Attention Music Lovers!

Posted by admin Category: English, Priya Peiris Tag: , ,

Did you know the history and the origin about “Pun Sanda Paaya” and “Hai Hooi Bubby Achchi”: Two of the most popular old songs in the country? Maybe not! So here it is….


“Pun Sanda Paaya” is derived directly from the song titled “Beach at Bali Bali” composed in the 1930s and sung by various artistes. This is not ‘breaking news’ material and is common knowledge to the folk who follow old favourites (or vintage songs). I remember my parents and my aunt singing this song during my childhood days. Latterly I found the ‘Grand Old Brigade’ of my club; Catamarans Sports Club or simply ‘Cats’ (most of whom have gone beyond the sunset), singing this song with much gusto.

But in that era, music lovers re-arranged such songs with Sinhala lyrics to sing at parties etc. for their own pleasure. They did so purely for the love of the original song and not as to ‘copy’ as such, unlike the dirty musical trend nowadays.

Somewhat similarly, Bubby Achchi too was transposed from the ‘Repasz Band March’. The Repasz Band was founded in 1831 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA. The march was composed by Charles C. Sweeley, as I gather via the internet.

The late great ‘Baila King’ Wally Bastiansz, with his background in the field of music and as a Police serviceman had obviously been inspired by the magnetism of the original ‘Rapasz March’ to compose his famous baila music.

So, the above could now give lie to the common belief that, Bill Forbes also known as Kal Kaan composed his hit song “Atcha England” inspired by Wally!

I was informed about the ‘Repasz Band March’ – ‘Bubby Achchi’ connection by Jude Goonewardene domiciled in London and also doing research about songs and music. You will notice that the beginning few lines of both original songs carry the identical melody of the Sinhala versions.

Many versions of both above songs could be viewed on YouTube by any interested party to gather information first hand.

More info:

Priya Peiris

A vocalist, lyricist and a music composer, Priya is a member of the famous “La Bambas” harmony group of the 60’s. Blessed with a knack to identify young and budding talent, Priya has promoted many personalities in the music field. This versatile musician is also a knowledge hub when it comes to music and its origins around the world.

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