The song “Seetha Rae Yame” (also known as Duleeka), sung by Sanath
Nandasiri for the film Duleekaa is a well known song. According to the
conventional way of giving credits for the creators of this song, lyrics
of the song is by Sunil Ariyaratna, and music is by Premasiri Kemadasa.
However, that would be a gross injustice to musician Neville Fernando
who played a significant role in the creation of the song.
In the film, the song is set in a club where the main actor sings with
the backing of a musical group. The director had decided that the style
of the song should be group song (Kandayam Gee). Kemadasa hence created
just the tune, and entrusted Neville Fernando with the task of
completing the rest not only because it was in the area of expertise of
Neville, but also because Neville had clearly demonstrated his
capabilities in a similar capacity, in making the musical arrangements
for the song Sulan Kurullo (sung by Harron Lanthra and Anjaleen
Gunathilaka for the film Sanasuma Kothanada).
Neville Fernando not only made the complete musical arrangements
including the interludes, bits and rhythms for the song, but also sang
parts of the song in the style of harmonization common in group songs.
According to Shelton Weeraratna, the author of Neville Fernando’s
biography “Neville Saha Noel”, this song clearly shows Neville
Fernando’s talents and carries the signature of Neville Fernando.
Here is a more accurate description of who was involved:
Lyrics: Sunil Ariyaratna
Melody: Premsiri Kemadasa
Musical Arrangements, Acoustic Guitar and harmonizing vocals: Neville
Sung by: Sanath Nandasiri
(It is not clear whether it was Neville Fernando or Kemadasa who
conducted the music.)
ගී පද: සුනිල් ආරියරත්න
ගී තනුව: ප්රේමසිරි කේමදාස
සංගීත සංයෝජනය, ගිටාර් වාදනය සහ ගායන සහාය: නෙවිල් ප්රනාන්දු
ගායනය: සනත් නන්දසිරි
(වාදක මණ්ඩලය මෙහෙයවීම කළේ නෙවිල් ප්රනාන්දු ද, ප්රේමසිරි කේමදාස ද යන්න
පැහැදිලිව සඳහන්ව නැත).
May this original recording of the song be a tribute to Neville Fernando
who passed away 45 years ago on April 23, 1975. The song was recorded
again in the 1980’s for Sanath Nandasiri’s Seetha Rae Yame cassette on
the SInglanka label, but that recording lacks the guitar playing and the
harmonizing vocals of Neville Fernando.
පරිසරය - සිරිසරය
The world earth day was yesterday (April 22). During my childhood,
the environment was a lot more pleasant that it is now. I often
wonder what it will be like for our next generations. It is our duty
to help protect the earth.
විදු ණැනින මැඩ සියලු බාධා
රැක ගනිමු පරිසරය සැමදා
The song "Ammawarune" in the 1982 film "Yasa Isuru" sung by Nanda Malini
is perhaps the first song that would come to one's mind, if asked to
name a song about mothers. This song was written by Dharmasiri Gamage
and music was composed by Maestro Kemadasa. However, there is another
song created by the duo much earlier, sung by Dharmadasa Walpola and
Latha Walpola, that was popular during the 60s and 70s. The song was
part of a musical play called Nawaraella ( නවරැල්ල) created by Maestro
Kemadasa in 1964.
For more information about Maestro Kemadasa's affection to his mother,
and the songs and other musical creations by him on the subject of
Mother, visit https://miyurasavindana.net/node/22
The song "Sirikatha Ena Maga" sung by Dharmadasa Walpola comes in what
Maestro Kemadasa categorizes as a "Musical Drama" named Kalae Mal, the
first creation through the institution Sanggeetha Manjaree. You may not
have noted that the tempo of the song increases gradually from start to
finish, depicting the awakening of a blacksmith by the rays of sun in
the morning. Towards the end of the song, Maestro Kemadasa uses the
sound of three violins to represent the blacksmith using a file to
smoothen a piece of iron.
More detaiis about Sangeetha Manjaree and Kalae Mal at
සිංහල අවුරැද්ද - Sinhala New year
Year 1966 was a turning point in the musical life of Maestro Kemadasa,
as he received an award for the music he created for the film Sanasuma
Kothanada. Following this recognition, he composed a symphony called
Sinhala New Year in 1967, and conducted the music in a live show. The
symphony was well received, and he composed another symphonic work
called "Sea" (මුහුද) in the following year. In 1971 he composed his
third symphinic work called "Drought and Rain" (නියඟය සහ වැස්ස) and gave
a performance of the three works in December 1971 at YMBA, Borella. The
orchestra for this concert consisted of 60 musicians with Douglas
Ferdinands serving as the concertmaster.
In 1973, Galle Face Hotel invited Maestro Kemadasa to conduct his music
at the hotel for the hotel audience. These shows took place at the hotel
on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The shows included his symphonic
works as well as other musical creations by him, based on the folk
melodies of Sri Lanka. In 1973 Sunday Lankadeepa reported this under the
title මහ හෝටලයක ජන සංගීතය (Folk Music at a Big Hotel).
In 1974, the Galle Face Hotel produced an LP record containing the three
symphonies and a few folk melodies. Today I present to you the symphonic
work Sinhala New Year from the album, marking the Sinhala and Tamil New
year which falls on today. However, as the whole country is under lock
down due to Coronavirus, new year was not celebrated this year.
Digitized by Nimal Ratnayake. Record from the collection of Gamini
Reference: ප්රේමසිරි කේමදාස විචාරාත්මක චරිතාපදානය (Premasiri Kemadasa
Critical Biography), by Eric Ilayaparachchi
In the year 1979, the UNESCO proclaimed 1979 as the International Year
of the Child. In Sri Lanka this was marked in various ways, including
the release of two EP records. One was the Lamaa Gee EP by Nanda Malini,
and the other was Punchi Unath Man. Children of Victor Ratnayake,
Ajantha Ranasinghe, and Sisira & Indrani Senaratna sang songs in the
latter. Jayantha Ratnayake was one of the singers, who passed away a few
days ago. Here is the song he sang solo on the EP - Issara Kaale Handamama.
Incidentally, this song also refers to the moon landing. When we were
talking about songs related to moon landing some time ago, we missed
This is posted as a tribute to Jayantha Ratnayake. May his soul find
As notified earlier, I have created the group LakMiyasi on Viber.
Everyone in the email list is kindly requested to join that community as
soon as possible. However, I will cross post into this email list till
the end of the month. Thank you for your understanding.
Hope you and your families are safe in the midst of the current
Thought of moving this list to Viber as the activity is rather low
in the mailing list.
Some of you would have alreary received an invite to join the
community LakMiyasi on Viber. I do not have the Viber contacts
of many of you. If you are on Viber please let me know via email
of Viber. My Viber number is +94704688611