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My Favourite Tamil Song 101: Koelae, Fast, Energetic & Burning Patriotism

Baahubali S.S. Rajamouli Tamil History Song

If the world does know who is S. S. Rajamouli by now, seriously it is a shame on them as he was the brain behind 2015 Baahubali: The Beginning and 2017 Baahubali: The Conclusion where you have the above song sequence right in the opening and where the burning question why the lovable Kattappa killed Baahubali is finally answered. Image source: Lahari Music | T-Series.

Baahubali: The Conclusion is the second highest-grossing movie in India of all time with the movie made for a budget of USD33 million and collecting USD240 million at the box office. And one of the attractions of the movie is the soundtrack – both the background music and also the songs in both movies.

In fact, I rate Baahubali’s soundtrack and songs to be one of the best around and on par with other famous soundtracks in my playlist by John Williams, John Barry, Alan Silvestri and James Newton Howard.

Read these first:-

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The Baahubali original soundtrack is well arranged and beautifully composed for the scenes in this movie. In this OST titled “The Saviour”, one would feel the goosebumps as Baahubali breaks the temple door and bring out the chariot of Lord Ganesha and it hits the raging elephant into submission. What a great opening scene for the movie!

RRR & History Lesson

M. M. Keeravani, also known as Marakathamani or M. M. Kreem is related to S. S. Rajamouli but he is not new to the Indian music industry as he has been composing music for Indian movies since the 1990s. He was the genius behind Baahubali’s soundtracks and he also composed the soundtrack and songs for S. S. Rajamouli’s latest movie, RRR starring N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan.

It is another historical movie but one song that is closer to home where it showcases the Indian fight against the British in India. In the centre are Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem who are real historical characters

Alluri Sitarama Raju (4 July 1897 – 7 May 1924) as an Indian revolutionary who waged an armed campaign against British colonial rule in India.

Born in present-day Andhra Pradesh, he became involved in anti-British activities in response to the 1882 Madras Forest Act, which effectively restricted the free movement of Adivasis (tribal communities) in their forest habitats and prevented them from practicing a traditional form of agriculture known as podu.

In response to these raids, and in order to quench the rebellion, the British colonial authorities undertook a nearly two-year long manhunt for him, resulting in expenditures reaching over ₹40 Lakh rupees then.

Eventually, in 1924, he was trapped by the British at the village of Koyyuru in the Chintapalle forests. There, he was captured, tied to a tree and summarily executed by a firing squad. His resting place currently lies in the village of Krishnadevipeta.

(Source: Wikipedia)


Komaram Bheem (1900/1901–1940), alternatively Kumram Bheem, was a revolutionary leader in British India from the Gond tribes.

Bheem in association with other Gond leaders and communist revolutionaries led a protracted low intensity rebellion against the feudal Nizams of Hyderabad and the British Raj in the eastern part of the princely state during the 1930s which contributed in the culmination of the Telangana Rebellion of 1946.

He was killed by armed policemen in 1940, subsequently lionised as a symbol of rebellion and eulogised in Adivasi and Telugu folklore.

(Source: Wikipedia)

But for the movie, it is made as if both have met and fought the British together. The RRR movie already set records, fast becoming 3rd highest-grossing movie within 2 weeks with almost USD132 million at the box office.

Koelae Tamil Song Video RRR

The whole set where the song is picturised is well done and the inclusion of Alia Bhatt as the third main character in the music video adds a new breeze. All of them acted well and the choreography is on the dot. Image source: Tamil Lyrics

Koelae Music Video

The original soundtrack of RRR is in Telugu but the moviemakers also got the soundtrack to be recorded in Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada as well and that will give greater exposure to the various speaking community in India.

Considering that M. M. Keeravani did a great job in Baahubali movies, it is not surprising to get the same level of quality, good composition songs in RRR and one that immediately pulls your attention is this song titled “Koelae” in Tamil.

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The song that showcases the independence fighters is the star of the movie soundtrack. Vishal Mishra, Benny Dayal, Sahithi Chaganti and Harika Narayan with the lyrics in Tamil written by Madhan Karky who also worked with M. M. Keeravani in Baahubali.

Madhan Karky is, of course, the son of the famous poet and lyricist, Vairumuthu who has moved from the limelight after the recent sexual allegations.

Historical Freedom Fighters

The song showcases a number of famous freedom fighters in the fight against the British and their rule in India.

Subhas Chandra Bose

  • State: Odisha & Bengal
  • 23 January 1897 – 18 August 1945
  • Known for his wartime alliances with Nazi Germany and Fascist Japan to fight the British in India. Japan was actually using him for the war to capture India from the British.
  • Died from third-degree burns received when his overloaded plane crashed in Japanese Taiwan on August 18, 1945, as he was trying to escape to Japan.
  • Link

Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel

  • State: Gujarat
  • 31 October 1875 – 15 December 1950
  • Known for his role as a senior leader of the Indian National Congress together with Mahatma Gandhi and after the independence, become the Home Minister.
  • Died on 15 December 1950 at Birla House in Bombay after suffering a heart attack
  • Link

Kittoor Rani Chanamma

  • State: Karnataka
  • 14 November 1778 – 21 February 1829
  • Known as the Indian Queen (Rani) of Kittur who lead an armed resistance against the British East India Company (BEIC) in 1824.
  • Died on 21 February 1829 due to health deterioration in prison at Bailhongal Fort.
  • Link

Valliyappan Olaganathan (V.O) Chidambaram Pillai

  • State: Tamil Nadu
  • 5 September 1872 – 18 November 1936
  • Known for his role as an Indian barrister, Indian National Congress leader and for starting the first Indian owned shipping company to compete with British ships.
  • Died on 18 November 1936 due to old age and in poverty.
  • Link

Bhagat Singh

  • State: Punjab
  • 27 September 1907 – 23 March 1931
  • Known for his involvement in the murder of a junior British police officer
  • Died on 23 March 1931 via hang for the murder charge
  • Link

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Freedom Fighter India

The one who inspired the anti-British movement in India, the great King who fought the Moguls. Mumbai’s international airport is named after him. Image source: Twitter

Tanguturi Prakasham Pantulu

  • State: Andhra Pradesh
  • 23 August 1872 – 20 May 1957
  • Known for the role of freedom fighter, chief minister of the Madras Presidency and the first chief minister of the new Andhra state
  • Died on 20 May 1957 due to sunstroke
  • Link

Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja

  • State: Kerala
  • 3 January 1753 – 30 November 1805
  • Known as a warrior Hindu prince and de facto head of the kingdom of Kottayam. He fought the rulers of Mysore and the British East India Company in the Cotiote War. He is popularly known as Kerala Simham (Lion of Kerala) on account of his martial exploits.
  • Died on 30 November 1805 in a gun-fight at Mavila Thodu
  • Link

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

  • State: Maharashtra
  • 19 February 1630 – 3 April 1680
  • Known as the Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan and was elevated as a symbol of the Indian independence movement against the British.
  • Died on 3 April 1680 due to health reasons.
  • Link

Final Say

RRR is another great showcase of M. M. Keeravani’s brilliance in delivering another song masterpiece. The scene is well picturised with the dancers with huge drums as well making the whole song scene a fast-paced music video. The good influx of historical Indian freedom fighters in the song scene is nice additional and educational too.

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