Our King Jesus deserves the best.
Let’s dedicate ourselves to play skillfully and shout for joy.
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A Glimpse From History
Before India gained its independence from the British in 1947, there were a few people in South India (then known as Malabar) who laid the foundation for Malayalam Christian Music. Although these men where not full time musicians, music was a powerful tool in their ministry. The songs they wrote are still heart-warming and Christians use this in worship even today. Of these people, three greats stand out in the crowd.
Mahakavi K. V Simon
The title “Dean of Poets” or Mahakavi was conferred to K V Simon because he had set his standards very high. All his songs are inspiring even today. His vast knowledge of the Bible, Sanskrit and Eastern Music can be seen in his compositions. There is no one who can be compared to him in the Malayalee Christian arena who was as knowledgeable as he was in these three areas. Most of his songs are partially in Sanskrit and partially in Malayalam. Common people find it hard to understand the words as they are poetic. Two very popular songs that he composed are “Anba Yerushalem” and “Vaazhthuka Nee Manamae”
Sadhu Kochu Kunjupadheshi (M I Varghese) was Mahakavi K V Simon’s classmate and they were very close friends. Both of them were bible believing Christians but were not a part of any largely known denomination. He was not very literate as K V Simon but he wrote a lot of songs that touch hearts even today. Songs like “Krooshin Mael” and “Rekshidavinae Kanka Paapi” have brought many souls to salvation. He had to face severe ordeals and loneliness in his life. Poverty was rampant in his family. His relatives, neighbors and own family mocked him. Even in this situation he wrote songs of praise. The infamous song “Entae Daivam Swarga Simhasanam” meaning My God watches me from His throne in heaven was written in this situation. When his son Samuel kutty fell critically ill, he prayed fervently for his son’s life but God took him away. This was a big blow to him and he still stood up for God and fought the good fight. This incident led him to write the words to “Dhukathinte Panapathram” meaning If God gives me a goblet of grief I will gladly drink from it. Even though he did not pastor a church, he led many to the Christian faith through his street preaching techniques.
Volbritch Nagel, a German missionary from the Basel mission settled down in kerala, learnt the Malayalam language and propagated the gospel. He is author of many songs that we sing in Malayalee churches. Most hymns like “Beautiful Words of Life” and “O Happy Day” and many others were translated into Malayalam by Mr. Nagel. This man will be well rewarded for his works and commitment.
Most early Pentecostal / Brethern and other protestant leaders came to the Lord through one of these men. The compositions of these men tell us that they were gifted musicians. But unfortunately, the standard of music used in worship seems to be deteriorating in the contemporary malayalam churches. Some churches preach against using modern music and equipment. It will take years of hard work of dedicated musicians to raise these standards back up. I welcome you to join us in this struggle.