32 Mindblowing Folk Songs of A.R.Rahman

If you’re a hardcore Rahmaniac, I am sure your playlists would be incomplete without these thumping folk songs composed by him. Not only Rahmaniacs enjoy these songs, but also the general masses who prefer folk numbers to melodious numbers. What’s more! Rahman’s folk songs are innovative, something out-of-the-box. They also have a streak of melody in them. Check out the list!

32.Aathangara Marame (Kizhakku Cheemaiyile)

Though this number is not an out and out folk song, it is a folk-western number that mesmerizes right from the beginning. With legends like S.P.Balasubrahmanyam and Sujatha Mohan crooning it, this song can never fade in time.

31.Nendhukitten Nendhukitten (Star)

This is a folk-classical fusion. Especially Chitra Sivaraman’s voice brings out the classical dimension, while Karthik renders with a passionate undertone.

30.Rasaathi (Thiruda Thiruda)

Have you ever heard of a folk acapella? Yes, that’s what Rahman created in this number. Shahul Hameed croons it with such silkiness in his voice, that one can immerse completely in it and never come back to reality.

29.Chinnamma Chilakkamma (Sakkarakatti)

This is yet another folk-western fusion which became a smashing hit during those days. Though it is a rehash of Rahman’s Hindi tune in Meenaxi movie, one cannot miss listening to it.

28.Sandakozhi (Ayudhaezhuthu)

Only Rahman can intersperse folk with melody so creatively. Once you listen to this song, you’d get instantly hooked. You cannot get over Madhushree’s honey-dipping voice and Rahman’s heavenly humming in the second interlude.

27.Thakka Thaiyya (Uyire)

No words to say. What should I say for this evergreen number? It’s still as fresh as when it was released in the 90s.

26.Kurukku Siruthavale (Mudhalvan)

Who can forget this beautiful romantic folk in the voices of Hariharan and Mahalakshmi Iyer? And Rahman’s addictive flute section in this number is still a rage among his fans.

25.Vaanga Makka Vaanga (Kaaviya Thalaivan)

This song belongs to the category of traditional folk songs. Rahman cleverly indulges classical elements to bring out this ingenious Carnatic-folk fusion that highlights the life of drama artists.

24.Nee Kattum Selai (Puthiya Mannargal)

Though the entire album was underrated, this number stood out for it’s simple folk rhythm and of course, the well choreographed steps. You can still find this number being aired in many music channels.

23.Kamma Karaiyil (Varalaru)

Except the lyrics, everything about this folk duet is so good. The singers Naresh Iyer and Sowmya render with elan, while the addictive humming makes the number even more enjoyable. At first listen, I didn’t feel that it was a Rahman’s number. But I was convinced after repeated listens.

22.Kummi Adi (Sillunu Oru Kaadhal)

Every wedding celebration would seem incomplete without this song. With foot-tapping rhythm, energetic high octane voices of Sirkazhi G.Sivachidambaram & Swarnalatha and the ebullient chorus, this song has every element of celebration in it.

21.Kadal Raasa Naan (Mariyaan)

This is the new-age folk number. The highlight of this number is Yuvan Shankar Raja. His voice suits aptly and complements the upbeat rhythm.

20.Sonapareeya (Mariyaan)

Yet another mindblowing contemporary folk number from the same movie. Only Javed Ali could have done justice to this number.

19.Yaro Yarodi (Alaipayuthey)

Yet another popular wedding number that’s dedicated to all the girls out there! The great ensemble of singers – Mahalakshmi Iyer, Vaishali Samant and Richa Sharma make the number even more colorful.

18.Keda Keda Kari (Raavanan)

Well, this is also a wedding number, albeit sounding like a tribal song. The vibrant chorus of this number bring about the euphoria in the atmosphere. You must watch out for the Nadaswaram in the interlude.

17.Anjathe Jeeva (Jodi)

Who can ever deny listing this number as their favorite? With the jubilant voices of Sirkazhi G.Sivachadambaram and Swarnalatha, this number is grandeur personified. And, of course, Sukhwinder Singh’s cameo humming in the first interlude.

