Why This?

I’m not one to follow pop hit music trends in India – but this one is getting a little bit too big to avoid. I briefly peeped the song a few weeks ago, didn’t think much of it. But people can’t stop tweeting about it. Now, Tigerstyle did a Bhangra remix of it, there’s a dubstep remix of it, acoustic covers of it, and my favorite, the soothing soulful R&B remix. There are now over 20 million hits to the YouTube video for this song! Am I missing something? Why this song so popular?

Why This Kolaveri Di (Why This Murderous Rage, Girl?) is an Indian song from the soundtrack of the upcoming Tamil film 3, which is due to be released in 2012… The song was officially released on 16 November 2011, and it instantly became viral on social networking sites for its quirky “Tanglish” (portmanteau word of Tamil and English) lyrics.Soon, the song became the most searched YouTube video in India. Within a few weeks, YouTube honored the track with a Gold Award for getting the most number of hits. [wiki]


My favorite to all this is how slapped together the song is – they were looking for a playful love song and wrote this in about twenty minutes. And bhas, sensation!

“When I was writing down the lyrics, I kept in mind all the English words that are used in the Tamil vocabulary. Words like I, you, me, how, why, cow.. I just framed them into sentences and thats how I came up with the song,” said Dhanush, who also penned down the lyrics of the song. [TOI]


So here you go – Why This Kolaveri Di to get stuck in your head for today’s #MusicMonday. With enough remixes to last you the month. I’m going to get started on the Banglish remix of this song ASAP.

36 thoughts on “Why This?

  1. Personally, I can’t understand why there is a “separate but equal” Sikh version for folks who can’t read subtitles and watch a video at the same time. Why the lack of imagination/creativity?

    Is this for the same reason why in North India dub English films, but they never remake them. However, for South Indian films, it’s the reverse: They remake South Indian films (i.e. Bombay), but never dub them.

    • A “Sikh version” ???? Bhangra is not part of Sikhism. Bhangra was around long before the Sikhs. Personally, I like both versions – the original for just listening to & the bhangra one for dancing to. This is not a north-south thing… most hindi/bollywood songs get bhangrafied! Many non-bhangra punjabi tunes sooner or later get the bhangra treatment too.

  2. Am I missing something here? I don’t get why this is so awesome. It’s been all over my Facebook feeds, and people seem to be raving about it. Is this some kind of in-joke that I’m missing because I’m an ABCD (or whatever the politically correct term is for South Asians born and raised in the US?) Incidentally, my parents are Tamil-speaking, and I understand most of it, but am still not getting why there’s so much buzz about this song. Can someone please explain? 🙂

    • Am I missing something here? No you are not. I am a DBD and I do not get this either. Its just plain stupid. it would be interesting if the people who are ‘faking’ in this ‘Making of Kolva…’ video were simply goofing off but it seems they are projecting this as a serious studio session.

      First an Indian cable news outlet called this song a “viral” hit and supplied a youtube URL- in about 12 hours the song had received the number of hits qualify as a “viral” hit. This whole thing seems like engineered mania not unlike beanie-babies stupidity of 90s here in US.

      • Sulabh What do you mean it doesn’t look like an authentic studio session? Don’t you know all Tamil music studios have a strict ‘skinny, attractive and styled’ admissions policy? No scruffy, bloodshot never-went-to-bed-last-night eyed, stubble chinned, crumple shirted, chain smoking, coffee breath, gym virgins are allowed to work in music studios in South India. In fact, I’m not sure how they got in with only one supportively swaying female hanger on…there is a strict minimum quota on them. He probably swung it caus he’s Rajnikanth’s son-in-law. I tell you, celebs get away with too much!

    • I don’t get why Justin Bieber is popular either. And a lot more like that questioning why some songs are a hit and some are not. But whatever.

  3. I think the song is catchy because of the music, and a fad because of the lyrics.

    The thing I love about the song is the use of (what I believe to be) the Nadaswaram/Shehnai http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadaswaram The instrument is beautifully used and revived for a contemporary song like this. I particularly like the part from 3:42 to 3:50 where you can hear it in the background going off on its own….

  4. Another reason: Dhanush, who is really just an actor and not a singer, is the son-in-law of Rajnikanth. Anything Rajni does becomes a superhit in the south, and now his son-in-law is being bestowed the same familial reverence (atleast in the south).

