Lata Mangeshkar’s best songs by SD Burman

September 28, 2013

Wishing Lata Mangeshkar Happy 84th Birthday

SD Burman and Lata MangeshkarThe most discussed aspect about SD Burman-Lata Mangeshkar combination is their break up for about five years, 1958-62, rather than their music. In that, he is among a long line of film and music personalities with whom she had one of her famous run-ins. But there is a vital difference. From all accounts, this one did not have the acrimony common to her other fall-outs. And when they finally came together, my understanding is – again from accounts available in public domain – that it was with mutual respect. In the hiatus of five years SD Burman was none the worse as he continued to give some of the greatest music of his career, now with Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle, but he realized he had something beyond, where only Lata Mangeshkar could reach. She also felt that there was something unique in Dada’s music, without which she would remain incomplete. Thus their second innings led to another set of great melodies in Bandini, Guide, Tere Mere Sapne, Prem Pujari, Talash, Anurag, Abhiman etc which continued till the very end of his career. For those interested, here is one account of their split and patch-up.  (Note: While most accounts mention Bandini (1963) as their patch-up film, she has a couple of songs in Dr Vidya (1962). Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh has informed me that their first song after patch up was ‘Pawan diwani’ from Dr Vidya.)

Even though SD Burman was 23 years senior to Lata Mangeshkar, their debut in Hindi films was almost concurrent. He debuted as a composer in 1946 with Shikari, she as a playback singer a year later with the film Aap Ki Sewa Mein (though her singing, as distinct from ‘playback’, started five years earlier, details of which are widely available on the net). As we have noted earlier, his first big success was with Geeta Dutt in 1947 with Do Bhai, and he also continued with other singers of yesteryears such as Amirbai Karnataki and Suraiya etc. While Lata Mangeshkar was creating waves with Naushad, Khemchand Prakash, Anil Biswas, Shyam Sundar, Shankar Jaikishan, Ghulam Haider and C Ramchandra as the voice of the future, SD Burman seems to have warmed up to her somewhat late. Lata’s first song for him was probably in Mashal (1950). Mashal is more well known for Manna Dey’s Upar gagan vishaal, which possibly stands as his first super hit song. But next year from Thandi hawayein lahraa ke aayein and Jhan jhan jhan jhan payal baaje onwards, SD Burman created for Lata Mangeshkar a kind of music which was unique and established him as one of the greatest composers of the Golden Era regardless of whether he matched the commercial success of his peers or not.

In one of my earlier posts in the series on SD Burman with major singers, there was a discussion that some of them have been less than fair to SD Burman in acknowledging his contribution in their growth and fame. Lata Mangeshkar has been very prolific in public domain in interviews and writings under her by-line. I think she has been quite generous in praising him. But regardless, I have planned this series not only as a tribute to the singer, but also to SD Burman. So let me present this double tribute with their best songs on the 84th Birth anniversary of Lata Mangeshkar. Incidentally, SD Burman’s Birth anniversary (107th) would come in three days, i.e. October 1.

1. Aaj nahi to kal bikhar jayenge ye badal from Mashal (1950), lyrics Pradeep

I start with this song more for historical interest as this should be among her first songs by SD Burman. I heard this song for the first time while researching for this post. I find the song is very melodious, and it is quite surprising that it was not on the radar screen of the All India Radio. The video quality is excellent. I believe the lady lip synching the song is its heroine Sumitra Devi.


2. Ankhon se door door hi par dil ke paas jo from Mashal (1950)

I can’t help including the second song too from the same film. As you listen, these songs grow on you, and I should classify them as outstanding. Lata’s voice is very fluid and smooth; she had already created sensation with other composers. There is another interesting fact associated with this song. A comment on YT identifies the actor lip synching the song as Rooma Devi, the first wife of Kishore Kumar.


3. Thandi hawayein lahraa ke aayen from Naujawan (1951), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi

After a couple of Lata songs in Mashal, which did not create much waves in spite of their intrinsic musical merit, SD Burman creates a song of everlasting fame in the very next year. It is said that this was inspired by Charles Boyer’s C’est la vie from the movie Algiers (1938). Here is a very good article on the legacy of this song, and other ‘inspired’ Hindi film songs based on this source. I listened to the ‘original’ very carefully. For a lay listener, the likeness, if any, is very tenuous. This information does not take away anything from the great composition of SD Burman to my mind. Here is the landmark song:


4. Jhan jhan jhan jhan payal baaje from Buzdil (1951), lyrics Shailendra

I have said earlier that creating one masterpiece can be a lifetime’s achievement. Here is another iconic song from the same year. Though Shailendra is credited as the lyricist, it is – at least the mukhadaa – a traditional composition which has been sung by many classical singers in the Raga Nat Bihag. SD Burman himself  sang it much earlier in this Raga which we have seen in my post on his non-film songs.  Cuckoo, the precursor of Helen, and more famous for fast and westernised dances in a party scene, performs an elegant dance in Kathatk style.


