10 Best Newari Language Songs To Show What You’re Missing Out On
Perhaps because of our rich cultural heritage, the Nepali music sector of today hasn’t ever shown signs of slowing down. Rather, it continues to evolve and give us the most amazing compositions every single year.
All the same, we still have an unlimited repository of ethnic music that most of us never explore. Among them, songs in the Newari language are relatively better known among Nepalis. Every Nepali knows at least the first few words of Rajamati.
So, here are 10 best Newari language songs for a different look at Nepal’s musical heritage.
Rajamati is one of the most famous Newari-language films of all time. It came out in 1995, was directed by Neer Shah, and had many songs that still exist in the vogue.
The titular song, Rajamati, is an old one, like so many other popular Newari songs. In fact, a common story associated with this song is about its performance in front of Jung Bahadur Rana, who was quite impressed by this song.
The movie features a performance of this song by Prem Dhoj Pradhan, and we think not many people would disagree on considering it as the quintessential recital.
While Nepali music has grown in leaps and bounds, music in ethnic languages have been mostly put to the wayside. Ujan Shakya has put that to rest by bringing catchy Newari language songs to the fore that have been widely accepted by the Nepali public.
As of mid-june, Maicha actually sits at 4.6 million views on YouTube.
Maya Re Ratna
Maya Re Ratna is an old Newari song originally performed by well-respected singer Bhriguram Shrestha. In fact, it is one of the essential Newari hits that are played in every Newari family gathering.
Preezol Nepali uploaded a cover version of this beautiful song on YouTube in 2019. Viewers were entranced by the singer’s lyrical, sprightly voice, the crisp music video, and traditional instrumentation. As a whole, his version has become quite successful in the digital sphere.
No, this isn’t the same song as Rajamati. However, both of these songs are from the same movie. This love ballad has a sweet, timeless quality that makes it perfect for subsequent redressings.
Rajamati Wa comes with an exciting feel to it that almost tells its own story. It is captured well in this short cover by Niva Dangol.
Composing pop numbers in Newari isn’t the only reason Ujan Shakya found fame; he is a genuinely talented musician with an ear for what works. Matina is an excellent example of that. It has a dreamy, solemn quality that could almost accompany you in dreams, albeit it does have strong undertones of Korean musical sensibilities.
Thau Waila Kanhe Waila
Thau Waila Kanhe Waila is another quintessential hit in the Newari language, and carries the distinct style of traditional Newari ballads. The title actually means “Will they come today/Will they come tomorrow,” expressing a heartfelt desire to see someone.
This song is a powerful cry that paints a picture of the old Newari society. It shows a parent who is earnestly yearning to see their favorite daughter again, who has gone off to her husband’s house after getting married.
Here’s a really mellow take on the song:
Wo Chu Galli
Legendary band Mukti & Revival is known to cover old Newari songs from time to time. Wo Chu Galli is a fun, flirtatious number given the full blues treatment by the band. It is simply a great listen regardless of language differences, with some iconic riff sections that are mixed in with traditional instrumentations.
Wa Maya Wa
Wa Maya Wa is another classic Newari song that has been revamped by Mukti & Revival in their timeless way. The song has a positive, self-satisfied vibe that you won’t miss out on even if you don’t speak the language.
And don’t miss this rather unique take on this song:
Wane Tela Jila Thau
Wane Tela Jila Thau can be considered something of a humorous song, but it has so much to show about the norms and culture of old Newari society. The title line, waney tela jila thau, is actually followed by kalaa yaa thah chhen, meaning — I am about to go to my wife’s maiden home.
In the olden days, life would be full of hardships and good fooding was a rare treat. However, as a married man, one could always be sure to get just that if you visited your in-laws.
Wane Tela Jila Thau is about a man’s idle reverie in which he wishes to enjoy the hospitality of his in-laws. No married man of today would ever dream of such a thing!
So, these are some of the best Newari language songs that are still amazing to the modern ears. What is your favorite ethnic song ever? Follow us and let us know in the comments.