Ten of my favourite jeep songs

This post has been floating about in my head for a long time—at least, ever since I did a post on car songs (in which I’d mentioned pretty clearly that I meant only cars, not jeeps). When some readers began putting in jeep songs in the comments too, I figured I had to do a jeep songs list sometime. So here it is, after a long wait.

Unlike cars, which seem to be all over the place in Hindi cinema, being driven both through the countryside and in cities, jeeps are a little less ubiquitous. And there seem to be unwritten rules about who drives them (invariably men). And, more often than not, men in the countryside—preferably a hilly countryside. There’s that perception, I suppose, of the jeep being a rugged vehicle, one suited for rough roads and steep inclines: not the sort of thing a swanky imported car in 50s or 60s cinema would be able to handle.

Jeep Songs

I imposed a couple of restrictions on myself for this post. Firstly, a song qualifies as a ‘jeep song’ only if the singer is in the jeep (he or she may not be driving). Secondly, the singer should be in the jeep for at least ¾ of the song.

So, here goes. Ten jeep songs, all (except two, which are on the cusp as far as period is concerned) from pre-70s films that I’ve seen. These are in no particular order.

1. Pukaarta chala hoon main (Mere Sanam, 1965): This, despite the fact that it’s been picturized on Biswajeet—not one of my favourites—is the first song that always comes to my mind when I think of jeep songs. The music (OP Nayyar) is simply sublime, and Rafi’s rendition—so romantic, yet flirtatious—makes it an absolute winner for me. The scenery is beautiful (that avenue of poplars! The river and that quaint wooden bridge!), Asha Parekh is lovely, and I can listen to this over and over and over again.

Incidentally, there’s this interestingly little video on Youtube of the original guitarist, Sunil, playing the tune now.

Pukaarta chala hoon main, from Mere Sanam

2. Mere sapnon ki raani kab aayegi tu (Aradhana, 1969): And this is the second song that occurs to me when ‘jeep songs’ is mentioned. Also a serenade to a beautiful stranger. Also in the Himalayas—though this is en route to Darjeeling, and actually on a mountain road, rather than the flat Kashmir Valley road of Pukaarta chala hoon main. And Rajesh Khanna’s dashing Air Force officer, instead of trying to drive and sing at the same time, takes the help of his friend, Sujit Kumar, who does the driving, leaving our hero free to do not just the singing, but the grinning, the flinging around of the body, the everything-that-lets-her-know-she’s-admired. (Sujit Kumar does join in on the mouth organ now and then, but that’s about it).

Mere sapnon ki raani kab aayegi tu, from Aradhana

3. Kaun hai jo sapnon mein aaya (Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan, 1968): From inviting the ‘queen of one’s dreams’ to come on in and become a part of life, to wondering who this is who’s come into his dreams and brought heaven down to earth with her—another jeep song by a besotted lover. Rajendra Kumar drives up (and all alone, too, driving fairly fast, yet finding the time to gesture and sing and all) from the plains into the hills, past tea gardens and into—literally, though the song ends before that—the realm of fluffy white clouds. Not an actor I care for much, but I like the music and rendition of this song, and Rajendra Kumar wasn’t too bad in this film.

Kaun hai jo sapnon mein aaya, from Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan

4. Soch rahi ki kahoon na kahoon (Ek Phool Chaar Kaante, 1960): After all those songs with lovelorn men singing romantic songs for passing women or absent sweethearts, a song sung by a woman for the man she loves. Two of my favourite actors—Waheeda Rehman and Sunil Dutt—come together in this sweetly romantic song from a delightful film about a man who ends up having to don four different disguises and personas in order to win over the four uncles of his girlfriend. Here, the young couple escapes into the countryside, where he can be himself. Driving an open jeep, where his girl even briefly sits on the hood, singing to him, ruffling his hair affectionately, telling him how much she loves him.

The music, incidentally (by Shankar-Jaikishan), borrows rather freely from Piccolissima Serenata, composed by Antonio Amurri and Gianni Ferrio.

Soch rahi ki kahoon, from Ek Phool Chaar Kaante

5. Sun lo sunaata hoon tumko kahaani (Andaaz, 1971): And, to prove that there are different types of love, each of which can be the inspiration for a jeep-driving man to burst into song: a song for a huffy daughter. Andaaz, though it was released in 1971, has much of the late 60s in it, not least Shammi Kapoor, in what I think of as his last good role as a hero. And a really good role, too, in an unusually mature film about a widower and a widow falling in love.

