An exclusive song for an exclusive singer
Just before he embarked on his fateful tour to Russia, Ven. Gangodawila
Soma Thera converted a Pali stanza - a 'Thera gatha' on the qualities
of the Buddha, into a Sinhala song. It was at the request of a close
associate of his who was keen on singing a devotional song but had
never sung earlier, that Soma Hamuduruwo agreed to do it. But once
the song was done (it took about three months to complete), he felt
nervous that he would never be able to do justice to what he considered
was excellent lyrics.
Hamuduruwo, however, managed to convince him. After several rehearsals
under the renowned music director Rohana Weerasinghe, he did it.
And it has turned out to be quite a good rendering. The singer is
- Harris Wijesinghe, known for his talent in bridal dress designing
but of course, unknown as a student of classical music. This is
the one and only song that Soma Hamuduruwo wrote. And as all his
other works - be it a sermon, a book, a discussion, a TV talk-show
- the song is also based on the Buddha's word.
was purely because of Soma Hamuduruwo's insistence that I sang.
He never gave up. He gave me all the encouragement and confidence.
It's true I was longing to sing a devotional song but when I found
I had to recite the Pali 'gatha' too, I was quite nervous,"
Although there would be a demand for the song now that
it has been aired, Harris does not want to make it a commercial
operation. "It was purely an act of paying homage to the Buddha
as a devout Buddhist that I was keen on rendering a devotional song,"
what a coincidence it was! Just the day before Soma Hamuduruwo left
for Russia, Harris pleaded with him to record an introduction to
the song. Though he had an extremely busy schedule, he obliged.
"I thought of waiting till he came back to record it since
he was going away only for ten days, yet something told me I should
get it done before he left," Harris reminisces.