10 feel-good, frothy songs of S D Burman

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On his 114th birth anniversary on October 1, Narendra Kusnur picked 10 love and frothy songs composed by the great Sachin Dev Burman songs. Some of them are love songs and some just frothy tunes that go well with a situation.

Music director Sachin Dev Burman was the epitome of versatility. From romantic and melancholic songs to folk or classical numbers to western tunes and peppy ditties, he could create anything.

On his 114th birth anniversary on October 1, we choose 10 of S D Burman’s feel-good songs. Some of them are love songs and some just frothy tunes that go well with a situation.

Four of these numbers have been penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri, whose 101st birth anniversary is being celebrated on the same day. The list is chronological.

1. Tadbeer Se Bigdi/ Baazi (1951)

Lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi had actually gone up to Burman with a ghazal. The music director twisted it around to produce a western tune with a guitar, getting Geeta Dutt to sing. The tune was filmed on Geeta Bali and Dev Anand.

2. Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Raahi/ Munimji (1955)

Though Sahir Ludhianvi’s words talked about how people could meet and separate, Burman used a very sprightly tune, with Kishore Kumar displaying his trademark yodelling. Dev Anand and Nalini Jaywant appeared in the film.

3. Mana Janaab Ne/ Paying Guest (1957)

Another melodious tune picturised on Dev Anand, with Nutan joining him. The song was another example of how well Burman used Kishore Kumar. Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lines brimmed with romance, specially on “Valla jawaab tumhara nahin”.

4. Sar Jo Tera Chakraye/ Pyaasa (1957)

Comedian Johnny Walker starred in this unforgettable song sung by Mohammed Rafi. The song had a humorous tone, with Ludhianvi writing, “Aaja pyaare paas hamare, kaahe ghabraye”. The words “Tel maalish” added to the effect.

5. Babu Samjho Ishare/ Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)

A fun song featuring the three brothers Ashok Kumar, Anoop Kumar and Kishore Kumar driving around Bombay. Sung by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey, it was penned by the versatile Majrooh Sultanpuri.

6. Tum Jiyo Hazaaroon Saal/ Sujata (1959)

The extremely popular song celebrating Shashikala’s birthday in the film. It was sung by Asha Bhosle and chorus, though one batch of early LPs is said to have credited Geeta Dutt by mistake. Once again, Sultanpuri was in top form. This became a birthday favourite.

7. Gunguna Rahe Hain Bhanware/ Aradhana (1969)

While Aradhana had some memorable songs, this one was remembered for its lilt. Sung by Rafi and Bhosle, it was written by Anand Bakshi. Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore appeared on screen.

8. Rama Rama Ghazab Hui/ Naya Zamana (1971)

The magical pair of Hema Malini and Dharmendra appeared in this song sung by Lata Mangeshkar. It involved a rain dance, and was set to verse by Anand Bakshi. The song had a peppy beat that made it catchy.

9. Meet Na Mila/ Abhimaan (1973)

An evergreen Kishore number picturised on Amitabh Bachchan in this film about two singers in marital discord. Sultanpuri wrote the lyrics, “Meet na mila re man ka, koi to milan ka, karo re upaay”.

10. Maine Kaha Phoolon Se/ Mili (1975)

A happy song penned by the outstanding Yogesh, who passed away earlier this year. Sung by Lata Mangeshkar and filmed on Jaya Bhaduri, with Bachchan appearing fleetingly, it had the lines “Maine kaha phoolon se hanso toh woh khil-khilake has diye, aur yeh kaha jeevan hai, bhai mere bhai hasne ke liye”.

About Narendra Kusnur

Narendra Kusnur is one of India’s best known music journalists. Born with a musical spoon, so to speak, Naren, who dubs himself Kaansen, is a late bloomer in music criticism. He was (is!) an aficionado first, and then strayed into writing on music. But in the last two decades, he has made up for most of what he didn’t do earlier.

View all posts by Narendra Kusnur

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