In Sun lo sunaata hoon tumko kahaani, Shammi Kapoor, as the father of a little girl who’s thoroughly peeved because Daddy’s been neglecting her—or so she thinks—sets out to win her back. She walks on, putting up a show of being annoyed, while he tries to wheedle her with a kiddie song—all across the mountains, even off the road. She succumbs pretty soon, and the Daddy-daughter duet which ensues is cute.

Sun lo sunaata hoon tumko kahaani, from Andaaz

6. Masti mein chhedke taraana koi dil ka (Haqeeqat, 1964): Like Kaun hai jo sapnon mein aaya, another song in which a man driving a jeep sings of the woman he loves. Vijay Anand, as the army officer posted high up in Ladakh, with the Indo-China war looming just beyond, sings of carefree times, of the woman he loves, whom he misses.

If Haqeeqat were set (and possibly even made) a year or two later, this vehicle would probably have been the more sturdy and rugged jonga, which was introduced in 1963-64. The jonga is what is used almost exclusively in high-altitude areas like Ladakh, and that—combined with the glorious views of Ladakh that appear in this song—make Masti mein chhedke taraana koi dil ka dear to me: it reminds me of two fortnight-long road trips through Ladakh during my childhood. In a jonga, of course, and going along some of the roads (beside the Indus, along the easily recognizable Hangro Loops) the jeep drives by in this song.

Masti mein chhedke, from Haqeeqat

7. Main raahi anjaan raahon ka (Anjaana, 1969): One song that has nothing to do with love, romantic or otherwise. Rajendra Kumar, as a garage mechanic, drives through the hills and valleys near his village in his jeep. Accompanying him are his two employees-cum-friends, and between them, the three of them celebrate the essence of being footloose and fancy-free. There is a mention of hoping for love, wondering if somewhere along this way, a beloved will be waiting. At its core, though, this is a song about being a stranger, but happy. Not lonely, not aching for love.

Main raahi anjaan raahon ka, from Anjaana

8. Meri jaan meri jaan kehna maano (Do Chor, 1972): Yes, 1972 isn’t exactly ‘pre-70s’, but, like the song for Andaaz, I’m making an exception for this one. For various reasons; Dharmendra and Tanuja (both looking gorgeous here, Tanuja huffy and Dharmendra coaxing-teasing) are among my favourites; the film is rather more reminiscent, to me, of late 60s masala thrillers like Aankhen than more solidly 70s stuff like Blackmail or Dharmputra; and it’s just such a fun song. Romantic, playful, delightful.

And yes, this is one of those unusual jeep songs that’s set, not in the countryside, but in a city. Bombay, no less.

Meri jaan meri jaan kehna maano, from Do Chor

9. Tumhaare pyaar mein hum beqaraar hoke chale (Shikaar, 1968): The only song in this list in which, though the singer is male, the person driving the jeep is a woman. A very stylish Asha Parekh calmly drives through the hills while Dharmendra (as handsome as ever) tries to woo her—and successfully too. He’s also at his athletic best, riding on the step of the jeep, clambering onto its hood, then peering over the windshield, before climbing into the (still moving) vehicle through the side. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, alighting, running off to the back, and climbing in through there. Without missing a note!

A very picturesque picturization, and though they do step out of the jeep for the last verse, that’s it—the rest of the song is on the jeep.

Tumhaare pyaar mein, from Shikaar

10. Pyaar ka fasaana banaa le dil deewaana (Teesra Kaun, 1965): Teesra Kaun was one of those typical B-grade crime films of the 60s: forgettable story, not a very starry cast—but fairly hummable music. Neither Kalpana nor Feroz Khan are great favourites of mine, but this song is pleasant enough. And its picturization just goes to show how you can make a straightforward jeep song quite an ‘active’ one too. If Dharmendra managed to show a fair bit of athletic ability in Tumhaare pyaar mein hum beqaraar hoke chale, both Kalpana and Feroz Khan show they’re not to be scoffed at, either: they even stand up and dance, lie down on the hood, and do just about everything short of the hula in that jeep. Not always in a moving jeep, but still.

Pyaar ka fasaana banaa le dil deewaana, from Teesra Kaun

Which are your favourite jeep songs?

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77 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite jeep songs

  1. I think you have covered most of the Jeep songs. The first 3 were the ones that sprung to my mind instantly. Let me rack my brains and see if you missed any.

    Lovely post, Madhu!

