75 prime songs from Hindi cinema that formed our lives and historical past


The story of India will likely be incomplete with out its songs – the background rating to our lives. Be it the anguish of KL Saigal, when he crooned Jab dil hello toot gaya (Shahjehan, 1946) in his nasal voice, maybe probably the most important break-up track of the final century or our sudden perception in gold mud and inexperienced fields after we heard Mere desh ki dharti (Upkar, 1959) ringing out of our transistors. We had been companions in distress with Guru Dutt when he lamented Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye toh kya hai (Pyaasa, 1957). And we are going to all the time look as much as poet-lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi for asking a tricky query “Jinhe naaz hai Hind par woh kahan hain (The place are those that are happy with India)?” amid the failure of socialism.

For many years, we lent our ears to Binaca Geetmala, as Ameen Sayani performed the highest 10 each Wednesday from Radio Ceylon, our loyalties purchased without end by Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Hemant Kumar, Mukesh, Talat Mahmood and Kishore Kumar. If we had been offered out on the grandeur of Pyar kiya toh darna kya (Mughal-E-Azam, 1960) the place a courageous courtesan professed her love for a prince earlier than an invincible king, there was Kaifi Azmi’s Waqt ne kiya (Kaagaz Ke Phool, 1959), concerning the inevitability of life.

Within the ’80s and thereafter, songs of longing and unrequited love had been changed by avenue songs and realism. There have been new tales to inform, new songs, new metaphors. The nation has all the time sung alongside.

1. 1947 Afsana likh rahi hoon (Dard)

Weeks after August 15, an impartial India cocked its ears to this light ditty put collectively by Urdu poet-lyricist Shakeel Badayuni and Naushad with Uma Devi crooning it in her earnest voice. Afsaana (story) turned the track of the 12 months.

2. 1948 Watan ki raah mein (Shaheed)

This Ghulam Haider composition carried the zest of the youth wanting to put down their lives for the nation.

3. 1949 Mere piya gaye Rangoon (Patanga)


A trunk name from Rangoon (now Yangon, Myanmar) to Dehradun that spoke of affection and longing was an inherently fabulous, humorous and catchy quantity, with Shamsad Begum’s nasal inflection imprinting it in collective reminiscence.

4. 1949 Aayega aane wala (Mahal)

That is the watershed 12 months when Lata Mangeshkar, who sang this haunting Khemchad Prakash composition and took the nation’s breath away, sealing her supremacy within the Indian movie trade for many years to come back, with no rival in sight. The track broke all information at Radio Ceylon as individuals flooded their workplace with letters to ask for the singer’s identify (The gramophone firm solely carried the character’s identify – Kamini). Each composer took discover. Lata Mangeshkar had arrived.

5. 1949 Suhani raat dhal chuki (Dulari)

A favorite with Rafi, the piece catapulted him to fame.

6. 1951 Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer (Baazi)

On this fairly buoyant melody, poet Sahir Ludhianvi says, overcome your ruined destiny with religion. Composer SD Burman had Geeta Bali sing the ghazal as a membership quantity on this Bombay noir.

7. 1953 Mausam beeta jaaye (Do Bigha Zamin)

In Manna Dey’s haunting voice, the track was a commentary on the rising inequality within the nation.

8. 1954 De di hamein azaadi (Jagriti)

Certainly one of Kavi Pradeep’s early patriotic lyrics was devoted to Mahatma Gandhi, his concepts of freedom and non-violence. This Hemant Kumar composition is sort of all the time sung each October 2.

9. 1955 Pyaar hua ikraar hua (Shree 420)


This iconic duet by Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey will all the time be remembered for the enduring imagery of Raj Kapoor and Nargis underneath the umbrella.

10. 1957 Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye toh (Pyaasa)

Sahir’s poignant verse highlighted the everlasting battle between the crassness of materialism and peace of the religious. Who can neglect Mohammed Rafi’s heart- rending crescendo Jala do isse, phoonk daalo ye duniya that tore into our heads and hearts.

11. 1957 Jinhe naaz hai Hind par woh kahan hain (Pyaasa)

This protest track by Sahir Ludhianvi established him as a peerless poet of the time.

12. 1957 Maang ke saath tumhara (Naya Daur)

This track complemented the memorable Ude jab jab zulfein teri. OP Nayyar turned to Punjabi folks on this composition and offered it together with his trademark ghudtaal (the clip-clop of horse’s hooves) within the rhythm.

