- Bollywood songs
Bollywood songs (often termed filmi songs) are heard far beyond the borders of
India. The lines of Bollywood songs are some of the most memorized and repeated expressions in India. Yet, since Bollywoodhas not been considered formal literature, the lyrics of the Bollywood songs have not been studied in an academic setting.
The language of the filmi songs can be complex. It is termed
Hindiin India and Urduin Pakistan. Many songs are saturated with Persian terms, others can be in " shuddha Hindi". It is not uncommon now to see usage of English words. Several dialects have been used: Braj, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Rajasthani. Occasionally a few lines in another Indian language (for example in Jya Jale [http://www.bollywhat.com/lyrics/dilse_lyr.html] ), or even a foreign language are added for mystery ( [http://www.bollywood-songs.net] ).
The lyrics are both modern and traditional.
The Nine Rasas
A rasa identifies the dominant emotion of a composition (a song or a text). In
Sanskritand Hindi literature, nine different types of Rasas are often enumerated.
# Shringar - love, sensuality and eroticism
## virah: separation
## milan: being together
# Raudra - anger, rage, and violence
# Hasya - laughter and happiness
# Vibhatsaya - disgust
# Veera - heroism
# Karuna - pathos and compassion
# Bhayanak - fear and anxiety
# Adabhuta - wonder and curiosity
# Shanta - contemplative and peaceful
This classification goes back to when the chief
patronsof literature were kings and nobles. The filmi songs are however written for common people and thus there are some common themes that are often encountered - songs for children, songs of betrayal and dejection, marriage songs, etc. that ordinary people can relate with.
ome popular representative songs
Segments of some representative songs are given here. The lines are selected from the songs to be representative of the theme. The translations given are approximate. Many of the expressions used cannot be translated into English exactly, some of the translations are chosen to be literal.
"So ja rajkumari " from
Zindagi(1940), by Kedar Sharma
This lullaby is one of the most famous songs sung by
Kundan Lal Saigal, the first of the great singers of Hindi films ( [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=So+ja+rajkumari+&search=Search video search] ).
सो जा राजकुमारी सो जा
सो जा मैं बलिहारी सो जा | सो जा राजकुमारी सो जा
सो जा मीठे सपने आएँ, सपनों में पी दरस दिखाएँ
उड़ कर रूपनगर में जाएँ, रूपनगर की सखियां आएँ
राजाजी माला पहनाएँ, चूमे मांग तिहारी सो जा
Translation::Go to sleep, princess, go to sleep.:Go to sleep, my precious one.:Sleep and see sweet dreams, in the dream see your beloved:Fly to Roopnagar and be surrounded by the maidens:The king will garland you and kiss you on the forehead
The dream thus wishes that the little girl will marry a king. Roopnagar is fictional, but may represent a story-book town [http://www.4to40.com/folktales/index.asp?article=folktales_stick] or one of several cities one ruled by a king, e.g.
"Jaane kyaa tuune kahii" from
Pyaasa(1957), by Sahir Ludhianvi
This classic song describes the onset of love ( [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Jaane+kyaa+tune+&search=Search video search] ).
जाने क्या तूने कही,जाने क्या मैने सुनी
बात कुछ बन ही गयी
सनसनाहट सी हुई,थरथराहट सी हुई
जाग उठे ख्वाब कई,बात कुछ बन ही गयी
جانے کیا تُونے کہی جانے کیا مینے سُنی
بات کُچھ بن ہی گیی
سنسناہٹ سی ہُئی تھرتھراہٹ سی ہُئی
جاگ اُٹھے کھواب کئی بات کُچھ بن ہی گیی
:I don't know what you said, and don't know what I heard, but it happened.:There was some stirring, I trembled, and many dreams arose.
The song hints at love and passion using the simplest words, without using any equivalents for the term "love".
"Ai mere pyaare vatan" from [http://www.rediff.com/entertai/2002/may/30dinesh.htm Kabuliwala] (1961), by
The song expresses the yearning for the homeland by someone who has been away for a long time( [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mere+pyare&search=Search video search] ).
ऐ मेरे प्यारे वतन, ऐ मेरे बिछड़े चमन,तुझ पे दिल क़ुरबान
तू ही मेरी आरज़ू, तू ही मेरी आबरू,तू ही मेरी जान
तेरे दामन से जो आए उन हवाओं को सलाम,चूम लूँ मैं उस ज़ुबाँ को जिसपे आए तेरा नाम ...
:O my beloved homeland, my distant paradise, I sacrifice my heart for you.
:You are my cherished desire, your are my honor, you are my life.
:I salute the breeze that has passed from your valleys, I will kiss anyone who will mention your name.
The language of this song has an
Dari (Afghanistan)flavor, the words vatan, chaman, qurban, arzu, abru are of Persian origin.
This is considered to be a song of "desh-bhakti" (patriotism, see
List of patriotic songs#India), the term vatan is taken to mean India. For overseas Indians, the song expresses their sentiments directly. For the original context of the song, please see the discussion about the movie Kabuliwala.
