Music
Composed by AR Rahman for Shankar’s 1994 Tamil film ‘Kadhalan’, ‘Mukkala Mukkabla’ was only made better by Prabhu Deva’s dance moves.

“Oyae ohoo… Oyae ohoo!” is a phenomenal introduction for a song that’s popular not just in the language it was originally performed (Tamil) but across India. Anytime this cow-boy themed song from the ‘90s came on radio or was played in clubs, even the shyest person couldn’t help tapping their feet to its energetic tune. Composed by AR Rahman for Shankar’s 1994 Tamil film Kadhalan, ‘Mukkala Mukkabla’ was only made better by Prabhu Deva’s dance moves.

A group of chenda melam players accompanied by brass instruments have recreated the Mukkala energy in this video shared by singer Shweta Mohan on Twitter. The original song written by poet Vaali, was performed by singers Mano, Swarnalatha and AR Rahman himself.

The Chenda melam is a traditional percussion musical instrument from Kerala that requires high energy levels to play. The chenda melam is traditionally played during festivals and temple occasions in Kerala. 

The 2.20 minute video shows a group of Chenda melam players taking off after the brass players cue in the “Oyae ohoo… Oyae ohoo!” bit. The chenda players also move in tandem to the beats while a few men in the centre can be seen conducting the “Mukkala” symphony.

“Mukkala” became a phenomenal success in Indian cinema music that it spurned off different versions in different languages. The original song, quite interestingly, begins with actor Nagma riding a horse, and saving Prabhu Deva from the noose. The original song is over five minutes long and has an exclusive instrumental bit in the end.

Shankar’s use of special effects in this song was well received. Prabhu Deva quite literally becomes just a dancing suit, and performs a dance that’s heavily inspired from pop musician Michael Jackson. The song ends with two bodiless suits walking off and “Oyae ohoo… Oyae ohoo!” echoes signalling the end of the song.

Watch the original song here: