Alangudi Somu – Tamil lyricist of ‘Ponmagal Vandhal’ fame
Alangudi Somu (1932 – 1997) wrote Tamil songs for movies during 1960s-1990s. He has penned some of the popular songs filmed on Sivaji Ganesan and MGR in the 1960s and 1970s. Ponmagal Vandhal of Sorgam, Thaayillamal Naanillai from Adimai Penn, Aadaludan Paadalai from Kudiyirundha Koyil, Andavan Ulagathin of Thozhilali etc were his chartbuster songs. He has produced two films under his home production in the early 1970s – Patham Pasali (1970) and Varaverpu (1972). He was also a poet.
Alangudi Somu hailed from Alangudi of Pudukkottai district. He was introduced to films by his friend Puratchidasan, who was a poet too. Thus Somu joined film industry in 1960, penning a single song Aambalaikku Pombala for the film, Yanai Paagan. His career reached at his peak in the late 1960s when he frequently wrote songs for Sivaji Ganesan and MGR. With late 1970s he turned less active. His film songs praising Hindu gods became extremely popular; Kanda Un Vasalile from Kongunattu Thangam, Arulvaaye Nee Arulvaaye etc to mention a few.
Alangudi Somu – Some interesting and less-known facts
1. As per record, he wrote about 170 songs for 80 films in a career spanning to 35 years.
2. He was a recipient of the prestigious Kalaimamani award in 1974.
3. His popular song ‘Ponmagal Vandhal’ was remixed and used for Vijay starrer Azhagiya Tamil Magan.
4. His evergreen hit song Ponmagal Vandhal was the single song he wrote for the entire album – Sorgam, and its original version was filmed on Sivaji Ganesan.
5. For a song dedicated to mother for the movie Adimai Penn MGR listened to lyrics written by several lyricists and poets, and finally got greatly impressed by the lines penned by Somu – Thaayillamal Naanillai.
6. Andavan Ulagathin Mudhalaali for 1964 film Thozhilali was the first song penned by Somu for MGR. After that he wrote many songs for the actor. He penned three songs for the album.