To mark the festive season, here are 10 Ganpati songs. The list contains a mix of Hindustani, Carnatic, devotional, fusion and film songs.
1 Jagjit Singh – Vakratunda Mahakaya
The main mantra is sung by a chorus group. It is “Vakratunda mahakaaya suryakoti samaprabha, nirvignam kuru me deva sarva-kareshu sarvadah”. Jagjit sings the other lines in his typical style. Though known for ghazals, he sang many devotional numbers. This was recorded by Times Music.
2 Lata Mangeshkar – Sukhakarta Dukhaharta
This very well-known rendition of the Ganesh Aarti was recorded by Saregama HMV. While Lata’s voice is ultra-melodious, she’s accompanied by wonderful chorus singers. The lines include “Jaidev, Jaidev, jai mangalmurti, darshan maatre man, kaamna phurti”, and the tempo pick-up towards the end is smooth.
3 Pandit Jasraj – Anuraag
Besides classical music, Mewati gharana maestro Pandit Jasraj has also released many great devotional songs. ‘Anuraag’ is a Ganpati stuti which ends, “Om Sri Riddhisiddhi sahitam, Sri Ganpatye namoh namah”. The balance between Jasraj’s vocals and back-up singers has been well done.
4 Anup Jalota – Jai Ganpati Vandan Gananayak
Often called the Bhajan Samrat, Anup Jalota has a distinct style of rendition. This tune begins with the bansuri, which sets the mood. Jalota sings, “Jai Ganpati Jai Gananayak, Jai Ganpati Vandan Gananayak, teri chabi ati sundar sukhdaayak”. It’s part of the Jai Ganesh album released by Sona Rupa.
5 Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande – Ganpati Vignarahan
A representative of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana, Ashwini Bhide Deshpande sings this bhajan in raag Jansanmohini. The main line is “Ganpati Vignarahan Gajanan” and her unfolding of the composition is immaculate. It was released on Music Today.
6 M S Subbulakshmi – Vathapi Ganapathim
Almost every Carnatic vocalist has presented this iconic piece at some time or the other. Written by Muthuswami Dikshikar, it was composed in raag Hamsadhwani. The great M.S. Subbulakshmi’s rendition is brilliant. The song is in praise of Lord Ganesha.
7 Shankar Mahadevan – Mahaganapathim
This Carnatic Ganesh keertana by Dikshitar is sung by Shankar Mahadevan, who retains the traditional essence in the vocals but gives a fusion-lounge flavour in the arrangements. “Mahaganapathim manasa smarami” he sings. The rendition, released by Strumm Sound on the album ‘This Is Carnatic Fusion’, is really soothing.
8 Jai Uttal – Ganesh Sharanam
Having studied piano and sarod, American musician Jai Uttal took to Indian spiritual music blending western and eastern arrangements. On this composition, he sings the line “Ganesh sharanam, sharanam Ganesha”. A child’s chant, a vibrant chorus and melodic flutes accompany him. The piece gives listeners a feeling of relaxation.
9 Ilaaka (1989 film) – Deva Ho Deva Gali Gali Mein
Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle present this festival-time group song filmed on Mithun Chakraborty and Madhuri Dixit. Music is by Nadeem-Shravan with Anjaan writing, “Deva ho deva, gali gali mein tere naam ka hai shor, hum bhi pukaare kab hogi deva teri nazar hamari ore, Om nama Ganeshay”.
10 Dard Ka Rishta (film) – Ganpati Bappa Morya
Hariharan sang for Sunil Dutt on this song composed by R.D. Burman, who uses heavy percussion and street orchestra music. Dutt is seen praying for his daughter, who suffers from cancer, as shots show huge processions of Ganesh visarjan. Anand Bakshi writes the lines, “Ganpati Bappa Morya, agle baras tu jaldi aa”. The song is played often during the immersion ceremony.
Some of these songs, like ‘Sukhakarta Dukhaharta’ and ‘Vathapi Ganapathim’, have been recorded by multiple singers, with the former being the most common at Ganesh pooja. Through a search, one can find many good renditions for this season.