Manna Dey’s songs by Shankar-Jaikishan

May 1, 2016

A tribute to Manna Dey (1 May 1919 – 24 October 2013) on his 97th birth anniversary

Shankar-Jaikishan with Manna DeyMumbaikar8 has rightly pointed out that Manna Dey has not yet got the importance on SoY he deserves. That in a way is also a reflection of his career. Recognised as an unparalleled singer of classical songs, he sang songs ranging from classical to romantic to comic, from devotional to patriotic to qawwalis which became synonymous with his voice. Yet his voice could not be identified with any top hero on a sustained basis, unlike Mukesh for Raj Kapoor, Rafi/Talat Mahmood for Dilip Kumar or Kishore Kumar for Dev Anand. Along the way, Rafi, with his range and fluidity, became the voice for almost every major hero, which mantle was taken by Kishore Kumar post-70s. In this marketplace, Manna Dey somehow became typecast as a niche singer. Yet, in this not a very happy scenario for him, if Manna Dey was especially beholden to any music director for doing the most for his career, it was Shankar-Jaikishan.

Born Prabodh Chandra Dey on 1 May 1919 to Purna Chandra Dey and Mahamaya Devi in a sprawling joint family home in Calcutta, his childhood nick name Manna stuck with him forever. His uncle, the legendary KC Dey, lived in the same house. When KC Dey lost his eyesight at the age of 13, Manna became his constant companion. That gave him excellent education in music. He showed his musical prowess while studying in Scottish Church College in Calcutta where he won several competitions. During this period he also learnt music from Dabir Khan.

When KC Dey headed for Bombay in the early 40s, Manna Dey had to be a part of the entourage. He assisted his uncle for music in Tamanna (1942) in which he also sang his first song Jago ayi usha. Manna Dey later assisted Hari Prasanna Das, Khemchand Prakash, and SD Burman who had also learnt music from his uncle. All this while he took lessons in classical music from Ustad Aman Ali Khan and Ustad Abdul Rahman Khan.

Though he became largely associated as singer for side characters, there was no dearth of awards for him. Filmfare/National Award for Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo to Padmashri in 1971 to Padma Bhushan in 2005 to Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007 – he got everything a singer could aspire for. Yet, something rankled in him that he was not treated as a mainstream singer. It is here that the importance of SJ comes in his career.

After his debut, there seems to be a period of relative anonymity for him, when SD Burman gave him his first major hit Upar gagan vishal in Mashal (1950). SD Burman gave some more iconic songs for him, including Poochho na kaise maine rain bitayi. But, Manna Dey probably expected more from his guru bhai. In one of his interviews I sense some grudge in him that SD Burman rehearsed some songs with him, only to get them finally recorded in the voice of Rafi. Anil Biswas, too, gave some outstanding songs for him. He sang immortal songs for several composers, such as Kaun aya mere man ke dwaare (Madan Mohan), Ae mere pyare watan (Salil Chaudhary), Laaga chunri mein daag (Roshan) and Ae meri zohrajabeen (Ravi). But SJ’s Shree 420 (1955) and Chori Chori (1956) put him on a different plane. Now he could sing Dil ka haal sune dilwala for the hero, and one of the trinity – Raj Kapoor – at that. And he could sing a romantic duet Pyar hua iqraar hua which is more than a song as it leaves an indelible visual imprint of dreamy lovers under an umbrella in drizzly weather. And he could sing Aa ja sanam madhur chaandni mein hum, and Ye raat bhigi bhigi. SJ would use him in Ujala (1959) to give a haunting Ab kahan jayein hum and a breezy duet Jhoomta mausam mast maheena.

When Basant Bahaar (1956), a classical music-based film with Bharat Bhushan as the hero, was planned, the producer naturally wanted Naushad, with Baiju Bawra and Shabab under his belt, to be its music director. But its Director Raja Nawathe, who as assistant to Raj Kapoor in some films was highly impressed with Shankar-Jaikishan, insisted on them doing the music. There was another hurdle on the way. The producer insisted on Rafi to sing for the hero, but Shankar (of the SJ duo) put his foot down that he had composed Sur na saje with Manna Dey in mind. The film was not a great commercial success, but can we ever forget this song and Bhay bhanjana vandana sun hamari? SJ did another unique thing for Manna Dey. He was pitted against the redoubtable Pt Bhimsen Joshi in a competition in Ketaki gulab juhi champa ban phoole in which Panditji was to lose. Manna Dey considered this a sacrilege and was reluctant to sing it. However, he overcame his hesitation on his wife’s encouragement that he should take it as a requirement of the film scene. Thus, SJ also had the credit of having Manna Dey beat the great doyen of Kirana Gharana in singing classical music.

