(Last Updated on : 05/08/2014)
Rajasthani Folk songs are defined as the natural expression of human emotion and they basically pertain to religious and other aspects of day to day life. Songs associating with rituals and worship are religious and they are distinct from the ones pertaining to particular occasions and events. Several hundred folk songs have been so far published in different times by different scholars. Most importantly, there are several concepts in relation with religious folk songs of Rajasthan. Many of the Rajasthani folk songs known as 'Sabad', 'Bhajan' or 'Harjas', go by the names of their composers for more gaining more popularity. Such types of popular songs carrying the names of renowned saints are not in all cases their own compositions. In fact, they are famous Rajasthani folk songs and the names of the popular saints are attached to them in order to ensure their popularity and acceptance.
Many Rajasthani folk songs about the famous folk gods such as Ramdevji, Gogoji and Pabuji are very popular among the people. The popular folk songs carrying the names of their composers are known as 'padas'. Such padas are said to be the creation of one of the five famous pirs of the state of Rajasthan
, Ramdevji. These are basically of two types - Caubis Praman and Songs or Sabads. Both are stray padas on devotional topics containing his precepts. In the Caubis Praman, the views of Ramdevji on twenty four topics are given. It is considered as sacred. The songs are on Nirgun bhakti, exaltation of Gods, freedom from idolatry, emphasis on self realisation, preaching as well as warnings. All such feelings have been expressed with complete ease and intensity in popular Rajasthani. Besides, the popular folk song, the existence of a manuscript that is said to be almost two hundred years old also supports the Caubis Praman.
It is interesting to know that certain devotional folk songs have been composed on the pattern of popular traditional folk songs. Many padas popular in the name of Miran Bai are composed on the pattern of Banada and Janwai class of folk songs. It is believed that the collection and study of this popular sant vani is really essential as it might reveal some interesting facts. Some of the Rajasthani folk songs form a class by themselves. Few of the popular classes are Banada (Bridegroom), Janwai (son-in-law), Olyun (memory), Jalal (songs based on the love story of Jalal-Bubaba), Daph (tambourine, songs sung to its accompaniment during Holi festival also known as Dhamal), Badhawa (songs sung on festive and other auspicious occasions), Ghodi (songs sung at the time when the bridegroom rides a mare), Gangaur (songs on a festival), Bhat (songs on a ceremony connected with marriage), Ratijago (songs sung during the night in marriage ceremonies) and lastly, Tij (songs sung at the time of a popular festival during the monsoon).
Many of the Rajasthani folk songs are classical. Olyun, Pinpali, Gangaur, Ghugari, Mumal, etc. are some of the examples of classical folk songs. They are more popular for their tunes. Bidai songs, relating to daughter's departure from the parental home, after marriage, are full of pathos. Songs of Haras and Jin depict affectionate relationship between a brother and a sister.
Rajasthani folk songs are really rich in history and culture and they have made a significant contribution to Rajasthani literature as well.