Ten of my favourite O P Nayyar songs

My sister gave me Ganesh Anantharaman’s Bollywood Melodies: A History of the Hindi Film Song for Christmas. Yes, I know, my sister’s a gem: I adore her. I also adore a lot of the people Anantharaman writes about in his book. He admits he’s biased towards classical music, but then he does go on to acknowledge the worth of people like O P Nayyar, who’s a classic example of unclassical.
Omkar Prasad Nayyar was born on January 16, 1926 (now you know why this post today, of all days). He grew up in Lahore, and was composing music for All India Radio Lahore by the time he was fifteen (makes me feel utterly worthless. All these child prodigies do). When India was partitioned in 1947, Nayyar left Lahore and came to Bombay. Thank heavens. The rest, clichéd though it may sound, is history.

O P Nayyar

But, without any further dilly-dallying, let’s begin with the list. My ten favourite O P Nayyar songs—all from films I’ve seen, and (invariably) songs that are as pleasant to watch as they are to listen to. These are in no particular order:

1. Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawaanon Ka (Naya Daur, 1957; Sung by: Mohammad Rafi and Balbir; Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi). Dilip Kumar and Ajit lead a group of villagers in a boisterous and earthily patriotic song that showcases the folksy side of O P Nayyar. There’s a distinct bhangra beat to this song (similar to Mere haath mein tera haath from Kashmir ki Kali), and lots of madcap hooting and whistling, especially towards the end.

Dilip Kumar and Ajit in Naya Daur

2. Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo (Howrah Bridge, 1958; Sung by: Geeta Dutt; Lyrics: Qamar Jalalabadi). One of my favourite `club songs’, with a 19 year-old Helen in her first big hit. The tempo’s irresistibly catchy, with string and wind instruments supported by lots of clapping. And Geeta Dutt’s voice brims over with a joie de vivre that’s reflected in just about everybody onscreen: the dancers (especially the men), the musicians (watch the man plucking energetically at the double bass: he looks as if he’s almost dancing with it!)—and Helen, of course. Superb.
Interestingly enough, the interludes have a much faster, Western feel to them; the verses themselves are slower and have a definitely folksy tune.

Helen in Howrah Bridge

3. Aankhon Hi Aankhon Mein Ishaara Ho Gaya (CID, 1956; Sung by: Geeta Dutt and Mohammad Rafi; Lyrics: Jan Nisar Akhtar). A lilting combination of sitar, violin and Nayyar’s trademark `tonga beats’ – the clip-clop of hooves (even though there aren’t any horses around here!). This is a somewhat unusual duet too: Rafi sings only the refrain; the verses are all Geeta’s. Lovely lyrics too, by Javed Akhtar’s daddy.

Dev Anand and Shakila in CID

4. Dekho Kasam Se (Tumsa Nahin Dekha, 1957; Sung by: Asha Bhonsle and Mohammad Rafi; Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri). Delightful! A coquettish Amita woos a huffy Shammi Kapoor in a song that’s as light-hearted and sweet as it’s romantic. The tonga beats are here too, and if you listen carefully, you’ll notice a similarity to the film’s title song: there’s a cute `clink’ every now and then.

Shammi Kapoor and Amita in Tumsa Nahin Dekha

5. Lakhon Hain Yahaan Dilwaale (Kismat, 1968; Sung by: Mahendra Kapoor; Lyrics: S H Bihari). I know I started off saying this list contained songs that were fun to watch; I never said they were always well picturised. This is an example of a song that’s unintentionally hilarious: Biswajit struts around like a rooster armed with a rifle—or something. The band (The Monkees), playing valiantly in the background, look a little pained, I think—but the girls, gori mems and Babita, don’t seem to mind. The song itself, dominated by guitar and sung in Mahendra Kapoor’s much underrated voice, is very easy on the ears.