And while I mention some of their great songs, readers would recall Tu pyar ka sagar hai from Seema, which came for immense admiration in our review of the best solos of 1955.

It is my great pleasure to pay my tribute to Manna Dey on his 97th birth anniversary with his songs by Shankar-Jaikishan as a part of the celebrations of SJ Year. (I hope Mumbaikar8 would consider it as some recompense on my part.)

1. Lapak jhapak tu aa re badarawa from Boot Polish (1953), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri

SJ first used Manna Dey in the two-in-one song Tere bina aag ye chaandni (with Lata Mangeshkar) which segues into Ghar aya mera pardesi in the iconic dream sequence in Awara (1951). This shows that very early they realized the special power of Manna Dey’s voice. In Boot Polish, he has two duets with Asha Bhosle, and the unparalleled Lapak jhapak tu aa re badarwa. Composed in Raagmala style, based on Kanada and Malhar family, it evokes admiration for its wonderful composition. Some comments have pompously suggested that the mix of Ragas, i.e. not having one pure identifiable Raga, shows SJ’s ignorance of classical music. In film music strict adherence to the grammar was never considered important. Slight departure or blending of different Ragas was resorted to for creating the right emotion or mood. Invoking clouds by music to quench the parched earth has been oft mentioned ritual in our myths and also used in several songs. Manna Dey’s singing has all the gravity of classical music for the profound objective, but soon you realise the jailbirds’ invocation is meant to water their own bald pate so that some hair grows on them. One of the earliest and the best of Manna Dey’s classical songs which were used for comic effect, this song has been the subject of some very scholarly study titled “The semblance of raga, rasa and hasya: The Lapak jhapak approach to Bollywood, Indian aesthetics and Vedic ritual” (link courtesy Gaddeswarupji).

2. Dil ka haal sune dilwala from Shree 420 (1955), lyrics Shailendra

The movie opens with Mukesh’s Mera joota hai Japani, but probably that was the time when Mukesh got distracted in his misguided venture of film production and acting, which gave great opening to Manna Dey. And what superb way he sings! SJ show their command over rhythm. Shailendra writes some very interesting, simple and funny lyrics.

3. Sur na saje kya gaaun main from Basant Bahar (1956), lyrics Shailendra

This film virtually rested on the vocals of Manna Dey. Besides two solos and a duet with Bhimsen Johi I have mentioned in my write-up, it also had a wonderful duet with Lata Mangeshkar, Nain mile nain kahan. Sur na saje is a beautiful composition in Pilu.

4. Ab kahan jaayein hum from Ujala (1959), lyrics Shailendra

Shammi Kapoor is a good-hearted hero who has been trapped into working for an outlaw. As he reforms, Manna Dey sings a wonderful haunting song of remorse.

5. Chalat musafir moh liya re from Teesri Qasam (1966), lyrics Shailendra

Shailendra, who had been a top lyricist, invested everything he had in producing this masterpiece. The film bombed and it shattered him physically and emotionally, leading to his untimely death. The film subsequently won the National Award for the best film and is now regarded as a classic. Manna Dey gets to sing this immortal folk song picturised on Krishna Dayal.  The hero, coachman Raj Kapoor, joins in the revelry as the theatre bai Waheeda Rahman, inside the canopied cart, smiles.  Lovely scene all through, enhanced by Manna Dey’s superb singing.

6. Jhanak jhanak tori baaje payaliya from Mere Huzoor (1968), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri

If there was any doubt on SJ’s command over classical, this composition in Darbari Kanada is a definitive answer. Raj Kumar playing a drunken nawab on the kotha is superb.

7. Kaal ka pahiya ghoome bhaiya from Chanda Aur Bijli (1969), lyrics Neeraj

Manna Dey had earned special fame for singing message songs. SJ compose this philosophical song in Chanda Aur Bijli.

8. Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo from Mera Naam Joker (1970), lyrics Neeraj

This song for the Joker in conversational style is difficult to pull through. Therefore, Manna Dey rather than Mukesh was chosen for this song. Though it fetched him Filmfare and the National Award, he was not too pleased as he thought his much worthier songs he had sung in his career, such as Laaga churi mein daag and Poochho na kaise main rain bitaayi had been ignored for the awards.

9. Chham chham baaje re payaliya from Jane Anjane (1971), lyrics SH Bihari

Ustadji Shammi Kapoor (in disguise) does what Raj Kapoor did with Laga chunri mei daag. Leena Chandravarkar, recognizing him, dances with great vigour. A wonderful song, again in Darbari.