5. Dard lage pyara pyara pahla pahla pyar ka from Ek Nazar (1951), lyrics Rajendra Krishna

Perhaps it is not counted among SD Burman-Lata Mangeshkar classics, but at a very young age somehow I fell for this song. This was a kind of pahla pahla pyar for me just as a very fresh Nalini Jaywant has for someone (Rahman or Karan Diwan?) in this song.


6. Tum na jane kis jahan mein kho gaye from Sazaa (1951), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi

Now another timeless song of not only SD Burman, but also among the all time great songs of Lata Mangeshakar. It is said about Sahir Ludhiyanvi that while other lyricists wrote film songs, he wrote poetry which was used as lyrics for film songs. He starts one of the most celebrated lyricist-composer associations with SD Burman this year.


7. Dil se mila ke dil pyar kijiye from Taxi Driver (1954), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi

The music of Taxi Driver won for SD Burman his first Filmfare Award for the song Jayen to jayen kahan – those days the Award was given for a particular song. But when I watched this film about forty years ago, what remained indelibly etched in my memory was Sheila Ramani’s beautiful dance in the night club to this peppy tune, and the small kid playing the maracas in masti. In between, the kid also picks up a coke bottle to take a sip, without a break in his playing and delicate swaying to the tune.  Towards the end as the tempo reaches its peak, Sheila Ramani goes up on a stool that has been brought unobtrusively, and continues her dancing, and other companion dancers now dance in circles around her.  You could also spot among the dancers, Edwina, who has been rediscovered and made famous by Greta of Memsaabstory.  This song would rank at the top in my list of night club dance-songs.  My special romance for this song has grown more since I read a trivia about it in a review of Sidharth Bhatia’s book, Cinema Modern: The Navketan Story, done by Madhu. It turns out the Anglo Indians playing the musical instruments – the man with the guitar, the lady on the piano and the child with the maracas – were the Corke family, the landlords of the Pali Hill flat in which the Anand brothers lived. They were offered bit roles in the film by Navketan in a friendly gesture. Without knowing their background, for me they were an important part of the song. So while you sway to the seductive dance of Sheila Ramani, you can’t fail to notice the child, Noel Corke, the father Vernon Corke, and the mother Mrs Corke playing different instruments.


8. Chand phir nikalaa magar tum na aye from Paying Guest (1957), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

It was ironical that the tremendous acclaim which SDB-Sahir combo received for the music of Pyasa this year should also be a cause for strain between the two. Majrooh Sultanpuri begins his association with SD Burman with this film. A renowned Urdu poet in his own right, he also belonged to the Progressive Writers’ Movement, but in films he became famous for his deeply romantic songs. SD Burman, as I have repeated several times in my earlier posts, was a genius who could create iconic songs for different voices and in different genres. Chand phir niklaa is easily among the most romantic songs you could think of, and among the best of Lata songs ever.


9. Khanke kanganaa bindiya hanse from Dr Vidya (1962), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

SDB-Majrooh magic continues, now with Lata Mangeshkar back into his fold after their long hiatus. Even for someone like Mukesh, who was not his favourite singer, SDB created a beautiful Ae dil-e-awara chal in this film. For Lata Mangeshkar he created two outstanding songs in two different genres – Pawan diwani, a classical dance number, and Khanke kangana, in which the bangles’ clanking, Lata’s singing and SDB’s orchestration become one. Notice the pause at khanke at the end of a line which is followed by a combination of wind, string and percussion instruments creating a magical effect.


10. Jogi jabse tu aya mere dware from Bandini (1963), lyrics Shailendra

This song is my greatest SDB-Lata Mangeshkar favourite. I don’t know how to express my feelings for this song. It is absolutely awesome. I am reminded of Arunji’s comments in my earlier post in which he mentioned the opinion of a ‘famous critic’ that SDB was not a talented or original composer, but a lucky one, and that one couldn’t name any song of his which could be considered iconic. There must be something seriously wrong with that ‘famous critic’ if he did not find this or other dozens of SD Burman’s compositions, some of which I have mentioned in my earlier posts on Geeta Dutt, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh and Asha Bhosle, as iconic.


