Prostitution has been recognized as the one of oldest profession in the Human History. Despite that respect, being a prostitute is shameful in most of communities till today. I found a song origin in Sri Lanka which is addressing so heartwarmingly prostitute in a very different view. Before move into the real incident behind the song’s origin. Let’s see the lyrics. After you go through these lyrics translation, you can read the real life story of lyricist.
English Translation of Song Landune by Amarasiri Peiris
Your eyes was seen (by me)
in an evening senorita… senorita…
No husband as even stay with many
Senorita who roam around street
Even no relations happy to say about relationship
Flowers and Oils on hands
Processing time to Worship at Temple
I saw your eyes
in and evening senorita…
With a wish of understanding of Nibbana
by seeing The Buddha
asking the path to Dewram temple
You are a Patachara
You are a Kisagothami
Senorita who get criticized for
giant sins of men…
Senorita… get frown in light by who
do sins in dark.
Senorita, Only breast expose to the World
which the heart never uncovered
Senorita who never harm at even tiny ant,
I used Spanish word “Senorita” to represent word “Woman, Lady or Girl”. In Sinhalese, it was “Girl” in definition. I believe this song might be the first and only song written to address prostitute in a very humble and humanitarian way. In many cultures, people who wish to have the service of sex workers won’t get caught and won’t get blamed.
Many ladies work as sex workers are not involved there by choice but they were forced to be there by the social and economical nature of the country (when consider the third World Countries and as well as in some developed nations)
Let’s know about the writer
Let me tell you the story behind this remarkable song. The song was written by very famous human rights lawyer “Ran Banda Seneviratne” (Attorney-at-law). He appeared in several controversial cases like trial against Sepala Ekanayake over Hijacking Alitalia Boeing 747. He appeared for Sepala Ekanayake who committed hijack. He was active member of Bar association of Sri Lanka. It seems he was so sensitive on social issues as per readings of his career life and his artistic works.
Yeah, It was inspired by true story
Once Ran Bandara Seneviratne had visited Kandy which is far from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka where the Mr. Seneviratne got used to work at. He appeared on a case in Kandy and planned to come back on the same day. But his colleague insisted him for another day for a case. So he decided to stay in Kandy for a night. In the evening Mr. Seneviratne and his friend had visited Temple of Tooth Relic, Kandy. As per you know, it is the most sacred pilgrimage site of Buddhism.
While they were going to the temple and ancient royal palace, they had seen a beautiful lady in a very neat and clean white dress which is most suitable to a temple while she was carrying flowers and other offerings to the The Buddha. Mr. Seneviratne didn’t clever enough to figure out the face. Then his friend had come up to explain all the things.
In the morning, at court, this lady was fined for prostitution. That’s why Mr. Seneviratne identified her face. His friend had explained that the lady was a popular prostitute called “Swiss Akka”, (Swiss sister) and he had noted that many of them knew her in person. And the lady had a habit of visiting temple of tooth relic, Kandy in every evening.
According the stories, the lady was coming from a good family background and powerful family. But she was abandoned as her marriage life was ruined in vain. She had no options left other than prostitution as per social-economic structure of that time. It seems the lady had no intention to be sinful as she paid her respect to the religion every single day.
Mr. Seneviratne went back to the Colombo. But this incident stayed in his bottom of heart. He wrote this song to invite all of us to see in a very different angle at women who worked as sex workers whether they like or not.
The music was composed by Very Famous Musician in Sri Lanka, “Khemadasa Master” (Dr Premasiri Khemadasa). Song was scheduled to be recorded. Very famous vocalist at the time had invited to sing it. But, the vocalist had missed to come. Khemadasa Master never agree to postpone. He called a very young violinist of his group. Young player with a Strong deep voice had come forward. Mr. Amarasiri Peiris was that vocalist and he was not a vocalist or famous one at the moment. Amarasiri caught the opportunity and he started his career as a vocalist and he was lucky to become the singer of this historical song.
We need to pray tribute to all three who did this unusual artwork.
I request you to listen two visions of this song to feel the sensational music as even you don’t understand the words exactly. Try to read my translation. And do not forget to share your valuable compliments or complaints about my writings. feel free to subscribe my YouTube channel and watch my videos. Stay in touched by like my Facebook page.
Featured Image by: Abhijit Dutta