now that I try to say it, it does say “… Uppey Sri Lanka…)though the Island was then called Ceylon!!!) Never thought of that. Of course I did not know what I was singing (or mouthing) either.

    So I really don’t know why we need a flag or national anthem. May be because we love our school flag and song so much it is a carry over of a juvenile pride. Once I mentioned to an LTTE person the length of the LTTE’s Thamil Eelam song when all have to stand in the Sun, and advised them to have a short version for ceremonies, he was not very pleased.

    I think flags and anthems should not be part of an Olympic Games.In the end it is the performance and the sportsmanship that matters. Will we ever get there?

  • 4
    1

    Come on, Ethir. You can’t go far with this idea of yours that national anthems should not be sung at the Olympics and similar mega global events. Simply because we here in Sri Lanka cannot agree on this and have even changed the original Sinhala version, the rest of the world is not mad like us. Of course, it is sad the creator of this national anthem chose to commit suicide because his original version was tampered with – for political reasons. But then that is our style, eh!

    If you don’t mind let’s first put our house in order before we try to change the world.

    Legal Lunumiris

  • 0
    0

    I have read this opinion of the Late Mahagama Sekara some time ago in Sinhala. I have the greatest respect for the versatile Sinhala poet in Sekara. I am not poetically savvy to counter argue his points; however, I can feel the patriotism and pride when I sing or listen to the SL national anthem.

    When looking at the national anthems of different countries, what can one find? The same fallacies described by Sekara are evident in all of them in some form. I think some of them have even more backward characteristics.

    I invite you to check this and compare them with the arguments laid in the article by Kusal Perera. Following are the links to the national anthems of different countries that I looked into:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Canada
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jana_Gana_Mana_%28hymn%29
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner
    http://german.about.com/library/blmus_anthemCH.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimigayo

  • 3
    0

    Legal Luminiris,
    The idea of no national flags or anthems at the Olympic Games is really not mine. Though I did think of that in 1952 as a naive school boy. see

    http://www.topendsports.com/events/summer/countries/independent.htm

    In Barcelona 1992, In Sydney 2000 and in London 2012 participants from countries that could not take part were allowed to compete under the Olympic Flag. So why not all. Ego of States I suppose.

    I do like two flags – The UN and the Olympic flag with its five rings.

    As for putting our house in order, the house is all bulldozed or beyond safe repair. It is better to build a new modern house that would pass inspection of a non-corrupt govt engineer and a government authority. They are an extinct species in SL. You can add politicians to that.

  • 2
    0

    Taraki, you are hitting “Analyst ” below the belt because of his fair comments.

    The US may not be an idol for you. But On this allegiance issue you must ask absconding Basil and smart Gotha , about their allegiance to US and in what language they took it when they became US citizens.

    If you don’t have access to these 2, I am sure SL smart patriot DJ will be able to contact them and do a write up for you to get better insight.

    By the way are the above two brothers r enunciated their US citizenship?

  • 2
    0

    Let us leave the National anthem alone for now, without dragging it into a discussion when many citizen are not even treated as nationals of the nation.

    Let the so called leaders and intellectuals first put the country and politics in order, reconcile, bring reasonable peace, law and order.

    The anthem problem, if any could be looked into later, at a proper time. We have too many complicated things to solve and correct. There is no national unity and why worry about anthem or even flag for that matter. The ‘patriots’ will not allow anyone to do anything constructive. ‘Machang’MR & the gang of four are just waiting to use anything in order to create chaos and fish in the troubled waters, Beware !

  • 2
    0

    Kusal Perara.
    Depends on what you want the anthem for? Is it for a soft peacefulness of a Mother that appeals to our love and gentler nature, or is it for a jack-boot march forward, irrespective of culture and heritage, and of a culture and heritage for the immediacy that will drive us on, even as Lee Kwuan Yew (R.I.P.) whipped up the Singaporeans as nations of immigrants (Chinese mostly), over the ancient inhabitants, the Malays.

    Mother Lanka gives identification to our collective group of people. Individually, we could be Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Chettis, Eurasians, etc. – outside we all looks South Asians. As a modern nation, individually, we are indeed nothing, unless we collectively identify with Mother Lanka.

    Otherwise, we will be merely citizens of the earth (like White Buddhists who come to Lankan temples in the West, but abhor Lankan culture – they make sure they retain their own White heritage while indulging in concepts developed over the millennia by Lankan Buddhists). What we want is to take history, culture, and heritage and move on as one people.