11. Kanton se kheench ke ye anchal from Guide (1965), lyrics Shailendra

Since I had included two songs from Mashal for historical interest, I would make up by adding two more than the usual ten. Talking of iconic songs, every song in Guide is an acknowledged classic, besides the movie being an undisputed classic for its bold theme far ahead of its time. Typical of SD Burman’s versatility, he pours great songs in the movie in the voice of Kishore Kumar and Rafi as well, besides two solos in his own voice. Lata Mangeshkar had two more solos – a wonderful dance song, Piya tose naina lage re, each stanza of which represents a different form of dance, and another dance song set in classical style, Mose chhal kiye jaye. Each of us would have our own favourite, but Kanton se kheench ke ye anchal encapsulates of essence of Guide – a married lady breaking free from a hopeless and cruel marriage, to go with her lover, who had assured to help in her pursuit of her passion for dance.  For those interested in trivia, I have read at more than one source that Vijay Anand found Waheeda Rahman very inhibited, and he had a difficult time getting her to perform in an unrestrained manner for this song.


12. Mera antar ek mandir from Tere Mere Sapne (1971), lyrics Neeraj

This was another movie based on a literary work – AJ Cronin’s novel, The Citadel. An extremely sensitive movie which also gave an image makeover to Mumtaz, known for B-grade movies earlier and later for racy romantic roles, that she could play serious roles with equal élan. I also remembered the movie for equally beautiful songs. Lata Mangehakar’s had two great solos – Jaise Radha ne mala japi Shyam ki besides Mera antar ek mandir. Normaly I would have ended with Guide, but SD Burman was the only composer among his great contemporaries who continued his success in the 70s unabated. I conclude this post with a beautiful song from early 70s.

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Subodh Agrawal September 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Great list and great writing – as ever. Thanks a lot for the Mashal songs, they were new for me too and a welcome addition to my list of rediscovered gems.

‘Thandi hawayein’ is one of the best songs of Lata and among the best songs ever by any singer. The inspiration is not really from ‘C’est la vie’ which – as you have rightly observed – has only a tenuous resemblance. The real inspiration is in the title music of Algiers which provides the opening bars of the SDB/Lata songs. From the Mukhda onwards, however, it is original SDB. The whole movie is available here:

If I were to choose one song from Bandini it would be ‘Mera gora ang layi le’, but I readily concede the merit of the song you have chosen. Trivia – ‘Mera gora ang layi le’ is the first song for a Hindi film by Gulzar. In an article in then popular Dharmyug he had given an account of how he was given the tune by SDB humming ‘Ta ta taa ta taa ta tayi ta’ and asked to write words to fit the tune. SDB’s assistant repeated it as ‘Da da daa da daa da dayi da’. Gulzar wrote some other lines first and then the image occurred to him – ‘kalyani ka gora rang chandni mein chhalak chhalak jata hai’ and then the mukhda came to him.

2 Jignesh Kotadia September 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Aaj Devi saraswati ne apne is Lata naamak avtaar ke 84 saal sampann kiye hai. Dher saari badhaaiya..Shat shat vandan… Jug Jug jiyo maate…
An expected wonderful post on the bday of the Creator of Golden Era.
Akji, i still have to listen song no. 1,2,5,7,9 and 12 from ur list. I expect the first two songs from ‘mashaal’ wudbe melodious enough. ”chand phir nikla” is no doubt my big favt amongst the list. Great research. Great post. Thanks.

3 Jignesh Kotadia September 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm

here’s one of my big favorites of lataji with SDB.
‘kitni akeli kitni tanha si lagi
Unse milke main aaj’ (talaash)

4 gaddeswarup September 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Good for me. No homework. I sit down and enjoy the songs and those I am reminded of like ‘dil jal to jale’, ‘Ae mere jindagi’.

5 Naresh P. Mankad September 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Excellent write-up supported by very apt selection of songs. Another reason why this post will remain my personal favourite is because it relates to my favourite music director’s collaboration with Lata Mangeshkar. What Hindi film music would be without Lata?

6 Arunkumar Deshmukh September 28, 2013 at 7:48 pm

AK ji,
I was waiting for this post.

It was said that whenever Dada was ‘ khush’ after recording a song by Lata,he used to give her a Meetha Paan to eat. Dada’s love for Paan is well known.
I am sure all the above 12 songs must have earned Lata a Meetha Paan each. These are but only 12 gems out of the total 130 solos of Lata( from total 182 songs from 55 films) for Dada. ofcourse not ALL would be Gems,but most would be,I am sure.

Your inclusion of Mashal song-‘aankhon se door…’ is natural.This was sung by the blind Ruma Guha Thakurta,in the film-on screen.

With Lata,Dada’s favourite quip was..” a harmonium and Lata are enough for me,for a good song’. He believed that music only complimented lata’s Golden voice,it did not add anything.

Truely,whether Lata-SDB songs of 50’s are better or the 60’s ? I would go for the 50’s ,anyday,personally.
After 70,there were changes in both,Lata’s voice and Dada’s music. he had to cope up with the fast paced songs of Kishore,after Aradhana etc and I find that Lata-SDB was not tuneful as earlier. This is my thinking.

