Shyamdas Archives

Holi Songs

Track 1: Sitting in Shyamdas’ home Krishna temple with him as he sang poems to his beloved Thakurji was, for some of us, among the most transformational, deep, sacred, enjoyable, mystifying, spiritual experiences of our lives. I can’t exactly explain why. Nor do I know exactly why or when Shyamdas made this recording of himself during a rare moment when he was alone—just Shyamdas in his temple with his harmonium and his Krishna glancing and glimmering across from him. This is a Holi lullaby which he loved and sang often.

Track 2: Unless you hung with Shyamdas at home while he was singing away in the kitchen, you probably never heard him sing full on Haveli Sangeet poems without the accompaniment of harmonium or other instruments. We have found one such recording, made in 2011 in Jatipura. Shyamdas would go downstairs to the main temple for darshan every day, and during this Holi season he often sang a poem that his friend and teacher Mishralalji loved to sing, “sānci kaho,” in the spring raga of Basant:

Track 3: One day during the spring season of Holi, Hasmukh sang and explained this Rasiya poem (by Ghasiram, a poet from Govardhan) to Madhu-ji. Rasiyas are an often innuendo laden, sometimes raucous, often insulting, passion-filled style of poems sung during the latter part of the 40 days of Holi. During this recording Shyamdas seems to have been bustling around as usual in the kitchen, but he chimes in every once in a while with some English translation.

Click on the “more information” links below the sound player to view poem lyrics in devanagari, roman transliteration and English translation. (Rough translations by Vallabhdas – any suggestions more than welcome!)

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Click on the file below for more information:

  • Śrī Govardhanarāya Lālā: With Your wide, unsteady eyes
  • sānci kaho Mana-Mohana: Tell me the truth, Krishna! Only then will I play Holi with you!
  • Jab te dhokho de ke gayo: Since he fooled me and left
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