    • Not exactly, Dhanush is a respected and popular actor in his own right (he won the national award for the best actor this year for AaduKalam). He was pretty popular with the younger crowd even before he became Rajni’s s.i.l.

      • I’m not saying Dhanush doesnt have any merit/skills of his own, just that being SIL to Rajni has its benefits. Apparently, Anirudh (the 21 year old music director who wrote the tune) is the nephew of Rajni’s wife. Again, he’s got skills, but a lot of popularity comes from well placed connections too.

  5. I hate to be an old fart, but my first reaction to this song was: Really?.

    I mean I felt like I was back in high school slogging away while the chairman of the board of trustees kid goofed off and turned in some half baked project and got obligatory A’s and entries to science fairs and writing competitions. He was a smart kid, but never put in any effort. This song evoked that intense a reaction in me. Perhaps it did in others as well, and that is the real reason, it “viral”.

    • I agree. It’s a mediocre song with embarassing Tanglish. I don’t get it at all. It’s like that stupid Frog ringtone that rocked the UK charts 5yrs or so ago. Then again, I don’t have a Facebook, Orkut, Twitter acct, or any of the “cool” sh!t everyone thinks is so great, so I’m probably just turning into my grandfather 50yrs ahead of time.

  6. “Punjabi” does not equal “Sikh” – just because there are Sikh guys in a video, that doesn’t make it a Sikh version of the song. Also, just as there are already other cover versions/versions with other lyrics, there is also a Punjabi version. It’s a fad, and many want to get in on it, that’s all.

  7. I don’t get it either. Wait, that’s what I initially felt while watching it. THen as I listened to it, I realized, that this is the first hit song based on someone being toked out of their mind. You ever listen to any of the 90s rap which use tokin as a theme?

  8. I love it. It’s groovy and fun and puts me in a good mood.

    And PeoplesRepublicOfDravidNadu: Bombay was in fact dubbed into Hindi. At least my copy is. Try finding a video of Kehna Hi Kya that isn’t dubbed into Hindi.

  9. Ah, this calls for a bulleted analysis. Let’s see. This video: 1) features Rajnikanth’s daughter, 2) features Rajnikanth’s son-in-law, 3) features Kamal Haasan’s daughter, 4) features Dhanush (a star in his own right, separate from being Rajnikanth’s S.I.L), 5) has a kind of spoken-song quality that makes it instantly loved by the “youth on the street” (read, this is what guys will use to cat-call after a group of girls they see on the street somewhere), 6) is in English (granted, Tam-English, but this means the entire country UNDERSTOOD it, so it wasn’t a fad local to South India) 7) is about guys being rejected by girls, and girls playing hard to get, which is about as universal a topic as you can get. 8) And they look like they’re having fun.

    It might be an in-joke – I don’t know. I grew up in India, and this is immensely funny to me. This is not funny to mutineers that grew up here??

    • Nope, nope nope. Can’t relate at all. I grew up partly in India, recently spent a couple months in Madras and am now in Singapore where the song is played over and over again in Little India. I cringe as I pass by–cowuuuuuu yuckuuuu sickuuuuuuu. Methinks the virus was engineered — Aishwarya (the Rajni daughter) hinted to that in the first interview.

  10. the song wasn’t funny, and the beats were not at all good. this song sucked. this is the slumdog millionaire of indian youtube song videos.

    pretty soon, whites who just don’t understand indian culture or people will say that this video featured the world’s best kazoo players (or whatever that musical instrument is for comedic effect).

  11. Come on, peeps… What’s with all the hating? It’s a simple song… with a catchy tune… Clearly people like it enough for it to go viral and spawn various versions…

    What else is there to “get”??

    • Because, as others have pointed out, simple sappy crap is all we get these days. I guess golf claps to Dhanush for taking a piece of the pie, but it doesn’t mean I have to appreciate, much less fawn over, corny mediocrity. That a billion fools are eating it up only pushes me further away.

  12. I hate to admit this. I went from perplexed to understanding why it is popular but not loving it personally to actually finding it catchy.

  13. I personally love it – stupid/meaningless? perhaps. but the catchiness of the tune, while simultaneously trying to convey a bleak outlook is hilarious to me, and the main appeal of the song. not to mention that i grew up in a family that uses phrases like plate-u, bed-u, car-u with full awareness of how strictly tanglish it is.

  14. Picture this: Larger-than-life-sized furry animal cartoon characters dancing to a dance-remix verison of this on stage in a Kolkata theme park to cheering crowds. Saw it last week.