Earlier Lata-SDB songs would carry an ordinary movie too on its strength,but in the 70s,it was not so. For example H. Mukherjee’s Abhimaan,Chupke chupke and Mili trio. Lata-SDB combo was there but the stories were more powerful and the songs on low key,comparatively. I think the magic ended with Jewel Thief.

All in all, you have given us a treat.

7 AK September 28, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Thanks for your appreciation. In Bandini many people prefer Mora gora ang lai ke over Jogi jabse tu aya mere dware. Gulzar also tells in his DD interview that SD Burman was sceptical whether Gulzar would be able to compose a Vaishnav song of rural Bengal. He didn’t know that the latter was very proficient in Bengali.

I am happy that you enjoyed the post. I am sure except 1 and 2, the other songs would be known to you.

For someone who professes the he does not know Hindi or Hindi film songs your knowledge about songs is remarkable. The two songs you have mentioned from Taxi Driver are not among the most well-known songs of SDB-Lata.

Naresh P Mankad,
Thanks a lot for your compliments.

Thanks a lot for your compliments. Since I am on a SD Burman trip, I am sure all the regular readers would have guessed it. While Lata in the 50s was better in general, not only with SD Burman but all other composers, at least with SDB she continued to be melodious and better than she was with others.

SD Burman is remarkable for the diversity of the singers he used, and consequently diversity of his musical style. The only other composer who displays such diversity, to my mind, is Roshan – another big favourite of mine. I have already done Roshan with Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, and indirectly Mukesh.

8 ASHOK M VAISHNAV September 28, 2013 at 11:02 pm

I also join the bandwagon of placing my compliments for the post.
Lata – SDB was a very strong combination, no doubt.
Most of the films would have a solo in happy mood and a solo of sad mood. from this combination
Normally, the sad songs would get more ‘quality’ fans and success of ‘happy’ song would be a matter of other factors , like picturization etc.Well, that should be a subject for a totally different post form people more knowledgeable than me.

9 AK September 28, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Thanks a lot. Interesting observation about happy and sad solos in a film. But that has to do with the typical structure of a Hindi film – romance phase (happy songs), separation phase (sad songs) and living-happily-ever-after phase (back to a happy song perhaps if the time permits).

10 Naresh P. Mankad September 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Regarding the songs that followed Thandi hawaayen, like Roshan’s Rahen na rahen hum, mahka karenge, or RD’s Saagar kinare, I feel that though Roshan’s Mamta number is a beautiful composition in its own right (RD said Roshan himself told him that his song was inspired by SD’s Thandi hawayein), the original song by S D Burman has a mystical charm.

Jhan Jhan Jhan Payal Baaje: S D Burman heard Ustad Fayyaz Khan singing this at concert. He took the mukhda as it was and composed the rest to make this song as he told on the radio programme Jaymaala.

Khanke kangana has beautiful amibience created by sitar, flute and guitar; it is more pronounced between the antaras when it flows smoothly like a breez. You will find the similar orchestration in some of his other songs also. Sitar, and especially flute playing particularly in lower octave always have the distinct stamp of S D Burman. Here sitar dominates but there are lovely touches of flute and guitar. But the playful stroke of sitar at 3.04 steals the show. Only a master of music who can visualize even the situation can capture it so beautifully in his composition.

11 Mahesh September 28, 2013 at 11:32 pm

AK ji,
Thanks for the post and especially the 1st song which was also new for me. Too good to listen.
I do have a good knowledge of songs, but must admit that I don’t understand the technicalities much.
But, for some reason I like …”meghaa chhaae aadhi raat, bairan ban gai nidiyaa ” from Sharmilee 1971 very much. There is some strange attraction to this song. The continuous rendition of the song by Lata and a great score by SBD is simply unmatched.

Thanks again for the post.

12 Canasya September 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm

The theme of this post is close to my heart. Nothing is more melodious than Lata singing an SDB composition. The Mashal gems are discoveries for which I thank AKji. SDB’s partiality to Lata is best evident in the number of times he chose her to sing the Hindi version of his old Bengali songs. Dr. Vidya has two of these which make this film musically special. One (“Pawan diwani”) has been mentioned by AKji earlier in this post. The other (“Jani, tum to dole”) brings the playfulness in Lata’s voice to the fore, although she had admitted that she was not able to break her voice the way SDB did (I believe Geeta Dutt also sang a version of this song in an unreleased movie):

The SDB-Lata hiatus years passed by almost unnoticed by fans. SDB had two Binaca toppers during those years and Asha-Geeta-Suman together seemed to nearly adequately fill in the void created by the absence of Lata in SDB’s recording room. And after the patch up the two more than made up for the lost years with “Dr Vidya”, “Bandini” and “Meri Surat Teri Aankhen” coming one after another within a year. There never was such compensation for fans after SDB and Sahir fell apart. And to me that perhaps has been the bigger loss. Here are two SDB-Sahir-Lata magical numbers (or poetry, as AKji would say) from Jaal:

“Pighla hai sona”

And “Kaisi ye jaagi agan”

One of the commentators in YouTube quotes Asha Bhosle as saying that her Didi could make a vocal waterfall flow back upwards and then downward again with unmatched smoothness and says that this song exemplifies that! How true. Here is wishing her many happy returns.

