Ten of my favourite Shammi Kapoor songs

My sister keeps a stack of CDs in her car. Often, when she gives me a lift, she puts a CD into the stereo and we listen as she drives along. The CDs are a mixed lot: Harry Belafonte, Simon and Garfunkel, 3 Idiots, Wake up, Sid!, The Best of S D Burman… and The Best of Shammi Kapoor. The others are in reasonably good condition; the Shammi Kapoor CD is battered and scratched and sadly in need of replacement.

I can understand why.

Shammi Kapoor is, for me (and I think I can speak for my sister too), one actor on whom some of the most fabulous songs in classic Hindi cinema were filmed. Funny songs, sad songs, romantic songs, madcap songs, rock-and-roll songs: he did them all, and memorably. And – somewhat unusually for an actor – he took a great interest in the music of his films. (There is an oft-repeated story of how Shammi Kapoor was so biased in favour of Shankar-Jaikishan’s music that he at first refused to let R D Burman compose the music for Teesri Manzil. But RDB, by insisting on playing a couple of the tunes he’d already composed, won Shammi over).

But, without further ado: my list of my ten favourite Shammi Kapoor songs.  This was a terribly tough list to compile, because there are dozens of Shammi Kapoor songs that I simply adore. Eventually, though, it boiled down to this: songs that sound good and look good (after all, when one’s talking about an actor’s best songs, it should include songs that show off the actor to advantage). These are all from films that I’ve watched (nearly all of Shammi Kapoor’s films between 1957 and 1970). To make life a little easier for myself (and to prevent this list becoming a ‘top hundred favourites’!), I’ve restricted myself to only one song per film, and to songs that are Shammi solos.

In no particular order:

1. Hum aur tum aur yeh samaa (Dil Deke Dekho, 1959): A friend once told me that he didn’t like Shammi Kapoor because Shammi Kapoor acted like a “jack-in-the-box – all that jerking his head about and leaping around gets on my nerves!”
My pal probably hadn’t seen Shammi Kapoor in romantic mode. Put Shammi Kapoor against a misty pre-dawn, in a white polo neck sweater and trousers, softly serenading his ladylove… and which woman in her right mind wouldn’t gladly give her heart to him? This is one of my favourite romantic songs. My only complaint is that Hum aur tum aur yeh samaa is so short.

2. Ae gulbadan ae gulbadan (Professor, 1962): Much of the credit for the almost universal fabulousness of Shammi Kapoor’s songs must go to his ‘voice’ – the inimitable Mohammad Rafi, who could mould himself seamlessly to whatever Shammi Kapoor was portraying onscreen. Whether it was the wild Suku suku, the flirtatious Subhaan allah haseen chehra or the despairing Hai duniya usiki… or this dreamily romantic song. Ae gulbadan is Shammi Kapoor at his irresistible best (those melting eyes! That rakishly tilted cap! That jacket! That face… I could go on and on). And it is Mohammad Rafi at his best: a voice to turn any woman weak-kneed. What a team these two men were.

3. Is rang badalti duniya mein (Rajkumar, 1964): This is one of my favourite Shankar-Jaikishan compositions for Shammi Kapoor: soft and mellifluous, a song that allows Rafi (and, by extension, Shammi) to sing an absolutely irresistible ballad. Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics, too, are sensational: after entreating the lovely princess Sangeeta to not emerge all decked up because “Insaan ki neeyat theek nahin” (“The intentions of men are not honourable”), he goes on to extend that badge – of possessing a neeyat that isn’t theek – to just about everyone: God, honour itself, even his own heart.
What a thorough charmer.

4. Akele-akele kahaan jaa rahe ho (An Evening in Paris, 1967): Not one of my favourite Shammi Kapoor films, but it had a superb soundtrack, dominated by several Rafi solos (others include the title song, Deewaane ka naam toh poochho, and Aasmaan se aaya farishta – the last-named with Shammi Kapoor at his crazy best, dangling from a helicopter). This one, though, is my favourite of the solos from An Evening in Paris. The echoes of Rafi’s voice resounding across the Swiss Alps; Shammi and Sharmila (not to mention the chairs and the umbrellas on the terrace!), all beautifully colour-coordinated in deep red; the green and white of the landscape… lovely.

5. Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar (Junglee, 1961): For me, this is the most meltingly perfect Shammi Kapoor song there is. It is a love song, but in a way very different from the boisterousness of Akele-akele kahaan jaa rahe ho or the dreamy-eyed serenading of Is rang badalti duniya mein. This one is a song of a more mature love than a sheer ‘love-at-first-sight’ (or ‘first-stalk’, as it all too often was in Shammi Kapoor’s films). Beautifully tender and poignant – so sincere in its love for the girl, that it makes Saira Banu’s character’s anger finally dissolve.
And Shammi Kapoor rarely looked more handsome. Or more heart-breakingly vulnerable.

6. Ae dil ab kahin le jaa (Bluffmaster, 1963): Now for a complete change of style, mood, pace – everything, even the playback singer. For those who equate Shammi Kapoor only with Mohammad Rafi, this song may come as a surprise: it’s been sung by Hemant. It’s a lament, a song of despair, deep loneliness and the shock of discovering that the world does not forgive those who repent. Quite the opposite.
The music is beautiful (I love the sax!), Hemant’s rendition is wonderful, and the picturisation offers a glimpse of the good actor Shammi Kapoor was: besides the sorrow, there’s a puzzled, and then cynical, look on his face as he struggles to come to terms with the changes in his life.

7. Tumne mujhe dekha (Teesri Manzil, 1966): With a fantastic score by the young R D Burman, Teesri Manzil had two very good Rafi solos (there was also Dekhiye sahibon woh koi aur thi, but it pales in comparison to the others). One was Deewaana mujhsa nahin, and the other was Tumne mujhe dekha.
This is one of the few Shammi Kapoor songs that can actually bring tears to my eyes. That’s mainly because this was the first song he filmed after the death of his wife, Geeta Bali – so there’s a grief in it. But, even without that sad background, this song has the ability to move me. The music; the power – brimming with tenderness and love – in Rafi’s voice; the scenario… all are superb. And Shammi Kapoor gives a virtuoso performance as a man deeply in love but unaware that someone out to destroy that love has already succeeded.
An awesome song. If I had to arrange this list in any order, Tumne mujhe dekha would probably be at #1 or 2.

