MS Repertoire – Viruttams

A compilation of many of the soulful Viruttams that MS has sung in various concerts.


“MS is one of the most inspired interpreters of poetry, not in one language but many languages; her musical imagination was stirred by the words as well and therefore when she sang, the verse unfurled its hidden latent meanings like a bud opening its petals at the touch of the sun. In every language she sang, MS remained sensitive to the sound of the words as much to their sense. She also knew that meanings were never literal; they had connotations, implications even ambiguities.

Linguistic sensitivity not just perfect diction, that is the hallmark of the MS style and it is inimitable. ”  – Gowri Ramnarayan in the Tribute to MS titled ‘Star Trek’ at the Hindu Lit for Life 2016.

1. Petra Thai; Lyrics : Tiruvacakam by Manikkavacakar

Translation by Gowri Ramnarayan

”One of her signature vitruttams, which involved improvised ragas across an exquisite Tamil lyric goes :

Even if the mother forgets the child,

and the child forgets the mother who bore it, 

even if life forsakes the body, and the body forsakes the soul,

even if the heart abandons the art it had absorbed, and eyes fail to blink,

I shall not forget the lord who resides within pure souls

a) Petra Thai in ragam Nadanamakriya followed by Araar Asai Padaar

Concert at Mysore, 1960s

and decades later

b) Petra Thai in ragams Revati and Yamunakalyani followed by Shiva Panchaksharam – Youtube

2. Viruttams in Tamil Meera; Lyrics : Kalki Krishnamurthy 

a)  Chara Charam in ragam Hamsanandi 

b)  Udal Uruga 

3.  Paal Ninaindhuttum in ragams Centurity, Nadanamakriya ; Lyrics : Tiruvacakam by Manikkavacakar

Concert at Madras Music Academy, 1965

4. Ettanai Vidangal Thaan; Lyrics : Anandhamana param by Thayumanavar

    Translation by Seetha Ravi 

“All my knowledge and learning have not humbled me
My ego persists unchanged
The mind is transfixed with desire for everything it perceives
I have not known compassion and generosity in my entire life
Nobility of character and penance elude me even in my dreams
Untruth is all I speak and have not uttered even a sampling of truth
I helplessly indulge in endless discourse instead of dwelling in silence divine
Tell me, Have you even heard of or seen another as insolent ?
Oh blissful presence in whom the cosmos comes to rest and finds itself….!”

a) Ettanai Vidangal Thaan in ragams Dhanyasi, Charukesi, and Sivaranjani followed by Kurai Onrum Ilai

AIR Concert 1980s

b) Ettanai Vidangal Thaan  in ragams Kedaragowla, Varali, Mohanam and Kapi                                    

Concert in Bengaluru 1988

5.  Viruttam – Udum Atheen kuzhal in ragams Shanmukhapriya, Dhanyasi, Paras, Mohanam

6. Viruttam Oru Tharam Saravanabhava 

a)  Oru Tharam Saravanabhava in ragams Saveri, Dhanyasi,Shanmukhapriya,

Air Concert

 b) Oru Tharam Saravanabhava in ragams Begada, Shanmukhapriya, Kedaragowla, Chandrakauns, Mohanam

Concert at Narada Gana Sabha, 1969

7. Viruttam – Vakkundam in ragam Madyamavati; Lyrics : Avvaiyaar

8. Vedam Padiya Viruttam in ragam  Poorvikalyani followed by slokam Aruna Saroruha and Suryamurte in ragam Saurashtram

Concert at Asthika Samajam, 1969

9. Thiruve En Selvame in ragam Hari Kambodhi ; lyrics :  Tevaram written by Appar Tirunavukkarasar Nayanar 

10. Kulam Tharum in Ragam Mohanam followed by Narayana Divya Namam

11,Chediyaya valvinaigal theerkum in ragam Hamsanandi ; lyrics : Kulasekhara Alvar 

Concert at Madras Music Academy in 1960; Sung by Radha Viswanathan

12. Magic of MS Album (Sanskriti) includes Chelpattu Azhindhadhu 

13. Paddhati Brahma Gana Sabha Concert Album  (Charsur) includes Enba Kalandila Paaviyar Padum Tuyaram

14. Thamizhe Isaiyai Album (SaReGaMa)  includes Kuthagayai,  Thazh Sadaiyum and Ulagam Yaaviyum

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