13 AK September 29, 2013 at 12:03 am

Mahesh, Canasya
Thanks for your kind words. I am happy that I included the two songs from Mashal. Normally, while choosing the best ten, one tends to confine to the very famous. But these songs I liked, and now I see, have appealed to everyone. It is surprising why these remained hidden. It is amazing how many such gems may be completely unknown to the music lovers.

I have a mental list of my favourite post-70 songs of Lata Mangeshkar. Somehow Megha chhaye aadhi raat does not figure in my list. It is nothing about the song, but purely personal choice.

Lata Mangeshkar is so awesome that it is difficult to say her top ten for which composer would be the best. While SD Burman is unique and very special, my other favourites are Naushad, Roshan and Chitragupta. It is natural that I have already written on all of them.

From Jaal one song I especially like is Chori chori meri gali aana hai bura.

14 mumbaikar8 September 29, 2013 at 12:30 am

Yes I was expecting this to come today.
There would be no “kasar” left when you write about Lata.
Writing about SDB and Lata combo I guess was some fun for you and you made most of it.
It was a treat for us too.
I would like to add though as discussed before ( individual’s best)
my best song for SDB Lata is “Phaili hui hai sapnon ke bahen”
that song takes me to a different world altogether.
Let me join you in wishing her, ” Happy Birthday”

15 N Venkataraman September 29, 2013 at 12:32 am

Thanks for the excellent write-up and bouquet of dozen songs, by way of which you have presented your ‘double tribute’ to Lata Mangeshkar and S D Burman.

Both the songs from Mashal were good. S D Burman had decided to go back to Calcutta in 1950. But he was in great demand after the success of Mashal. Wast it due to Lata Mageshkar’s lucky charm? Not exactly. All the songs of Mashal were great hits. Besides the two Lata Mangeshkar’s songs, Geeta Roy’s kitni sach hai ye baat, Manna Dey’s Upar gagan Vishal and the other solo song of Manna dey and two solos of Arun Kumar were all popular.

S D Burman scored music for 90 Hindi films from 1950 to 1977, out of which Saaz, starring Nasir Khan and Nigar Sultana got shelved. One song, Mere ji ji aaji, was recorded in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar for this film. S D Burman did not take up any films in 1961, 1966 and 1968 due to health reasons.

Selecting a dozen out of 130+ solo songs that Lata Mangeshkar sang for S D Burman is no easy task. You could do many more posts with the same theme. I enjoyed all the songs especially, Thandi hawayein, Jhan jhan jhan jhan payal baaje, Tum na jane kis jahan mein kho gaye, Chand phir nikalaa magar tum na aye, Kanton se kheench ke ye anchal and Khanke kanganaa bindiya.
The release date of Dr.Vidya is 1st January 1962. Then the recording of the songs most probably would have been done in 1961. If we go by R D Burman’s version, the patch up between S D Burman and Lata Mangeshkar happened at the insistence of R D Burman , who wanted Lata Mangeshkar to sing his first composition ‘Ghar aaja ghir aaye’. This incident, it is believed, paved the way for the reunion. So the first song after the patch-up could have been for Dr.Vidya. The work of Bandini, although released in 1963, started much earlier, but since Nutan was pregnant, Bimal Roy started other films as he wanted to complete Bandini with Nutan only. It could be that the song from Bandini might have been recorded earlier, but Dr.Vidya got released earlier to Bandini. It is only an assumption, I am not sure. Incidentally, the song ‘Ghar aaja ghir aaye’ was conceived three years earlier for a film titled Raaz (Guru Dutt producton), which was shelved.

S D Burman scored music for a Bengali film after 21 years, for the film Chaitali (1971), starring Biswajit and Tanuja. Lata rendered two solos for this film. The other film was the Bengali version of Aaradhana, where Lata Mangeshkar rendered the Bengali version of the song ‘Chanda hai tu, suraj hai tu’.

