There is a very rich folk song tradition in Kerala. Farmers, peasants;
ploughing or harvesting and the boat men plying the oars on the palm-fringed
back waters, forgot the tedium of toil by singing songs. Then the
happiness of the harvest season, of the sacramental union of man and woman,
of the advent of progeny also found expression in beautiful melodies.
Many classical composers also used this songs. Irayimmam
Tampy, wrote a lyric for the melody of the traditional lullaby which is
one of the most beautiful songs of this kind in Malayalam. Another lullaby
melody was chosen by Cherrusseri in the fifteenth century to retell the
Krishna story from the Bhagavatha in mellifluous verse in a Kavya of classical
dimensions with forty-seven cantos. The boat song melody was used by Ramapurath
Warrier in the eighteenth century for a fine narrative poem on the story
of 'Kuchela' and by Kumaran Asan, for another narrative poem on the great
compassion of the Buddha and the disciples who were inspired by him.