P.S.  Here is a wonderful video of Rafi singing this song live, interspersed with stills of him and of other personalities from the Hindi film industry of the 50s and 60s. Enjoy!

8. Hai duniya usi ki zamaana usi ka (Kashmir ki Kali, 1964): Shammi, intoxicated, melancholy. Yet tuneful (as any self-respecting hero in Hindi cinema should be). This is the usual tale of a man who has lost his love and is trying to drown his sorrows in drink.
It’s a straightforward, simple scene in an empty bar room with a minimum of characters: a bartender, a lone saxophonist, another drunk, and Shammi Kapoor. Soulful music; a faint slurring of Rafi’s voice; Shammi’s eyes, filled with pain under drooping eyelids; his stumbling walk around the restaurant – and what do we have? One of Hindi cinema’s best daaru songs. Hurt, miserable, but unable to give up on love.

9. Yoon toh humne laakh haseen dekhe hain (Tumsa Nahin Dekha, 1957): From the film that transformed Shammi Kapoor from a wimp to an attractive imp. With moustache shaved off, his hair flying in the wind, and oozing sex appeal from every pore, he romances a grumpy Ameeta here by praising her beauty – yet teasing her about her huffiness too. Loads of fun here, a delightful setting, great picturisation – and a youthful, handsome Shammi Kapoor at his hilarious best.

10. Dheere chal dheere chal ae bheegi hawa (Boyfriend, 1961): A sweetly romantic song which borrows heavily (as far as lyrics are concerned) from Dheere dheere aa re baadal aa re (Kismet, 1943). Not surprisingly, since Boyfriend was a remake of Kismet. Much as I like Ashok Kumar, and though I think Kismet was the better of the two films, one aspect in which Boyfriend wins hands down is in its eye candy. Shammi Kapoor. A smiling Madhubala, pretending to be asleep. A moonlit night. Flimsy curtains blowing in the wind. *swoon*.
Shankar-Jaikishan’s music gives the primarily romantic words of this song a groovy but not intrusive beat – and Shammi Kapoor’s gentle dancing fits the rhythm perfectly.

What are your favourite Shammi Kapoor songs?

171 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite Shammi Kapoor songs

  1. For me, head and shoulders above all the rest, it’s the sad version of main gaaun tum so jaao – that is my number one favourite Shammi song and captures that magic pairing at its heartbreaking best. I love both versions of the song, but still tear up whenever I watch the sad version.

    • I know what you mean, Stuart. I was rewatching Brahmachari just the other day, and the sad version of the song did bring tears to my eyes too. It is beautiful. And somehow the sight of poor little Sachin, separated from the rest and sobbing his heart out, makes it even more poignant.

  2. I think it’s the smile in Rafi’s voice that did it. Why his voice suited Shammi Kapoor so much I mean. I love this selection, especially Tumne Mujhe Dekha. It’s one of my favourites. Another one from this list is Tumsa Nahi Dekha. I loved the lilt of this song and how fresh and upbeat it was. Full memories of going to Vellore listening to these songs though.

    Hard to pinpoint a favourite although here are some – Yahoo, Deewana Mujhsa Nahin and Lal Chadi Maidan Khadi. No reason except that they were an important part of my childhood. :)

    • I remember reading that Rafi and Shammi Kapoor used to spend a lot of time discussing their songs before Rafi recorded them, so that he was aware of how Shammi intended to act during the song – and Rafi would accordingly tailor his voice to that. The one notable song for which they didn’t get the time to discuss the song before the recording was Aasmaan se aaya farishta, but Rafi pulled that off pretty well too. He later admitted he managed it without being able to meet Shammi Kapoor beforehand, because he imagined what Shammi would do in this line, how he’d behave in that line, and so on! ;-)

  3. Hmm…real tough ask to make a top-10 Shammi list. That’s brave of you, Madhu. :-)

    And it’s a lovely list.

    The two songs from your list that would probably NOT make my list are “aye dil” and “ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar” (yes, sacrilege, I know!).

    Not that I don’t like them but I’d like to substitute them with
    “tum mujhe yunh bhula na paoge”, and
    “dil ke jharoke mein tujh ko bitha kar” (or even “koi pyar hamen bhi karta hai” from this movie. Rafi saab in his element!). LIke “tu bemisaal hai” also very much but I think the picturisation was very ordinary (it is cut out from the DVD, I think).

    Maybe I need to watch Junglee again. I last watched it about 25 years ago and the magic has worn away by now. I read your review and my interest in it has been revived. Maybe if I watch it again, I’ll fall for “ehsaan tera hoga mujh par”. :-)

    Btw, “dheere chal” seems to be inspired by http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0Z_Wr33UcT4

    Still love it! Shammi, looking very dapper, and swaying away – and Madhubala in her sleep! Awesome!

    • Somehow, I’m not too fond of the songs of Brahmachari, except Aajkal tere-mere pyaar ke charche (which wouldn’t have been valid for this list, since it’s a duet), and the sadder version of Main gaaoon tum so jaao. Dil ke jharokhe mein tujhko bithaakar, while a good song, was spoilt for me by my sister and her friends when I was about 10. They used to sing:

      Koode ke dibbe mein tujhko bithaakar
      Jhaadoo ke, ponchhe ki dulhan banaakar
      Rakhoonga naali ke paas
      Mat ho meri jaan udaas!

      A perfect mess of an otherwise good song, but it put me off that particular song thoroughly – even the original!

      Tu bemisaal hai was a revelation! I didn’t know about this song. Thanks for telling me about it, Raja.
      (For those of you who hadn’t heard this one either, here is a link):

      And another thank you for the Train to Nowhere link. That beat is very similar to Dheere chal dheere chal, as is the sax. Definite inspiration, I’d say. Still, the picturisation of that song in Boyfriend is so sublime that I’d forgive the song even if the tune was an absolute copy. ;-)

  4. Madhu, that Rafi live performance of “tumne mujhe dekha” is just SO lovely. I’ve not seen that video before and it was just magical seeing it now. Absolutely amazing voice! And smile!
    Thanks so much for bringing this video into your blog.

    • “just magical”

      Isn’t it? :-)

      I happened to notice it when I was looking for the Youtubes to insert in this post. And, having found that, I knew I had to share it. The expression on Rafi’s voice is so lovely when he’s singing… and those photos are rare gems too.