I am presenting a Hindi song from the Bengali film Chaitali. Payal baaj gayi aaj meri, lyrics Anand Bakshi

Here is another song based on Raag Patdeep, which is one of my favourites.
Megha Chhaye aadhi raat, bairan ban gayi nindiya from Sharmeelee (1971), Lyrics Neeraj

In the year 1964 S D Burman was awarded the Sant Haridas Samman by Sur Shringar Samsad. The film did not do well at the box office, but S D Burman composed a few beautiful songs for this film. Let us listen one of the three solos sung by lata Mangeshkar for this film.
Kaise Kahun, Kaise kahun from Kaise kahun (1964), lyrics Shakeel badayuni

With the following song from the film Talash (1969), I too join the SoY fraternity in paying my tributes to two of the greatest legends of Hindi film music.
Khai hai re humne kasam sang rehne ki lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri

16 Anu Warrier September 29, 2013 at 9:57 am

AK, great minds think alike (and yes, I know fools seldom differ!)… 🙂 Lata finds as
Some SD-Lata songs that I like:
Phaili hui hain sapnon ki baahein from House No 44

Ab aage teri marzi from Devdas

17 Anu Warrier September 29, 2013 at 9:58 am

For some reason, that comment was truncated… 🙁

That should read: Lata finds a mention on my blog today, and my next post is on SD, but unlike this post of yours, they remain independent of each other.

18 AK September 29, 2013 at 10:25 am

Naresh P Mankad,
Ashokji has mentioned happy and sad solos in the same film. If you look at Pawan diwani and Khanke kangana the difference is not on happy-sad axis, but purely musical composition. While the first one follows the classical idiom of melody, and meend is very predominant, Khanke kangana is complete contrast – very noticeable is the staccato style of orchestration and sharp inflexion which evokes clanking of kangana so beautifully.

He uses all the major instrumental class – percussion, string and wind. These all come from his folk background.

19 AK September 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Awesome information you have given. Thanks a lot.

It is interesting that while we are discussing that Dr Vidya could have been their coming together, Lata Mangeshkar herself was confused between Bandini and Guide. Just shows we can’t rely on even the ‘horse’s mouth’.

Thanks a lot for the lovely songs you have mentioned. I could see the logic for Hindi (classical) songs in Jalsaghar. But what could be the reason in Chaitali?

20 N Venkataraman September 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I am informed that the girl Chaitali (played by Tanuja) was an Hindi speaking girl (I am not sure), who comes into a family with the intention of stealing. But she is treated with affection and love by the members of the family and ultimately she completely changes her intention. The film was based on a story written by Ashapurna Devi. Chaitali was remade in Hindi in 1975.

By the way, the clipping to the song Jogi jabse tu aya mere dware (#10) is no longer available on copyright grounds. Another clipping to the same song is available on YT.

21 AK September 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm

“Great minds think alike.” I am flattered. 🙂

“Fools seldom differ.” Why are you so harsh on yourself? 🙂

I am not getting mail alerts of your blog. May be I need to subscribe again. Would visit your post soon.

Several people have mentioned Phaili hui hai.

22 AK September 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Mumbaikar8, Writing on SDB is indeed a pleasure, there are so many shades of him. I am happy you liked it and the ‘new’ songs. You have good company on Phaili hui hai chandni.

23 Siddharth September 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Thanks for yet another lovely post. This seems to be a SDB month. I also had the pleasure of listening to vishesh jaimala on vividh bharati presented by SDB on 28th sept. He talked about the song no. 4 as mentioned by Nareshji in the earlier comment. It is indeed a lovely song.
Another special Lata-SDB song would be from Muminji –

I also noted the uncanny resemblance of song no. 8 (Chand phir nikla) with Rasik Balma from Chori Chori. One could easliy mix the two songs.


24 Subodh Agrawal September 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm

There are three songs of Lata I have always considered the best expression in her voice of pure unadulterated joy of living – Thandi hawayein, Phaili hui hain sapnon ki bahen and Pawan diwani na mane. It never struck me before that all three are by SDB!

25 AK September 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm

SoY family seems to be unanimously a great admirer of SD Burman. October is indeed special for him – his both anniversaries fall in this month. Kishre Kumar’s death anniversary too is in this month. Lata Mangeshkar’s birth anniversary comes a few days before the month begins.

Among the songs that I could not include, Ghayal hiraniya is my great favourite.

You are right, there is a great deal of similarity between Rasik balma and Chand phir nikla. Two stunnigly beautiful songs, impossible to say whichone is better.

26 AK September 29, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I would also add Jogi jabse tu aya mere dware and Kanton se kheench ke ye aanchal in this list.

27 Arunkumar Deshmukh September 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm

AK ji,
I find that Roshan’s song ‘ Rahen na rahen hum’ is often cited as a “copy” of SDB’s Thandi hawayen.
here are some thoughts on it.
Roshan had done this in 1954 itself with ‘tera dil kahan hai’-Chandni chowk-54
madan mohan did it in ‘Yehi hai tamanna’-Aapki Parchhaiyan-64
RDB did it in ‘ Hamen raaston ki zaroorat nahin hai’-naram Garam-87 and in ‘hamen aur jeene ki’-Agar tum na hote-83.

28 AK September 29, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Heard Tera dil kahan hai for the first time. It is surely a precursor of Rahe na rahe hum. But Lata Mangeshkar, some refinement, outstanding mukhada make Rahe na rahe hum a landmark.

