The song that has been on my brain the most this week:
- “Jai Ho,” A.R. Rahman, from the 2008 “Slumdog Millionaire” soundtrack.
As regular readers of my blog know, “Slumdog Millionaire” was my No. 1 movie of 2008 and has earned a spot on my all-time favorite films list. I’m also a huge fan of the soundtrack by Indian composer A.R. Rahman, who collaborated with hip-hop artist M.I.A.
Last week, “Slumdog” was nominated for 10 Oscars, including three for its soundtrack: best original score and best song for the film’s transportive opener “O…Saya” and uplifting closer, “Jai Ho.”
But “Jai Ho” makes the FFT this week not because of its Oscar recognition or my own love for the film and its music. It wins its place of honor here at BAM’s Blog because it has curried the favor of my 2-year-old son, Gabe the Babe. And believe me, there’s nothing cuter than a sandy-haired, apple-cheeked toddler asking you to play “Jai Ho” for him again.
Not only has heard the CD playing in my car, but he’s absorbed clips of the accompanying Bollywood-style dance number, which you can find online and embedded above. He and I dance along with it, which only heightens the appeal of the infectious music, the elaborate dancing and the trains featured in the film clips.
While I’ll admit it’s strange for a child to be so enamored with music and scenes from a harrowing, R-rated movie he’s not going to be permitted to see for at least a decade, I view that as more proof of Rahman’s musical genius.
And in case you were wondering, “Jai Ho” roughly means in English “It’s victory,” which is actually what I might have guessed based on the tone of the song. At least that’s what it says in this English-subtitled video of the song, which I found at DailyMotion.com. If you want to enable the English, click on the menu, and check “Enable Subtitles en.” You have to do it at the start of the song, though.
I can’t vouch for the translation, since I don’t speak any Indian dialects, but it seems to fit the tone of the song and film.
And I can vouch for Gabe the Babe’s love of it, which is its own kind of victory, both for the filmmakers and a mom trying to raise a cultured, well-rounded child.