Songs of Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore is India's greatest
modern poet. Winner of the Nobel Prize, he was a great educator and
philosopher as well as a major dramatist and novelist. His poems
captured the heart of his native Bengal, and all of India; and when he
travelled to the West, his acceptance as one of the finest writers of the
world was immediate and overwhelming. Ezra Pound, William Butler
Yeats and Romain Rolland recognized him as their colleague in the shaping
of literature in the modern world.
His poems have lived, through the
whole of the twentieth century, as songs. Known as Rabindra Sangeet,
these songs are central to the warp and woof of the texture of life in
Bengal: they are learned in classrooms, heard on the radio, sung at family
gatherings, and sung quietly to oneself as Bengalis work and walk and move
through the course of their lives.
In composing the Randinra Sangeet,
Tagore drew on western music as well as classical Indian music, making
significant use as well of the traditions of Indian devotional music and
Bengali folk music. Although Rabindra Sangeet have remained a deeply
popular form of music, they have also been the province of great singers:
the songs are so simple that anyone can sing them, and so deep and complex
that great voices bring out their most profound and beautiful elements.
By clicking on the song titles below,
you can hear Rabindra Sangeet sung by one of the most renowned singers
in Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India -- Swapan Gupta.
The songs, and English summaries by Tapati
Gupta, are listed below.
There are two sections. To hear the first six
tracks, click on image below
(If you don't have RealAudio,
youc an download it for free by clicking here: REALAUDIO.
Make sure you sign up for the free version, not the free trial!)
1. Choker aloye
dekhechhilem A devotional song.
The poet wants to feel God with the light of
his inner being. He has been long engrossed in the external apprehension
of being, but now his vision is turned inwards.
The poet implores God to purify
him through forgiveness. Only then could he take refuge in the purity
of God for whom he yearns with his entire being.
3. Nai ba
Perhaps I shall never reach the other bank, never
get on to the boat. I can at least sit by the river and watch others
sailing past. What I have with me is enough, and what is unattainable
will be compensated for by my life. My whole day’s occupation will
be to look towards the other bank with yearning and tears.
I have no word, no light. But like silent
stars I wait with futile hope. I hear your flute through an ocean
of dreams and return the echo. Does it penetrate this intense darkness
to reach your dreams?
6. Aji mormor
I hear footsteps within my being. It awakens
the whole of nature and wakes me up from slumber. Who is it that
comes demanding all that I possess? My heart seems to know the answer
and flowers bloom to music.
To hear the Second Part, also with six tracks,
click on the Bengali text below:
natun kore pabo bole
I have to lose you over and over again so that
I might possess you anew. O my beloved! Your absence leads to the
joy of reunion. Though immersed in the world of transience you are
actually timeless. My search for you is tinged with anxiety and passion.
Shapane dohe chhino ki mohe A love
The dream is now ended. Before you go do
leave something behind,. A tear-stained glance, so that parting is memorable.
Only sweet memories shall remain like the polestar or a melody…
3. Eto din
je boshechhilem A song of
I have waited so long counting moments.
Now I meet you in spring. Like a young warrior you have conquered.
I wonder at you and your song. Your smile conceals the fire within.
4. Ami keboli
I have lived in a world of dreams and imagination,
building castles in the air. My desire has been unfulfilled, my aspiration
has been in vain. I have played with fire. Nothing remains
now except the ashes.
theke dur rochilo A love song
Though so near, yet you are far. You create
separation within union. The sea of nectar lying ahead is a mirage.
I cannot quench my thirst. I know you, yet I know you not.
tumi bandhchhile taar A devotional
When you were tuning this veena, there was intense
pain. Sorrow disappeared when you started playing it. What
lay deep within you is now expressed through me. Do not delay for
time is short/. Death is listening at my door. The melody you have
created rings through the universe in an eternal shower of fire.
Let you music fill my heart with longing for you.
Tagore Web Pages
Biography and bibliography
A photo and
between Tagore and Einstein
and the United States
Nobel Prize Tagore
Links to fifteen sites
English and Bangla from a special issue of PARABAAS on Tagore
biography, two poems in Bengali and English
RABINDRA SANGEET Web Pages
on Rabindra Sangeet
link to many Rabindra Sangeet sites and songs
site in Bengali but many songs audible through moderately audible RealAudio
Rabindra Sangeet, site in Bengali,
better quality audio songs through RealAudio
like the one above
Sangeet, site in Bengali, origin Bangladesh, better qualtiy songs through
description of Rabindra Sangeet
To buy Rabindra Sangeet
from India in US dollars
List of many Randindra Sangeet
CDS available for sale from Biswas CDs, distributor in Delaware, USA