    • Yes, Chal akela is a good song. I’ve never seen the film (or, as far as I can remember, even seen the video of this song), so hadn’t realized it’s a jeep song. Would have certainly replaced at least one of the songs on my list if I’d seen the film! Thanks for this, Ava. :-)

  2. Lovely lovely post, Madhu. 4 songs that come to my mind instantly are here – Pukarta chala hoon man (Ofcourse!), Re mama re mama re, Kaun hai jo sapnon mein aaya and Mere sapnon ki rani…

    I like this lovely song, though past your cut-off date, Aaj se pehle (Chitchor)…

    Also here are two songs from the early 90s, not ones I particularly like… but listing as these are jeep songs… The first is from Damini, jab se tumko dekha hai sanam:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZUZptImIvw

    And then that song from Saajan (1991), in which Salman khan monkeys around – it has a jeep and many cycles too… from what I remember….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPraXDgjYZA

    • Thank you, Harini.I’m glad you liked the post (and I have no idea why WordPress keeps sending your comments into moderation! Crazy).

      Oh, I like Aaj se pehle aaj se zyaada a lot. Really nice song, and such a ‘different’ film. I remember Chitchor being one of the first films I saw that was not the typical formula type, and I was rather taken aback. Disappointed, too, back then, because I was a kid and too used to the usual. :-)

      I remember the Damini song, but had never come across Tumse milne ki tamanna hai. I think I’d heard it, but have definitely not seen it before.

    • Aaj se pehle is a very different song from the rest in Chitchor. While the others are based on some classical dhun or the other ,- Yaman, Tilang and some pentatonic raga – could be Dhani or Bhoopali or something else, difficult to analyze properly with my very limited knowledge – this has a touch of the west. Like many songs of the Burman family and SJ, it changes from minor in the mukhra to major in the antara, while the tonic remains the same. Best when sung with a guitar.

    • Kya khoob lagti ho was on my I-wish-this-was-in-the-60s list! Not so much because I like the song (it’s all right, just not one of my favourites), but because of Hema Malini. I think she looks so absolutely gorgeous in this song – and throughout the film, really. Simply lovely.

    • Aha aha aa yeh suhaana safar was on my long list! I dropped it, eventually, because there were other songs that I liked more, but it’s still not a bad song. (And both Shashi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore were at their beautiful dimpled best in the film).

  3. Wonderful post! The first 3 are big favourites and an extra mark for no.3 for Rafi’s rendition of “Oh Priyaaaaaaa-aaaah-aaaa-aaa-aa”. The hero comes to a rather hasty conclusion at the end of the song ….and the film continues proving “Zindagi ko maut aati hai, lekin, rooh ko maut aatee nahin hain. Ishk raushan hai raushan rahega, roshni iski jaatee nahin hai”.

    • Dekha hai teri aankhon mein pyaar hi pyaar doesn’t qualify, really (if you read my post), because he spends very little time in the jeep. Most of the song is sung with Dharmendra and Vyjyanthimala off the jeep.

    • Yes, Aaj se pehle aaj se zyaada is lovely. (By the way, if you add any more songs, could I please request you to write the name of the song in your comment? Videos have a habit of vanishing off Youtube, and if someone sees your comment a couple of months from now, they may well not know which song you’re talking about. Thank you!)

    • Keh doon tumhe ya chup rahoon is a nice song – I like it a lot. Perhaps a little less than 3/4th of the time is spent in the jeep, but that’s nitpicking, I guess.

  4. Nice List. Absolutely love “Masti mein ched ke taraana”. First 55 seconds or so, is just music and magical humming of Rafi saab

    • Thank you! Yes, Masti mein chhedke starts off beautifully, doesn’t it? (Proceeds well, too, but that initial humming and music are really nice). Pity this song tends to get forgotten in comparison to other songs from Haqeeqat, such as Kar chale hum fida and Hoke majboor mujhe usne bhulaaya hoga.

  5. Timeframe issues apart, do stationary jeeps count? And though the girl keeps jumping on and off, she doesn’t stray too far off from the jeep, except for the second verse where they both sit on the porch. The song’s notable also because Shatrughan’s done his own singing here. Pretty impressive!

    “Ek Baat Suni Hai” (Naram Garam, 1981)

  6. Thanks for post! First two for me are benchmark jeep song! And special thanks for Ek Phool Chaar Kaante – the song is very nice and I didn’t know about the film but now I’m sure that should see it – Sunil disguised is not so often!
    From other jeep song I like a lot Yaaron Neelam Karo Susti from Prem Pujari – I prefer younger Dev but this rare Kishore-Bhupinder duet is amazing.

    Aaj Se Pehle Aaj Se Jyada from Chitchor is off the time frames but I hope you don’t mind:)

    • I don’t mind Aaj se pehle aaj se zyaada at all! It’s such a nice song. And, even though I’ve seen Prem Pujari, I’d completely forgotten about Yaaron neelaam karo susti; somehow, the only songs I remember from that film are Phoolon ke rang se, Rangeela re and Taaqat watan ki humse hai. God knows how I forgot this – it’s a good song, both as far as music is concerned and the rendition. Thank you for that!