Biswajit in Kismat

6. Sun Sun Sun Sun Zaalima (Aar Paar, 1954; Sung by: Geeta Dutt and Mohammad Rafi; Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri) A refreshingly boyish Guru Dutt tries to charm Shyama—all across a garage. I love everything about this song: the simple choreography, the lyrics, the actors—and (of course) the music. O P Nayyar was only twenty-eight when he wrote this score. It’s a simple one, the verses and interlude repetitive, but amazingly hummable.

Guru Dutt and Shyama in Aar Paar

7. Banda Parvar Thhaam Lo Jigar (Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon, 1963; Sung by: Mohammad Rafi; Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri). I had to list this one, simply because it exemplifies Nayyar’s music, with the `tonga beats’ used believably enough in a song that features an actual ghoda gaadi.

Asha Parekh, Joy Mukherji and a ghoda gaadi in Phor Wohi Dil Laya Hoon

It’s pleasant enough to watch too, though I’ve always wondered how they got the girls up on the poplar trees. And why.

The girls in the trees- Phir Wohi DIl Laya Hoon

8. Pukarta Chala Hoon Main (Mere Sanam, 1965; Sung by: Mohammad Rafi; Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri). Ah, sublime. A pal of mine once said that she didn’t like Biswajit much, but he did have some wonderful songs picturised on him. I have to agree; this is one of them. It’s absolutely lovely, very simple and with some exceptional use of the guitar. And yes, the tonga beats are here, too, even though Biswajit drives a jeep and Asha Parekh (stunning as always) and her cronies are on bicycles. Not a horse in sight.

Asha Parekh in Mere Sanam

9. Deewaana Hua Baadal (Kashmir Ki Kali, 1964; Sung by: Asha Bhonsle and Mohammad Rafi; Lyrics: S H Bihari). This film had some fabulous songs, and picking just one was a trial. But this eventually won, mainly because it echoed the Kashmiri setting so well: the gardens, the rippling Dal Lake, everything all placid and beautiful. It’s gentler and more romantic than the lively Yeh chaand sa roshan chehra, and is dominated by the sitar and violin (and tonga beats—where would Nayyar be without that?).

Sharmila Tagore in Kashmir ki Kali

10. Yehi Woh Jagah Hai (Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi, 1965; Sung by: Asha Bhonsle; Lyrics: S H Bihari) If I’d arranged these songs in order of preference, this one would’ve probably topped the list. It’s the example I always think of when someone says “O P Nayyar could only do folk music or fast Westernised music.” No sirree! Yehi woh jagah hai is a hauntingly lovely tune with music so subdued, it showcases Asha’s voice in all its sweetness. Was this Nayyar’s way of demonstrating his feelings for Asha? Don’t know, but the song’s a masterpiece—and the initial lines, with only her voice and no music, echo in the most wonderful way.

Sharmila Tagore and Biswajit in Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi

Bonus offering: a very short clip (I wish there was more) of O P Nayyar, Asha, and Mohammad Rafi in the recording studio. Enjoy!

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61 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite O P Nayyar songs

  1. Oh lovely!!! I adore lists :) I love every song in Kashmir Ki Kali and Tumsa Nahin Dekha, naturally…I love the songs from Jaali Note too. I also love “Piya Piya Piya” from Baap Re Baap (Kishore does some yodelling) and “Yaar Badshah Yaar Dilruba” from CID 909…he seems to have written a fair number of Helen songs!

    And “Aaj Koi Pyar Se” from Sawan Ki Ghata might have to be my top one, although I also really love the one you pick as your top one (“Yehin Woh Jagah Hai”)… you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymWYmy_0PdI

    And he’s quite the handsome man, too. No wonder Asha fell for him :)

  2. Oh, thank you for reminding me of that – I’d forgotten about Aaj koi pyaar se. Wonderful song (and frankly, just about anything with Mumtaz in it is right up my street!). Sawan ki Ghata had some more nice songs – Haule haule saajna is another of my favourites.
    Come to think of it, I liked just about every song in Aar Paar, CID and Howrah Bridge too – all of them movies that one can watch just for the songs, though they are (even otherwise) very watchable.

