Some songs have the knack of stimulating some interesting scientific thoughts when I hear them.. It so happens that most of the time the lyrics remind me of the scientific content.. A few such lines from songs, retrieved by a quick recollection:
1) நிலவில் பொருள்கள் எடையிழக்கும்
நீரிலும் பொருள் எடையிழக்கும்
'Nilavil porulgal edaiyizhakkum
neerilum porul edaiyizhakkum' (Ratchagan)
This song easily gets the top spot for such a beautiful comparison for love. Things lose their weights in moon and in water. Gravity explains the loss in moon and the viscosity, in water. When Vairamuthu compares these apparent sense of weight loss with feeling light when in love, it is more apt, in another sense too: one says 'I fell in love'.. when you 'fall', your body feels lighter, doesnt it?
2) அழகிய நிலவில் ஆக்சிஜன் நிரப்பி....
'Azhagiya nilavil oxygen nirappi' (Jeans)
Though trivial, it reiterates a couple of facts: one- there is no oxygen in moon, and two- humans need oxygen to survive.
3) தாமரை மேலே நீர்த்துளி போல்....
'ThAmarai mElE neerthuLi pOl' (Mouna RAgam)
Though it has been used for comparison since ancient times, in the modern times scientists are trying to mimic the lotus for coatings of some applications. Water doesnt wet lotus (flower and leaves) because of surface tension, which arises from its unique surface chemistry due to water-repellant chemicals.
4) வண்ணத்துப்பூச்சி உடம்பில் ஓவியங்கள் அதிசயம்
'Vannathupoochi udambil OviyangaL adhisayam' (Jeans)
Again, man has been wondering about the beauty of butterflies. The exotic colors in the wings of butterflies arise due to an optical effect called 'thin film interference'. Amazing that there are no dyes which give the various colors to butterflies.
5) உலகம் திரியும் காற்றுக்கு உருவம் தீட்டமுடியாது.
'Ulagam thiriyum kAtrukku uruvam theetta mudiyAdhu' (Mozhi)
It is simply explained by the fluidic nature of air.. Air, a fluid, doesn't have a shape by itself and it takes up the shape of the container it is in..
6) வெண்ணிலவே வெள்ளி வெள்ளி நிலாவே
போகுமிடமெல்லாமே கூடக்கூட வந்தாய்..
'VennilavE veLLi veLLi nilAvE
pogumidam ellAmE koodakooda vandhAi' (Vettaiyadu vilayadu)
That is simply because the distance between earth and moon is so large that any distance that a man covers by whatver means is too small to make a difference to the relative position of the moon. This creates an illusion as if moon is moving alongwith you.
7) நீலநிறம் வானுக்கும் கடலுக்கும் நீலநிறம்
'Neela niRam vAnukkum kadalukkum neelaniRam' (En aNNan)
Sky appears blue because of Raman scattering.. Sea appears blue bcos it simply reflects the sky. To say that they are blue, bcos the girl's eyes are blue is, well, poetic freedom..
All these lyrics talk of 'correct' scientific events. The reason for this post is a recent song which has the lines
மேற்கு திசையை நோக்கி நடந்தால்
இரவு கொஞ்சம் சீக்கிரம் வருமா..
'MERku dhisaiyai nOkki nadandhAl
iravu konjam seekkiram varumA' (ATM)
Nice ones.. The lyricist's inclination is clear.. but he is going in the wrong direction.. Since earth rotates eastwards, one has to walk in that direction for the night to approach faster.