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The incredibly successful 1996 Tamil film, Ullathai Alli Tha, has a very, very unique distinction beyond its cult commercial success. It’s a rare Indian film where every single song (in its five-song soundtrack) is unofficially ‘inspired’. Ironically, the film’s plot itself is an unofficial inspiration from Rajkumar Santoshi’s Andaz Apna ApnaThe film stars Karthik, Rambha and Goundamani, among others, with songs composed by Sirpy.

Song 1 – Azhagiya Laila

The song, sung by Mano, was an unabashed lift from Egyptian singer Hesham Abbas’ song ‘Ahla Ma Fiki’ from his 1995 album, ‘Hesham 95’.

Buoyed by the success of the Tamil song, Jatin-Lalit used the same source to compose the song ‘Suniye To’ for their 1997 film, Yes Boss, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla. You can listen to it here.

Song 2 – I Love You Love You

The song, sung by Mano and K. S. Chitra, was inspired yet again by a song Hesham Abbas song! Interestingly, this Hesham Abbas song is from an earlier album of his – called Ta’ala, from 1994. The song was called ‘Wana Amel Eih’.

 

Song 3 – Adi Anarkali

For this song, sung by Mano, Sirpy goes all the way back to 1970! ‘In The Summertime’ by the British rock band Mungo Jerry.

It is highly possible that Sirpy’s direct source may have been Shaggy’s 1995 cover version (since it is much closer to the Tamil film). Intriguingly, the song picturization of Yes Boss‘s Suniye To is similar to this song’s picturization! And, there’s a Hindi version of the original as well, from the same year as Yes Boss – the 1997 film Tarazu, and the song ‘Haseena Gori Gori’, composed by Rajesh Roshan!

Song 4 – Chittu Chittu Kuruvikku

This song, sung by Mano and Sujatha, uses an inspiration closer home – the cult Pakistani folk song, Laung Gawacha, made popular by Musarrat Nazir in 1987, in the Pakistani film Dulari.

The direct source for Sirpy’s version, however, is Bally Sagoo’s reggae remix of the folk original from the 1993 album, Bally Sagoo on the Mix… The Story So Far, given the similarities in the music.

Song  5 – Mama Nee Mama

The final song from the Tamil soundtrack is sung by Mano and Geetha Sabesh. The original of the song is yet again from Pakistan – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s memorable song, Kinna Sohna Tainu.

There’s again a Bally Sagoo connection here, since Sirpy’s direct original, as is mighty evident in the music, is Bally Sagoo’s remix from the same 1993 album, Bally Sagoo on the Mix… The Story So Far! And of course, Nadeem Shravan used the same original to compose their ‘Kitna Pyara Tujhe‘ from Raja Hindustani (1997)!

Seeking inspiration for a song in the overall soundtrack is almost taken for granted in Indian film music. But the entire soundtrack being unoriginal is truly a milestone in Indian (and Tamil) film history.

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