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Traditional Keerthanai Concert with English Translations

This Manamahizh Keerthani Kuzhu concert in India includes Tamil-language Christian keerthanai praise and devotional songs sung in the traditional manner. Group members sang in Tamil but translated the lyrics into English.

Manamahizh Keerthanai Kuzhu concert, 19 November 2023, Apostolic Prayer House Assembly of God Church, Peelamedu, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. 

The group, whose name roughly translates as “Sweet Joy and Happiness Keerthanai Group,” was founded in 2010 by Dr. Mrs. Susheila Williams.

Concert program (scroll down for song details):

Keerthanai numbers match those at

Singers in order of appearance at the concert (left to right):

  1. Mrs. Ruth Evangeline, headmistress
  2. Ms.  Edeina Blessy, 10th standard student
  3. Mrs. Kala Mohandass
  4. Mrs. Sumathy Jayaraj
  5. Mrs. Mrinalini David
  6. Mrs. Jane Bhaskar
  7. Advocate* Mrs. Prema Karunakaran
  8. Dr. Mrs. Eva Ravikumar, medical doctor
  9. Dr. Mrs. Sylvia Prince
  10. Mrs. Prema Mohan, educationist
  11. Dr. Clara Sargunar, zoology professor
  12. Mrs. Angelene Vanitha, teacher 

*In India, an advocate is a lawyer who is permitted to argue in court on behalf of clients.

Other group members not singing that day:

  1. Mrs. Christy Ganapathy, medical doctor and patron
  2. Mrs. Prema Thilakaraj, dentist
  3. Mrs. Susheila Williams, group founder and coordinator
  4. Vasantha Kalyani David, PhD
  5. Kalvathy, Rtd. Labor Office
  6. Jothi Ravi
  7. Sathya Ashok

Music master: Dr. Sivaya Ramalingam

Violinist: Devasenapathy

Mrindangam (double-headed drum) master: Mr. Muruganandham

00:00   Dr. Mrs. Sylvia Prince introduces Dr. Mrs. Susheila Williams, musicians, and singers.

04:09   Advocate Mrs. Prema Karunakaran begins introducing the songs. 

 04:56    Keerthanai 35 (கண்டேனென்), “Kanden En Kan Kulira / I Saw,” by Abraham Pandithar. Raga Behag; Talam Adi; based on Luke 2:28–30. Translated by Mrs. Mrinalini David, who explains, “Simeon took baby Jesus Christ in his arms when Mary and Joseph brought him to the temple. Simeon was filled with joy, and he praised God and thanked him for the wonderful blessing God had given him to see the glory of God.” Likewise, the composer of this keerthanai expresses his happiness by saying:

My eyes have seen the glory of the Almighty, the King of kings who is constantly praised by the heavenly host. I am extremely happy holding the heavenly baby in my arms.

This baby was born in the lowly cattle shed of the inn in Bethlehem. He came to the earth to save mankind and give them everlasting life since he loves them. 

He is the Savior of all those who believe him, the loving God of the poor shepherds and the rich wisemen from different directions who came searching for him and worshiped him.

My heart is filled with joy to see this beautiful baby Jesus Christ, lying in the bed of hay, lying in the lowly manger along with the cattle, with the virgin mother Mary and Joseph watching over him. 

08:39    Keerthanai 34 (அரசனை), “Arasanai Kanamal Irupano / Song of the Magi,” by G. S. Vedanayagam. Raga Maand; Talam Adi; translated by Dr. Mrs. Sylvia Prince:


Shall we not spend our lifetime in vain

if we do not see the King?


Should we dishonor the traditional wisdom and

forget the hardships faced by the Jewish clan? 

  1. The prophecy of prophet Balaam that

‘A star shall dawn in Jacob, and

a scepter out of Israel’ is a blessing come true. [Numbers 24:17]

  1. Behold, a star arises and

leads us towards the west.

Let’s worship Him with our offering

and hasten to fall at his golden feet.

  1. Behold, an adorned palace appears.

Its magnificence enamors the eye and the heart.

The Prince would be here for sure;

our mission would be fulfilled, lo!

  1. Alas, he is nowhere to be found in the palace,

so let’s turn west.

Lo! The star reappears and leads us

yonder to Bethlehem to a lowly manger.

  1. Let’s worship the golden anklets of the King

With gold, myrrh, and frankincense.

Let’s not meet the envious Herod;

let’s return with the promise of our Lord

with vigor and zeal.