  5. My compliments on an excellent write up. I loved that Rafi live video of Tumne mujhe dekha. Some of the songs would also figure in my top ten. From Bluffmaster I would have included Mukesh’s Socha tha pyar hum na karenge. Or if you are looking for ‘Shammi Kapoor’, Rafi’s Govinda aa la re. Which reminds me Bluffmaster may be a unique movie in that four singers have given playback for Shammi Kapoor, which must be a record – besides Rafi, Mukesh and Hemant Kumar, you also have Shamshad Begum singing for him in drag (O chali chali kaisi hawa ye chali).

    I would have definitely included a couple of Talat Mahmood songs, especially Thokar‘s Ae gham-e-dil kya karun, though these are more about Talat than Shammi Kapoor. As you are aware my fascination is for songs.

    • Thanks, AK. And yes, that little bit of trivia from Bluffmaster has been one of my most prized bits of Shammi Kapoor-related trivia ever since I first watched the film and realised that four different people sang playback for him! For someone whom everybody tends to associate with just one voice, that was quite a feat!

      Govinda aala re was on my shortlist for this post – I love that song. But then, I decided to save it for another post I’m planning. So you will certainly see it coming up on my blog sometime in the future. Such a boisterous, festive, wonderful song!

      Thank you for introducing me to Ae gham-e-dil. I’d never heard it before. In fact, I haven’t been able to find a video clip from the film itself, but here’s an audio link:

  6. I can’t listen to ‘Tumne Mujhe Dekha’ without getting goose pimples. In fact I got one just by reading about that. I just love the way he relights the candles and puts them back after they fall on the table in the song picturization. I would add to this impressive list – (1) Janam Janam Ka Saat Hai (Tumse Accha Kaun Hai), (2) Dil Ke Jharoke Mein (Bramhachaari), despite the ease it offers to create silly parodies (3) Tum Mujhe Yun (Pagla Kahin Ka) (4) Tum Se Accha Kaun Hai (Jaanwar) I would buy the blanket covered bathing gown in a tick ! Keep these coming. Sandeep Padia

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Sandeep! Yes, that particular sequence from Tumne mujhe dekha – where he lights the candles and then puts the candlestand upright, without actually even once glancing at her face – is a gooseflesh-inducer, all right.

      I really like the others you’ve listed too. Tumse achha kaun hai has delightful picturisation as well, even though Shammi Kapoor is being even more clownish than usual! (And I don’t think it was a bathing gown covered with a blanket – just a folded blanket, from what I recall. I must watch the film again).

      • Not a big fan of Tumse achha kaun hai but Shammi Kapoor’s clowning is what wins me over. One needs to have such self-belief and such a sense of freedom to pull that off without looking embarrassed. Only other person I can think of with such an uninhibited style was Kishore Kumar but he could never do smoldering, brooding, romantic acting like Shammi.

        • I agree, one needs a lot of self-belief and unself-consciousness to act the buffoon without looking embarrassed about it. One other major lead actor I can think of whom I’ve seen do both comic and romantic really well is Shashi Kapoor (do the Shammi Kapoor genes make a difference? Perhaps).

          Check out this song, for instance, Kehne ki nahin baat, from Pyaar Kiye Jaa:

          Some of that crouching jumping around is actually very reminiscent of Shammi’s clowning in Tumse achha kaun hai!

  7. Dear Madhu, once again a great list! Must have been a difficult call to leave songs out. My list would have ‘Tarif karoo kya uski’ and ‘nazar bachakar chale gaye woh’ too.
    Sandeep’s so right about the goose pimple-inducing ‘tumne mujhe dekha’. ‘Aye gulbadan’ and ‘Is rang badalti duniya mein’ have the same effect on me.
    My only problem with Shammi songs in the car is ‘health and safety’! How could you not try and act out a bit of your inner Shammi when you listen to his music?

    • Anoushka, thank you!

      And ditto for me when it comes to the effect of Ae gulbadan and Is rang badalti duniya mein – they, too, give me gooseflesh, they’re so gloriously romantic. Now if only the setting and the costumes in Is rang badalti duniya mein could be cleaned up…!

      As for health and safety while listening to Shammi’s songs while driving – well, we belt it out loud and proper, but keep our seat belts on! :-D

      Incidentally, while on that topic ever noticed how many Shammi Kapoor songs are picturised on him in some form of transport or the other? Here are a couple:

      Kisi na kisi se kahin na kahin:

      And Raahi mil gaye raahon mein:

      One could probably do a top ten post on ‘Shammi in a vehicle’ songs.

      • >One could probably do a top ten post on ‘Shammi in a vehicle’ songs.

        It will also help us to learn proper decorum while singing/listening to Shammi’s songs in a car resulting in safety :-D

        Unless of course if we try such stunts;

  8. I happened to catch a radio show with excerpts of an old Shammi interview in it, and he said, a very renowned music teacher used to come to teach Raj Kapoor, and when Raj got busy with his shootings, one day his mother just replaced Raj with Shammi when he came back from school, and Shammi learned music under him for many years. So yes, he was always deeply involved in the songs of his films, and it shows.

    It’s a great list, Dusted Off. I don’t know what I would add to it, specially since one of my favourites is the duet, ‘Aaj kal tere mere pyaar ke charche ..’ I love that song, and the picturization with Mumtaz.

    I was content enough to revisit each song through your list.

    • That’s an interesting anecdote, Banno – and the fact that Shammi actually learnt music does show. He does occasionally burst into fairly tuneful song even in his films. The last time I watched Junglee, I noticed a point where he sings “Love in the morning, love in the evening…” to the tune of “Sugar in the morning” – which, coincidentally, was the tune of the title song of Dil deke dekho.

      Maybe someday I’ll do a ‘Shammi’s ten great duets’ post – then I’ll get a chance to put in Aajkal tere-mere pyaar ke charche. Such a fabulous song.

      • >then I’ll get a chance to put in Aajkal tere-mere pyaar ke charche. Such a fabulous song.

        Let me put you off this song by quoting the lyrics I heard.
        *evil look with horns on head – hohohaha (evil laugh)*

        aaj kal tere mere naap ke kachche har dukan par,
        etc etc

        LOL it was so funny. The reason why this never became my favourite.

