Don-u Don-u Don-u

My friend P and I, we liked Dhanush long before it was cool to like him (or long before it became cool to admit you liked Dhanush). I mean, we were people who watched his Thiruvilaiyadal Aarambam on TV, we defended him in discussions with our friends, we liked how self-effacing he seemed in interviews.

But I think I am going to draw the line at him becoming a lyricist.

The above sentence might have led you to think I am a Tamil expert of some sort. But no, I am the sort of person who taught herself to read and write Tamil, with a lot of help from Ananda Vikatan (one of the great mysteries of my childhood – why do the movie reviewers fail every movie?). And a vocabulary built on listening to Tamil film music. If I hadn’t heard Mandram Vandha Thendral, how would I know what manjam meant?

Coming back to lyricist Dhanush, the latest in his list is Donu Donu Donu from Maari, presented here for your pleasure.

Who sings this line? What are they singing? What does it mean?
M Donu donu donu I am a don
F Naa unnoda gold-meenu I am your goldfish (?)
M Sceneu sceneu sceneu Scene x3 (meaning, awesome)
F Nee thottathellam sceneu Everything you touch becomes awesome
M Maanu Maanu Maanu Deer x3
F Naa unnoda caffeine I am your caffeine
M Goneu goneu goneu I’m gone x3 (i.e., he’s in love)
M Gundaana kannaala kuthaama kuthaadha

Nee unna thandhalum pathadhadi

Roja poo dhegathaal raja naa saanjutten

Un munney en gethu nikkadhadi

You poke me with your big round eyes/ It isn’t enough even if you give yourself to me/ I am stricken with love looking at your rose petal-like skin/ My swag (?) doesn’t hold before you
F Urugudhey undhan aanmai paarthu

Mayangudhey indha paavai dhaan

Thavikkudhey ellai thaandi parka

Thadukkudhey pen naanam dhaan

Your manliness makes me melt/ It makes me faint/ I want to cross my limits/ But my coyness prevents me
M I am a loyal husband

Giving you royal treatment

Your daily shopping is guaranteed

This is a rap portion which is repeated throughout the song. No translation required.
F You are my meesai mama

I am your naughty mami

Giving you lifetime service warranty

M Vaa ma twinkleu

Come and mingle

Namma kaatula

Naan dhaan kingu

(She is referred to as Twinkle) Come my dear twinkle/ Come and mingle/ In our jungle/ I am the king
F Modern manmadha

Aasai kolludha

Kanna kattudhaa

Give me ringu

Modern prince (?)/ Is your desire killing you/ Does it blind you/ Give me my ring (Taking clues from Beyonce I see)
M Naa sokkuren di

Vikkuren di

Othaiyila nikkuren di

I am drowsy/ stammering/ I am standing all alone
F Naa thithikkava

Pathikkava

Othaikkotha aada ready

Should I be sweet/ Or on fire/ I am ready to play one-on-one (games of love I suppose)

On to the comments:

I find the word paavai incongruous in this song. I tend to think of Yamunai Aatrile when I hear this word, and I cannot reconcile in my mind Kajal Aggarwal being referred to as paavai, and her supposed shyness preventing her from crossing her limits. Really? For such a gimmicky song trying so hard to become a Youth Anthem, it seems to suspiciously pander to previously existing (ancient) ideas. It reiterates the “women love shopping” concept that we have seen in countless movies before (trivia: for a song specifically centered on this theme, there is Amma Wake Me Up from Vathikuchi). And goes one step further, with the woman singing a line where she promises to give her man lifetime service warranty (in return for the shopping trips he pays for?). Lifetime service warranty sounds like the tagline for mixies and grinders, not a woman in love. Also, what is Tamil cinema’s obsession with the “naughty mami” concept? Is it meant to be a turn-on? Trisha is referred to as a Naughty Mami in one sequence in Saamy, and we also have that strange remix in Yaaradi Nee Mohini (Paalakkaatu Pakkathiley).

I came across a cover version of Donu Donu Donu, performed by… No, I have decided to spare you the horror (this post is punishment enough). I believe a couple of friends haven’t yet forgiven me for making them watch it. Don’t worry though, I already have my tickets booked for Maari. 😀

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4 thoughts on “Don-u Don-u Don-u

  1. I was put off long before. He has this habit of making extremely here-before-never-thought of rhyming in his songs, and not in a good way. Take Kannazhagaa song…

    Kannazhagaa, kaalazhagaa – one of my friends was extremely put off with this line, she was like kannu ok, why kaalu? I mean, not paadham or something. This is probably a English thinking and Tamil writing thing. “Those amazing legs” made into Tamil. We lean more towards ‘paadham’. If it gets folksy, like Vairamuthu, then ‘kendakaalu’ type comparison, but this utterly incogruous ‘kaal’ in senthamizh song is a little odd. Even the further wordings – uyire uyire, unai vida edhuvum, uyiril peridhaai illayadi. I rest my case!

    Liked by 1 person

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