10 Mohammed Rafi songs with a theme of nostalgia, memory, separation & longing

Mohammed Rafi

To mark Mohammed Rafi’s 41st death anniversary on July 31, Narendra Kusnur chose 10 tunes with a common emotion of ‘yaad’

It’s been 40 years since the legendary Mohammed Rafi left us. His songs, of course, remain immortal, and are played in large numbers at tribute concerts, retro radio shows or talent hunt competitions.
Creating a list of only 10 Rafi songs would be impossible. Even if we chose happy songs, romantic songs or sad songs, any number would be inadequate.
To mark his 40th death anniversary on July 31, we decided to pick 10 tunes with a common theme of nostalgia, memory, separation and longing. Some of them would either be classified as sad or romantic, but the emotion of ‘yaad’ is expressed on many of these songs. The order is chronological.
1 Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki – Dulari (1949)

One of the early hits combining the talents of Rafi, music director Naushad and lyricist Shakeel Badayuni, this was picturised on Suresh, with a cameo by Madhubala. The lines “Tadap rahe hain hum yahaan tumhare intezaar mein” explained the song’s mood.
2 Aapne Yaad Dilaya Tha – Aarti (1962)

“Aapne yaad dilaya tha toh mujhe yaad aaya, ke mere dil pe padaa tha koi gham ka saaya”, sang Rafi in his ghazal picturised on Pradeep Kumar and Meena Kumari. Lata Mangeshkar came on at the end of this song composed by Roshan and penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri.
3 Yaad Na Jaaye – Dil Ek Mandir (1963)

A nostalgia-filled beauty composed by Shankar-Jaikishen and written by Shailendra. The lines “Din jo pakheru hote pinjare mein main rakh leta, paalta unko jatan se, moti ke daane deta, seene se rehta lagaaye” were outstanding. The song was filmed on Rajendra Kumar, with Meena Kumari appearing in the flashback scenes.
4 Yaad Mein Teri Jaag Jaag Ke – Mere Mehboob (1963)

Rafi and Mangeshkar combined on this gem with Shakeel Badayuni writing “Yaad mein teri jaag jaag ke hum, raat bhar karvate badalte rahe”. Filmed on Rajendra Kumar and Sadhna, the song was composed by Naushad.
5. Woh Jab Yaad Aaye – Parasmani (1963)

This was Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s first film as a duo, with Asad Bhopali writing the lyrics. The song, sung by Rafi and Mangeshkar began, “Woh jab yaad aaye, bahut yaad aaye”. It was a huge success.
6. Din Dhal Jaaye – Guide (1965)

An immortal song picturised on Dev Anand and Waheeda Rahman. S.D. Burman composed this tune, with Shailendra writing “Din dhal jaaye haaye, raat na aaye, Tu toh na aaye teri yaad sataaye”. This is often featured in Rafi and Dev Anand greatest hits compilations.
7 Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya – Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966)

Music directors Sonik-Omi did a wonderful job with G.L. Rawal writing the lyrics. The song featured Rafi singing for Dharmendra, Suman Kalyanpur for Nutan and Mukesh for Rahman. Beautifully shot in a shikara at the Dal Lake, Srinagar, it was a huge hit.
8. Hum Intezaar Karenge – Bahu Begum (1967)

Sahir Ludhianvi penned the words “Hum intezaar karenge tera qayamat tak, khuda kare ke qayamat ho, aur tu aaye” to Roshan’s tune. The song was in two versions – a Rafi solo and an Asha Bhosle-Rafi rendition. Pradeep Kumar and Meena Kumari appeared on screen.
9. Hui Shaam Unka Khayal Aaya – Mere Humdum Mere Dost  (1968)


In an inebriated role, Dharmendra appeared in this song where Sharmila Tagore was seen in the opening shots. Music was by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and lyrics were by Majrooh Sultanpuri. The song became a favourite among dejected lovers and tipplers.
10. Tum Mujhe Yoon Bhula Na Paaoge – Pagla Kahin Ka (1970)

This hit was in two versions, by Rafi and Mangeshkar. Hasrat Jaipuri’s words were set to tune by Shankar-Jaikishen. The lines “Woh baharein woh chandni raatein, humne ki thi jo pyar ki baatein” symbolised the song’s emotion.

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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