Posted by Trivia- The Spice of Life on 17/07/2021
Party songs in golden era Hindi films are pretty stereotypical. There is music, dance and a large gathering. There is usually an instrument being played by the hero/heroine/ supporting actor/actress – which more often than not is the piano. As the piano is played and the song rendered, the guests enjoy the performance, tapping their feet or even dancing spiritedly. The piano thus is almost a permanent fixture in party songs. It symbolizes opulence and has an old world charm. Thus, it is difficult to find party songs in golden era movies where the piano is not being played. If it is not the piano, there is a live orchestra performing and the actor/actress is singing and or dancing. But, there are some songs which are sung at a party which do not fall in line with the above. It is these songs that I wanted to compile.
I have therefore tried to look up and enlist party songs of the golden era where the piano or for that matter no other instrument is being played. Here are the benchmarks. The song is a solo with no chorus. Further, the song is not accompanied by any dancing. There is no orchestra in the party that is supporting the singer. There is no microphone or stage. Songs sung at mushairas have been excluded. The songs are not necessarily serious but with no piano/orchestra and dancing, it would be difficult to call them bubbly, foot tapping songs. In most of the songs enlisted here, the singer is usually standing at one place and there are no attendant theatrics. With all these conditions, these songs would almost fall in the category of impromptu vocal performances where the singer is overwhelmed by joy or sorrow and thus bursts into a song spontaneously. Many of the songs could fall into the category of Ghazals.
1) Mehfil Mein Jal Uthi Shama (Nirala, 1950) Lyricist : Pyarelal Santoshi; Music Director : C.Ramchandra ; Palyback Singer : Lata Mangeshkar. The music of this movie is perhaps its only saving grace. Scathing reviews have been written about Nirala. After reading the reviews, I would not dare to see it!! In this song, there is Madhubala singing, rather melancholically, in a mehfil (party) with the shama (candles in ornate candle stands here) lit up. She is married to a Maharaja whom she does not love. Her beloved is Dev Anand – who plays a doctor in the movie. She sings this song for Dev Anand in front of her husband and all his friends and relatives. You can very well imagine how blasphemous this would be. This is why you can see the audience squirming. There are quite a few disapproving glances being exchanged as well.
2) Aansoo Samajh Ke Kyon Mujhe (Chaaya, 1961) Lyricist : Rajinder Krishan; Music Director : Salil Chowdhury ; Playback Singer : Talat Mahmood. This is a typical example of a party song without an instrument being played. The singer stands at one place, singing soulfully. There are no histrionics. It is an outpouring of the hero’s emotions, as his love has been spurned on account of of his poverty. Talat’s velvety, quivering voice, Salil Chowdhury’s lilting music and Sunil Dutt’s controlled display of emotions on screen make this song a very memorable party song. Rajinder Krishan’s soul stirring lyrics are understood by those that they are meant for.
3) Jaane Woh Kaise Log The Jinke (Pyaasa, 1957) Lyricist : Sahir Ludhianvi; Music Director : S.D.Burman ; Playback Singer : Hemant Kumar. This masterpiece from the movie Pyaasa is so very poignant and melancholic. This song can be termed as the best ode to unrequited love. Hemant Kumar’s voice continues to haunt you even after the song is over. Sahir’s lyrics leave you speechless. He sums up the ways of the selfish, materialistic world so consummately. Guru Dutt’s body language and his expressive face convey so much. S.D.Burman has kept the music subdued and it is the voice of Hemant Kumar that is dominant.
4) Ya Dil Ki Suno Duniyawalon (Anupama, 1966) Lyricist : Kaifi Azmi; Music Director : Hemant Kumar ; Playback Singer : Hemant Kumar. This is another party song sung by Hemant Kumar, again brutally attacking the self-centred world. This song also sums up the theme of the movie – ek phool chaman mein aisa khila, maali ki nazar mein pyaar nahin. In this movie, the female lead’s (Sharmila Tagore’s) mother dies on the same day that she is born. Thus, her father (unnecessarily) holds her responsible for her mother’s death. She does not get the fatherly love that she is entitled to, for no fault of hers.
Just like the Pyaasa song above, in this song too, Dharmendra stands to render a slow poignant song in a room teeming with guests who have assembled to celebrate Shashikala’s birthday (which also happens to be Sharmila’s birthday). He describes the unjust behaviour of the world towards the leading lady. Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics are spot on. What makes this song special and actually sets in apart is that it comes right after a lively song (Kyon Mujhe Itni Khushi De Di) and dance – with Deven Verma on the piano and Shashikala dancing and singing away joyously. Thus, the change in the mood from merry to sombre gets very well highlighted.