  9. I was expecting a 10 moods list, as that seems to be the only way to wade ones way through the jungle of excellence in songs of those days, but trust you to think of something innovative and different. :)

    This is a great list and one sees you have completely steered clear from any songs with a jerky twisty Shammi.
    Yes, the world should see *this* wonderful side as well.

    I would perhaps make a couple of changes. For instance I would make allownaces to include another song from Tumsa Nahin Dekha, and take away ‘dheere dheere chal’, and if one had to stick to one song per film then I would remove ‘Yoon to hamne’ for this evergreen favourite (one of the) song. It’s so silky smooth sung in such a glidingly soft voice, and above all Shammi looks absolutely ravishing.
    I’m talking about ‘jawaniyan yeh mast mast’

    • Mmmm. I love Jawaaniyaan yeh mast-mast bin piye. Wonderful music, singing, and picturisation. The scenario, incidentally, reminds me of Laakhon hain nigaah mein zindagi ki raah mein from Phir wohi dil laaya hoon, because both songs introduce the long-lost hero, now grown up; and both have him singing to a bevy of girls – which do not, however, include the girl he’s actually going to fall in love with. But, much as I like Joy Mukherjee in Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon, Shammi Kapoor is in a class by himself.

      I was sorely tempted to include this in my list, but I did want my list to be a little different from Anu’s:


    • Hey this is one Shammi song that I find myself singing constantly. Thanks for highlighting this one.

      It’s really sad that most romantic songs, often of the search for “the one” are sung by males. As if women don’t ever feel the way these men – whether it’s Shammi or Joy or any other hero – feel while wondering who among the millions out there is destined for them. What gender biases there are in how some emotions are portrayed in songs!

      • Another gender bias in films that I found sweetly turned on its head in a Shammi Kapoor song is the man-pursues-girl trope. Almost always, it’s Shammi Kapoor who’s chasing a huffy girl and trying to win her over. But Kashmir ki kali hoon main is different. Okay, her real agenda is quite different – she wants to keep him away from his pregnant sister – but the way she teases him and professes undying love for him – is refreshingly different from the usual!

  10. My only complaint is that Hum aur tum aur yeh samaa is so short.

    Me too! :( That was one song, where song, singer, actors, picturisation – everything melded together to perfection!

    My favourites – well, you know. :) Thanks for the lovely list, Madhu. It’s dull and dreary and depressing here, the weather is not helping any (it’s cold and dripping wet) so, a hot cup of coffee and Shammi songs were just what the doctor ordered to cheer me up.

    Now I’ll go and read the comments and see what other songs have been added….

    • Oh, poor you! The weather’s nice in Delhi right now – not hot enough to make us sweaty, but not really cold as yet.

      But hopefully lots of Shammi Kapoor songs will warm you up a bit!

  11. Dekhiyen Sahibo wouldn’t have qualified for your list as it is, since it is a duet!
    But it is a wonderful song, at least for my ears! The unrhythmic rhythmic rhythm surprises me everytime and the way the chorus juts in with its Aaah, signifying the aggressiveness of the crowd.
    The staccato moving through the mukhada blends well with Shammi’s jerking around.
    I had surely heard the song before, but discovered it just two years back and was dumbfounded! Such innovation, so much energy, it blew me away! I wonder why it didn’t become famous!

    More aobut the post later after I return home today evening. I had to work, but just couldn’t resist writing this fast!

    • That’s an unusual take on the song, harvey – made me rethink my views on the song (which I must confess to never having liked much, especially in comparison to the other songs of Teesri Manzil). I must go and listen to it all over again.

      Possibly one reason I’ve never paid much attention to that song is that even in the uncut version of the film, Dekhiye sahibon is not very well integrated into the film – that entire incident about him mistaking another girl for Asha Parekh is just contrived to let the song happen. Most of the other songs are better integrated into the film.

    • I like Dekhiye sahibon too. It’s a different type of song. Rafi saab’s energy on one hand – and the sudden change of pace, brought about by Asha, on the other – make this a real fun song. True, the song isn’t very well integrated into the film (and in the edited version, it just jumps at you) but, on its own, it’s quite enjoyable. Maybe it also gets overshadowed by all the other lovely songs in this movie.

      • I agree about Dekhiye sahibon getting overshadowed by the other songs of the film. In a film with a less mind-blowing score (say, Basant or Budtameez), Dekhiye sahibon would probably have been the stand-out tune. Competing with songs like O haseena zulfonwaali, Aaja aaja main hoon pyaar tera, Deewaana mujhsa nahin, O mere sona re and Tumne mujhe dekha, this one does tend to get pushed into the background.

        Also, I think by this time into the film, the story’s suspense had begun to mount, and the song just seemed a little intrusive to me. (Yes, Tumne mujhe dekha was still to come, but then that forms an important part of the story too).

  12. thanks you share some songs of shammi because i love to listen his music and he make some wonderful music for all people and most of the people love him to listen his music

    • Thank you, pk songs! Glad you liked the post. Shammiji had some wonderful songs to his credit – which says a lot, for a man who was after all an actor and not directly concerned with the music of his films. To have taken the trouble of actually getting himself interested in that music and taking an active part in it is all to his credit.

  13. Perhaps it would be easier to create a “Top Ten Songs of Shammi Kapoor That I-Hate/I-Think-Overrated/I-Think-Some-Other-Hero-Would-Be-Better”. In my case this list would be extremely small, not certain would even reach 5 :)). So far only “Dekhiyen Sahibon..” comes to mind, if I really exert I may come up with another.
    Shammi is probably unique in that it is very difficult to find a song that I dislike. As compared with my favorite Dev Anand, for whom it is relatively easy to fill a Top Ten Songs Disliked (all you have to do is go thru’ his post 80’s songs.) I suppose there is something to be said for retiring at the right time; even his last movie as a hero had great songs(Andaaz).

    • Ewww. Just the thought of a Dev Anand post 80s songs (or, come to think of it, just about any song from the late 70s onward – I’m thinking Warrant here)… is enough to make me cringe. He had some truly ghastly songs.