10. Jhoomta mausam mast maheena (with Lata Mangeshkar) from Ujala (1959), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri

I could have posted one of the famous solos of Manna Dey, but I remember Hans once specially mentioned fast duets of Manna Dey. They do not come faster than Jhoomta mauasm mast maheena. Shammi Kapoor was always livewire; Mala Sinha is a perfect foil to him.

11. Chham chham lo suno chham chham (with Lata Mangeshkar), lyrics Shailendra

I have to give this bonus song from the same movie. I had mentioned in my post on SJ’s dance songs for Lata Mangeshkar that they could make your feet dance with rhythm, and your heart sway with melody. Ujala showed their immense talent with a number of dance songs. Here is another Manna Dey duet with Lata Mangeshkar, again set to a dance, now less frenzied and extremely melodious with SJ’s superb rhythm.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rakesh Srivastava May 1, 2016 at 10:39 am

Very good post to pay tribute to Manna Dey.Nice selection of songs.My personal addition to the list would be:
1. Nain Mile Chain Kahan (With Lata)-Basant Bahar
2.Dil Ki Girah Khol Do (With Lata)-Raat Aur Din
3.Tere Bina Aag Ye Chandni (With Lata & chorus)-Awara

2 AK May 1, 2016 at 11:06 am

Rakesh Srivastava,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Nain mile is also my great favourite. I mentioned this song in the write-up. Another outstanding solo in the same film was Bhay bhanjana sun vandana hamari.

3 Dinesh K Jain May 1, 2016 at 11:11 am

Thanks, AK, for keeping your promise, and how! Manna Dey and SJ. And a great collection of songs, too.

But I had also posed a curious query, why only SJ among all ‘top’ MDs made so much use of Manna, and a corollary – that when SJ was more ‘modern’ in those days? Perhaps the interactive session would now bring forth the answers. (Personally, and subjectively, I was myself never quite enamoured of Manna’s voice texture.)

4 Jignesh Kotadia May 1, 2016 at 11:58 am

Each piece is iconic. Timely tribute to the legendary singer. It’s almost impossible to decide personal favorites amongst these ! all-favorite case.
my addition
Jiya men laga mohe baan preet ka
Ghayal hai armaan preet ka
(archana, 1974)
Shankar’s great effort to continue the magic of “Jhanak Jhanak” and “Chham Chham Baaje”, perhaps the last good one of their classical series.

5 Jignesh Kotadia May 1, 2016 at 12:06 pm

And what a coincidence !
कल रात ही ये गाना मैं सुन रहा था

काल का पहिया घूमे भैया
लाख तरह इन्सान चले
लेके चले बारात कभी तो
कभी बिना सामान चले

(मन्ना दा और SJ को सलाम )

6 ksbhatia May 1, 2016 at 1:33 pm

A K ji ;
Thanks once again for this wonderful recollection of Manna Dey’s marvels thru fab.melodies of Shanker Jaikishan . All the songs covered are my fav.too . As per one of the interview of Manna Dey , SJ were rated as number one MDs by him ; further adding that they were the one who moulded and guided him at the right moment of time . Beside Mukesh , Manna dey was the right playback for Raj Kapoor . Songs of Awara, Shree 420, Chori Chori are the witness to his creditbility .

Raat gayi jab din aata hai…..from Boot Polish ,is one of his best that I like for its high and low notes ; and so also ….Ketki ghulab ki .

……Will return back with his exceptional songs .

7 AK May 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I really didn’t give a thought why SJ emerged as the number 1 composer for Manna Dey. Let us see if any of the readers can throw some light.

8 AK May 1, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Jignesh, KS Bhatiaji
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

9 Siddharth May 1, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Glad to see another wonderful write up on SJ.
All their songs with Manna Dey are wonderful.
They have been relatively fair to male singers compared to other MDs whether it is Mukesh, Rafi or even Talat and Kishore.

Two more lovely songs –
1.My favourite.. wonderfully written and composed –
Shree 420 – Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh – Manna Dey – Asha Bhonsle
(This is in contrast to – O janewale mud ke zara dekhte jaana.)

2.Re man sur mein gaa Manna Dey Asha Bhonsle Film Lal Pathar Music Shankar Jaikishan Lyrics Neeraj

On Lapak jhapak tu aa re badarwa i would like to quote Ghalib again –

lat̤āfat be-kaṡāfat jalvah paidā kar nahīñ saktī
chaman zangār hai āʾīnah-e bād-e bahārī kā

10 AK May 1, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Ghalib’s verse is quite complex. He prided himself on कहते हैं कि ग़ालिब का अन्दाज़े बयां और. This one is even further apart. But the site gives excellent explanation, and probably I can see what connection you are establishing with लपक झपक. Thanks a lot.