      You should watch Ek Phool Chaar Kaante. It’s lots of fun, and though Sunil Dutt and Waheeda Rehman are often better-known for their rather more ‘serious’ roles, this one has them going pretty madcap.

  7. Madhu, I won’t say what I was going to say. :)

    But I will add:
    Raahi mil gaye raahon mein from Dil Deke Dekho

    This is from a period outside the purview of your blog, and it is not a great song, but it is Shashi. You have Neetu driving, and while part of the song is in a park, I would say it fulfils your ‘3/4 time in a jeep’ stipulation.

    • “Madhu, I won’t say what I was going to say. :)

      What? That you also have a jeep songs list somewhere on my computer?

      But. How could I have forgotten Raahi mil gaye raahon mein?!! Arrrgggh. I want to hit myself over the head for that. Seriously. So stupid of me! :-( This one would certainly have figured on my list if I’d remembered.

      • Yes, I was very, very surprised when I didn’t see it there. To me, apart from Pukarta chala hoon main (the quintessential Jeep song!) and Mere sapnon ki rani kab aayegi tu, this is the one that pops to mind.

        And yes, that is just what I was going to say. Out of your list, the only songs that weren’t on my list were the ones from Teesra Kaun, Anjana and Do Chor. :)

        • “Out of your list, the only songs that weren’t on my list were the ones from Teesra Kaun, Anjana and Do Chor. :)

          Hah! I’m not surprised. The Teesra Kaun song isn’t too well-known (one reason I’m familiar with it is that it once came on a Chitrahaar that we recorded, so we ended up watching it again and again); the Anjaana song isn’t great, and the Do Chor song, even though I like it, is strictly speaking from the 70s, after all… if I’d remembered Raahi mil gaye raahon mein, I’d have dropped the Anjaana song.

  8. One more example from slightly beyond your timeframe. Not a favourite song of mine, nowhere near it. But it does feature a jeep. And this time the jeep moves, even!

    (PS: Please don’t mind Shashi Kapoor’s moustache. I think it’s a disguise to fool the police (it’s not likely to fool anyone else, even in a Hindi film). Which is possibly why the cop tailing them is taking his own sweet time over things.)

    Seema, Seema, Seema (Salakhein, 1975)

    • Ah. I’ve heard this song a long time back, but hadn’t ever watched it. Cute. :-) As far as situation is concerned, it reminds me a bit of O mere raja from Johnny Mera Naam.

  9. OK, as usual I am late, caught up in some work. If this post were a restaurant review, I would tell you what it was, yes it was all about food.
    Anyway did you know how the name or brand Jeep came about? Well whether you
    are aware of it or not, I am giving you the answer anyway. Its origin lay in the words ‘General Purpose’ and the rest as the cliche goes history.
    Here is a jeep song that I like

    • Yes, I did come across that bit about how the jeep got its name, while I was doing research for this post (and for a book I’m writing, too). Interesting!

      Raah bani khud manzil is a lovely song, but it’s a car song, not a jeep song. :-)

      • Oops! Didn’t notice that, back in our childhood, hood less cars were so common that I can be forgiven for making that mistake.
        Tell u something, I just remembered. Sunil Dutt owned a jeep, his brother Som Dutt used to drive it, he used to visit music director duo Sonik- Omi who
        had their music room in the building next ours. Guess what we kids did? We played hide&seek, Dutt’s jeep was our hiding spot. Sigh! Feeling nostalgic, innocent kiddie days.

        • Wah, Shilpi! What a great jeep anecdote that is. :-) Delightful.

          I have old memories related to jeeps too. Because, when I was a little girl, and before my parents bought a car, the only vehicle we ever got to sit in was the police jeep my father had as an IPS officer in Madhya Pradesh. Sometimes, when he’d go out on inspection tours (though always only very brief ones, a couple of hours or so, and only when he knew it was to absolutely safe places), he’d take me along. Sometimes on shikaar, to shoot green pigeons. I still remember sitting between Papa and his colleague, the jeep bouncing over a dirt road, while I tried to keep awake…

          • That is a lovely memory you shared. Ok, I am always in a hurry and short of time so was not able to share something. About Shankar -Jaikishan borrowing music, well back in our childhood we used to hear gossip about how they would buy all the latest records, you know western music. It was easy they had loads of films on hand, so this was the easy way out to just pick up records and just use them. Not just them more or less most music directors at some time or the other did it and perhaps still do it, I am not too familiar with present day music.