There is a whole industry about Thandi hawayen‘s foreign origin and its Indian adaptations later. I have read the whole lot which came on one of the popular blogs which I follow regularly, you also must have seen it. I have to admit I am not a music expert – a lot of the said similarities did not register with me. As a music lover, for me both Thandi hawayen and Rahe na rahe hum are great classics, and all the ‘knowledge’ about these being inspired by another source does not take away their merit.

29 AK September 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Thanks a lot for pointing out YT’s removal of Jogi jabse tu aya mere dware. I have replaced it by another. This is one irritant which everyone is facing. Their logic is not clear to me. If someone using someone’s creative work for commercial gain which erodes the original creator’s potential value, one can see the point. But music lovers embedding these videos selflessly only enhances their value. Very often these are completely obscure songs which we are reviving.

30 Jignesh Kotadia September 30, 2013 at 1:25 am

Akji, lata’s 2 songs of ‘mashaal’ r really too good. Heard first time. They grow with repetitions. Geeta’s solo is also wndrful. These songs of ‘mashaal’ uploaded by ‘Ajayuv’ r having very clear audio quality. Audio quality makes too much difference at perceiving the beauty of a song. When the good sound quality is available, to listen that little lata’s magical girlish voice is an out of world and words experience.

31 AK September 30, 2013 at 8:22 am

The bonus is that even the video quality is also very good.

32 Soumya Banerji October 2, 2013 at 5:59 am

Excellent selection of songs, AK. You could have opted for more popular songs by Lata-SDB but instead chose lesser heard but nevertheless beautiful compositions. Hats off!
I initially thought the actress in Mashal was Suchitra Sen but a closer look and google convinced me of my error. It is indeed Sumitra Devi, a very beautiful actress. But I did find it strange that SDB made Lata sing the song picturised on Ruma knowing fully well that Ruma was an accomplished singer as well. Not in the same league as Lata, of course, but she could have pulled off this song. Strange, the workings of the film industry.

33 AK October 2, 2013 at 9:41 am

Thanks Soummya. I am happy you liked it. Except Mashal songs, others I believe are quite well known. The surprise to me is not that SD Burman used Lata Mangeshkar for Ruma, but the fact that he noticed her two years after she had already created a tsunami.

34 Hans October 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm

The list has been liked by all and how could it be different when two greats Lata and SDB combine. Perhaps all would agree that of this list the song ‘tum na jane kis jahan men kho gaye’ will be among the top 3 of the list for this combine.

This song has been a special favourite with me right from the radio/cassette days. But, when the internet era began and I saw the video clip, I observed that Lata’s voice is different from the audios available and it matches the voice of Nimmi on screen – a trait akin to Rafi who matched his voice with the actors on screen. Lata matches her voice perfectly with Mala Sinha in most of her films. For a sample listen to her songs in ‘himalay ki god men’ especially ‘kankariya maar ke jagaya’. It was a pity she did not try to repeat this very often.

35 Hans October 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm

About the list. The first song from Mashal was quite frequently heard on Radio in old times. This song as well as ‘jab tum the hamare’ by Arun Kumar picturised on Ashok Kumar, were composed in the old (early 40s) style and the music of rest of the songs is quite different from these two songs. ‘Mohe laga solvan sal’ from this film by Shamshad (with voice of Arun Kumar) is a special song which brings out the enormous composing talent of SDB. This song was the most popular in those times.

In Buzdil there is also ‘rote tote guzar gayi raat re’. From Bandini I also prefer ‘mora gora’ to ‘jogi jabse’. From Tere Mere Sapne I prefer ‘jaise radha ne’. There are other very good songs from 70s which could have replaced the one from TMS. ‘Megha chhaye’ has been referred by others. There is ‘kitne din ankhen tarsengi’ from ‘Naya Zamana’ a really sweet song. Ishq Par Zor Nahin is known for ‘mehbooba teri tasweer’ and ‘ye dil dewana hai’, but there are a few very good songs by Lata. ‘Sach kehti hai duniya ishak pe zor nahin’ is a fast paced song which Lata has sung with rare abandon. There is also a sad song ‘tum mujhse door chale jana na’ which I like very much.

Other prominent songs missing from the list are those from Devdas and Munimji. ‘Tere khayalon men’ from Meri Surat Teri Ankhen, ‘raat ka saman jhoome chandrama’ from Ziddi and ‘rula ke gaya sapna mera’ from Jewel Thief are also special songs.

36 AK October 18, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Hans, Jab tum the hamare is an absolutely beautiful song. The Mashal Lata Mangeshkar songs were new to me, and as I find also to others. In Bandini, many people are with you on Mora gora ang laike. In TMS, it was a toss-up between Jaise Radha ne and Mera antar, I am also greatly fond of the first song. Other songs you have mentioned are very good, but selecting top ten from several good songs becomes a mater of personal choice.