  3. I was thinking after I read this that poor OPN might hold a record for composing beautiful music for dreadful films.

    Ah well. That’s what iPods are for.

    Do let me know how you like the book, I’ve been thinking of getting it myself :)

  4. A few more gems from OP Nayyar
    Tum Jo Hue Mere Humsafar – 12 O Clock
    Jaaiye aap kahaan jaayenge – Mere sanam
    Aapke haseen rukh from Bahaaren Phir bhi Aayengi
    Zulfon ko Hatale chehre se – Sawan ki Ghata
    Aao Huzoor Tumko – Kismat

    And finally,
    Pyaar par bus to nahi hai – Talat/Asha. The lyrics are brilliant.

    I love this blog. I grew up listening to these and the films you discuss here, although the 70s were not a favourite with my mom.

  5. memsaab: I liked the book, though I didn’t agree with everything Anantharaman says (he’s obviously of a classical bent, so dismisses a lot of songs that I like as being totally without any melody). But yes, lots of interesting stuff – including some amazing trivia – plus interviews with Lata, Manna Dey, Dev Anand and Gulzar. Good read.

    The Comic Project: Thank you for the endorsement! And I love the songs you suggested too – in fact, some of them (esp. Tum Jo Hue and Jaaiye Aap Kahaan) were close contenders for this list.
    I can still deal with the 70’s – up to the mid-70’s, I think – but the 80’s onwards, I start losing my patience. Really, the films I’ve loved that were made after 1980 or so are few and far between. Sad – or maybe I’m just incurably old-fashioned!

  6. Yahi woh jagah hai, and Tum jo hue mere are O P Nayyar’s creations! Didnt realise that he created music without the horse-beats!!! ;-) Seriously though, I love all his songs inspite of their somewhat similar music – they are all so much fun and they showcase Asha Bhosle’s lovely voice so well. Besides the ones on your list and those mentioned by Memsaab and The Comic Project, I love the songs from Sone Ki Chidiya – especially Pyaar par bas to nahin and Sach bata tu mujhpe fida.

  7. Yes. Yehi woh jagah hai and Tum jo hue mere are OPN – very offbeat, quite literally! I’ve not seen Sone ki Chidiya (Nutan, right?), but yes, those songs are lovely. Incidentally, another somewhat uncharacteristic OPN song that’s very beautiful is Tukde hain mere dil ke from Mere Sapne.

  8. Then there is OPN’s “Kamar patli nazar bijli” from Kahin Din Kahin Raat , with Biswajit – in a blonde wig (hah, hah, hah) and Helen – gorgeous as ever – Watch it if you havent…. :). (available on Youtube)

    I wonder what list this song would fit into…

  9. Kahin Din Kahin Raat was one of the looniest films I’ve ever seen! Biswajit in a blonde wig, that mad scientist with her poisoned fingernails, etc – wow! I guess that would probably be part of a “Ten of the most unintentionally hilarious songs” list – and I guess Laakhon hain yahaan dilwaale should ideally feature on that list too :-)

  10. ever heard ‘tumhaare ye nakhre tumhaari sharaarat’ (mahendra kapoor) from ‘kahin din kahin raat’ ?…amazing orchestration!… wonderful melody!….so far other OPN creations are concerned, do listen ‘baahon ko zara lehra de ankhon me ankhen daal ke’ from kabhi andhera kabhi ujaala (1958 / asha, manna dey / lyrics-majrooh) & ‘jhuki jhuki pyaar ki nazar dekhe unhe dil me jhoom ke’ (johny walker / 1957 / asha, geeta / lyrics – hasrat)…OPN was a great comopser indeed !

  11. Thank you for those suggestions, Shishir – I’ll look out for them! I don’t remember Tumhaare yeh nakhre tumhaari sharaarat… will see if I can find it on youtube. Kahin Din Kahin Raat was such an idiotic film, I think I just sort of switched off after a while and never even really enjoyed the music.

  12. Nobody brought out the essence of the provocative woman better than OPN, through both, Asha and Geeta. His alliance with Rafi Sahib was equally magical.

