All About Rabindra Sangeet

রবীন্দ্র সঙ্গীতের সব কিছু

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Lyric and background history of song oli bar bar phire jay

Song of Rabindranath Tagore

This page contains lyric of Tagore song oli bar bar phire jay and its transliteration in English with background history. Background of the song includes the place and date of the song written by Rabindranath, name of the newspaper or magazine the song was first published in and the name of the person who had prepared the notation or swaralipi. This page also contains the musical composition of song like parjaay, taal, raag and ango.

The other related elements of this song like translation in English and Hindi, notation in Bengali (swaralipi), staff notation (western) which are available in other pages, please find the related links below. We have also provided the pdf's of lyric, notation and staff notation with midi with downloadable links so that people may find it easier to get the song and notations in printed format.



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Parjaay: Prem (317)

Upa-parjaay: Prem-Boichitra

Taal: Dadra

Raag: Pilu

Written on: 1888

Collection: Maayar Khela

Swarabitan: 48 (Maayar Khela)

Notation by: Jyotirindranath Tagore

Notes: Published on 22nd December 1888.

This song had helped young Rabindranath to popularise himself in England. Monday, 22nd September 1890, London, in the manuscript of 'Europe-jaatrir-diary' he writes ...

... 'I had to sing a number of Bangla songs at night. Miss M liked the song 'Ali baarbar ...' very much : It is so sweetly pretty, so quaintly beautiful and it sounds so pathetic with its minor notes!'

Notes on the next day has a similar mention ...

... ' Once again Miss M requested me to sing the song 'Ali baarbar ...'. She really loved the song very much.'

Mention on the next day reads ...

... ' It was an invitation at Mr Brand's sister's. I went. She was good, well refined. Her fingers commanding over harp and piano. She too loved the song 'Ali baarbar ...' and asked for more such songs which might help her to compose an Oriental Opera. She was visibly astonished to find a person who could compose without having knowledge of grammar of composing music.'

Notes on the next Monday explains ...

...' Went to see Mrs Oswald. She had asked for one of my photographs, which I handed over. She seemed to like 'Ali baarbar ...' among the other ones when I was asked to sing a few Bangla songs. I sincerely hope that there isn't a scope for mischief. Chanakya had said 'Viswasang naiba kartabyang streeshu raajkuleshu cha' , these are not only ladies but also Royals. A gentleman was present with musical knowledge, he too praised my songs.'

The amount of popularity this song had fetched him that the poet himself was dubious. This was evident from his remarks - I sincerely hope that there isn't a scope for mischief.

He wrote on the next Sunday -

...' Miss Mull once adding requested to sing the song 'Ali baarbar ...' . This song she liked the most. 'I don't know what is in it - it is so very pathetic'.

It is clear from repeated use of the word pathetic, that Miss Mull was unable to follow the basic emotion of the song, yet she loved the song very much.

On-board a ship on his way back to India on 15th October his diary once again finds reference of the song -

...'A lady once took me along with her to sing songs. I presented Good night, Chantez and Ave Maria. They all praised for my voice inquiring about the place of my training. My answer was ' My trainer was a great professor, my niece'. Then I sang 'Ali baarbar ...', which they enjoyed a lot.

Reference of the song can be found in Swarger Kachhakachhi written by Moitryee Devi -

... 'I remember, songs of Maayar khela being rehearsed, Amita Sen (Khuku) practising the song 'Ali baarbar phire jaay, baarbaar phire aase, koli phutite chaahe, phote na ...'. The poet himself was giving her the lesson. Once he would sing the song, Khuku repeated the same, the poet corrected her several times. The same line came back repeatedly. My untrained ears were unable to spot out the finer nuances of the song, one thing was certain although, 'koli phutite chaahe, phote na'.

Here the writer uses the word koli as a pun, having dual meaning - blossoms and line of a song. She continues writing -

... ' The poet interpreting her the line asking her to sing along over and over.'

Indira Devi had commented once that Khuku was very good singer and a quick learner. Rabindranath himself had certified her saying 'Khuku can pick up tunes with unmatched promptness, Is am sorry, you can't.'

This commentary is important to realise the order of perfection the poet had desired for his songs.


Parjaay: Mayar-Khela (Scene 6)

Taal: Dadra

Raag: Pilu

Written on: 1888

Collection: Maayar Khela

Swarabitan: 48 (Maayar Khela)

Notation by: Jyotirindranath Tagore


Lyric in Bengali

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Tagore song oli bar bar phire jay
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Transliteration in English

Oli bar bar phire jai, oli bar bar phire ase
Tabe to  phool bikashe
Kali phutite chahe phote na mare laje mare trashe
Bhuli maan apoman dao mon pran nishidin raho pashe
Ogo asha chere tabu asha rekhe dao hridoy raton ase
Phire aso phire aso ban madito phoolo base
Aji biraho rajoni phullokusum sisirsalile bhase

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