March has a very important festival – Holi – linked mainly to onset of the spring in the North India. The celebration of the festival is deeply ingrained into the fabric of the entire social culture of the people. As a natural corollary, it is but natural that the festivities are reflected into the mainstream (Hindi) Cinema. From the mellow and richly classical Holi songs in the 50s to the fun songs in the 70s, the flirtatious songs of the 80s to the power-packed, rigorous dance sequences in the new millennium, Holi songs have seen a gradual but marked change in style of music and the manner of filming the sequences. It is natural that we devote the opening session of the current edition of our blog festival to the articles featuring Holi songs in the Hindi Films.
- SoY has a regular article this time on the subject – Songs of Holi. The article has quite colorfully blended some of the popular songs with the classic songs.
- Atul’s bollywood song a day- with full lyrics has full a category, “Holi” festival song, which already has 39 articles as of now.
And here are some of the randomly selected articles published in the mainstream journalistic flavor:
- Top 10 Bollywood Holi Songs
- A few Bollywood songs about Holi that will set your mood right today
- Popular Holi songs from Bollywood
- From lehenga to shorts: How Bollywood heroines changed their Holi style – ‘rewind and remember Bollywood’s Holi wardrobe, from the lehenga in Mother India to the salwar-kameez in Silsila and the shorts in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’
- Rang Barse to Holi ke Din: Get your Holi party on with these Bollywood gems – Swetha Ramakrishnan
- Top 5 Bollywood Holi Songs - Razy+ - ‘Each of these songs is picturized on the most popular Bollywood actors of their time’.
We now turn to the anniversaries:
Conversations Over Chai has three articles to commemorate Talat Mahmood’s birth anniversary on 24th February (1924):
The Legends: Talat Mahmood – has a few ‘quintessential Talat’ songs, each one for a different music director. While reading the article and comments thereto, Tum To Dil Ke Taar Chhed Kar, Kho Gaye (Roop Ki Raani Choron Ka Raaja – 1961- Shanker Jaikishan) came up from my memory. This, incidentally, is a twin version song. Furthermore, looking for some other songs, I landed upon Tera Khayal Dil Ko Sataye To Kya Karen (Naqab – 1955 – Govind Ram).
In addition to a fairly rich collection and the contents in the main article, these songs in Comments also catch our attention:
Yaad aanewale phir yaad aa rahe hain - Anmol Ratan – Vinod. He gave another great duet Shikwa tera main gaaun in the film.
Mat chhed zindagi ke khamosh taar le ja – Raag Rang – Roshan.
Saawan ki raaton mein – Prem Patra – Salil Chaudhary
Chaahe nain churao chaahe daaman bachao pyar ho ke rahega – Aas – Shanker Jaikishan
Mausam Ye Pukare Masti Mein Le Chal - Burmah Road (1962) – Chitragupt
The Legends: Talat Mahmood – Part 2 – has lined up duets with different singers.
SoY continues with Focusing on Naushad as the theme of the year while undertaking comparisons with C Ramchandra in Talat Mahmood by Naushad and C Ramchandra. Naushad used Talat Mahmood in lead only once in Babul (1950) and then as a co-singer with Mohammad Rafi in Kaisi haseen aaj baharon ki raat hai (Aadami – 1968). In the queer twist of commercial considerations, Talat Mahmood was replaced by Mahendra Kapoor in the final track, but the records were already in the market. In comparison, C Ramchandra has a fairly large share of ‘great’ songs with Talat Mahmood. Here also, Talat Mahmood was on the losing streak once – Kitna haseen hai mausam kitna haseen safar hai – which is finally rendered by Chitalkar himself.
Naushad-C Ramchandra duel for Amirbai Karnataki, is an innovative tribute to Amirbai Karnataki, on the 50th death anniversary (c.1906 – 3 March 1965). Naushad had About fifteen songs in seven films in a span of eight years whereas C Ramchandra had Eight films and about fifteen songs in a span of eight years – same as Naushad’s. ,,,, If we look at Amirbiai Karnataki’s singing career in overall perspective, Anil Biswas first catapulted her to great fame with Kismet (1943); she sang the maximum number of her songs for Gyan Dutt and maximum number of his songs were sung by her…. Vidur Sury has written an exhaustive and excellent article – Amirbai Karnataki – A Legendary Indian Singer on Amirbai Karnataki. He has also contributed to Atul’s bollywood song a day- with full lyrics Amirbai Karanataki’s Deendayaal sakal dukhbhanjan (Narsi Bhagat – 1940)……..And this in turn takes us to the categories Ameerbai Karnataki songs, which has 118 posts and Ameerbai Karnataki solo, (78 posts) on Atul’s bollywood song a day- with full lyrics
‘Bags, Books and More’ pays tribute to Ravi, through his scores to Sahir Ludhyanvi’s songs, in My favourite Sahir Ludhianvi – Ravi songs, on the third death anniversary. In terms of getting less to hear a song , we pick up Mahendra Kapoor-Asha Bhosle duet Rangeen Fiza hai (Bahu Beti, 1965) from among the ‘favorites’ .
We now turn to other posts on our regular blogs:
Tennis, Pathakji and ‘Tere sadke balam’ – There would many who have very strong association with a song….But it takes SoY to make it a memory to be shared with all as if we lived all those moments ourselves.
Film Songs Based on Classical Ragas (8) – Pilu – Guest article by Subodh Agrawal - in which he discusses the best film songs based on this Raga and some fine classical pieces. Pilu is the one that truly captures the mood evoked by this earthy smell, possibly because it is the raga of the Gangetic plain, where the summers are long and severe, and the rain – when it comes – comes in torrents, as in a fragment from the film Sara Akash (1969), as it captures the traditional movement better than any other clip one could locate.