  13. Oh, yes – I agree with you completely. Asha/OPN and Rafi/OPN are especially sublime. Geeta Dutt, too, of course – though I think she did some equally amazing work for SD Burman.

  14. IMHO, one of the best albums of OPN was Sambandh which had songs like Chal chal akela, Andhere main jo baithe hai, Jo Diya tha tumne mujhko and of course the classical based Akeli hoon main piya sung by Asha. It is one of the most under rated albums and had lyrics by Pradeep. OPN proved that he could also produce really emotional songs which were quite different from his usual tonga beat based happy songs.

    Warning: Do not watch the film for the songs. Though the storyline is quite good, but it is a torture to sit through the film inspite of the good songs.

    N. Sridhar

  15. Thank you for the recommendation! Will certainly look out for these songs. (and thank you also for warning me off the film; I am one of those who tend to see films based on whether or not I like the music, and I’ve ended up seeing some really awful stuff this way)!

  16. OP was the only composer with a distinct style which other copied only to compliment him than to ape him. It is difficult to put any one song of his as No 1. Most of his songs would occupy the No. 1 slot. It gives immense pleasure to recollect the songs that may have faded from the memory of his die hard fans. To mention some of his pearls, who can forget, Jane jigar yun hi agar hota rahe ishhara tera ( Mujrim ), O Mr. Banjo Ishara to samjho ( Hum Sab Chor Hain), Huzoore wala jo ho ijazat ( Ye Raat Phir No Ayegi ), Anchal me saja lena kaliyan ( Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon ), Wo Haske Mile hamse hum pyar samajh Baithe ( Baharen Phir Bhi Ayengi ), Chain se humko kabhi ( Pran Jaye par vachan na jaye), O madam Nancy, You are my Fancy ( Basant ), Tu Madrasi Chhokri ( Ragini), Kajra Muhobat wala ( Kismat), …………… I can go on & on. I wonder how many would know about these gems. OP is the gold mine that we have lost forever.

  17. Yes, he scored some of Hindi cinema’s most memorable songs… so many lovely tunes. I personally think Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Kashmir ki Kali, CID, Aar Paar, Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon and Kismat are among those films in which every song is a gem.

  18. I am an ardent fan of OPN since 1970. I would say that more than 95% of his songs are hits and that one should not forget the fact that he achieved so much of fame sans Lata ji, whose contribution to the Hindi film songs is immense as far as the songs composed by other music directors are concerned. His association with Runa Laila, Peenaz Masani and Ashok Khosla in bringing out some very good ghazals and songs also needs to be remembered.

  19. You’re very right. Considering that Lata dominated playback singing (or, more precisely, female playback) for such a long time, for OPN to have been so successful without Lata singing for him is proof of his talent. He was superb.

  20. My OPN favourites – some:

    – Kaisa Jaadu balam tune daara
    – Jaa Jaa Jaa Bewafa (the sad version)
    – Ai dil ai diwaane
    – Idhar tum hassen ho
    – Raat bhar ka hai mehmaan andhera
    – Chal Akela
    – Jaaiye app kahan jaayenge
    – Jaata kahan hai diwane

  21. I think Geeta did the best justice to OPN compositions. Apart from her sexy, silvery voice she had a way of inflecting words and infusing rhythm in them which her contemporaries (male and female) could not match. She really brought out the mood of the lyrics and the melody with a huge, always appropriate, impact. Just listen to Jaa Jaa Jaa Bewafaa (her solo), Preetam Aan Milo and so many other of her OPN songs. What versatility!!

    The only other female singer who could match (and in some songs surpass) Geeta in voice and expression was Suraiya. Lata, in my humble opinion, was just a technically perfect sugary sweet voice which could cover the higher notes well. Asha was better than Lata in expression, but nowhere nearly as good as Geeta. This comes out sharply when you listen to Lata’s and Asha’s duets with Geeta.

  22. Had OPN been on good terms with Lata he may have used her in the beginning, then dropped her later in any case…. for the music he was destined to compose would not have worked with Lata’s singing.