      But yes, Shammi was in some really awesome songs, and even when they weren’t awesome, they were still good. (Incidentally, have you read Harvey’s comment about Dekhiye sahibon a little above? He had some interesting things to say about the song, which helped me see it in a different way). Offhand, the only Shammi songs I don’t like are the ones from his off-peak periods: either pre-Tumsa Nahin Dekha or around the time of Andaaz. Pritam, released in the same year as Andaaz, had forgettable songs, as did Sachchai, which was released in 1969.

  14. I am so glad to see Hum aur tum aur yeh sama in this list. Though short, it is absolutely ethereal romance. And the pre-dawn serenading by a handsome man madly in love with you is every woman’s dream. Lucky Asha/Neeta.

    Fabulous list with most of my favorites in it.

    • You and I aren’t the only ones who think Hum aur tum aur yeh samaa is a deliciously romantic song. I know of quite a few others (all women!) who think so too. The setting, the picturisation, the soothing music, Rafi’s voice, Shammi… it’s a total winner. :-)

          • Ha ha. Never really thought of this but, considering many of my interests seem to be more associated with feminine interests (like romcoms), maybe you have a point. :-)

        • The grammar nazi in me tells me it should be “its”, i.e without an apostrophe in my previous comment. What should it be, Madhu?

          • You remind me of my English teacher in the 11th grade who made us greet her, wherever we saw her, with “I T S has no apostrophe unless it stands for It Is”. We greeted her with this when she entered the classroom, and that wasn’t so bad, but we also had to say it if we saw her in the hallways, and that was downright embarrassing!

          • Yup, you’re right. There shouldn’t be an apostrophe in its when you’re writing about its universal appeal. My sister taught me how to distinguish between the two when I was quite small – the apostrophe appears only if you want to write a contracted form of ‘it is’. Not otherwise.

      • Now I feel like picking up the DVD from my shelf and re-watching Dil deke dekho for it’s lovely music and of course, Hum aur tum aur yeh samaa!

      • It’s Saturday afternoon and the nasha of watching DDD last nite still lingers. Am listening to Hum aur tum aur yeh sama online and discovered that it’s a bit longer than what’s shown on film.
        Here’s the link to the song:

        The song in the film does not have the lines “Beqarar se ho kyu hum ko paas ane toh doh” etc. The film version goes straight to “Aaj baat baat par aap kyun sambhal ne lage”. At least the DVD I have does not have the beqarar part. Even when it’s shown on TV in old songs programs, I haven’t heard the longer version.

        Hum aur tum aur yeh sama is my obsession for today just as Yehi woh jagah hai (from Yeh raat phir na aayegi) was playing in my head all day yesterday. :-P

        • Ah, yes. I must confess I actually hadn’t realised that Beqaraar se ho kyon was missing in the video of the song, because the audio version that I’ve got (and which I listen to every few days!) does have that verse – so I guess somewhere my brain just wired itself into imagining it was there onscreen too. No wonder I’ve been thinking the song, on film, is too short. Frankly, even with that verse added, it’s still too short!

          Mmm. I love Yehi woh jagah hai, too. My mum used to sing it to me as a lullaby when I was a baby, so I guess that might have something to do with it. ;-)

  15. @Harvey: Thank you! I’m glad you liked the list. Boyfriend had a couple of other okay songs too; for instance, there’s Aiga aiga yeh kya ho gaya:

    (Though this isn’t one of my favourites, simply because I don’t like that nonsensical ‘aiga aiga‘. And it’s a copy of Stupid Cupid).
    Then there’s Mujhe apna yaar bana lo:

    But Dheere chal dheere chal is by far the best, both as far as music is concerned, and for picturisation too.

  16. I think Hasrat Jaipuri rather than Shailendra penned the lyrics of Is rang badalti duniya mein insaan ni niyat (Rajkumar). The film had lyrics by both Shailendra and Hasrat but somehow this song has that distinctive Hasrat Jaipuri flavor and playfulness.

  17. Well, I hadn’t heard the last song from Boyfriend “Dheere chal dheere chal”. I don’t know if it’s just me but the first two lines sounded very much like the tune of “Kaate nahi katne yeh din yeh raat” from Mr. India, the latter one sung a bit more forcefully otherwise they sound quite similar.

    • Yes, Anu Warrier mentioned that too in one of her comments on this post. I must admit I like the rendition of Dheere chal dheere chal better. Incidentally, raja provided this link to what seems to have been the original for Dheere chal dheere chal:

      Pretty much the same as the Boyfriend song, I thought.

  18. OK so as usual I am late but all the same I have to post a comment on this one. First of all this list is perfect and as far as I am concerned Tumne Mujhe Dekha tops the list both as a Shammi Kapoor film song as well as a Rafi song.

    Thanks for sharing that video I got a bit nostalgic seeing it , even at the risk of boring you with all my nostalgia I cannot help but put down some of my memories. Rafi lived quite close to where we lived and it was not surprising that we often saw him driving off– no he never drove himself, he always sat beside the chauffeur– I remember dad getting a bit frustrated, you might well ask why? You see it was not uncommon for dad and Mohammed Rafi to bump into each other,so every time their cars crossed each other dad would make up his mind to be the first to greet him but no he was never successful for even in that split second Mohammed Rafi would beat by my father and always end being the first one to greet dad and wave out to him with that lovely infectious smile he had.
    There were some other memories too which were stirred up by the video but maybe some other time.

    • You will never bore me at least with nostalgia like that, Shilpi! I loved that little anecdote. I am extremely fond of Rafi, not just because of his glorious voice, but also because he strikes me as being a very sweet and very genuine person.

      I was recently listening to an interview with him, in which the interviewer asked Rafi how he managed to bring so much emotion into his voice when he sang. Rafi answered that he tried to imagine a similar situation in his life. Then he recounted that he recorded Baabul ki duaaein leti jaa from Neelkamal the day after his (Rafi’s) own daughter got married:

      Rafi said he sang as if himself was once again bidding his darling daughter farewell, and that was how he succeeded in bringing so much love, yet so much poignancy, into that song.

      • Shilpi, I second Madhu – I love hearing these little anecdotes which make these people most of us only know by name seem ‘more’ real. Thank you.

        Madhu, I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about Mohammed Rafi. Even at the height of their discord, Lata Mangeshkar said that the only reason that Rafi did not stand by her in the matter of royalties was because he was such a gentle person who truly believed that music was an art form, and he merely the instrument. She said he was ‘a saint’ who did not believe in asking for more than what he thought was his due – so, when he finished recording a song, that was it – it ‘belonged’ to the producer who had paid him to sing it.

