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Jhumur Song


Jhumur Song is a kind of folk song of the ancient tradition. At the beginning, jhumur was the song of indigenous communities, especially the Santals (Santhals). It is still very popular among them. Jhumur dance and song are performed in a group. The Santals perform jhumur dance and song on the occasion of karam festival. Because of the charm of love and melody, jhumur song has become popular among the common people of this region. Baru Chandidas' love story of Shri Krishna-kirtan is also influenced by the popular jhumur and dhamali songs. One of the characteristics of jhumur song is establishing relationship between two characters and then to set up dialogues between them, as such dialogues are there in Shri Krishna-kirtan among Radha, Krishana and Bodai. Jhumuri songs are also mentioned in Vaishvava Pada. For example: 'Shyam (krishna) is singing jhumuri by playing flute. A stanza of Padokalpataru contains: 'A host of young women sang jhumuri (jhumur song). Although the tradition of Vaishnava songs are followed in ordinary, non-religious jhumur songs, its singing style is different.

Two characteristics are noticed in the practices of Jhumur. First, it goes up to crescendo and then gradually descends down to diminuendo. And then it becomes stable in the lowest foot in its musical harmony. Secondly, in this singing tradition, the balance between crescendo and the base note remains unchanged. This singing pattern is also part of folk music. Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam composed many songs according to the tone and form of jhumur songs. West Bengal is the place of origin of jhumur music, and later on it spread out to the border region of Bangladesh. This music is prevalent in the districts of Chapai Nawabganj, Rajshahi and Faridpur in Bangladesh.

The subject matter of traditional jhumur songs is the earthly love of Radha and Krishna, which is performed by dancing and singing. Jhumur song accompanied by dialogues has a big dramatic effect. Narrative jhumur song is generally regarded as folk drama. Party or Chhut (leisure) jhumur is generally a solo presentation. Chhut Jhumur consists of 4 lines or slightly more than that. Though Jhumur songs contain the feature of Radha-Krisha's fun and frolic, there is no-extra verse in it, rather, instead of this stress is given on the introductory verse or leit-motive. The indigenous communities have different occasions on which they sing Jhumur song, such as Santali Jhumur dance and song on the occasion of karam festival and Darshali and Chhau Jhumur dance and song of the indigenous people of Purulia on the occasion of Darshal and Chhau dance. Khemta jhumur song is performed with khemta dance; and, in the month of Bhadra, Bhaduria jhumur song is performed to eulogize nature. In order to establish a bond of friendship between man and woman, there is a tradition of pata jhumur song accompanied by dance. An example of jhumur song prevalent in society is:

Ganthibo fuler-i mala, jatone sajabo kala,

Ami ghuchaibo moner jwala, dhukho jabe dure.

Bandhu, hridoi majare Shyamke rakhibo adore

Na aile Nandalal kemone mitabo jwala.

Thak thak Pranboleov bandha prem-dore.

Hridoi mondire Shyamke rakhibo adorey. - Medinipur

In jhumur song, picture of love between man and woman is portrayed extraordinarily. And this is the main feature of this music. [Wakil Ahmed]