13. 1958 Yeh mera deewanapan hai (Yahudi)

Certainly one of Mukesh’s most interesting, the track turned a refuge for each heartbroken lover.

14. 1958 Suhana safar (Madhumati)

Salil Chowdhury labored with the simplicity of Shailendra’s lyrics, bringing swelling strings and chirping birds into the tune, together with a singular pause-and-play impact.

15. 1958 Woh subah (Phir Subah Hogi)

When Ludhianvi’s sharp strains reduce by way of the disparity between haves and have-nots.

16. 1959 Waqt ne kiya (Kaagaz Ke Phool)

Guru Dutt’s melancholic masterpiece was an amalgam of sunshine and shadow, Kaifi Azmi’s phrases and Geeta Dutt’s voice.

17. 1959 Jalte hain jiske liye (Sujata)

Bimal Roy’s scathing touch upon caste has lovelorn Brahmin boy Sunil Dutt singing for Sujata, a “decrease”-caste woman.

18. 1960 Jab pyar kiya toh darna kya (Mughal-e-Azam)

The approaching collectively of potent lyrics, Naushad’s composition, Lata Mangeshkar’s voice and Madhubala as Anarkali immortalising the track along with her cracker of a efficiency. It turned the track of defiant love for India.

19. 1961 Aye mere pyare watan (Kabuliwala)

Memorable for its rabab riffs, and Manna Dey’s soulful voice about residence.

20. 1961 Allah tero naam, ishwar tero naam (Hum Dono)

This evocative bhajan by Jaidev gave India the message of unity.

21. 1963 Mora gora ang laile (Bandini)

Gulzar makes his debut utilizing Awadhi within the lyrics to explain a lady’s need to satisfy the person she loves with out getting seen, attributable to her truthful complexion.

22. 1963 Aye mere watan ke emblem

Within the aftermath of the 1962 Sino-Indian Battle, a disturbed Kavi Pradeep track, immortalised the phrases, Jo shaheed huye hain unki, zara yaad karo qurbani. The track, composed by C Ramachandra, finally went on to grow to be a tableau of nationalism. Pt Nehru is thought to have welled up. Identical to quite a few Indians. Jab hum baithe the gharo mein, wo jhel rahe the goli… It hit residence.

23. 1963 Laaga chunari mein daag (Dil Hello To Hai)

Sahir Ludhianvi took this line from mystic-poet-saint Kabir’s nirgun bhajan that highlighted the soul’s battle with materialistic needs.

24. 1964 Mann re (Chitralekha)

This track in Rafi’s voice was the backdrop of a tough 12 months with the Kashmir disaster and the loss of life of Nehru, India’s first prime minister.

25. 1964 Apni azadi ko hum (Chief)

The track turned synonymous with revolution.

26. 1964 Naina barse rimjhim (Woh Kaun Thi?)

Madan Mohan creates this environment that’s each haunting and melodious. Squawking bats, gliding Sadhna in an ethereal white sari and a crematorium.

27. 1965 Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai (Information)

This “freedom track” symbolised a second of rediscovery, the place Rosie reclaims her life once more.

28. 1966 Sajan re jhooth mat bolo (Teesri Kasam)

This folks album got here with shifting lyrics from Hasrat Jaipuri, about this dialog with god.

29. 1967 Mere desh ki dharti (Upkar)

Manoj Kumar made the movie on then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s suggestion, to inform the story of the Indian farmer. The track quickly turned an anthem.

30. 1970 Jeena yahan, marna yahan (Mera Naam Joker)

Though Raj Kapoor’s masterpiece was misunderstood and the movie tanked, the music was a chartbuster and had Mukesh immortalise Raju, the joker.

31. 1971 Dum maro dum (Haré Rama Haré Krishna)

RD Burman’s most well-known hour; he additionally obtained Asha Bhosle to sing this seminal piece.

32. 1971 Humko mann ki shakti dena (Guddi)

A Vani Jairam rendition, it was performed typically on radio as India went to struggle with Pakistan. It was adopted by many faculties as their morning prayer.

33. 1971 Kahin door jab din dhal jaye (Anand)

The track from Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s showcases the unfulfilled needs of a dying man.