For the complete song see
="Ab ke baras bhej bhaiya ko baabul" from Bandini (1963), by
This sentimental song is popular during the raksha-bandhan festival which falls in the month of "Savan" (
Shravana). It is common for a married girl to visit her parent's family on this occasion, or at least send a rakhifor her brother ( [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8Lp2A9ErAc video search] ).
अब के बरस भेज भैया को बाबुल,सावन में लीजो बुलाय रे
लौटेंगी जब मेरे बचपन की सखीयाँ,देजो संदेशा भैयाय रे
अब के बरस भेज भैया को बाबुल ...
अम्बुवा तले फिर से झूले पड़ेंगे,रिमझिम पड़ेंगी फुहारें
लौटेंगी फिर तेरे आँगन में बाबुल,सावन की ठंडी बहारें
छलके नयन मोरा कसके रे जियरा,बचपन की जब याद आए रे
:This year, Dad, send my brother to escort me home during Savan.
:All the girls I grew up with will also be back then.
: People will tie swings on the branches of the mango trees, and the rain showers will come
: In your courtyard , Dad, the cool breezes of Savan will return.
: I have tears in my eyes, and my heart pines, : when I recall my childhood.
The festival raksha-bandhan celebrates not just the bond between a brother and a sister, but between one who vows to protect the other and a vulnerable one.
To convey the early and folk emotions, the song uses local dialects (now sometimes used only in the villages). Much of it uses the
Brajdialect, a western Hindi dialect, however "ambua" (mango, aam is standard Hindi) is eastern Hindi.
The word "babul" is now used only in songs. A marriage is a profundly sad occasion for a girl in India, that is when she leaves the shelter of her beloved "babul" to an unknown future.
"Chandan saa badan, chanchal chitavan" from
Saraswati Chandra(1968), by Indeevar
The song follows the classic "milan" theme of the "shringar rasa" ( [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Chandan%20sa%20badan&search=Search video search] ).
चंदन सा बदन, चंचल चितवन,धीरे से तेरा ये मुस्काना
मुझे दोष न देना जग वालों, हो जाऊँ अगर मैं दीवाना
ये काम कमान भँवे तेरी,पलकों के किनारे कजरारे,
माथे पर सिंदूरी सूरज,होंठों पे दहकते अंगारे
:Your body is like sandalwood, your naughty glances, your soft smile,
:People should not blame me if I become crazy,
:Your eye-brows like the bow of
Kamadeva, dark edges of your eye-lids
:On your forehead, the "sindur" glows like the sun, your burning lips
The song is mostly in standard Hindi, although "kajarare" (dark with kohl, see [http://www.giitaayan.com/showisbsong.asp?id=247] ) is a folk term. The traditional "nakh-shikh varnan" theme is used. In Hindi poetry, the exchange of glances is considered to be among the most erotic part of flirting. There are quite a few songs about eyes [http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~navin/india/songs/isongs/indexes/categories/songs_about_eyes.html] .
" Phuulon ke rang se" from
Prem Pujari(1969), by Neeraj
A classic love song. A lover just cannot forget his beloved. Song Sung by versatile Kishore Kumar, Music S D Burman. ( [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Phulon+ke+rang+se&search=Search video search] )
फूलों के रंग से, दिल की कलम सेतुझको लिखी रोज़ पाती
कैसे बताऊँ, किस किस तरह सेपल पल मुझे तू सताती
तेरे ही सपने, लेकर के सोयातेरी ही यादों में जागा
तेरे खयालों में उलझा रहा यूँजैसे के माला में धागा
:Using colors of flowers as ink, and my heart as a pen, I wrote to you every day.
:I can't even say in how many ways, you torture me every instant,
:I dream of you, and I keep awake thinking about you,
:I am all tangled up in thoughts about you, like a thread in a garland
This love song, in simple and sweet Hindi, recalls a famous devotional hymn by
Bhakta Raidas: प्रभुजी तुम चन्दन हम पानी.
="O khaike paan banaras wala" from Don (1978), by
This playful boisterous song sung by
Kishore Kumarwas one of his greatest hits and was played often by the paanshops. The song refers to a young man from the shores of the Ganga, perhaps eastern Uttar Pradeshor Bihar, where people love to eat paan and tend to be rustic and boisterous. ( [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=khaike+pan+banaras+&search=Search video search] ).
ओ खाइके पान बनारस वाला, खुल जाये बंद अकल का ताला
फिर तो अइसा करे कमाल,सीधी कर दे सबकी चाल
ओ छोरा गंगा किनारे वाला!
:If you eat paan from
Benares,:it will unlock your brain!:and you will do amazing things,:you will straighten up everyone,:O young man from the shores of Ganga!
The words "khaike" and "aisa" are in eastern Hindi. The song has been reincarnated in several remixes. A culturally related song, रंग बरसे भीगे चुनरवाली, by the famous poet
Harivansh Rai Bachchanalso refers to paan [http://www.thecolorsofindia.com/holi-song.html] .