14:10    Keerthanai 192 (அருமையுற), “Arumaiyura nee irangi adiyanula / Awesome

God, You Captivate Me,” written in Marathi by Narayana Varman Tilak; translated into Tamil by

Mr. V. Santigo; translated into English by Dr. Clara Sargunar:

  1. Your amazing presence enters your servant’s heart and rests there,

banishing every iota of defeat.

The gracious light of love settles and grows within me,

spreading through my being, overflowing.

  1. Your perfect royal virtues and sweet scriptures

are a divine boon, which become mine,

embellishing me every day, quenching my thirst. 

My base, lowly self vanishes, fading forever.

  1. Your embracing love, O Jesus, abiding exquisite joy,

the beaming, happy attributes

of your dazzling, glorious presence fills my heart,

enriching substantively, enduring.

  1. Your proprietary warmheartedness captivates:

enslave, intercede, and gain mastery over me!

Let my heart burst forth as your well-spring,

O benevolent, life-giving stream, my Lord!

19:33    Keerthanai 347 (இந்தப்புவிமீட்க), “Inta Puvi Meetka / Restore the Earth” by

  1. R. W. David. Ragam Kapi; Talam Adi; translated by Dr. Mrs. Eva Ravikumar and Mrs. Sumathy Jayaraj:

It's our hearts alone that belong to the Almighty, who came to restore the earth.

The delicious fish and bread, with which he fed the hungry crowd, is BORROWED.

The boat, in which he was sitting in the night when the crowd was pressing, was also BORROWED.

To fulfill the scripture, the donkey for the Jerusalem procession was BORROWED.

The upper room used to consume dinner together was also BORROWED.

The cross on which he was crucified, and the crown of thorns by the ruler were BORROWED.

The cloth, which covered his holy body, and the tomb where he was laid were also BORROWED.

It's our hearts alone that belong to the Almighty, who came to restore the earth.

24:30    Keerthanai 391 (சிலுவையில்) “Siluvaiyin Nizhalil / The Cross of Love,” by

Thomas Thangaraj. Raga Desh; Talam Adi; translated by Dr. Clara Sargunar: 

The voice of love which arose from the cross

is the voice of my King, which perfects and corrects me.

His voice proclaimed forgiveness for the sins of mankind,

giving salvation and life to a dastardly thief. 

From the one who gives living water

arose the hoarse cry of thirst and the triumphant cry of completion. 

The victorious voice of Jesus committed his spirit into his Father’s hands,

bowed his head and gave up his life to rise up again and reign forevermore. 

31:21    Keerthanai 324 (யூதராஜசிங்கம்), “Yutha Raja Singam / The Lion King of the

Jews,” unknown writer. Talam Adi; translated by Mrs. Kala Mohandass: 

The Lion of Judah has arisen; he has arisen; he has conquered hell. 

He broke the chains of the graves; he broke and melted them; he made the armies of heaven praise him, praise and worship the Almighty. 

The shackles of death were broken; they were broken, and they fell at his feet. He has arisen, my [boat?] hears it everywhere; it hears and removes all fear.

The virgin messengers saw him ascend; they saw him ascend and praised him. He alone has redeemed us from sin. He redeemed us once and for all; he redeemed us once and for all.

35:27    Keerthanai 231 (காணிக்கைதருவாயே ), “Kaanikkai Tharave Vanthom

 / Give an Offering,” written by L. Ponnusamy (grandfather of Mrs. Mrinalini David). Talam Adi; translated by Mrs. Mrinalini David:

Bring your offering and give your offering to the Lord Almighty.

Since the Lord has revealed his love and salvation you were seeking through the priceless sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the nail-driven cross, bring your offering to the Lord.

How much do you give to the Lord as your offering? Is it only one-tenth of what you have?

Isn't this the law given to the Jews, by which they are bound? If you measure the manifold blessings the Lord has given you, you will realize that it is not just one-tenth, but much, much more that you should give as your offering. Bring your offering to the Lord Almighty.

38:58    Keerthanai 318 (தேவாதிதேவன்),Devathi Devan / The Supreme God,” written

by L. E. Stephen. Talam Adi; translated by Mrs. Kala Mohandass: 

To the Supreme Deity, the beneficent Lord,

 bestower of prosperity and auspiciousness.

 To the Lord of life, eternally,

 the divine protector of the celestial realms.

 To the leader of wisdom

 who uplifts mankind.

 To the pathfinder, who never forgets his devotees;

 the embodiment of supreme compassion.

  To the Lord praised in sacred hymns,

  whom the disciples glorify and seek.