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The Worldly Songs

Posted on Trivia – The Spice of Life on 08/11/2022

After love and life, I feel the world is a subject on which there are different takes in film songs. Duniya (दुनिया) or the world is commented upon, in many a song. This post is devoted to songs which analyse the world as it is with no reference to the maker of the world – i.e. God or duniyabananewala. There is no attempt to seek refuge at the altar of god or rhetorically invoke God in any of the songs. These are songs which suggest that the world is as we make it. The almighty must not be dragged into the scene. The ways of the world are discussed sometimes with a lot of satire. Hypocrisy, underhand dealings, moral depravity are all spoken about. There are some songs which occasionally point out a few positive aspects. Many a song is in the form of a street or stage performance. The protagonist is not seen in some of the songs. I have included both solos and duets.

Well, I am steering clear of songs which speak of the world of love or or for that matter have anything to do with romance. I must also add here that there are some songs which discuss the ways of the world without saying so in so many words. Take for example the song Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwaala from Shri 420 or Deewana Aadmi Ko Banati Hain Rotiyan from Kali Topi Laal Rumaal. I have included such songs too in my playlist. The lyrics are perhaps the most important in these songs as they are light hearted but hard hitting. They are dripping with sarcasm and irony.

So here is my list of the state of the world songs. These largely pertain to the golden era and are not arranged in any particular order.

1) Yeh Duniya Hain Ek Jhamela (Jhamela, 1953) Lyricist: Rajinder Krishan; Music Director : C.Ramchandra ; Playback Singer : Chitalkar (C.Ramchandra). Riding high on the success of Albela, Bhagwan tried to work the same magic in yet another movie with the same ensemble but with comparatively lesser success. The songs of this movie do not have the same recall value as those of Albela.

This light hearted song from Jhamela, the title song, presumably featuring Bhagwan (the video of the song is not available) describes the world as a jhamela (झमेलाa mess or a problem). Hoarding and parsimony, the impermanence of life and physical beauty, class differences – are of these aspects of the world all very humorously brought out in the lyrics of Rajinder Krishan.

yeh duniya hai ek jhamela
chaar dinon ka hai mela

kanjoos jo makhee choos ho
jode baithke kaudi kaudi
arre jahaan bhi ruk gayi chalte chalte
beta saans ki ghodi
phir saath na jaaye dhela
motor tez chalaanewale
baat yeh meri maan
arre jinke paas nahi hai motor
woh bhi hai insaan
tu dhan daulat mein khela

2) Sambhal Ke Yeh Duniya Hai (Sitaron Se Aagey, 1958) Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri; Music Director : S.D.Burman ; Playback Singer : Md. Rafi. This is a typical Rafi -Johny Walker song, with a band of pickpockets deflecting the attention of their victims. Even as they warn the people around about the wayward ways of the world, they go about their business of picking pockets. S.D.Burman’s music is top class with various instruments taking centre stage in different parts of the song. The lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri are light-hearted but leave you thinking. I love the way Rafi songs the line Nahin Nahin Ek Baat Kehta Hun Bhai after each gem of advice.

gagari sukhi bail pyaasa
kaale megha paani de
akal ka andhha
gaanth ka pooraa
phir koi aasaami de
sambhal ke ye duniya hai
nagar hoshiyaaron ka
idhar aankh jhapakaayi aur
udhar maal yaaron ka

kab dekhi hai haathon ki toone safaayi
reh jaayega raste mein
deta duhaayi
pukaare laakh tu saayin
koi thookega kabhi naahin

ye duniya hai duniya se
umeed kaisi
ho sakta tera dushman
tera padosi
nikal bhaage na gharwaali
lagaakar hoth mein laali
ye saare tan ke ujle
kaale hain man ke
jeena hai to jee pyaare
chaalaak ban ke
nahin samjha agar babu
to hai bilkul hi too budhhu
ek baat kehta hoon bhai

3) Matlab Ki Is Duniya ( Halla Gulla, 1954) Lyricist: Saba Afghani; Music Director : Nisar Bazmi ; Playback Singers : Md. Rafi & Asha Bhosle. This was another movie produced by Bhagwaan. Such songs were the hallmark of his films. The female lead of the movie was Shakila. The video of the song is not available. It appears to be a street performance. The lyrics of the song are again have a hidden message of moving with the times.