  23. A the recently held Indo Pak Friendship promotion programme held in Mumbai recently, I managed to woo some chicks at the Times of India Office to give me the much in demand passes to a Runa Laila Musical Evening. Runa Laila is one of the top notch singers of Pakistan, now settled in Bangla Desh. She has recorded few stray songs for Hindi Films, the most popular ones, “Do Diwane Sheher men” & “Tumhe ho na ho humko to, itna yakeen hai” from Gharonda. But very few people know that she cut a private Album with O. P. Nayyar.
    At this musical evening I got myself invited to, she paid a huge tribute to O.P. Saab. She sang a Bhajan from this album which I had last heard 25 years back and had forgotton about it. It brought back not only nostalgic memories but a tear or two in my eyes. She had not forgotten this gesture of O.P.
    This Bhajan was composed in a style which was not typical of O.P. Saab. If she had not to announced it, the public would have mistaken it for a composition of the style of Madan Mohan of S. D. Burman or Khayyam or maybe even Jaidev who was very good at Ghazals and Bhajans. This shows that O. P. was an extremely versatile composer but because of ego issues with Rafi Saab, Asha Tai, Lata Bai and others of the film freternity, he had a very chequered carrer. It was heartbreaking to hear that he died a lonely death in Thane, a far flung location from the Marine Drive flat where he lived for years and he was a familiar sight on the Marine Drive Plaza taking an evening walk. O. P. Saab we will miss you forever. Long Live O. P. Nayyar.

  24. I envy you! I’d loved to have heard that… I think Runa Laila is very talented. My parents used to be fans of hers through the 70’s and 80’s, so I got to hear most of what she’d sung, though I must admit to never having heard of her doing a private album for OPN. Must have been an amazing experience to hear that bhajan.

  25. I ENJOYED THE LOVELY COMMENTS ABOUT ” BABUJI” THE INIMITABLE OP NAYYAR…..YES I WILL TRY TO HEAR THE BHAJAN…..I SPOKE TO HIM TWO DAYS BEFORE HE ATTAINED HEAVENLY GLORY HE WAS VERY HAPPY DURING THAT CONVERSATION..AND HE DIED SOON AFTER LISTENING TO THE PROGRAMME SOMETHING ABOUT “LAUGH CHALLENGE”

    TO ALL HIS FANS I CAN SAFELY SAY HE LITERALLY HAD THE LAST LAUGH
    PLEASE THINK OF HIM THE WAY YOU ALWAYS HAVE WE ARE HIS FAMILY
    AND WE RUN INTO MANY MILLIONS

  26. I am of the opinion that had OP Nayyar worked with Lata intstead of Asha then his songs wouldn’t have been as captivating as Asha made them to be. No doubt Lata is the nightingale of India and rightly so but OP Nayyar knew what he was aiming for and he got it in Asha’s voice.
    As for the Rafi songs,well–they are just too good to be true.
    To watch Shammi Kappor & Sharmila Tagore in Kashmir Ki Kali, Biswajeet ,Babita & Helen in Kismat, Joy Mukherjee & Asha Parekh in Phir Wohi Dil Laya Houn, Biswajeet & Asha Parekh in Mere Sanam, Manoj Kumar,Sharmila Tagore & Mumtaz in Sawan Ki Ghata, all of them dancing & singing to the tunes of OP Nayyar songs, without forgetting the songs of Baharein Phir Bhi Aaegi, Tumsa Nahin Dekha, CID, Aar Paar,Yeh Raat Phir Na Aaegi etc., etc. has been an experience I have lived with for half a century. I still listen to those songs. I’ll never get fed up of them. I have all (most) of OP Nayyar songs on VHS , CD & DVD.
    Great music director!

  27. Pepe: I agree with you completely! I think a lot of people tend to dismiss Asha as a sort of poor man’s Lata, but I think Asha did more justice to OPN’s songs than perhaps Lata could have. I am completely with you on Mahender Kapoor too – a much underrated singer, but so good in songs like the ones from Humraaz.