5) In Hawaon Mein In Fizaon Mein (Gumraah, 1963) Lyricist : Sahir Ludhianvi; Music Director : Ravi ; Playback Singer : Mahendra Kapoor. This solo song is a sad version of a duet that was sung by both Sunil Dutt and Mala Sinha in happier times. Though there is a very small part that Asha Bhosle sings in this version, it is more of an audio flashback of the duet that was sung earlier. All plans have gone awry with Mala Sinha having to marry her brother-in-law after the sudden death of her sister. Sunil Dutt, Mala Sinha’s lover, is devastated; it is then that this song is sung at a party hosted by Mala Sinha’s father. Sunil Dutt is the miserable, dejected and heartbroken lover who has just not been able to come to terms with the betrayal of his lady. Thus, there is an outpouring of grief in a party at her residence.
6) Hum Aapki Mehfil Mein Bhule Se (Jabse Tumhe Dekha Hain, 1963) Lyricist : Shailendra; Music Director : Dattaram Wadkar ; Playback Singer : Md. Rafi. This is a soulful song which is lesser heard. It echoes the feelings of Pradeep Kumar who plays the role of a lover who has been betrayed. The lady is rather distraught at his outpourings as there is more than meets the eye. This is sung at a party perhaps to celebrate the engagement of the lady with another gentleman. Geeta Bali looks as gorgeous as ever. The music director – Dattaram – has made a slow tune which brings out the pathos in Rafi’s voice very well.
7) Chalke Teri Aankhon Se (Aarzoo, 1965) Lyricist : Hasrat Jaipuri; Music Directors : Shankar Jaikishan ; Playback Singer : Md. Rafi. For a change, here is a party song which lifts your mood. Sadhana looks heavenly in the song. Rafi has rendered this song with great finesse. The music directors Shankar Jaikishan have composed a very slow and sweet tune for this Ghazal. Rajendra Kumar is disguised as an old Hakim. It is Sadhana’s birthday and he is implored to present a Ghazal on the occasion. He is all over the place and even manages to get close to Sadhana as he sings, with no one smelling a rat. He presents a Ghazal in chaste Urdu. It turns out that the lyrics of the song which are written by Hasrat Jaipuri were perhaps borrowed/inspired by the lines penned by Majaz Lucknowi. Majaz’s original lines from his Ghazal titled ‘Unka Jasn- e – Saalgirah’ were:-
Chhalke teri aankhon se sharaab aur zyaada mahken teri aariz se gulaab aur zyaada ….. allah kare zor - e - shabaab aur zyaada
8) Meri Zindagi Mein Aati (Kanyadaan, 1968) Lyricist : Hasrat Jaipuri ; Music Directors : Shankar Jaikishan ; Playback Singer : Md. Rafi. The team that gave the Aarzoo song once again worked the same magic. However, this time the song is serious and the hero is Shashi Kapoor. Shashi sings at a party with Asha Parekh looking around rather embarrassed and dejected. He does not move from his place and is literally fixed to the spot. The song is one of wishful thinking. This movie, based on the clichéd theme of child marriage, is not watchable. But its songs are memorable.
9) Koi Nazraana Lekar Aaya Hun Main (Aan Milo Sajna, 1970) Lyricist : Anand Bakshi ; Music Directors : Laxmikant Pyarelal ; Playback Singer : Md. Rafi. This is a beautiful romantic song sung by Rafi for Rajesh Khanna. Kishore Kumar was the one who would usually sing for Rajesh Khanna. Rajesh Khanna is surprised to find that the party being thrown is actually his lady love’s birthday bash. He has come without a gift; hence, this song becomes his gift or Nazraana. Here again, there is no dancing and no orchestra. Aan Milo Sajna was a big hit and had many other memorable songs. [Three out of ten songs of my list have Asha Parekh as the heroine!]
10) Teri Galiyon Mein Na Rakhenge Kadam (Hawas, 1973) Lyricist : Sawan Kumar ; Music Director : Usha Khanna ; Playback Singer : Md. Rafi. This is a gem of a song in a movie best avoided. Usha Khanna is the music director and Sawan Kumar the lyricist (whom she was then married to). The song is actually an eyesore – be it Anil Dhawan’s outfit, Pradeep Kumar’s wig or Bindu’s fawning. The only good thing about the song is the music, Rafi’s voice and Neetu Singh’s presence. This song is one where a heart broken lover is bidding good bye to his lover in a party with drinks flowing generously. Despite the pathetic picturization of the song, it still remains one of Rafi’s best songs of the 1970s.
With this, I come to the end of my list of solo party songs which have no musical instruments being played alongside. If you notice carefully, barring one, all the others are male solos. I couldn’t find female solos that would fit the bill. I am sure there must be quite a few, which I am not aware of. I would be delighted if more such songs can be added to the list by any one who happens to read this post.
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