        • That is quite a compliment from Lata, Anu. And it makes me like Rafi even more!

          By the way, here’s a very sweet story about Rafi meeting one of his idols. I think you might find it rather endearing. :-)

      • I second that (or am I just repeating myself, since I did begin by saying that Shilpi mustn’t stop?) But still, I love hearing all these interesting little anecdotes.

        And I’m really looking forward to Shilpi’s blog/site about her father!

        • Feeling very, very happy, Madhu, Anu and Harvey by your enthusiastic response to my anecdotes, so I guess I have to get going on that blog soon, I appear to already have a dedicated readership.

          • Shilpi, you’ll certainly have me as a regular reader :) Your father was one of my favourite ‘character’ actors – he totally disappeared into his roles. I love films, and film stories. So, seconding Madhu once more, please go for it.

            • What I also find amazing about Tarun Bose is the fact that he was so versatile. On the one hand, he’s downright creepy as a ‘villainous character’ in a film like Anokhi Raat; on the other hand, he does such superb justice to his roles in films like Anupama or Usne Kaha Tha. He didn’t get slotted.

          • Count me in too, Shilpi. I’m always eager to read various anecdotes that you share with us so to have it all in a blog would be great.

  19. I meant to post a comment last night, but didn’t and the result was – a night with most of the songs running through my head and very little restful sleep! And all I had planned to say was that I missed seeing “Main gaoon tum so jaao …” in the list! Instead, I had “Ae gulbadan …” and “Hum aur tum aur yeh samaa …” and “Ehsaan tera hoga …” running through my head through the night! Not that it wasn’t a pleasant time, though I could have done with some sleep instead! That was all caused by my reading through the list more than once, listening to the songs and watching Shammi – and don’t laugh! Next time, please don’t make a list of such great songs, make a list of forgettable songs instead!

    • I have a pretty bad sleep disorder because of some medication I’m taking – and my doctor has given strict instructions that I’m not to get out of bed and start working or reading or whatever. I have to lie in bed with the lights out, and try to sleep. Just the other night, when I was having a lot of trouble getting to sleep, my husband took it upon himself to help – by singing Main gaaoon tum so jaao! He only knew the words of the chorus, and sang those in such a mournful voice, again and again, that I was soon yawning my head off. :-)

      So, even some good Shammi Kapoor songs, if properly rendered, can be effective sleep-inducers. I can’t imagine anybody singing O haseena zulfonwaali or Aajkal tere-mere pyaar ke charche in a way calculated to put people to sleep, but anyway…

      • You have a gem of a husband, DO!
        5-6 years back I was very sensitive to noise at night, but since I have started meditating before going to sleep it has vanished. But you have Tarun! ;-)

        “I can’t imagine anybody singing O haseena zulfonwaali or Aajkal tere-mere pyaar ke charche in a way calculated to put people to sleep, but anyway…”
        One just has to sing it in the tune of a Saigal number like Anupam Kher does it in Lamhe with yahoo. But on the other hand it is a laughter inducer!
        1:20 in

        • :-D :-D

          I’d forgotten all about this sequence! Yes, that is the one way you could get the pep out of Chaahe koi mujhe junglee kahe. (Incidentally, Tarun was singing Main gaaoon tum so jaao in a similarly Saigal-ish style. That’s why I began feeling so sleepy so soon!)

          • Harvey, Madhu, do you remember this sequence from Mr India? I thought that was one of the most brilliant sequences ever filmed! It’s one of my favourite songs. :) Especially the part about the football going to court.

            • I think I know which song this is (Shemaroo’s blocked the channel in India, so I can’t watch it).

              But if it is the one I think it is, then yes, I remember it. (Odd, that, considering I’ve forgotten most of the rest of the film. But I guess this was shown as part of Chitrahaar often enough, so it stuck with me). Lots of fun. :-)

              • What a laugh riot! Between the medley from Lamhe and the parody from Mr. India, I have been laughing away, and now I have to go and find the songs on Youtube and watch them again. I am wondering if the movies are also there on Youtube so that I can watch them, but the songs are absolutely delightful. Thanks, Harvey and Anu, for posting them here.
                DO, your husband sang “Main gaoon tum so jaao …” like Saigal? That is no mean feat – hats off to him!

  20. Okay the first screen cap is crazily super!!! And secondly, if I start to compile my list of favourite Shammi Kapoor songs, I’ll probably have to sit here doing it for the next two three days!! Arey, I even like that song from Vidhaata— “Haathon ki chand lakeeron ka…” Can you beat that???!!???

    • Sharmi, I have the advantage over you that this blog confines itself strictly to films from before the 70s – so I can safely leave out even fabulous later Shammi songs like Haathon ki chand lakeeron ka! ;-)

      But please, please do a Shammi songs list on your blog! Would love to see it.

  21. I forgot to mention that the video of Rafi singing Tumne mujhe dekha is absolutely wonderful! He has that smile on his face, and you can see it in the song itself, if you know what I mean!

    • Your comment reminded me of something interesting, Lalitha. My mother’s best friend from college, Swapna, used to know Geeta Dutt’s family. Swapna went a few times to the studio to watch Geeta Dutt (then Roy) record songs, and later told my mother that Geeta sang all her songs with an almost deadpan expression. Whether the song was romantic or sad or peppy, her expression remained pretty inscrutable. Interesting, huh? I would’ve thought at least some of the emotions of the lyrics would seep through into the singer’s face – as you can see in the case of Rafi in that live performance.

      But perhaps Rafi was (as Shilpi’s comment suggests) a warmer and more open personality than a lot of others.

      • My mother used to insist that I smile whenever I picked up the phone and said “Hello?” She felt that the listener would know that he or she was being greeted with a smile, and I have since found out that when people are being trained in Customer Service positions, they are always told to answer the phone with a smile!

    • I keep forgetting that this song is picturised on Shammi Kapoor – probably because I didn’t really like Dil Tera Deewaana, and my brain seems to have blocked out all the songs from it except the title song, which I don’t like at all.