    Mothers are always victorious with their children. Children can rest easy within the love of their mother, and have their support to move onwards in endurance towards greater happiness and prosperity. Each child goes on a different path, but is united by the Mother, who in this modern and progressive age is astute enough to welcome other languages, cultures, heritages and religions into the family. On the same land, and in close proximity to each other, all are united by love of the Mother. If far apart in distance, one can remember the mother, and gain strength from the remembrance.

    Sri Lanka is indeed a victorious land – an island with long enduring heritage of Sinhalese and also Tamil culture. But it is time to update and become inclusive of the new post colonization structure, and move on ahead to a neo-victory, together with the minorities. Hence, singing of the national anthem in Tamil is good and most correct for the Tamil areas (and it contains the same tune and words).

    • 1
      0

      “Mothers are always victorious with their children. Children can rest easy within the love of their mother”

      The National anthem of Sri Lanka rings hollow!!How come some of mother lanka’s children were killed, raped, disappeared, robbed, properties burnt, confiscated, jailed for life, but mother lanka did not do anything up to now!!

  • 7
    0

    Kusal,
    What is the point that you are desperately trying prove by (mis)quoting a critical interpretation of the literary merits of the national anthem? Focus in this hour must be to encourage the use of a Tamil version or even a bilingual version.

    Here are some of my comments:
    Those comments that you got from a source in FaceBook are attributed to Manavasinghe , not Mahagamasekara though surely Mahagamasekara endorsed these comments. Manavasinghe was a “champion critic” against the lyrics of the national anthem in late fifties.

    Namo Namo maatha song was first composed by Samarakoon in 1939 to be sung by school children of Mahinda College where he taught. It was never composed as the national anthem, though a decade later when it was nominated as a national anthem, it was accepted possibly due its “inclusiveness” or its “non-exclusiveness”.

    In spite of its obvious flaws (in lyrcis) this is much more inclusive than the jaathika/ desha anuraghi songs penned much later by your apparent idol, the over-rated poet Mahagamasekara such as “May Sinhala apage ratayi” or “rathnadeepa janma boomi” with lyrics and its subtexts stinking with racism. Another popular song with similar racist stance is Sasara Wasana thuru- (written possibly by Dalton Alwis) though musically these are very good compositions- thanks due to the genius of Amaradeva.

    What is required now is to find a way to encourage the Tamils , Muslims (and even Burghers- why discount them) to sing the National anthem in the language of their heart.

    To me listening to a Jaffna Tamil child singing the National Anthem in Tamil will be an unique sweet experience and possibly one of the easiest and strongest steps that can be taken to commence the reconcilliation and the healing process.
    MJA

    • 2
      1

      Well said MJA.
      However I believe a single trilingual (or bilingual) anthem will be more inclusive.

  • 3
    0

    a national anthem doesn’t have to have so much in its meaning. it should imbue fervor and a sense of patriotism and deep love for one’s country.

    when i sing the ‘sri lanka matha’ i feel goosebumps on me and each time i sing it i tear, tears of deep feeling. this is what a national anthem must do to a citizen.

    it is said that ananda samarakoon first wrote it as ‘namo namo matha’ and not ‘sri lanka matha’. it is also said that when he found out that his original line was changed to what it is today, he was deeply affected by it and that it hastened his very death itself!! such is the place that our national anthem comes from.

    so do not belittle it in any way!! it is a beautiful anthem.

    the only problem maybe that is it too long.

  • 1
    0

    The late great Chitrasena once told me that Ananda Samarakoon composed the national anthem in his house at Kollupitiya, where many artistes, musicians and actors gathered (and sometimes lived temporarily). Chitrasena told me that the melody for the anthem was inspired by the song, ‘Three Coins in a Fountain’, and sure enough, if one bothers to listen to the melody, one could see what he meant.

  • 0
    0

    Jabberwocky,
    Chitrasena must have been in his dotage if he compared Namo Namo Matha with Three Coins in a Fountain- which was composed around 1954 long after Samarakoon’s composition. Beside there is absolutely no similarity between the melodies. Namo Namo Maatha is distinctly Ravindra Sangeeth style. Go to youtube and play Three Coins in the Fountain and verify yourself again. MJA

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Coins_in_the_Fountain_(song)

  • 1
    0

    How about ‘Ratha Deepa Janma Bhumi’ for National Anthem???
    Ay comments??

    aj

  • 1
    0

    I completely agree with Sekara’s view on our National Anthem. Even as a song , it is very weak composition in literal and as well as musical point of view. I think ” Rathna depa janma boomi” which composed by The Great Sekara And Amaradeva is the best song for our national anthem.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.