  28. i am a great fan of o p nayyarji.i am always lisening his songs. i bought 4 albums of his songs. but i had not seen him personally because my place is far from bombay. now i missed him to see him personally because his old age death. but his songs are ever. he was a stylish man.his songs are melodius than other composers. his music scored is quite different and valuble.

  29. OP Nayyar is the most versatile composer. There are composers like SD Burman,Madan Mohan,Roshan, Naushad and Shanker Jaikishan are well trained in classical music but he is the first composer in india to get one lakh rupees in early 50s.He is compositions are mind blowing.He is the first to use Punjabi Rhythm in film music.Here some of his master pieces.Preetam aan milo-Aar Par.Dil awaaz bhi sun-Hum saaya.Yehi woh jaga hain-Yeh raat phir na aayegi.Jaiyye aap kahan jayenge-Mere sanam.Aap pe hassen rukh-Baharein phir bhi aayengi.Bhooj mera kya naam-CID.Chain se humko kabhi-Pran jaye par vachan na jaye.Deewana hua badal-Kashmir ki kali.POP Nayyar is the most versatile composer. There are composers like SD Burman,Madan Mohan,Roshan, Naushad and Shanker Jaikishan are well trained in classical music but he is the first composer in india to get one lakh rupees in early 50s.He is compositions are mind blowing.He is the first to use Punjabi Rhythm in film music.Here some of his master pieces.Preetam aan milo-Aar Par.Dil awaaz bhi sun-Hum saaya.Yehi woh jaga hain-Yeh raat phir na aayegi.Jaiyye aap kahan jayenge-Mere sanam.Aap pe hassen rukh-Baharein phir bhi aayengi.Bhooj mera kya naam-CID.Chain se humko kabhi-Pran jaye par vachan na jaye.Deewana hua badal-Kashmir ki kali.Mang ke saath tumhara-Naya Daur.just close ur eyes and listen to these kind of songs and share ur opinion my friends.

  30. opn is one of my favs too.personally i place him as the fifth best music composer bollywood ever had.your list of top ten songs has some great numbers although it seemed to me that you are more into the western kind of music that opn delivered than the traditional kind of music that opn gave.I say so because two of your favourite numbers are based on western songs. first, lakhon hain yahan dilwale is based on the folk song red river valley and second , dekho kasam se is based on kiss me another by georgia gibbs.of course it does not matter much as they are lovely adaptations and feature in my list of favs too,especially the first one.My most favourite opn song is though humko tumhare ishq ne from ek musafir ek haseena.that song too has a unique history of its own.

    • I’ve always held by my belief that everything is very subjective. Only today, Anu Warrier had posted a very good post on Salil Choudhary’s music, and I was tempted to comment that Salil is one of my three favourite MDs, with S D Burman and Madan Mohan. Then I thought over it, and I decided I can’t define exactly whom I would consider my top favourite MDs. These three, of course – but then O P Nayyar, certainly. And Roshan – how can one imagine Barsaat ki Raat without his music? Or Naushad. Ghulam Mohammad. C Ramachandra. N Dutta. Ravi. Shankar-Jaikishan…. so many names, so many styles, so many absolutely superb songs.

      But, back to the topic: OPN is, of course, one of my old favourites. And though I do tend to prefer more ‘western’ songs, there are a lot of songs – not just OPN’s, but by other MDs too – that I simply love and which are either folksy or have a classical base.

      Do share that ‘unique history’ of Humko tumhaare ishq ne! I don’t know about that, though of course I’ve seen the film a couple of times and heard the song often enough.

      • >I do tend to prefer more ‘western’ songs,

        I may have misunderstood the thread of this converstaion between you and Raunak, but…but… is that true?

        • Does that shock you, pacifist? ;-)

          Well, actually – I guess I do tend to prefer more Western songs. Look at this OPN list, for example – it has quite a few songs that aren’t very Indian. Or my Manna Dey list. Manna Dey tends to be associated most prominently with classical songs; one of my top ten Manna Dey songs was O meri maina!