      Come to think of it, Shammi Kapoor actually features in a lot of my favourite duets too. He had some absolutely wonderful romantic songs picturised on him. Here’s one of my favourites:

  22. I love dekh kasam se as well There was time, when it was a regular on Chaaya Geet on DD! It was in the late 70s and we didn’t have a TV and we used to go to a neighbour’s place to watch Chaaya Geet. And it used to amuse me no end!

    • Chhaya Geet was before my time. We got a TV only in about 1983 or so, and then I recall watching songs on Chitrahaar. Later Rangoli began on Sunday mornings, and I think there was something called Chitramala which had songs from regional films… we’d watch those too, though most of the time we couldn’t understand much of what was going on.

  23. Due to lack of space in the sub thread where the discussion is about lost siblings in kumbh mela, I’m writing here.
    Anu, DO, all you have to do is to check some birthmarks like mole on the feet/shoulder/finger etc or search your heirlooms for some recognisable locket. :-D

    • Anu’s husband is off holidaying right now, but Anu’s promised to ask him, when he returns, to write a song for both of us (Anu and I) to memorise. That way, at least we’ll have a common song to sing to recognise each other by should we run into each other. And knowing the crazy coincidences that seem to govern our lives, I wouldn’t be surprised if we did run into each other someday!

      P.S. Come to think of it, pacifist, even you and I have discovered the world’s a small place, right? :-)

    • pacifist, we are ‘original’ hmph! :) No lockets for us. We have the wooden salad spoon and fork that will help us recognise each other when we meet. Righ, Madhu?

      And yes, we definitely need a song. I shall commission my husband to write one for us asap. :)

      Madhu, one more for your parody list – the song was quite well-done, even though the film itself was syrupy sweet.

      • Oh yes, of course. The wooden salad spoon and fork!!
        What a pity it isn’t chaku/churi then you could have sung the song chakku churiyan tez karalo. This would have brought out any lost sibling with the right kind of chakku/churi.

        • I can just imagine Anu and I wandering around singing for people to bring out their chaakus and chhuris! Frankly, even in Delhi, I’ve not come across a knife-sharpener in years. Or perhaps I just live in the more modern part of Delhi, where people simply throw away knives when they go blunt…

      • I’d forgotten that song from Hum Saath Saath Hain – even though, oddly enough, I have seen the film. (‘Odd’, because I didn’t watch too many films at the time this one was released. I remember finding the film very irritating – other than one particular sequence from when Mohnish Behl’s character is marrying Tabu’s character, nothing very much has remained in my memory of it).

        Oh, and my mum chucked away the salad servers after one of them got a large crack in it. So we’ll have to think of an alternative…

  24. Hi,
    I am in a rush now,but let me compliment you on making this list.if you do not mind.I am only writing this because not even once (BY ANYBODY) Jaikishan’s name has not been mentioned.It really hurts.I live,eat,drink sleep ……Jai.According to me he has played a very important role in Shammi’s career.At least three songs – Ehsan tera,Is rang and Aye Gulbadan are Jai’,That makes it 30%,in your list.I am not sure of Dheere chal,it sounds Shankar’s.Akele Akele is Shankars.But frankly speaking these two songs will not feature in my list.Instead I would put Jai’s Tum mujhe Yun and Janam Janam Ka Saath hai or even Jab muhabbat jawan hoti hai.I would like to ask you if Teri pyaari pyaari surat ko would have been in your list if it was a Shammi song instead of Rajendar?This was the only song where Shammiji literally fought with Jai but Jai gave this song to Rajendar who was also a close friend of Jai but not closer than Shammiji.

    Shammiji was very close to Jai.He met him last just a day before Jai passed away.Tomorrow is my Jai’s b’day.Please lets remember him all of us.

    I hate to say this but after Jai’s demise I did not find any good score from SJ (except Sanyasi)

    • “I am only writing this because not even once (BY ANYBODY) Jaikishan’s name has not been mentioned.It really hurts.”

      Ah, well… what can I say, Raju?

      Considering this is a post on Shammi Kapoor’s songs (note: songs featuring in a special week on Shammi Kapoor, so the focus is the actor), and the fact that a lot of people (me included) would not be able to tell the difference between songs composed by Shankar and songs composed by Jaikishan… it’s not really surprising, is it?

      And no, I don’t particularly like Teri pyaari-pyaari soorat ko, so I’m happy enough that it went to Rajendra Kumar instead of being used on Shammi.

  25. The other Shammi Kapoor songs I love are “Masoom Chehra Yeh Qatil Adaayen” from Dil tera deewana and “Cham Cham Baaje Re” from Jaane Anjane.

  26. No to forget “Jab Mohabbat Jawaan Hoti hai, har adaa ek zuban hoti hai” from Jawan Mohabbat and “Meri Mohabbat Jawan Rahi hai” from Janwar

    • For those not familiar with (or who had forgotten, like I did) the songs Karthik mentions, here they are:

      Maasoom chehra yeh qaatil adaayein:

      Chham-chham baaje re payaliya: (This was a new one for me; I’d heard it, but hadn’t known it was picturised on Shammi Kapoor)

      Jab mohabbat jawaan hoti hai: (I’ve seen this film, like the song too, but wouldn’t list it as a top favourite)

      The same goes for Meri mohabbat jawaan rahegi; a very good song, but not in my top ten:

  27. I love Shammi in full form in this song-Shammi’s time to manaao’fy a roothi hui Asha after Asha’s efforts in ‘O Mere Sona Re’

    • Yes, even though he only gets to ‘sing’ one verse, this is easily one of my favourite songs picturised on Shammi Kapoor (and on Asha Parekh, for that matter). I love it – the music, the picturisation, the way it’s been sung, everything!

  28. OK, one question-other than Rafi, do we have a compilation of playback singers who have lent voice for Shammi?
    I can think of Manna Da in ‘Cham Cham Baaje Re’

    • Part of that question was answered in one of the comments further up, but since we’ve long passed the 100 comment mark, I’ll put it in here again:

      I know of one film, Bluffmaster, in which three singers other than Rafi have sung playback for Shammi Kapoor: Mukesh, Hemant (as you can see, I’ve listed his Ae dil ab kahin le jaa as one of my favourites…) and Shamshad Begum.

  29. The one song that will top all my Rafi – Shammi best songs list is Ehsan Tera Hoga Mugh Par.

    This song has all ingrediants to make it great, whether wathching or listening. Shammi Kapoor (Never looked so sober before), Saira Bano (Looking so ravishing) Rafi, Hasrat, Shanker Jaikishen.