11 ksbhatia May 1, 2016 at 11:53 pm

A K ji ;
A little cross section of Manna Dey’s varients :

1. Dil albele pyar ka mousam……..Manna dey, Lata……Begunah

2. O Bereham tere sitam…..Manna dey, Lata…..Baghi Sipahi

3. Kehdo ji kehdo chupawo na pyar…..Manna dey , Lata…Kismat ka khel

4.Choo na lena mujhe….Manna dey, Asha….Baghi Sipahi

5. Re man sur mein gaa….Manna dey, Asha….Lal Pathar

6. Kate na kate raina…..Manna dey, Asha…Mera naam joker

7. Sama ye pyar ka……Manna dey, Asha….Baghi Sipahi

8. Mud mud ke na dekh….Manna dey, Asha…..Shri 420

9. Nineteen fifty six….Manna Dey, Lata…. Anari

10. Raat gayi jab din aata hai…..Manna dey, Asha, chorus…Boot Polish

These are some of the songs which shows how complement were musical range of Manna dey and SJ with each other; be it classic or western .
….to be contd,….

12 AK May 2, 2016 at 7:26 am

KS Bhatiaji,
Thanks a lot for these additions. #1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 were new to me. Dil albele pyar ka mausam is a surprise find. Excellent song from an obscure film, in fact perhaps the only film whose prints were destroyed due to copyright issue.

13 gaddeswarup May 2, 2016 at 1:35 pm

This interview may be known to most here but I read it only today while looking for his autobiography ( I read parts of it on the net some time ago bou could not find it again)

14 ksbhatia May 2, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Gaddeswarup ji;
Thanks for the link on Manna dey’s autobiography . I am also looking for his interview on YT wherein he was specific in rating SJ as number one music directors of all times . Similarly , Lata ji also rated this duo as number one and mentioned Salil da for her best singing in Madhumati as well as Madan Mohan for composition of his various Ghazals .

I will surely post the links once located .

15 AK May 2, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Thanks a lot for this link. I had read this interview long ago, and some information I used from memory. Manna Dey mentions his first singing was in Ram Rajya (1943). That seems to be a memory lapse. Tamanna came a year earlier, in which his song is credited and available on the net.

16 ksbhatia May 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

AK ji;
In continuation of songs @11 , here are few more……

11. Nain mele chain kahan…….Manna, Lata…….Basant bahar….

12. Aap huye mere balam……Manna, Lata……Krorepati….

13.O Kali anar ki na itna ……Manna , Asha…..Chhoti Bahen…

14. Hans kar hansa…..Manna dey…..Chalak / Behrupiya [ Unreleased]

A passing note…….

The above song remind me of Mera naam joker . The movie MNJ carried three or four additional songs which could not be incorporated owing to its length . Below is one of its song by Mukesh& Sharda which is available on YT as unreleased song of MNJ. One can note that the famous RK ‘s theme music….Chhod gaye balam…..of Barsaat is also played here in its interludes @3:30 and @ 5:50 . As we all know , this tune again is picked up from …. Waves of Denube….. composed in the mid 30s by a Romanian composer .

Gao gao gaaoo……Mukesh, Sharda……MNJ….[unreleased song]

Waves of Danube……….Andre rieu orchestra…..

……to be contd…..

17 Subodh Agrawal May 2, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Excellent choice for a theme and an excellent selection of songs. I do feel very guilty when I think of Manna Dey. He has given so many outstanding songs but somehow when I draw a list of my favorite singers he is beaten not only the versatile Rafi and Kishore, but also by the flawed Mukesh and singers with limited range like Hemant and Talat. I really don’t know why it is like that. I guess people at large also had similar problems and therefore he didn’t get the kind of popularity he deserved.

A minor correction: the actor in ‘Chalat Musafir Moh Liya Re’ is Krishan Dhawan, not Dayal. I have always liked him in the short roles he played throughout his career.

18 Subodh Agrawal May 2, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Mr Bhatia thanks for the reference to ‘Waves of Danube’. Each time I listen to this composition it brings to my mind words like ‘Ae mere dil, tu chala hai kidhar….’. I wonder if someone did compose a song like this?

19 KB May 2, 2016 at 9:09 pm

I also agree with Shri Agarwal. Mannadey could have been better utilised than only classical and comedy songs and also for a wider range of heroes.
In that respect I feel SD used him better and tried his voice very successfully in duets also. As far as his comparison with other singers,I feel Mukesh among others could get better variety of songs and did well on several heroes of fifties and sixties. Choice of topic and songs are excellent.

