Bengal is a land rich in living folk song tradtion. It is a land of vast rivers. Hence among the folk songs of Bengal are the Bhatiyali songs of boatmen. Sagar Kuler Naiya Re is one such. This is one of the songs popularised by the singer-musician Nirmalendu Chowdhury.

"Oh boatman of the ocean’s shore, where have you disappeared leaving me in the lurch?"
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Sagar kuler naiya re
Amar belay tumi kothay hay jao baiya re
O majhi re
Parey tokhon bhashao majhi re amay jao kandaiya
Ami ashay ashay roilam boshi tomar aar dekha nai re
Dekey ekey bolcho majhi amar na ey ao
Amay dekhey bolcho majhi tomar nayey aar jayga nai re
O majhi re
Koto bochor gelo majhi aar ghatay boshiya
Orey parey tori kul na pailo majhi
Din to gelo boiya re

The lyrics in Bangla are available here.

Here's another song, Bondhu okule bhashaya.

Oh dear friend, where have you gone setting me afloat on the shoreless sea?

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bondhu okuley bhashaya
bondhu re
koi roila re
bondhu koi roila re

nohoro doriyar bukey hoilam shatariya
ki dukkho bujhibe bondhu re
kinaray danraiya
bondhu koi roila re

kul nai kinar nai
uthchhey koto dheu re
emono neend ano kaley re
songhi nai mor keu
bondhu koi roila re


Anonymous said...

I simply love this.

jessy said...

Does anybody know which music instruments are used here in the song?

Anonymous said...

it's called 'Dotara'. 'Do' means Two (2) and 'Tara' means string/chord/wire. It's an instrument specially used by the Bauls for their folk songs.

michael dillon said...

not sure if this blog is still active but I am trying to find out more about Nirmalendu Chowdhury's Naiya re Sujan Naiya. Is it a traditional boatmans tune with the original boatmans song words or were special words written for it by Nirmalendu Chowdhury. If anyone knows please contact me at