    Listen the word Mohabbat, rendered by Rafi, differently all the time which I think very few have noticed, which made this this song even more great.

    • I listened to it all over again (any reason to listen to that song! I simply adore it). And yes, I hadn’t paid attention to the way Rafi intones mohabbat differently each time. Lovely.

  30. Amazing post and blog! Shammi Kapoor and Dev Anand were the reasons I started watching Hindi movies during my growing years and the love affair with old Hindi music and cinema continues. I Was introduced to your blog by a colleague this morning who has the Englishmans cameo’s book launch invite on her work desk. I asked her if she has read the book ( I have and I loved it!) and she told me about you and the blog! :)

    • Thank you so much! :-) I’m glad you liked The Englishman’s Cameo, and I’m so happy to welcome you to my blog. I love Shammi Kapoor and Dev Anand too, and (as in your case) they were the main reason for my love affair with old Hindi cinema. There was something so attractive and charming about both Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor (besides, of course, their good looks!) that one can always count on their movies (well, at least during the late 50s ad into the mid-60s) to the entertaing – and to have great music.

  31. Just found this awesome blog! Read every word of it and saw all the links.
    Shammi Kapoor was and will always be my favorite hero. He was so charming and full of energy. He looked best in his 20s and 30s.
    My fav songs of Shammi Kapoor are ‘O haseena julfon wali’ and ‘Aaja Aaja main hoon pyar tera’. Bubbling with energy and charm. His heroines equally matching his charm.

  32. Shammiji infused the screen with vivacity,cheerfulness and mirth.He was indeed the “Rockstar” of his era.
    Some of my favorite songs of Shammiji are..

    “Dilruba Dil Pe” from Rajkumar

    “Sau Baras Ki Zindagi Se” from Sachchai

    and “Ae Dost Mere Maine Duniya Dekhi Hai” from Sachchai

  33. Just came across this blog.

    Songs missed out in my opinion:
    1. Tume Kisi Ki Jaan Ko (Rajkumar 1964) for its soulful words and music
    2. Badan Pe Sitaare (Prince 1969) for the obvious tension between the leads (I read somewhere that this movie was shot at the time when there was marital discord between Raj Kapoor, his wife and Vyjayanthimala. Shammi was close to Raj’s wife and he had apparently tried to get Raj away from Vyjayanthimala. This tension between the leads is apposite in the movie as well given the setting of the song)
    3. Mujhe Kitna Pyaar Hai Tumse (Dil Tera Deewana 1962)
    4. Aashiq Hoon Ek Mahajabeen Ka (Pagla Kahin Ka 1970)

    It’s interesting that despite playing dashing and carefree roles in most of his movies, the Shammi songs that people like are the intense ones.

    I remember that my sister gifted me a 4 cassette pack of Shammi songs with a rider that I was not play them when she was around. I began working in March 1997 and remember seeing this pack in an audio store. I only eared 2,500 at the time (and never got my salary on time). Hence, I could never end up buying it. My sister purchased it seven months later – I have thrown away most of the other audio cassettes I have (barring all my Shammi ones and a few other notables like Taj Mahal, Bemisal/Jurmana, Arzoo etc.)

    • It’s not that these songs were ‘missed out’; it’s just that they aren’t my favourites (and that’s what this blog post is all about – my favourite songs). ;-)

      Of the songs you’ve mentioned, the one I particularly like is Tumne kisi ki jaan ko; the others aren’t among my favourites, though Badan pe sitaare is on the borderline – I like it, but not enough to list it among Shammi Kapoor’s best.

      I love that anecdote about the 4-cassette Shammi pack! I can totally relate to that. :-)

  34. I agree… Tumne Mujhe Dekha is so moving, and it’s my most favourite Shammi song too…. Though SJ composed majority of his songs, it’s quite surprising that songs of Teesri Manzil, especially this solo Rafi number was composed by R.D, when he was not a big name in Bollywood.

    • Yes. Shammi was quite adamant, too, that he wanted SJ for this film as well, but when he was forced to sit down and listen to the songs RD had already composed, he couldn’t resist getting up and dancing. :-)

  35. Beautifully compiles….
    Like you said…a list of hundred would do for Shammi Kapoor songs…Here I’m more interested in the fact that the most underrated actor of Bollywood when it comes to acting (for God knows what reasons) could outperform any other actor in any genre in mere 3 minutes of a song…I’m on a spree of watching old Hindu Cinema & I am sorry, but no Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar or Raj Kapoor had the presence or the grace in movements and expression to do half the acts Shammi Kapoor could & that too so flawlessly…Maybe that is why they never tried….And those who did, like Rajesh Khanna or Jatendra, we’re so awkward…They didn’t know what to do…Just watch Gulabi Ankhain & ud know what I mean!…
    I suggest do watch the first 19 movies of Shammi…He was NEVER a whimp!
    Doing a Jack Dawson in his first movie while saving a drowning Madhubala, to a boisterous Alladin (actually) jumping of walls & skidding around palaces floor…Or an irresistibly sexy yet scary woman trafficker in Rangeen Raten who likes to ‘brand’ his victims with his cigarettes…
    Shammi Kapoor has done it all…& without ever losing class!
    So do watch some of the songs from his older movies too…I’m sure ud love em as much!
    A real good one Kehta Hai Dil from the movie Mem Saab…Where a scheming Shammi is wooing a rich already enchanted Mina Kumari for her huge inheritance!… :)
    Keep writing have replacing cassettes!

    • Woopsie!…many typos…don’t mind…it’s 3 am & I have to wake up at 6…Count on Shammi Kapoor to keep u awake all night! ;)

    • I think one reason most people don’t see past Shammi’s dancing and madcap acting is that that was the sort of image most film makers wanted to project. Especially after 1957, the biggest hits were the ones where he was being himself. But if you look at his acting in somewhat different films – Brahmachari, for example, you see how capable he was. And in a film like Professor or China Town, he portrays, seemingly effortlessly, two very different type of men.

      Talking of songs from his old films: I have seen (and reviewed) several of those films – Shama Parwana, Rail ka Dibba, Chor Bazaar, Rangeen Raatein – but didn’t warm to them too much. They’re not terrible, but they’re not as good as his later films.

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