Guest article by Ashok M Vaishnav
(In his first article in the mega series on Multiple Version Songs, Mr Vaishnav gave an overview of the subject, several types of multiple version songs, ranging from simple vanilla twin songs – male/female versions – to same singer different moods, different male or female singers, solo/duets, film/non-film songs, Hindi/regional films etc. He also laid out a road map for taking each sub-category in a separate post. Carrying it further, in the second in the series, he takes up a type in which both the versions are sung by male singers – generally one happy and the other sad version. It takes the perseverance of an intrepid explorer like Mr Vaishnav to go into the subtle difference between these songs with multiple versions. – AK)
The classic twin song – one by a male and the other by a female playback singer, normally, was used in Indian Films, with an intention to express similar-sounding sentiments under different circumstances. However, there are instances galore wherein only a male or only a female playback singer has rendered the different versions in the film.
Today we will take a journey through a specific sub-category of multiple version songs in Hindi Films: all versions rendered by male playback singer(s) – one song presenting a happy situation whereas the other depicting a sad situation. The instances presented here have cases mostly where both the versions are rendered by the same male playback singer. We see a variety of reasons for filming the same song with varying versions differently in the movie. And there are some reasons which have necessitated different singer(s) for different versions.
A. One version seems to have been recorded, but another version finally gets the nod in the film.
1. Zindagi khwab hai khwab mein jhooth kya; Jagte Raho (1956), lyrics Shailendra, music Salil Chaudhary
The first version is by Manna Dey.
For reasons best known to RK team, this Manna Dey version was not approved for the filming in the movie and was replaced with the so very well known, Mukesh’s version lip-synched by Motilal on the screen. We do notice a highly improved orchestration in the Mukesh version.
2. Kaisi haseen aaj ki raat hai; Aadmi (1968), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad
It is said that Naushad recorded the first – can we call this as the original one? – version with Moahammad Rafi & Talat Mahmood to sing for Dilip Kumar and Manoj Kumar respectively on the screen.
This must have been duly filmed as well, otherwise we would not have a full-fledged video clip available to see, off the screen. However, later on Manoj Kumar seems to have insisted that he would lip synch his the-then- favourite-playback-singer Mahendra Kapoor, only. Hence what we see in the film and get to listen on official records is this version:
B. A happy and a sad version
This is the most typical situation – one a happy set of circumstances and another one a sad one – where all types of version or twin songs have been put to use in the Hindi Films. In the classic twin songs, we have one version by a male and another one by a female playback singer. Here, both the roles are played by the same gender. The change in emotions is depicted by change in rhythm – usually a fast tempo for happy mood.
3. Chali Radhe rani; Parneeta (1953), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music Arun Kumar Mukherjee
The happy version, has a very distinct fast rhythm which turns into a perceptible slow tempo in the sad version of the song, along with change in lyrics as well composition:
The song is also an excellent illustration of adaptation of folk tunes into film music, this being based on Baul tradition. We also have a classic “cover version” of this song, rendered by Geeta Dutt. The song must have been recorded for the film, but ultimately does not seem to have found place in the story line.
4. Sachcha hai agar pyar tera; Jhuk Gaya Aasman (1968), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan
In a combined video clip, the first part is a fast (happy) version followed by a slow (pensive, sad) version. The slower version has not only a slower tempo, even Mohammad Rafi also has resorted to very different हरकतें in both the versions.
5. Sunle tu dil ki sadaa; Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music S D Burman
And a different version, set in seemingly sad and unfortunate circumstances in the storyline of the film, also by Rafi
This song gives us a much needed clearer concept of how the two versions can have subtle – rather a trifle, too subtle, variations in the way the song is rendered, even when everything else appears similar. Whether only so much of the variation(s) in the two versions were intended by SDB or were cajoled by the resourceful director, Vijay Ananad, is indeed a matter of great debate!!
6. Jo ek baar kah do; Pooja (1954), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan
A happy version:
And a sad version:
Use of dholak for faster pace and tabla for the slower pace of the second version and use of flute on a different scale in the interludes judiciously creates different moods.
Isn’t it a matter of coincidence, that Shailendra has a very high proportion of version or twin songs with SJ as well as with other music directors?
7. Aasman pe hai khuda; Phir Subah Hogi (1958), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music Khayyam
The first version which we hear on records normally is more pensive and truly reflects the dejection of the unemployed educated youth, as embodied in the lyrics.
The second version is set in a very different setting in the film, which is signified by its initial pieces of music and slightly higher scale and faster pace of the song itself, thus reflecting the satirical mood.
We have normally been listening to the first version on records, hence to many it may be slightly difficult to differentiate the two versions.
And, we have one more from SJ in this category:
8. Ajab hai dastaan teri ye zindagi; Shararat (1959), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan
The first version is somewhat happy whereas the second version, from 2.55 in the combined video clip is sad one. The first version has a very deft use of piano to support the lyrics of the protagonist’s happy emotions, whereas the second version has not used piano in its composition. Rafi also goes few scales higher to express the anguish in the second version. The song has another rare distinction – Kishore Kumar lip synchs the songs on the screen to Mohammad Rafi’s emotionally silken playback voice.
9. Ae mere watan tu hi meri zindagi; Tu Hi Meri Zindagi (1965), lyric Neeraj, music Rono Dev Mukherjee
Mohammad Rafi sings a fast version, more as a desh prem song.
And a second version in quite a vilambit laya to reflect the sorrow.
We have many more instances of version songs in this specific subcategory in Hindi Films beyond the time horizon of our blog. I am quite sure; other vibrant regional films also will have many more of such songs. And there are bound to be causes or effects other than those narrated herein.