20 AK May 2, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Subodh, KB
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Subodh’s feelings for Manna Dey mirrors what most of us felt about him vis a vis his other contemporaries. And that was probably also a mirror of how the industry treated him. Why it was so, we would never really be able to answer.

Thanks a lot for the correction.

21 ksbhatia May 2, 2016 at 11:03 pm

AK ji ;
In continuation of songs @ 16 , here are a few more ….

15. Dekhiye to kya ajeeb haal hai….. Manna dey…….kal Aaj aur kal

16. Dekho dekho madam…..Manna, Rafi…..Pyar Mohabbat….

17.Aankhoan aankhoan mein kisi se …..Lata, Asha, Manna …Janwar

18. Aaja re aaja more sajanya….Lata, Manna dey……Jwala….

……more to follow…..

22 Ashok M Vaishnav May 3, 2016 at 9:36 am

There probably could not have been a better tribute to Manna Dey than recalling the SJ- Manna Dey connection.

As one looks at the gems presented in the main post and the range and variety of the songs as presented in the subsequent discussions, one really wonders, what was that Manna Dey (really) lacked that never gave him the coveted association with any one of the leading actors.

That Shanker had a very special liking for Manna Dey is an established fact.
Look at using Manna Dey for Hum Dil Ka Kanwal Denge Usko (Jindagi ) @ upto 0.09

And then choosing Manna Dey for Rajendra Kumar in the same film, which had all stock Rafi songs for Rajendra Kumar, for Muskara Muskara Laadle Muskara
Manna Dey has also gave his own touch to the typical harkat that Rafi had reserved for Rajendra Kumar @1.05 or @2.00 or @3.00

23 Dinesh K Jain May 3, 2016 at 12:15 pm

The question as to why Manna did not get his due has arisen more than once in this forum, and is also asked otherwise among Bollywood music cognoscenti.

Well, going only by my own response to his singing, I would say the reason was his voice quality or timbre. Frankly, I always had difficulty in appreciating it, let alone liking it. Also, his singing involved excessive modulation of voice, which made the problem worse in his case. Whenever the MD controlled his latter tendency, results were always far superior, like in Chori Chori songs.

None of the experts in this group has however offered an explanation for my earlier query, as to why only SJ – and apparently only Shanker as it transpires – among all front-rank MDs made significantly greater use of manna’s undeniable ability than others?

24 SSW May 3, 2016 at 3:56 pm

I doubt if anybody can answer the question as to why most MDs did not offer Manna Dey a larger repetoire of songs. Maybe he would have done better today where it isn’t necessary for the hero to sing in films and more often than not there are as many songs in the background or sung by other actors. Maybe Manna Dey did not have a hero’s voice. I actually think he was quite amazing in his vocalizations. His singing in songs like “Aao twist karen” (Bhoot Bangla) and “o meri maina” (Pyaar kiye jaa) which requires a certain degree of complete abandon is quite amazing when you consider the classical control he used in other songs. That is versatility.
Now as far as MD’s are concerned I dare say that every song he sang for Salilda was a hit and quite unusual. Sadly some of them are not well known. Here is an example , a film that was never released and contained two lovely songs . This one a solo
and this duet with Lata.

25 AK May 3, 2016 at 11:36 pm

KS Bhatiaji.
Amazing. At this rate no SJ-Manna Dey song will remain to be covered.

26 AK May 3, 2016 at 11:41 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I am also getting to know new facts. I didn’t know that Hum dil ka kanwal had Manna Dey’s voice.

27 AK May 4, 2016 at 12:00 am

Dinesh, SSW
SSW has echoed my thoughts. Probably no one can answer why Manna Dey could not be treated as heroes’ voice. The more interesting question is why it fell upon SJ to mainstream him. The more natural choice would have been SD Burman or Salil Chaudhary. Another case comes to mind: Subir Sen. His presence as Hindi film playback singer owes itself largely to SJ. One answer is their versatility.

28 SSW May 4, 2016 at 1:00 am

AK I have to disagree with you on the statement that his presence as a Hindi film playback singer owes itself to SJ. Honestly the first song I think of when I think of Manna Dey is “Aye mere pyaare watan” and then “Dharti Kahe Pukar ke”. Salilda was never a mainstream hindi film MD and leaving aside my preference for Salilda , there other songs that are not SJ compositions that come to mind instantly like “Poocho na kaise maine “, “Nadiya chale ” “Tu chupi hai kahan”, “Aao twist karen” etc. It would be a very poor reflection on Manna Dey to think that his presence in Hindi films is due to SJ.