As can be easily expected, the advent of spring should have led to posting of articles on the subject. Ten of my favorite spring songs takes up the task with the rules: the synonym for spring—basant, bahaar, etc—should actually be present in the lyrics, the word (especially in the case of bahaar, which can also refer to scenery or enchanting environs) should specifically refer to spring itself and the word should be used in the literal, not the metaphorical, sense, making the reading even more interesting.
Ten of my favourite cloud songs is a thematic songs-list article, which follows these rules: firstly, the synonym for cloud must be in the first line of the song, and secondly, the reference to clouds should be literal; clouds should not be used only in the metaphorical sense. On a similar vein, there have been other posts on rain songs and wind songs.
Ijaazat (1987) very fondly traces the origin for writing up the review to Mera kuch samaan from the album You’ve Stolen My Heart: Songs from R.D. Burman’s Bollywood
Word Play: Shaam presents the Shaam songs with the self-imposed rules : the song had to begin with the chosen word. (At the most, the word could be the second one in the first line.) Preludes to songs didn’t count. And two, it has to be the word itself, not its variations., which have yielded three posts – Raat, Piya and Chand – in the past. We pick up, again on the basis of the criterion of not-getting-to listen-often:
Shaam gayi raat aayi – Shree 420 (1955) – Lata Mangeshkar – Shanker Jaikishan- a song that is recorded and then discarded from the film is classic fit for ‘Mystery of the Missing Songs‘ , strangely, this song was never used in any subsequent RK film either
Shaam dekho dhal rahi hai -Anjaan Hai Koi (1969) – Mohammed Rafi, Usha Khanna – Music: Usha Khanna
Dances By Egypt’s Naima Akef -Egypt’s Golden Age of cinema happened very close in time to India’s, beginning in the 1940s and extending into the ’60s. …there also are close parallels between this cinema and Indian cinema in the song-and-dance sequences, with the main difference being that the Egyptian dances were mostly Middle Eastern…..the present selection starts with Naima Akef’s most strange and possibly most modern dance, “Mambo.” After that one, thrown in are six more, which fall all along the spectrum from modern cabaret to traditional Egyptian folk dance. Rather than going into any descriptions of those, let the dances speak for themselves (because they certainly do speak for themselves….).
Kahan Le Chale Ho Bat Do Musafir – Beena Rai – a career starting form Kali Ghata (1951) ran into some 18 films ending with Apna Ghar Apni Kahani (1968). The post has provided links to some of her very famous songs.
Whilst on Beena Rai, we may recollect Ashok Dave;s review of Vallah Kya Baat Hai (1962) (in Gujarati), and enjoy these two exceptional Roshan songs –
- Gham-e-Hasti Se Begana Hota, Khudya Kash Main Deewana Hota - Mohammad Rafi
- Khanake To Khanake Kyun Khanake – Mohammad Rafi – Asha Bhosle
Enjoyable western beats has compiled a special list of 15 songs on the player, applying the criteria that You should distinctly hear the bongo, conga or drums played as a lead instrument for at least a few seconds, in some part of the song, hindi film songs from the 1950s to the 1970s (with one song from 1980).
Rhythm of Castanets – Castanets are relatively tiny instruments that fit into the palms of the two hands and were originally used in European music. They can be played quickly in continuous notes to create a roll type of sound, or they can be played with each click on the castanet being a discrete note. The representative songs are on Rhythm of Castanets.
Jinhen Naaz Hai Hind Par, from Pyaasa 1957 takes us to Madhukar Shukla’s Translation of the original poem, and in turn to original version in Roman Urdu and the modified film song version. Here is the video clip of the song, wherein @ 6.26 we have my most favoured portion:
vo ujale dareechoN meiN paayal ki chhan-chhan
thaki haarii saaNsoN pe tabale ki dhan-dhan
ye be-ruuh kamroN meiN khaaNsii kii Than-Than
jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahaaN haiN?
And its English translation:
The jingling trinklets at casement bright,
Tambourins athrob’ mid gasping life;
Cheerless rooms with cough alive;
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?
On this rather sombre note, we now turn over to articles from the random search of other blogs/ sites:
The Hindi film song & the soundtrack of our lives – Santosh Desai in City City Bang Bang -..It would be far too simplistic to connect the change in Hindi film songs to the harsher angrier discourse that we see in our public conversations, but surely the inability to find little islands of gentleness into which we can periodically retreat must take its toll. With no better self to find refuge in, no song to hum with eyes closed in melancholic bliss, the world is a harsher place full of people resigned to their hardness.
The “Indian” Dances in Kali Yug (1963, Italy/France/Germany) – The four dances in the films all center around the character Amrita, an exotic-enough sounding Indian name, played by the French actress and “Bond girl” Claudine Auger.
And now over to exclusive articles on Mohammad Rafi…
The search for songs on Holi had led to writer and journalist Vinod Viplav’s article होली से कटती मुंबइया फिल्में. A little more exploration of the blog leads us to the category Mohammad Rafi, where we come to know of publication of the second edition of his biographical book Meri Awaz Suno (ISBN – 81-904097-1-9), which in turn led to:
- Mohammad Rafi’s Audio Biography (FM Gold) -by Vinod Viplav – Part -1 and Part 2
- Mohammad Rafi – a short film on his songs and life – Part 1, Part 2nd and Part 3rd
As we close our books for this edition, we get the news that Shashi Kapoor, who just celebrated his 77th birthday, will receive this year’s Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
We continue our pursuit of the golden period of Hindi Film Music …….