34. 1971 Piya tu ab toh aaja (Caravan)

Helen’s groovy strikes, Asha Bhonsle’s throaty rendition, the tried-and-tested RD Burman-Majrooh components by Nasir Hussain, and that phrase, Monica, o my darling, made this into the most effective cabaret quantity Indian cinema has ever witnessed.

35. 1972 Kuchh toh log kahenge (Amar Prem)

The conversational track combines melancholy and pleasure to make this Anand Bakshi creation a basic.

36. 1972 Chalte chalte (Pakeezah)

This seminal piece by composer Ghulam Mohammed and poet Kaifi Azmi, describes the contemplations of a courtesan in love. The world of Sahibjaan hinges on the steam engine’s whistle, as a continuing reminder of a love notice she present in her ghungroo-laden toes. It’s a spectacular piece of music; set alongside a looped tabla groove in Keherva, and Lata Mangeshkar’s advantageous voice.

37. 1973 Chaabi kho jaaye (Bobby)

This Laxmikant-Pyarelal track made Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia stars in a single day.

38. 1973 Chura liya hai (Yaadon Ki Baaraat)

The tune of clinking bottles nonetheless will get our hearts racing.

39. 1975 Tere bina zindagi se (Aandhi)

Gulzar’s movie was a storm to recollect! It got here in the identical 12 months because the Emergency and the protagonist Suchitra Sen carefully resembled then prime minister Indira Gandhi. The movie was banned for 2 years. The track by RD Burman speaks of a deep anguish, the place an estranged couple appears to be like again at their life.

40. 1975 Yeh dosti (Sholay)

This friendship track by RD Burman is outstanding for its guitar riff and Salim-Javed’s script.

41. 1975 Dil dhoondhta hai (Mausam)

Certainly one of Gulzar’s most memorable love songs owes an awesome deal to Mirza Ghalib, whose couplet kinds the primary line.

42. 1976 Kabhi Kabhi (Kabhi Kabhie)

Sahir Ludhianvi’s track makes obvious the pangs of separation on this quantity that many felt was written for one more nice poet in love with him, Amrita Pritam.

43. 1976 Parda hai parda (Amar Akbar Anthony)

This Mohammed Rafi track was made memorable with Rishi Kapoor’s glowing efficiency, in a movie that amplified the message of unity.

44. 1978 Hum bewafa (Shalimar)

Shalimar flopped on the field workplace simply the best way the Janta Occasion did in nationwide politics. However the track discovered its place.

45. 1980 Tum itna jo (Arth)

This haunting ghazal, sung and composed by Jagjit Singh and spouse Chitra, featured in Mahesh Bhatt’s movie about adultery, love and loss.

46. 1980 Aap jaisa koi (Qurbani)

Feroz Khan found a younger Pakistani singer Nazia Hassan in a London membership and requested music director Biddu to make a track for her. It went on to grow to be an iconic disco quantity. Bappi Lahiri adopted the development with one other hit, Disco Dancer.

47. 1981 Yeh kahan aa gaye hum (Silsila)

This track noticed the debut of music duo Shiv-Hari and poet Javed Akhtar.

48. 1981 Dil cheez kya hai (Umrao Jaan)

The track captured a technology’s coronary heart, that includes Rekha within the position of a courtesan. It was additionally one of many grandest albums of the ’80s.

49. 1987 Mera kuchh samaan (Ijaazat)

Solely RD Burman might flip a love letter into probably the most eloquent break-up track. Gulzar’s immortal lyrics.

50. 1988 Papa kehte hain (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak)

The immensely catchy track turned Udit Narayan and Aamir Khan into in a single day superstars.

51. 1989 Kabootar ja (Maine Pyar Kiya)

Lata Mangeshkar sang this cult favorite, in a movie about younger love.

52. 1990 Yaara seeli seeli (Lekin…)

This Hridaynath Mangeshkar composition was one in all Lata Mangeshkar’s most interesting moments from the ’90s.

53. 1990 Dheere dheere se (Aashiqui)

Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal entered our houses with this delicate composition. The soundtrack apparently elevated the sale of music gamers.

54. 1992 Chhoti si aasha (Roja)

The recent and dewy vocals of singer Minmini, organized with synth and ghatam within the Hindi remake of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil movie, introduced a brand new sound to Bollywood. It additionally launched us to composer AR Rahman.