Matlab ki is duniya ka hai ye kaisa dastur
ho dukh me ho to paas rahe
aur sukh me ho to dur
jag me chalti ka naam gaadi
jo nikal gaye aji vo sambhal gaye
baithe rah gaye anadi
jag me chalti ka naam gaadi
rang birangi hai ye duniya
tum bhi zamaane ke sath chalo nahi ruko

4) Tak Dhoom Tak Dhoom Baaje (Bambai ka Babu, 1960) Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri; Music Director : S.D.Burman ; Playback Singer: Manna Dey. This is a hidden gem in a movie whose other songs became more popular. This is the only song sung by Manna Dey. Unfortunately, Manna Dey was chosen more for such songs which deprived him of opportunities to display his versatility. This tune was originally composed by S.D.Burman for a Bangla folk song Ami Takdum Takdum Bajai Bangla Desher Dhol which sings praises of Bengal. In the movie Bambai Ka Babu, S.D.Burman uses the same tune and a few of the words to weave another musical story. On screen is Dev Anand who has just been released from prison singing with his street urchin friends. He exposes the hypocrisy of the world. He also wishes that the next generation should live in a better world.

Tak dhum tak dhum baaje dunia tera dhol re
jitni badi aawaz utna bada pol re

dekho inhe inki sidhi hai chaal
mathe pe sidha tilak laal laal

daulat ka gaana bhajan ki hai taal
aur karni jo puchho to bilkul hai gol re

ek wo ke mahlon me mauje udaaye
ek hum ke footpath par din bitaye
unke to kutte bhi motor pe jaaye
thokar ham khate phire banke football re

humpe jo biti so biti yaha par
jo mere baad honge jawa
aye kash dekhe na wo ye sama...

5) Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hain (Pyaasa, 1957) Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi; Music Director : S.D.Burman ; Playback Singer: Md.Rafi. If there is one song that is dripping with irony and has the most blunt lyrics exposing the harsh contradictions of the world, then it is this. There is Rafi singing for Guru Dutt, who is presumed to be dead but appears on stage and takes everyone by surprise. The movie itself in a way is about the selfishness and hypocrisy of the world. Each accusation of the protagonist stems from his own experiences. This is one of Rafi’s best songs where there is minimum music support. It is slow and the crescendo gives you goose bumps.

Ye mahalon, ye takhton, ye taajon ki duniyaa
ye inasaa ke dushman samaajon ki duniyaa 
ye daulat ke bhukhe rivaazon ki duniyaa
ye duniyaa agar mil bhi jaaye to kyaa hai 

har ek jism ghaayal, har ek ruh pyaasi
nigaaho me ulajhan, dilo me udaasi
ye duniyaa hai yaa aalam-e-badahavaasi
ye duniyaa...

jahaan ik khilaunaa hai insaan ki hasti
ye basti hai murdaa-paraston ki basti
yahaan par to jeevan se hai maut sasti
ye duniyaa ...

javaani bhatakti hai badkaar banakar
javaa jism sajte hai baazaar banakar
jahaa pyaar hotaa hai vyaapaar banakar
ye duniyaa

ye duniyaa jahaan aadmi kuchh nahin hai
wafaa kuchh nahin, dosti kuchh nahin hai
jahaan pyaar ki kadr hi kuchh nahin hai
ye duniyaa agar mil bhi jaaye to kyaa hai

jalaa do, jalaa do ise phuk daalo ye duniyaa
mere saamane se hataa lo ye duniyaa
tumhaari hai tum hi sambhalo ye duniyaa

6) Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwaala (Shree 420, 1955) Lyricist: Shailendra; Music Directors : Shankar Jaikishan ; Playback Singer: Manna Dey. This song like the one from Bambai Ka Babu is sung by Manna Dey. While it is Raj Kapoor pouring his heart out, it is also a commentary on the ways of the world without using the word duniya or jag. Nepotism, class differences, poverty, corruption – all of them are highlighted in a satirical fashion as Raj Kapoor entertains the other street dwellers, playing the dafli and singing, much to the annoyance of the Sethji who fumes. The crowd around completely empathises as they have had the same experiences.

Dil ka haal sune dilwaala
seedhi si baat na mirch masala
kahke rahega kahne waala

hay karoon kya soorat aisi
gaanth ke poore chor ke jaisi
chalta firta jaan ke ek dil
bin dekhe pahchaan ke ek din
baandh ke le gaya policewala...

budhe daroga ne chashme se dekha
aage se dekha peeche se dekha
upar se dekha neeche se dekha
bole ye kya kar baithe ghotaala
hai ye kya kar baithe ghotaala
ye to hai thaanedaar kaa saala...

7) Deewaana Aadmi Ko Banaati Hain Rotiyan (Kali Topi Laal Rumaal, 1959) Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri; Music Director : Chitragupt ; Playback Singer: Md.Rafi. This song which shows the mastery of Majrooh Sultanpuri is perhaps the best way of showing how hunger, poverty and greed are the main driving forces of this world. People end up doing what they may not want to actually do, only to fulfil their basic needs. And then there is the avaricious, unethical and overambitious lot which wants to exploit every situation for personal gain; thus, the dream to reach the moon too is because there are opportunities to exploit there as well!!The song is sung by Agha on screen accompanied by a distraught and shocked KumKum.

