Version Song – A song rendered by two or more different singers or in different moods – 3 of 3

Beifore I commence documenting the third part of the post, I should acknowledge that Shri AKji [SoY] has put the matter in the further clear perspective in his comment to the first part of the present series here. He has, very rightly, called the songs as “hybrid” ones, when we see a deviation form the classic format of the “version” songs. In fact, the second part of the present series would be considered a total digression.

So at the cost of expanding / further digressing the subject even further, let me add one more variety to the subject.- there are several ghazals rendered by a large number of different singers, bringing in their own subtle variations in the style, structure and all that
Here are some of the samples:


CH Atma and Talat Mahmood

Chitra Singh

Jagjit Singh

Noor Jahan

Begum Akhtar –


Noor Jahan


Mehdi Hassan

Jagjit & Chitra Singh

Suman Kalyanpur


Ustad Amanat Ali Khan

Begum Akhtar

Abida Parveen

Farida Khanum, Ustad Sabri Khan


Runa Laila

Mehdi Hassan

Iqbal Bano


Habib Wali Muhammad Sahab

Mohammad Rafi

If anyone has reasonably good command of classical music, the subject can be extended to same Raag rendered by different singers, particularly male and female vocal artists to identify the differences in the singing and possible reasons.


12 Replies to “Version Song – A song rendered by two or more different singers or in different moods – 3 of 3”

  1. Oh, now it is reaching stratosphere. You may need to divide the theme in several categories. The popular ghazals, light classical pieces (say Babul mera naihar chhutal jaye, Bajuband khul khul jaye, Ras ke bhare tore nain etc) in different voices present another possibility.

    Coming to Ye na thi hamari kismat, how can it be complete without Habib Wali Mohammad’s, which to my mind is the best.

    Another variety is the different versions in films and gramophone records, common in 30’s 40’s – KL Saigal/Pankaj Mullick My Sister songs.

    1. You are best suited to put across a methodical presentation around a core area. I had [resented different ghazals, just so as to drive home the point of of difference in singing the same poem or ghazal while presenting different dimensions to the fundamental issue raised in your post – Why male version is any [or most of the]time better?

      1. We can think of four different dimensions:

        1. Pure male/female twin song, which I did in my post. I did mention something about why male version sounded almost always better.

        2. Hybrid songs – male solo/female solo – duets – slow/fast tempo

        3. Other hybrid songs male/male; film versus record, e.g Talat Mahmood singing *Chal ud ja re panchhi or Kaisi hseen raat *from *Aadmi *(film Mahendra Kapoor-Rafi, record Talat-Rafi), KL Saigal-Pankaj Mullick, KC Dey-Pankaj Mullick etc.

        *4. *Traditional ghazals/ bandishes/ bhajans sung in different voices

        Since you stretched the boundaries, and have already written a good deal, you may like to do it.


    1. What a wonderful way to describe the concept – synchronicity with individuality…

      This should give a very different interpretation to the concept.

  2. Almost as common as ghazals in being rendered by a host of different singers would be bhajans by Meera (and others). It would be interesting to start with Meera and Narsinh Mehta and find out how many versions exist.

    1. Shri AKji, of Songs of Yore, in his comments to these articles, also has suggested a similar exercise.
      The task is stupendous, but I have decided to take up the bait.

  3. One more category – perhaps it is covered already – is songs based on the same tune in different languages. Commonest examples are Bengali originals of Hindi songs by MDs like SD Burman, RD Burman, Salil Chaudhary, etc. I have found an interesting example: Rafi’s “parvardigaar-e-aalam” and Talat’s Gujarati song “shaane gumaan karato” are the same tune!!

    1. A full fledged series of version songs is being planned in collaboration with SoY, where in this category is covered.
      The example given is too good. I have heard both songs so often, but failed to see the resemblance. Thanks.

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