29 AK May 4, 2016 at 5:33 am

Oh no! I made that observation for Subir Sen. For Manna Dey, in spite of all the famous songs of SJ or in spite of what he himself felt about them, my top favourites were SDB songs.

30 Manoj May 4, 2016 at 7:00 am

I had a great respect for Manna Dey and enjoyed many of his filmy and non-filmy songs. There in one unique song he was privileged to sing.
( A song penned by Mahatma Gandhi and sung by Manna Dey at the time of Gandhiji’s Birth Centenary.)

31 ksbhatia May 4, 2016 at 10:47 pm

AK ji ;
To complete my score of 20 , i am adding two funny songs in continuation of songs @21

19.Meri bhains ko danda kyun mara……Pagla kahin ka…..

20. Mein tere pyar ka…..Love in Tokyo……

……to be contd…….

32 AK May 5, 2016 at 7:10 am

Hey namrata ke samrat is a unique song. Thanks a lot for posting it.

33 AK May 5, 2016 at 7:13 am

KS Bhatiaji,
Main tere pyar ka was a new song for me. Thanks for posting it.

34 N Venkataraman May 5, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Thanks for this wonderful post and fabulous selection of songs. Enjoyed each and every song in the list. They all have repeat value. Manna Dey could sing songs of various moods which required different kinds of musical expressions. No doubt he was a versatile singer. In my opinion Tu pyar ka sagar hai, Sur na saje kya gaaun main and Bhay bhanjana vandana sun hamari will be on the top of list of best songs that SJ composed for Manna Dey.

As far as my knowledge goes, the song Sur na saje kya gaaun main is a Raagmala based on Pilu, Bhairavi and Sohini. I believe that the full version of the song had Brindavani Sarang too. I could not find the full version on YT. It seems Sarangai maestro Ramlal suggested the ragas.

Manna Dey must have rendered approximately 65-70 songs for Shankar-Jaikishan. Your selection and the songs posted by Bhatiaji and others must have covered more than 50% of the songs rendered by Manna Dey for Shankar-Jaikishan. Out of the 65+ songs, little less than 50% of the songs are solos. The three other MDs whose name has come up for discussion are Anil Biswas, S D Burman and Salil Choudhury. Manna Dey must have rendered about 40 songs for each of them, and the solos must account for roughly around 50%. Thus Manna Dey had more songs under SJ baton and many of them are memorable songs too. But these four major MDs account for a little less than 15% of the total Hindi film songs rendered by Manna Dey. But it is also equally true that S D Burman, Anil Biswas (especially the songs of Hamdard) and Salil Choudhury composed some of the most memorable songs sung by Manna Dey. There are others too.

It may be true that Manna Dey had more songs lip-synched to the hero/main character under SJ baton. Let us have a look. Raj Kapoor – 8 (2 solos), Shammi Kapoor -9 (4 solos), Bharat Bhushan -4 (2 solos), David -3 (1 solo), Kishore Kumar – 2 (1 solo), Sunil Dutt -2, Raaj Kumar – 1 (1 Solo), Balraj Sahni 1 (1 Solo), Rajendra Kumar – 1 (1 solo) …., roughly around 30 songs (13 solos). Kishore Kumar is a surprise in this list. One of the songs, a duet has been posted by Bhatiaji. The other song is solo.

Pehle murgi hui thi ya anda lyrics Shailendra, film Krorepati (1961)

Bhatiaji, AKji, did Manna dey sing for Kishore Kumar in Begunah too?

These two songs (KK) and most of the songs he sang for Shammi Kapoor are of comical nature. What about the rest of the songs?
Besides, like other MDs, SJ too made Manna Dey sing for side characters and background songs. Under SJ’s baton Manna Dey sang for Mehmood (3 solos, 2 duets), Pran (2 solos, 2 duets), Dhumal (solo), David (Duet-not main character), Jayant (duet) etc.

Here is one of the solos he sang for Mehmood,
Insaaf Hua Duniya Se Aye Yaar Safachat , lyrics Rajinder Krishan, film Preetam (1971)

Let me post two more songs. Manna Dey must have rendered this song for Sanjeev Kumar
Jiya Me Laga More Baan Preet Ka, lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, film Archana (1972/73)

Lastly another solo from Ujjala
Suraj Zara Aa Paas Aa , lyrics Shailendra, film Ujjala (1959)

Thanks Akji for this wonderful post.

35 AK May 5, 2016 at 5:42 pm

Thanks a lot for your expert comments. It is interesting that three MDs who are mentioned besides SJ with respect to Manna Dey are all Bengalis, which must have to do with similar sensibilities. That makes SJ all the more special. Even though they account for <15% of Manna Dey's Hindi film songs, they would probably account for more than 50% of his memorable songs. Thanks for the addition of the songs, I was aware of only Pahle murgi hui ya anada.