          This has become more obvious to me ever since I started frequenting more blogs that focus more on the music than on the film… and I realise, more and more, that people tend to wax eloquent about songs that have a classical base.

          I’m not saying I don’t like traditional or folksy Indian tunes – some of my very favourite songs are in those styles. Garjat barsat saawan aayo re, Mohe panghat pe Nandlal chhed gayo re, Madhuban mein Radhika naache re, Man tadpat hari darshan ko… and all those absolutely sublime songs from films like Naya Daur, Madhumati, Barsaat ki Raat

          But I cannot say I adore only those songs. I’ll have to be honest: I can also like more Western songs. It really all boils down to the individual song, not a generic style. There are lots of fairly ‘Westerny- songs that I don’t like at all.

          • Ah, OK. I misunderstood you. I thought you meant you liked western music (as in original western).

            I too love a lot of old songs which are inspired from western tunes, and to tell you the truth they sound far better to me than the original.

            • I agree with you there, pacifist! I think a lot of the ‘adaptations’ made of Western tunes are far better than the original. My favourite example in that sense is the superb O babu o lala from Dilli ka Thug. The original, Rum and coca-cola is positively repetitive and lacklustre, but Ravi uses it only minimally to create something pretty fantastic. :-)

              Most of the Western songs I do like are the ones I used to listen to when I was a kid – old favourites like Jim Reeves, Dean Martin, Harry Belafonte, Nat King Cole, Connie Francis, Elvis, Petula Clark… I’m just not fond of the sort of stuff that’s been churned out over the past several decades.

              • I too agree that a lot of adaptations sound much better than the western songs they are based on.Another thing that i can never understand is why indians start complaining the moment they know a song is based on a western melody, but say nothing when a song is based on an indian folk or classical melody.I mean there is not much of a difference because an adaptation is an adaptation after all,it does not matter whether the adaptation is made from an indian song,western song or chinese song.

                I am also very fond of english oldies like the ones you mentioned although i do not belong to that generation.And i just love Beatles,doors,eagles,ub 40,roy orbison,simon & garfunkel. In the recent times though,i love Enrique iglesias and Bryan adams.Anyways,i believe that one must listen and appreciate good music as music is not restricted by the boundaries of eras,decades,ages or generations.Great Music is timeless and shall always remain so.

  31. oh,i myself prefer western type of numbers to indian type of numbers.But that does not mean that i don’t like traditional indian music-folk or classical.And i also don’t believe in ranking among the equals but since most indians have the tendency to glorify a single man in every field , i have made a list of top 10 people in each and every field based on a process that i developed myself[i can’t explain the process as it would be quite difficult to explain the process in a single comment].It was by that procedure that i stated opn as fifth best.yes,i agree that such ranking is not justified but i did this to satisfy all those indians who have this glorification tendency and chided me for not doing the same.And i am really happy to know that you don’t believe in glorifying a single person[you are the third such person i know].

    now,time for the unique history of humko tumhare ishq ne.There is a song in pyaasa without any orchestration ‘tang aa chuke hain’ sung by Great Mohammed Rafi.The lyrics ‘tang aa chuke hain’ were written by Sahir ludhianvi and were again used by N.Dutta in a different tune in another film in which the song was sung by Asha Bhosle.Now,the pyaasa song has the same tune like humko tumhare ishq ne.The tune of both the songs are based on an old song by Kazi nazrul islam.Of all the three versions,i like ‘humko’ the best.Sadly,the nazrul song is not available on the net and few people have heard it.

    • Raunak, I could not agree with you more regarding the Indian tendency to want to glorify one and only one person! I cannot understand why people – especially Indians, though I’ve come across others too – want to put their one idol on a pedestal, and remain completely oblivious to everybody else. It’s a blinkered outlook on life, I think… as far as I am concerned, it’s the worth of a single work – a single composition, a single poem, a single story, a single film – that should be taken into account. (Aside, on a related note: I don’t like Mithun Chakraborty’s disco films. Hate them. But right now, I’m watching one of his films – Pasand Apni Apni – and enjoying it thoroughly).

