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Saranameshu Maheshwara

(ശരണമേശു മഹേശ്വരാ)

CHRISTIAN BHAJANS

(1979)

By

Fr. Joseph J. Palackal, CMI

Lyrics & Music -Fr. Thomas Kandathil, CMI.

Video Ref. Number : CMSI-254

Note:

The story of this chant is part of the history of Dharmaram College and my personal story. In the 1970s, Dharmaram College organized an annual light and sound Christmas show for the public. Part of the west wing of the College was redone into a mini theater with about seating for over 50 people. Each year, talented students from the theology faculty got together to create a script. Technically talented students created several scenes connected to the Christmas story. Recorded music matched with the scenes and the script. The show lasted for about thirty minutes. Teachers and students of all religious backgrounds from public and private schools looked forward to the Dharmaram Crib show every year in December. In those days, the name Dharmaram was familiar to the young people in Bengaluru because of the Christmas show.

In 1971, Fr. Thomas Kandathil, CMI, was in charge of the show's musical aspects. Fr. Kandathil, a talented musician, had received training in Karnatak music. He was the unofficial house composer for liturgical and other occasions at Dharmaram and at Christ College. That year I arrived at Dharamaram and attended Christ College for my Bachelor's degree. Meanwhile, Fr. Kandathil voluntarily gave vocal lessons in Karnatak music. I was one of his students. Fr. Kandathil, who was in charge of the background music for the show, wrote the lyrics of this bhajan and composed the melody in Rag Amir Kalyani. This was intended to be played at the end of the Crib Show. Fr. Kandathil chose me to sing this song for the recording. This is the first song that I sang for a recording. And we recorded the song on to a spool tape recorder in the college's music room. The song became instantly popular among the spectators of the show. Although the song text is in Malayalam, non-Malayalam speakers could easily recognize the crucial words as "Saranam" and "Maheswaran." The catchy tune captivated many members of the audience who left the theater humming the melody. Gradually, the song became part of prayer services and Advent and Christmas liturgies at Dharmaram.

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
4 April 2021

Keywords

Christian_Bhajans​, Bhajans​, Christian_Music​, Indian_Christian_Music​, Indian_Christian_Bhajans​, Christianity​&India, Christian​
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