"Papa kahte hain" from
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak(1988), by Majrooh Sultanpuri
A cult song that expresses the clash between the ambitions of two generations. In India, people dream, not for themselves, but for their children. The modern generation of children is often not longer willing to inherit their fathers' hopes ( [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Papa+kahte+hain+&search=Search video search] ).
पापा कहते हैं बड़ा नाम करेगा,बेटा हमारा ऐसा काम करेगा
मगर यह तो कोई ना जाने, कि मेरी मंज़िल है कहां
मेरा तो सपना है इक चेहरा,देखे जो उसको झूमे बहार
बन्दा ये ख़ूबसूरत काम करेगा,दिल की दुनिया में अपना नाम करेगा
Translation::My Father says my son will do great things that will bring recognition.:but no one knows where is my destination.:My dream is a beautiful face. Sight of her makes one ecstatic.:I will do this glorious deed and make my name in the world of heart. The language is simple Hindi with a touch of Urdu. The complete song can be found at
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. The song is considered to have launched the careers of both the singer Udit Narayan and actor Aamir Khan.
"Ghar aaja pardesi" from
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge(1995), by Anand Bakshi
The song refers to those who have been away from India ( [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF5Jn36ltq8 video search] , [http://www.hinvi.com/HindiVideos/web/videoDetails/show/id/1615 direct link] ).
हो कोयल कूके हूक उठाए, यादों की बंदूक चलाए,बागों में झूलों के मौसम वापस आए रे
घर आजा परदेसी तेरा देस बुलाए रे,
माना तेरे हैं कुछ सपने, पर हम तो हैं तेरे अपने,भूलने वाले हमको तेरी याद सताए रे
Translation::The koel cuckoo calls, my heart pines, memories are triggered.:In the gardens, the season of swings has returned.:Come back wanderer, your country is calling you.
:We know you have your dreams, but we belong to you,:We miss you, o forgetful
"घर आजा परदेसी" are powerful words. The song "ghar aa jaa pardesii ki terii merii ik jinarii..." from Gadar starts with the same words. In India, there is a strong sentimental attachment with home. The language is standard Hindi, with a touch of folk Hindi with words like हूक and परदेसी .
Chaiyya Chaiyya" from Dil Se(1998), by Gulzar
Chaiyya Chaiyyasong serves as the opening and close of the recent Hollywood movie Inside Man. The song is known for the A.R. Rahman's music, the words are somewhat mysterious ( [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Chaiyya+Chaiyya+&search=Search video search] , [http://www.hinvi.com/HindiVideos/web/videoDetails/show/id/1566 direct link] ).
जिनके सर हो इश्क़ की छांवपावों के नीचे जन्नत होगी
चल छैयां छैयां, छैयां छैयां,छैयां छैयां, छैयां छैयां
गुलपोश कभी इतरायें कहीं,मह्के तो नज़र आ जाये कहीं
तावीज़ बनाके पहनूं उसे,आयत की तरह मिल जाये कहीं
جنکے سر ہو عِشق کی چھاوں پاوّں کے نیچے جنّت ہوگی
چل چھیّاں چھیّاں، چھیّاں چھیّاں چھیّاں چھیّاں، چھیّاں چھیّا
گُلپوش کبھی اِترایّں کہیں مہکے تو نظر آ جایے کہیں
تعویز بناکے پہنُوں اُسے آیت کی طرح مِل جایے کہیں
: Whose head is in the shade of love, heaven is under his feet.: Walk in the shade, remain in the shade,: remain in the shade, remain in the shade.
: The flower-wearer walks around self-assured, I can spot him by the scent,: I can wear him like an amulet, sometime I encounter him as a hymn.
Like the songs of
Mirabaior works of several sufipoets, this song is "dvayashraya kavya", it can be interpreted in two ways; as a worldly love song, or a song for the beloved lord.
Note that in India, the sun is often very hot, and thus shade provides comforting shelter. "Taviz" is an amulet containing a paper with a sacred text as a charm. "Ayat" is a verse from the
Filmfare Best Lyricist Award
Filmi Devotional songs, Bhajans
List of Indian playback singers
Remake of Hindi songs
International impact of Bollywood songs
Bollywood songs and plagiarism
* The Indian Diaspora: Dynamics of Migration edited by Narayana Jayaram, p. 164 (Trinidad)
* Echoes from Dharamsala: Music in the Life of a Tibetan Refugee Community by Keila Diehl (Tibetan refugees)
* Music of Hindu Trinidad: Songs from the India Diaspora by Helen Myers
* Cassette Culture: Popular Music and Technology in North India by Peter Manuel
* World Music Volumn 2 Latin and North America Caribbean India Asia and: Latin and North America,...by Simon Broughton, Mark Ellingham (History)
* [http://bollywood-songs.org/ Bollywood Songs]
* [http://www.zekty.com/music/bollywood-songs/ Bollywood Songs Collection]
* [http://www.light-entertainment.com/Indian_music/indian_music_main.htm A collection of recent bollywood songs can be found here]
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