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Magan Song


Magan Song a genre of folk song. The word 'magan' is derived from the Hindi word 'mangan' meaning 'to ask'. At times of natural disaster or before some festival, young village boys and girls go round houses asking for grain or money in the name of some pir or deity. At times of drought, young girls go around asking for water in pots while singing song of Megharani or the cloud queen. Housewives sprinkle water on each other stimulating rain. Young boys carry sticks symbolising Manikpir or Sonapir and sing or recite rhymes while asking for grain to make a sweet dish. They eulogise the farmers and pray for their wellbeing, hoping that they will get liberal amounts of grain; they use harsh language if the farmers are miserly.

Usually Onni, Hului and Baghaipir songs are known as Magan song. Peasant boys of Manikganj sing Onni song while seeking magan grain during the winter harvest. The main singer starts the song and his group of 20-23 join him in chorus. With the grain they collect, they cook khichudi (Hodgepodge) in the fields and eat it there. [Momen Chowdhury]