I was just a little kid when I first heard this rendition from Balamurali Krishna over the airwaves of the All India Radio. The folksy tune, the simple but poignant lyrics and above all the phenomenal rendition of MBK blew me away. Barely an instrument used other than his great voice, this just left me completely spellbound and a fan of his ever since. While there are still a few curmudgeons who scoff at his penchant for improvisation, his magnetic voice, his impressive body of work, his contributions to the carnatic music for over half a century now, and most importantly the immense pleasure he has given to millions of music lovers through these years makes him one of the greatest Indian classical musicians of 20th century. Like many of the greats, as one can see from this rendition, he has his own inimitable style and just as the backdrop suggests in the video below, he is truly a living legend.
Lyrics, authored by Sadasiva Brahmendra (Telugu):
emi seithura linga? emi sethura?
ganga udakamu techi neeku
linga poojalu chedamante
ganganunna chepa kappa engilantunnayi linga
akshayavula paadi techi
akshayaavula lega dooda engilantunnadi linga
tummi poovulu techi neeku
komma kommana koti tummeda engilantunnadi linga
ma linga murthy
maha deva shambho