37 arvind November 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm

sharing …MIL JA RE JAANE JAANA….an sdb lata combo from the movie BENAZIR (1964).

38 RaviReddy November 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Abhiman had two songs, “Ab to hai tumse har khushi” and “Nadiya kinare”. The first one racy and the second one slow , melodius. The combination of SDBurman and Lata is at its best in Abhiman. Notable exception in the above list, but then to pick the best from SDB’s repertoire is a futile exercise. His genius is unparalled in Indian film music.

39 AK November 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Beautiful song. Can you believe I heard it for the first time? Does it remind you of Ae ri jane na dungi?

Ravi Reddy,
I picked only ten, there are bound to be misses. SD Burman-Lata Mangeshkar combination is indeed unique.

40 Canasya November 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Arvindji, thanks for the beautiful song. And Akji, you are right. Here is ‘Ae ri jaane na doongi’ by Pts Rajan and Sajan Mishra (from 4:00)

41 AK November 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Thanks for linking the Rajan-Sajan Mishra’s Ae ri jane na dungi. I had in mind Lata Mangeshkar’s from Chitralekha, which Subodh had used in his post on the Romantic quartet Ragas.

42 RaviReddy November 10, 2013 at 11:34 am

SHARMILEE had two gems with SDB / Lata mark. One was ‘Mega chaye aadi raat” and “Khilte hai gul yahan”, both melodies of ” platinum grade.”
The tune of the latter song which was immensely popular was adopted in Telugu, by South India’s Lata , P.Susila. The song in Telugu continues to be popular to this day in Andhra. Such was the influence of SD Burman on Indian music , cutting across regions and languages.

A Prince , nay, King among Indian Music Directors.

43 rahul muli January 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm

I would love to have the following gems of Lata- SDB ( For that matter they should find a place in the finest list of either of them)
Faili hui hai (House no 44) Megha chhaye (sharmilee) & Pighla hai sona

44 arvind February 14, 2014 at 6:36 pm

‘….yeh tanhai hai re hai jaane phir aaye na aaye…’
(Tere Ghar Ke Saamne)

45 AK February 14, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Beautiful song. Sounds like adaptation of a Bengali song. Thaam lo baahein sound very much like Bengali. Can you think of which one?

46 arvind February 15, 2014 at 8:59 pm

AK,reference your cue(#45).youtube points to a tagore song:
(…tora je ja bolish bhai amar sonar harin chai…).thanks

47 AK February 16, 2014 at 7:26 am

Thanks a lot.

48 Deepak July 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Great write up!

Lata – the greatest singing phenomenon of the 20th century and SD – the greatest exponent of the folk music .

I love both these personalities individually and together a lot!

49 AK July 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your appreciation.

50 V V MUJUMDAR August 26, 2014 at 7:58 pm

What is the name of raag “Phaili Hui hai sapnoki ‘from House no 44., sung by lata ,composed by SDB

51 Subodh Agrawal August 27, 2014 at 7:19 am

Dear Mr Mujumdar, ‘Phaili hui hain…’ sounds like Shudh Kalyan to me, although SDB has used a lilting movement that is not normally heard in this raga. ‘Rasik Balma’ is another song in the same raga.

Here is an amazing classical piece in this raga by Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. Only Bhimsen Joshi could produce the taan at 1:54 in this video:

52 probir mukherjea July 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

You cannot simply give ratings to SDB/LM melodies have you heard “aa palkhon me aa” MADH BHARE NAIN”? or just imagine the melody of “ROTE ROTE GUZAR GAYE RAAT RE”BUZDIL” or the pathos of”DIL-KA -DARD NA JANE DUNIA”NAWJAWAN” THIS COMBINATION USED TO JEL SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT but not the most popular

53 D P Rangan October 6, 2015 at 6:43 am

I offer my namaskar to all the stalwarts in this write up and comments. AK sets up the stage and from his lofty perch watches the drama unfolding. He is very clever in making others do all the search and retrieving one gem after another. Here is a song from Naujawan (1951) I think is worth looking at.
Dil de dard najane duniyaan

54 Rahul Muli April 14, 2016 at 12:59 pm

It is always going to be tricky to select limited number of songs of Maestros. But I felt megha chaye from sharmilee deserves a place here (especially considering what was dished out by Lps & KA’s during that period)
Also phaili hui hai is another song that should have been included
& finally the gem from Jewel thief rula ke gaya which surprisingly is given a raw deal by many a critique

55 Sumantra Roy September 25, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Missing two very dearly… 1) Phaili Huyi Hai Sapno Ki Bahen from House No. 44 and 2) Mora Gora Rang Leile from Bandini… Piya Bina Piya Bina from Abhiman would not be a bad choice either…

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