Would we be ever able to know if Manna Dey sang for KK in Begunah? The print was destroyed shortly after the release, and the songs that are surviving are probably because the record was issued. Mukesh’s Ae pyase dil bezubaan became quite famous. I didn’t know about the film’s destruction due to its copyright violation before the internet era.

36 ksbhatia May 5, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Venkatraman ji, A K ji ,
Yes . Manna dey voice was as effectively used by S D Burman and Salil Da as Shankar jaikishan duo . Only difference was his voice was used by them , limiting to veteran and comic character actors . SJ had edge over others in terms of Mannadey’s exceptional contribution to films like Awara, Shree 420 , Boot Polish , Chori chori , Basant bahar , Seema etc . For Salil and SD who can forget their master strokes….Apni kahani bhool ja , Aye mere pyare watan , Mat ro maata lal tere , Poochoa na kaise rayen beetai . So to say , all the MDs of those times had a good time composing exceptional songs keeping in mind the range and modulations that Manna dey possesed . [ reminds me of the boot polish song line…….Ek ek tinke tinke se , panchi ka ghar ban jaata hai……. a fall from the high note pitch diving into low soft landing voice ……simply superb and above all a beautiful orchestration of a long three in one song so well knitted .]

One can not be sure of begunah song ; as it ran for only 5 days and its print had to be burned as per courts directives . I think this happened some time during 1956/57 when Daney Kay [?] ,while in India , found that Begunah was exact copy of his movie which he had come to release . As AK said the record of the songs were released much earlier and were available at that time . If I am not mistaken some of the songs found their place in Binaca geetmala as well. The most popular amongst them was ….aye pyase dil bezubban…..picturised on Jaikishan who composed this song .

Well ,continuing with my contribution, here are a few more songs :

21. Theher jara o jaane wale…….Manna dey , Asha, Madhubala jhaveri…Boot Polish

22. Ae dost mere maine duniya dekhi hai…..Manna, Rafi….Sachaai

23. Yeh umar hai kya rangeeli….Manna, Asha ,Usha….Professor

24. Hum ne yeh soch kar …..Manna dey……Preetam

25. Kya maar sakegi maut …. Manna dey….Sanyasi

… be contd…..

37 AK May 6, 2016 at 9:54 am

KS Bhatiaji,
You do have amazing recollection. Hum ne ye soch kar reminded me of Hum kale hain to kya hua dilwale hain for its Mehmood act. SJ too are common. But that was Rafi and Mehmood was also different then. It became a cult song, enacted also by Jr Mehmood later in Brahmachari. A sequel may not be always as successful.

38 Shalan Lal May 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Shalan Lal
The post of Manna Dey has skillfully and brilliantly brought out the goodness in this marvelous singer. .

The question of having a hero-voice-attachment is a not a viable concept for me. I enjoy songs, voices, compositions, if acting scene is well done then that too and lyrics.

Also the Trinity of the heroes somehow got associated with certain singers.

And that created restrictions in them and also the singers who sang for those heroes. In this period Kishore suffered much. But as the mould of the fifties was broken the same Trinity started looking for other voices. RK and SJ certainly made Manna’s voice acceptable for them.
Manna’s voice is very enjoyable on its own qualities and superb compositions by the MDs. His voice became a must for the Hasya-Ras in fifties onwards. He enriched the film music in various facets and characteristics that other singers could not or would not had except Rafi and Kishore. But his voice was wholesome, weighty and un-laboured and natural sweetness.
In certain way he had very good life and very long life and also later in his life was revered.
In our family collection his records from Ram Rajya 1943 were very much enjoyed. It was believed he song in the Marathi version of the film as well.
By doing a cleverly crafted post on Manna Dey AK has revived the interest in this singer and his art.
Shalan Lal

39 Tjayaram May 6, 2016 at 8:10 pm

Some lovely duets of Mannada with Lata
So ochre yeh gagan Johore from Kyoto. me sdb
Su Havana duet. me Madan Mohan. woh chand musk aye
Kele di
O ji kente do chupaye woh na pyar. Kismet ka Karl. mD SJ
Johan Mai matti hoon. Chori chori. mDSJ

40 AK May 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Shalan Lal,
Kishore Kumar was lucky in that even pre-1969 SDB alternated between him and Rafi for Dev Anand. Manna Dey’s association with Raj Kapoor was comparatively fleeting.

Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

41 Shalan Lal May 7, 2016 at 3:26 pm

AK @ 40

Thanks for your remark about Kishore.
When I said “Kishore suffered” my meaning was associating the singing voice with one actor means one actor and one voice, that means a little chance to develop the voice at its full quality.

Rafi was lucky in the sense his voice became more important for the actors to associate with rather than the other way round. Dilip K used his voice because he chose Naushad for his films and Naushad composed the songs for Rafi more than what Dilip could do with his voice. But with good directors like Bimal Roy Dilip was more effective with the voices of Talat and Mukesh.
Mukesh suffered because his voice was deliberately associated with RK and many more songs which he sang for other actors or other films even those songs were impressive they sounded or rather reminded like RK’s acting voice.
As mentioned by you, later on Kishore became the voice for most of the actors or for himself and showed more talents and develpoment.

The above thinking is based on my own understanding that the voice of the singer has always scope to develop in many ways and the singer’s voice is that one should enjoy more than the actor who is using the singer’s voice.

In classical singing this perhaps is not possible as the singer is showing the development of the Gharana singing. But singers like Bhimsen Joshi have shown that Gharana is less important than the singing voice and talent.
Of course many readers can boldly dispute my understanding. We have “laissez-faire” or in your pet word “Each has his own”.


42 mumbaikar8 May 8, 2016 at 5:57 pm

देर आये, दुरूस्त आये …applies to both of us.
This is the irony. It took me eight days to respond to Manna Dey’s article.
Anyways as I said earlier देर आये, दुरूस्त आये … Thanks for the well deserving tribute to Manna Dey.
I have always believed that Manna Dey was never given his dues by his MDs as well as HM fans, why he could not make it, I feel it was either वक्त से पहले किस्मत से ज़्यादा or he was too good to sustain in this industry
I could have easily accepted him usurping Rafi but KK I still cannot understand it.

43 AK May 9, 2016 at 9:42 am

Welcome back. Some things are beyond explanation. But to give KK his due, he sang great songs even in the Rafi era. To many of us KK Part 1 was better than KK Part 2. That is besides his multifaceted talent, especially as a great comic.

44 KB May 9, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Mannadey did sing for KK in some films and he also sang for Dev anand in quite a few films in the fifties such as Kala Bazar and Manzil and later in Chhupa Rustom apart from the other heroes mentioned. He did sing for Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra and also in quite a number of initial films of Rajendra Kumar such as Ghar Sansar, Suntan and Talaaq under C Ramachandra apart from Zindagi. He also sang for several heroes including Sanjay ,Feroz Khan and Pradeep Kumar and one song for even Biswajeet.

45 Arunkumar Deshmukh May 9, 2016 at 10:10 pm

AK ji,

looks like there is some confusion about songs of film Begunah-57.
All the 6 songs are available on You Tube.
One song “din albele,pyar ka mausam”was sung by Manna Dey and Lata. I had seen this film on the second day of its release itself. I have discussed everything about this film and Manna Dey’s song in my article here….
Originally KK was to sing this song,but he insisted on advance payment. S-J quietly called Manna Dey and recorded the song. That is the story behind this song.
Incidentally, all songs of Begunah-57 are discussed in Atul ji’s Blog and are available there for those who are interested to listen to them.

46 AK May 10, 2016 at 9:39 am

Thanks a lot for this information. I think the suggestion being made is that Manna Dey’s song was picturised on Kishore Kumar. What is the truth?

47 Arunkumar Deshmukh May 10, 2016 at 10:46 am

Ak ji,

Yes of course. It was filmed on kish0re kumar only.
Actually kishore had met Manna Dey and tried to convince him not to sing this song, but Manna Dey stuck to his promise given to S-J.
Kishore could not go against S-J…the big time composers in those days.. and dared not leave the film on this pretext. Later on he was,it seems, pacified by Jaikishen.

48 Shalan Lal May 10, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Arunkumar @ 45-47

Wonderful informations! It is very sad story of Begunah being banned. I was going to see it but then it was taken off from the Theatres.

There was another film called “Albeli” in which Gitabali did double role. That I watched before it was taken off from the theatres. Gitabali was wonderful and songs too were wonderful and funny. The original Hollywood film also was seen by me along with the friends long before the “Albeli”. I have forgotten the name of this film.

But your informations always awaken my days in Bombay which is now Mumbai and perhaps may not be my city as I have not been there for more than thirty years.
Thanks agian for the enjoyable informations.


49 Rakesh May 22, 2016 at 2:44 am

This list of Manna Dey’s songs by Shankar Jaikishan is really amazing. Manna Da is my favorite singer and with duo Shankar Jaikishan he rocks. Please also provide a list of his songs with any composer.

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