Tujh ko patey ki baat bataaun main jaaneman
kyun chaand par pahunchne ki insaan ko hai lagan

insaan ko chaand mein nazar aati hain rotiyaan
nazar aati hain rotiyaan

8) Ajab Hai Is Duniya Ke Raaz (Dark Street, 1961) Lyricist: Gulshan Bawra; Music Director : Dattaram Wadkar ; Playback Singer: Geeta Dutt. The video of the song is not available. From the tone and tenor, it appears to be a street performance. I wonder why the movie was called Dark Street. The name is rather off beat. It speaks of how people take to flattery especially if the other person is rich.

Ajab hain is duniya ke raaz
jo bhi mile wo maskebaaz
lagaate jaayen maska aur khaate jaayen maska

nagad naarayan paas hai jab tak
dete hain jhuk jhuk log salaami
paisa hai ustaad sabhi ka
karte hain sab paise ki ghulaami

9) Yeh Hain Duniya Ka Bazaar (Bazaar, 1949) Lyricist: Qamar Jalalabadi; Music Director : Shyam Sunder ; Playback Singer: Md.Rafi. This song is a street performance, featuring Shyam, the male lead of the film. This is also the title song of the movie. It speaks again of materialism winning over everything else. The tune of this song reminds me somewhat of the song Mere Sapnon Ki Rani (Shah Jahan, 1946). This song, however, mentions that the world has both joy and sorrow.

Yeh hai duniya ka baazaar
is baazaar mein dekha aa humne
hansne rone ka vyopaar
kahin milen aansu ki ladiyaan 
kahin milen aasha ke haar
kahin dard kahin pyaar
kahin jeet kahin haar
ye hai duniya ka baazaar

aji aapse miliye
aap kaun hain shehar ke bade raees
kaam aapka jeb kaatna
naam chaar sau bees
four twenty
inse bachke raho sarkaar
ke ye hain choron ke sarkaar
ye hai duniya ka baazar

10) Duniya Ka Maza Le Lo (Bahaar, 1951) Lyricist: Rajinder Krishan; Music Director : S.D.Burman; Playback Singer: Shamshad Begum. Marking the debut of Vyjantimala in the Hindi film industry, this movie had some wonderful songs. Geeta Dutt and Shamshad Begum are the two female playback singers of the movie. Shamshad’s voice however does not seem to suit Vyjantimala. The song nevertheless is a gem with very upbeat lyrics by Rajinder Krishan. For a change, this song is all about the world being a good place when offence is adopted as the best form of defence. The song at hand is a stage performance featuring Vyjantimala.

Duniyaa kaa mazaa le lo
duniyaa tumhaari hai

duniyaa ko laat maaro duniyaa salaam kare
mud mud salaam kare jhuk jhuk salaam kare
bich bich salaam kare
kabhi namaste ji to kabhi raam raam kare

duniya ke baap ho to tum

duniyaa se daroge to duniyaa dabaayegi

aankhen dikhaayegi
rob jamaayegi ji hansi udaayegi
chain naa lene degi jaan jalaayegi

taan ke seenaa chalo

This ends my list of ten songs that speak of the world as it, without window dressing or blaming the creator. These are not euthanasic. The lyrics of the songs are laced with humour and irony. And the intent is to live, fight and reform.

Disclaimer claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, daily motion and other platforms only to make the post audio visual. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.

9 thoughts on “The Worldly Songs

  1. The first song that came to mind for me on this topic was Manna Dey’s “Duniya Na Mane” from the film of the same name. A livelier example might be “Duniya Ki Halat Naram Garam,” to which Anup recently introduced me. I don’t know how well the chorus really fits your theme–it seems like intentional nonsense–but the body of the song certainly offers a perspective on both the state of the world and how people ought to get through it.


      1. Oh! I have heard of the 1937 “Duniya Na Maane”/”Kunku,” but I don’t believe I had heard any of the songs. It’s a lovely, contemplative song–and what a treat to get to see the picturization as it appeared in this very old film!


  2. I have a list, in the making, of ‘descriptors of the world’ songs – a couple of these are there too. 🙂 Here’s another one that I like, with Johnny Walker spouting a cynical philosophy. Yeh duniya gol hai from Chaudhvin ka Chaand:


    1. I have a list, in the making, of ‘descriptors of the world’ songs – a couple of these are there too. That sounds interesting! I will wait for your post. Thanks for the song from Chaudvin Ka Chand. The song you have added again affirms the fact that songs that speak of the world are usually filmed on the comedians/sidekicks.

      Liked by 1 person

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