16.En Peru Padayappa (Padayappa)

A true-blue Rajinikanth number this one! And what a brilliant composition by Rahman for the Superstar’s dashing intro!

15.Balleilakka (Sivaji)

I juuuuust loveeee this songggg!!!! Well, who doesn’t? With legendary singer S.P.Balasubrahmanyam on board and Rajinikant on the screen, you cannot miss this.

14.Varaaga Nadhikara (Sangamam)

Rahman showcases his Godliness in this brilliant classical-folk fusion. Once you start listening to this one, you’d never get enough of it. Such addictive is the tune and Shankar Mahadevan’s voice.

13.Mazhai Thuli (Sangamam)

Every time I listen to this number, I feel a sense of saudade pass over me. I still cannot fathom the reason behind it. A poignant and out-of-the-world classical-folk composition.

12.Sakkara Inikkira (New)

Though this number wasn’t liked by many for its lyrics and the S.J.Suryah factor, I personally love this one. The tune is so addictive and the Nadaswaram in the interludes elevate the number to a higher level. Yeah, S.P.Balasubrahmanyam and Sujatha Mohan!

11.Uppu Karuvadu (Mudhalvan)

The beats, the high octane voices of Shankar Mahadevan & Kavita Krishnamurthy and chord changes of the tune! Who could have thought of these other than Rahman?

10.Maanoothu Mandhaiyile (Kizhakku Cheemaiyile)

Since the entire film is based on a rural subject, this number serves as the perfect introduction song. S.P.Balasubrahmanyam’s voice aptly reflects the rusticity of the number.

9.Usalampatti Penkutti (Gentleman)

Rahman intersperses some brilliant string section in the interludes and peppers the tune with unpredictable variations. Another gem of the late Shahul Hameed and Swarnalatha.

8.Errani Kurradhani (Kadhalan)

Shadowing the lines of Usalampatti, this number too takes birth from the same template, except the singers being S.P.Balasubrahmanyam and Janaki. The cherry on the cake is the upbeat rhythm and the vibrant chorus.

7.Pacha Kili Paadum (Karuthamma)

The thrills and excitements of visiting a village for the first time are deftly explained in this song. Minmini’s voice adds spice to the innocent folk number.

6.Maduraikku Pogadhadi (Azhagiya Tamil Magan)

This is what I call as an out and out folk number. Set in a thiruvizha backdrop, this song sung by Benny Dayal and Dharshana is my all-time favorite. At first, I couldn’t believe that it was a Rahman’s number. But once you listen to the charanams, you’ll get to know the difference between a normal folk number and Rahman’s folk number.

5.Kulicha Kuthalam (Duet)

When S.P.B goes ‘Sokku Podi Meenakshi…’ in an intoxicated tone, you’d also surely get intoxicated. T.K.Kala’s high octane rendition complements him well.

4.Thirupachi Aruvale (Taj Mahal)

No wonder this folk number was a record breaker! In addition to rendering an aboriginal tone to the number, Rahman also ropes in Palakkad Sreeram who takes the song to a higher level.

3.Senthamizh Naatu (Vandicholai Chinrasu)

Shahul Hameed! I can never stop bragging about this man’s exhilarating voice. The simple folk rhythm (unlike Rahman) is what works in this awesome number.

2.Maari Mazhai (Uzhavan)

Whenever I listen to this song, I’d feel like jumping up and dancing in ecstasy. My love for this number cannot be expressed in words. And, of course, Shahul Hameed again!

1.Kuchi Kuchi Rakkamma (Bombay)

Any guesses why this number tops the list? Well, you needn’t even guess. It’s an universal favorite of all Rahmaniacs and non-Rahmaniacs out there.Well, a true-blue Rahmaniac can easily find out the classical intricacies in this number. Like in the 2nd charanam, Hariharan does a very minute gamaka at the end of this line ‘unnai neenginaal naan illai unakkidhu theriyavillai…’. Ever noticed?

It’s time to create a new playlist! Agree?

If I have missed out any songs, please feel free to comment. 🙂


Kavya Janani.U


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