Legendary singers of Bollywood happily lent their voice to the unforgettable actor and some clearly animate why he is known as the ‘Tragedy King’, writes Narendra Kusnur
Though Mohammed Rafi sang some of the biggest hits picturised on Dilip Kumar, the actor was privileged to have other great singers lend their voices for him. Talat Mahmood and Mukesh had some great songs in the 1950s, and in 1974, Kishore Kumar sang for him for the only time in Sagina.
Yet, Dilip Kumar worked in many films with music by the legendary Naushad, who preferred Rafi and lyricist Shakeel Badayuni for his songs. And they produced some major hits together. Thus, four of these 10 songs have that combination.
The songs are a mix of cheerfulness, romance and sadness. The list is chronological.
1 Gaaye Ja Geet Milan Ke – Mela (1948)
Mukesh sang this beauty, in which Dilip Kumar was picturised on a bullock cart. Naushad composed the music, and Shakeel Badayuni wrote the lines “Gaaye ja geet milan ke, tu apni lagan ke, sajan ghar jaana hai”. Nargis also appeared on screen.
2 Bachpan Ke Din – Deedaar (1951)
The song ‘Bachpan Ke Din Bhula Na Dena’ was known more for its Lata Mangeshkar-Shamshad Begum version. But, Mohammed Rafi sang the male version beautifully. The Naushad-Badayuni combination was at work again, and the song was picturised on Dilip Kumar, Nargis and Ashok Kumar in a tonga.
3 Ae Mere Dil Kahin – Daag (1952)
A classic sung by the great Talat Mahmood, with Shailendra writing, “Ae mere dil kahin aur chal, gham ki duniya se dil bhar gaya, dhoond le ab koi ghar naya”. Music was by Shankar-Jaikishan and the film starred Dilip Kumar and Nargis. The theme was reminiscent of an earlier Talat Mahmood song ‘Ae Dil Mujhe Aisi Jagah Le Chal’, filmed on Kumar in Arzoo.
4 Sham-e-Gham – Footpath (1953)
The ultimate song on loneliness, sung in Talat Mahmood’s velvet voice with close-ups of Dilip Kumar. Music was by Khayyam. The film’s lyrics are credited to Majrooh Sultanpuri and Ali Sardar Jafri, and it isn’t certain who penned this song which went, “Sham-e-gham ki kasam, aaj ghamgheen hum, aa bhi ja aa bhi ja, mere sanam”.
5 Insaaf Ka Mandir – Amar (1954)
An iconic song by Rafi, where he sang, “Insaaf ka mandir hai yeh bhagwan ka ghar hai, Kehna hai jo kehde tujhe kis baat ka dar hai”. Naushad and Badayuni combined and Dilip Kumar was filmed with Madhubala. It’s been considered one of Rafi’s most heartfelt songs.
6 Maang Ke Saath Tumhara – Naya Daur (1957)
The only duet in this list, it was sung by Rafi and Asha Bhosle, and picturised on Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala in a tonga ride. O.P. Nayyar provided the music and Sahir Ludhianvi wrote, “Maang ke saath tumhara maine maang liya sansar”.
7 Yeh Mera Deewanapan Hai – Yahudi (1958)
A gem by Mukesh who sang, “Yeh mera deewanapan hai, ya mohabbat ka suroor, tu na pehchane to hai yeh teri nazron ka kasoor”. Music director Shankar-Jaikishan composed the tune and Shailendra wrote the words. While Dilip Kumar looked sad through the song, Meena Kumari appeared in some shots.
8 Suhana Safar – Madhumati (1958)
Released just a week after Yahudi, Madhumati had some wonderful songs composed by Salil Chowdhury, who won the Filmfare award. Mukesh sang this in his typical style and Shailendra wrote, “Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen, hamein dar hai hum kho na jaaye kahin”. Dilip Kumar was filmed with a cheerful look in picturesque outdoor locales.
9 Madhuban Mein Radhika – Kohinoor (1960)
Besides Rafi’s immaculate singing, the song was best remembered for composer Naushad’s use of raag Hameer. Badayuni wrote the words and Niyaz Ahmed Khan sang a small bit with Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan playing sitar. The song was filmed on Dilip Kumar and Kumkum.
10 Aaj Ki Raat Mere – Ram Aur Shyam (1967)
Once again, Naushad, Badayuni and Rafi got together to create a masterpiece. The words were, “Aaj ki raat mere dil ki salaami lele, dil ki salaami lele, kal teri bazm se deewana chala jaayega, shama reh jaayegi parwana chala jaayega”. Dilip Kumar was shown playing a piano while Waheeda Rahman looked on.
All these songs were classic Dilip Kumar hits. And some of them, like the ones in Footpath and Yahudi, show why he is called the Tragedy King.