            • To say that Shankar Jaikishan borrowed western music is a load of nonsence. They may have copied a few rock n roll numbers. They were, surely, the greatest music composers in the history of Indian cinema. Their ability to synthesise different music genre was unique and still is. In the 1950’s and 60’s they dominated popular music scene to such an extent that they had no rivalry. They were quite at ease with classical as well as modern music composition. Even to this day Shankar Jaikishan’s music sound terrific. Try and listen again.

              • “They were, surely, the greatest music composers in the history of Indian cinema.

                Music is, like all other arts, something very subjective. There are plenty of people, I’m sure (me included) who would disagree. They were good – and some of their songs are among my absolute favourites – but I wouldn’t go around assigning ‘greatest music composer’ tag to anybody in the film industry. They’ve all had bad spots, even the best of them.

            • Interesting. I wonder how much of that gossip was fact. But yes, there was a lot of ‘borrowing’ from Western tunes back then – not just SJ, but others too. Look at Usha Khanna and Dil Deke Dekho, for exxample.

    • Oh, fabulous! Kandhon se kandhe milte hain is one of my favourite songs from the past couple of decades. I was reminded of this (because of the setting, mostly, though also the reference to a beloved left behind) when I was doing the write-up for Masti mein chhedke.

      Thank you for this, Anubha.

  10. And, since nobody has put this in yet, not even in the comments (where timelines aren’t enforced!), I might as well put this in. The vehicle isn’t strictly speaking a jeep – more an SUV, but perhaps it’s worth plugging in anyway. So gaya yeh jahaan, from Tezaab.

  11. Nice post – good collection of Jeep songs :) .. My personal favorite is “Mere Sapno ki raani” as well as “Chala jaata hoon kisi ki dhoon mein”, although technically the later is not a Jeep song, just an open convertible. But both are quite fun to watch!

  12. Wow! There are few things more enjoyable than watching a Jeep song from a bollywood movie. I loved the songs you mentioned and the quintessential “Jeep” song “Pukarta Chala Hoon Main” being on the top of the list. You made my day Madhu!

    I also like the other song that didn’t qualify (Dekha hai teri ankhon main pyar hi pyar). I like “Keh doon tumhe” as well.

    I like one song that doesn’t qualify because Shashi doesn’t spend any time in stationary jeep. Sharmila stays in the jeep though she doesn’t sing. The song is “Saari Khushiyan Hain” from movie Suhana Safar (1970)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksdU-KQyolY

    Here are top five things that I associate with Jeep songs and that is why I love them:

    1. It is a happy song.
    2. It is invariably a romantic song.
    3. It usually guarantees gorgeous weather.
    4. You can count on scenic, panoramic views.
    5. Roads have to be long and winding.

    • Thank you, Ashish! I’m so glad you liked this list. And your list of what makes the quintessential jeep song hits the nail on the head. :-) Saari khushiyaan hain is a lovely song, but yes, it doesn’t really qualify (though another song from Suhaana Safar, Aha aha aa yehn suhaana safar, does).

  13. I was expecting this post! I remember your on-the-road song list as well. It was a list of songs with all possible mode of transport, if I remember it right.
    Jeeps seemed to have been the rage in the 60s, I can’t think of any in the later or earlier period, although there must be some.

    Love pukarta chala hoon main. Rafi sounds real good in it.
    I never had this great liking for meri sapnon ki rani. Maybe because it was very popular.
    S-J could have given kaun hai jo sapnon me aaya a bit less orchestra and less of this echo effect according to me. I think it would have given it a more personal note. But that is my opinion.
    Like soch rahi thi very much as well. El Phool Chaar Kaante had really good songs and so diverse genres as well.
    I’ll skip sun lo sunata hoon.
    What a wonderful song is masti me chhed ke! Could listen to it again and again. thanks for the intro to jonga. Didn’t knew about it.
    Tanuja and Dharam did make a good pair. Do you see the similarity to

    The song pyaar ka fasana is so lovely and has such a certain intimacy to it, but all these gyrations by Kalpana and Feroz Khan…

    As I see nearly all songs, which I thought, might fit in here have been covered. except maybe for this. Sorry if it has already been posted
    piya me to huyi baanwari from Shart

    2/3rds of the song are in and around a jeep, so I hope it qualifies.

    • Thank you, Harvey! I’m glad you liked several of the songs. :-) Somebody did post the Yaaron neelaam karo susti, but no matter! And thank you for the link to Fall in love with you – I thought I;’d heard all of Cliff Richard’s songs, but this one was new to me. And it certainly does bear a resemblance to the Do Chor song!

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