55. 1993: Dil hoom hoom kare (Rudaali)

Director Kalpana Lajmi requested her associate Bhupen Hazarika to create the tunes for this movie about caste, and positioned it on this planet {of professional} mourners. Lata Mangeshkar brings the unhappiness of the “unfortunate” Dalit girl to the fore.

56. 1994 Maye ni maye (Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!)

After the success of Maine Pyar Kiya Sooraj Barjatya repeated composer Ram-Laxman for this movie that modified the that means of blockbusters.

57. 1995 Tujhe dekha toh (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge)

The mandolin riff on this romantic melody rang by way of the movie and in our hearts.

58. 1995 Tu hello re (Bombay)

Hariharan and Kavita Krishnamurthy sang this lovely quantity in opposition to the backdrop of the Mumbai riots.

59. 1996 Chhod aaye hum woh galiyan (Maachis)


Vishal Bhardwaj’s movie set throughout insurgency in Punjab, in the course of the ’80s, had Hariharan and Suresh Wadkar because the lead vocals.

60. 1997 Sandese aate hai (Border)


Beginner Sonu Nigam’s soulful, “Rafi-like” voice carried the ditty with such competency. The movie would resonate when the Kargil Battle broke out two years later.

61. 1998 Aye ajnabi (Dil Se…)

Whereas Chhaiya Chhaiya discovered love, it was this underrated masterpiece by Udit Narayan that gained everybody’s affections.

62. 2001 Chale chalo (Lagaan)

One other sensible album from AR Rahman with folks music as its mainstay.

63. 2001 Dil chahta hai (Dil Chahta Hai)

This hip and zesty quantity launched musicians Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. The track, just like the film, unabashedly celebrated aspirations for a superb life.

64. 2003 Kal ho naa ho (Kal Ho Naa Ho)

Sonu Nigam sang about seizing the day and discovering happiness in each state of affairs.

65. 2004 Yeh jo des hai (Swades)

The shehnai prelude on this AR Rahman quantity attracts you in to the story of an NRI, who’s caught between staying residence in a village in India or returning to his life as an engineer at NASA.

66. 2005 Baawra mann (Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi)

Swanand Kirkire’s best service to Bollywood is that this lovely track set within the ’70s, amid the Emergency.

67. 2006 Rang de basanti (Rang De Basanti)

With Rahman’s music and Daler Mehndi’s vocals, this track turned a contemporary retake of a patriotic quantity.

68. 2007 Chak de India (Chak De! India)

Salim-Sulaiman’s anthem sung by Sukhwinder Singh was a rallying name for the feminine hockey group within the movie. Written by Jaideep Sahni, it’s performed ever-so typically at Indian sporting occasions, together with this 12 months’s Tokyo Olympics.

69. 2008 Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire)

This Rahman track will without end be remembered because the one which introduced residence two Oscars (Greatest Authentic Rating and Greatest Sound Mixing) for Rahman and Resul Pookutty, respectively, by way of Danny Boyle’s movie, Slumdog Millionaire.

70. 2009 O pardesi (Dev.D)

The movie showcased composer Amit Trivedi and lyricist-singer Amitabh Bhattacharya’s masterful command over a variety of musical genres. O pardesi lets us think about as if a Haryanvi membership track is being sung in Buddha-Bar, Paris, to scat singing and sitar riffs.

71. 2011 Sadda haq (Rockstar)

An influence-packed efficiency from Mohit Chauhan alongside distorted guitars and synths, gave the composition a grungy rock really feel.

72. 2013 Kabira (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)

Amid criticism for plagiarism, composer Pritam performed an creative hand and gave us Kabira, lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya’s finest work until date.

73. 2013 Tum hello ho (Aashiqui 2)

Arijit Singh broke into the massive league with this Mithoon composition and by no means appeared again. This earworm carried the airwaves for months.

74. 2015 Tu kisi rail si guzarti hai (Masaan)

Created by Indian Ocean, this couplet from Dushyant Kumar’s poem is complemented by Varun Grover’s lyrics and Swanand Kirkire’s improbable baritone.

75. 2019 Azadi (Gully Boy)

It’s wild, it’s irreverent, and very catchy because it turns the highlight on Mumbai’s underground rap scene. It’s one of many most interesting political items of music one has heard in a very long time. The mantra azadi traces again to feminist-poet Kamla Bhasin, who handed away final month.


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