Kanna Denawanam Raja Gahe Nadagama: A Sinhala Folk Song with a Message
Kanna Denawanam Raja Gahe Nadagama is a popular Sinhala folk song that has been sung by many artists over the years. The song is about a group of people who are dissatisfied with their lives and want to change their fate by going to the king's palace (raja gahe) and performing a drama (nadagama). The song expresses their hopes and frustrations, as well as their criticism of the social inequalities and injustices they face.
The lyrics of the song are written in a colloquial and humorous style, using metaphors and similes to convey the message. The song also uses repetition and rhyme to create a catchy and memorable tune. The song is composed in a simple melody that can be easily sung by anyone.
The song was originally written by Sunil Santha, a renowned Sinhala musician and poet who was active in the mid-20th century. He was inspired by the traditional nadagama, a form of folk theatre that originated in Sri Lanka and combines music, dance, drama, and comedy. Sunil Santha adapted the nadagama style to create his own songs that reflected the contemporary issues and sentiments of the common people.
Kanna Denawanam Raja Gahe Nadagama is one of his most famous songs that has been covered by many singers, such as Ravindra Yasas, Victor Ratnayake, Sunil Edirisinghe, and Amarasiri Peiris. The song has also been featured in several films and television shows, such as Re Daniel Dawal Migel, Api Nodanna Live, and Kumbiyo. The song remains popular among Sinhala audiences of all ages and backgrounds, as it resonates with their aspirations and struggles.
One of the singers who popularized Kanna Denawanam Raja Gahe Nadagama was Sunil Santha, a renowned Sinhala musician and poet who was active in the mid-20th century. He was inspired by the traditional nadagama, a form of folk theatre that originated in Sri Lanka and combines music, dance, drama, and comedy. Sunil Santha adapted the nadagama style to create his own songs that reflected the contemporary issues and sentiments of the common people.
Sunil Santha was born on 14 April 1915 on the Sinhalese New Year's Day in Dehiyagatha, Ja-Ela, Sri Lanka. Both his parents died before he was two years old, and Santha was raised by his grandmother. At an early age he came to the limelight when he played King Dutugamunu in a village play. One villager adorned him with a battery-powered lighted necklace[^1^] [^2^]. He had his education at Dehiyagatha Vidyalaya, St. Benedict's College, Colombo, Thudella school and St. Aloysius' College, Galle[^3^]. He passed the school leaving certificate examination as the first in the island, with the highest marks in his class as a young adult and was awarded the Weeraratne award.
In 1940 Santha gave up teaching and travelled to Shantiniketan to study music. The following year Santha enrolled at the Bhatkhande Music Institute and worked to get his Visharadha Degree in 1944. He passed the final exam as the first in the first division in Sitar and Vocals, the first non-Indian Asian to do so. He then adopted the name \"Sunil Santha\" and returned to Sri Lanka in 1952. He composed many songs that were influenced by Indian classical music, but also incorporated elements of Sinhala folk music and Western music. He also wrote lyrics that were poetic and meaningful, often addressing social themes such as nationalism, patriotism, freedom, justice, and equality. aa16f39245