      Ah, I know Tang aa chuke hain. Lovely bit of recitation; it gives me gooseflesh to just think about it.

      For those who haven’t heard it, here it is:

      And the Ek Musaafir ek Haseena song:

      I haven’t been able to find the Asha Bhonsle rendition. Any idea which film it was?

      I must admit I like the Pyaasa recitation the best. Somehow Rafi’s voice, without any instruments, is just sublime.

      • well,the Asha Bhonsle song has a different tune with the same lyrics and it was in the film Lighthouse.

        I too like the Pyaasa song very much but the fact that the duration of the song is so short angers me a lot.

        The kazi nazrul islam’s song i cannot give a link to as it is not available on the net.Few people of my generation know about the song itself.I came to know about the song from my Grandpa’s home recording.

        Note:I myself do not like Mithunda’s disco films except for three of them,but i absolutely adore him as an actor.Sometimes i feel his acting talent was completely wasted as he was given mostly crappy and crass films.But films like Pasand apni apni,Shaukeen,Gudiya,Mrigaya,Kaalpurush,Tahader Katha etc are great examples of his acting prowess.He did not win Four National Awards for nothing.

        • True, he did not win four National Awards for nothing! I remember having watched Mrigya when I was a child – not even a teenager. I didn’t understand a lot of it, but even I was very impressed with the intensity of Mithun’s performance. I haven’t watched some of the other films you’ve listed, but will keep them in mind. I do wish he’d done more films like these, which are either rom com style or require him to show off what fine acting he’s capable of.

          P.S. I agree with you about people’s perceptions of adaptations from Western tunes vs. adaptations from Indian tunes. Why should that make a difference? I would say it’s more important to see how well the music director has adapted the original tune. A simple ‘lift’ – an almost note-by-note copy, like this one:

          … doesn’t reflect at all well on the MD. On the other hand, something like this, which just about touches on the original, adds to it:

          (the ‘original’ is the Mexican hat dance):

  32. Yes,the example that you gave to point out the difference between the two kinds of adaptations is very correct.Another thing to note about in these two songs is that while jeevan ke safar mein is an adaptation of a folk form of music,dole dole dil is an adaptation of someone else work.Also dole dole dil is not just a note-to-note copy,but it is pathetic in comparison to the original song and completely ruines the essence of the original.It stands nowhere close to the original.Whereas Jeevan ke safar is not just heavily different but is as good ,if not better than the mexican hat dance song.

    note-Mexico has some great music.You can try listening Mexican music more.

    • Mexican music is very infectious, isn’t it? My husband was the one who first introduced me to Mariachi, though I’d heard adaptations of Mexican hits – for instance, Dean Martin’s fabulous rendition of Sway, plus stuff like La Bamba much before that. I simply LOVE those rhythms, so fantastic.

  33. Helen was 16 in 1957 when Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo was shot. At least, that’s what she said in her interview on the ‘Queen of the Nautch girls’ documentary.

  34. I do not know why I have weakness for OP music! Probably he must be only music director of Bollywood whose most of the films were flops but his music was on top.
    Secondly his most of the films were with out stars(Shammi kapoor got recognition after Tumsa nahin Dekha).Many of directors (Raj Khosla got recognition after CID.
    Secondly people mistake or misinterpretate as his compositions similar.I have studied his all the songs and categorised /classified in to five types.All the five types were his original base notes.Yes he composed his music based on five original base notes.Just take tanga songs snd listen one after another they have altogether diffrent compositions not at all similar. For layman all karnatka/Rabindra Sangeet may be similar!!!
    What i wonder most of the todays compositions including AR Rehmans are based on Nayyar notes/rythm/style(not lifted/stolen/or Chori–Nayyar has created a unique institution). Why these composers not acknoledge OP

  35. Op nayyar was the great music director.but music director is incomplete without singer.op nayyar songs sung by mohd rafi were fabulous.he was great singer.

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