Popular Bollywood Songs in Raag Bhairavi
Raag Bhairavi in Popular Songs of Bollywood
Raag Bhairavi has been the most popular Hindustani classical raag in Bollywood music. In addition to being the basis of some of the best classical songs of Bollywood, it has been the underlying melody on which many of its popular numbers have been composed.
Though such numbers neither confIrm to its purities nor make a claim for being a classical masterpiece of Hindustani music, they nevertheless owe their greatness and popularity to this early morning raag. These songs have been enjoyed by one and all - including those who have no idea about Raag Bhairavi or Hindustani Classical music. Ironically, while they all appreciate and admire the great music, they are often totally unaware about how much they have enjoyed the melody of this raag in these numbers !
Here is a list of ten popular gems that are based on Raag Bhairavi. These numbers belong to different genres of Bollywood music ... from pulsating outgoing numbers ... to sad gems ... to songs that caught the public imagination for all kind of different reasons. They all have one thing in common .... they are based on Raag Bhairavi ... and reflect the influence of ancient Indian musical legacy on Bollywood of twentieth century!
movie: AWAARA (1952)
Awaara hoon ......
This number from the movie AWARA, a great classic, defined RAJ KAPOOR for the rest of his career. It was also a number that along with "Mera joota hai japani" (from the movie Shree 420, also based on Raag Bhairavi) made him a rage in different corners of the globe during the fifites. This number also confirmed Mukesh (singer of this number) as the voice of Raj Kapoor, and was one of the early gems of the musical association of Mukesh, Shankar Jaikishan (music composers) and Shailendra (lyricist). The song, which literally means " I am a vagabond ... " also denoted the struggles and challenges of Indian society that was trying to find its feet after independence.
movie: ROTI, KAPDA AUR MAKAAN (1974)
Baaki jo kuchh bacha ..mehngai maar gaayi...
This number topped the Binaca Geetmala Annual List in 1975, which was widely considered the unoffcial popularity chart of contemporary Bollywood songs those days. Its popularity was derived largely from the depiction of the issue of inflation, which was a demon facing the whole society during the era of oil shocks and its consequences. With a recent war, burgeoning population size and political turmoil, the global oil shocks led to unprecedented economic stress, faced mainly by the common man. This semi-musical narration is based on Bhairavi, voiced by Lata Mangeshkar , Mukesh , Jani Babu and Narendra Chanchal. Its music was composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal and lyrics written by Varma Malik. Taal shifts between Teentaal and Kaherva.
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movie: JUNGLEE (1961)
Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe ....
A very unusual number for any genre and any age,and yet an eternal classic depicting the genius of Mohammad Rafi (the singer), who has sung it to perfection. This number, composed by Shankar Jaikishan, would have been considered a Westernised song when it was released. Actually it is based on Raag Bhairavi, though it uses many innovative variations, both in instruments and the voices. The gungho character of this song may be considered as an antithesis of all that the Hindustani classical stands for, yet that is where it originates. Shailendra wrote its lyrics and everything perfectly fitted on Shammi Kapoor on screen.
movie: SANGAM (1964)
Dost dost na raha ....
One of the most popular sad songs of all times, this very famous number is also based on Raag Bhairavi. Sung to almost perfection by Mukesh, in his own inimitable style, the music of this number was composed by Shankar Jaikishan, who mastered the Raag in his own ways and made use of it to create all variations of popular musical melodies during the fifites and sixties. Shailendra (lyricist) was part of the great team that made it possible.
movie: UPKAAR (1968)
Mere desh ki dharti .....
If it difficult to imagine an Independence Day or Republic Day in India when this song will not be aired all over the place, while the Indian flag is hoisted or wherever some function is organized to commemorate these National Festivals. This number retains its popularity by its nationalistic flavour. Its music, based on Raag Bhairavi, was composed by Kalyanji Anandji. Mahendra Kapoor sung it for Manoj Kumar (lead actor on screen) and its lyrics were written by Gulshan Bawra. This number is said to be inspired by the slogan of "Jai Javan Jai Kisan" given by late Indian Prime Minister, Lal Bhaadur Shastri to boost the moral of Indian farmers.
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movie: GHULAMI (1985)
Zeehal-e-muskin makum baranjish ....
This popular number from the eighties has a double connection with centuries old Indian musical tradition. First is the Raag Bhairavi on which its music, composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal, is based. Second is its borrowing of its oepning stanza from a famous bilingual poem, written by Amir Khusrau, with alternating sentences in Persian and Brij Bhasha (a dialect of Hindi), which literally mean " Take pity and look without frown on the poor heart, which has been wounded by separation of love." Its lyrics were reinvented by Gulzar and the number was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Shabbir Kumar.
movie: JAWAAB (1985)
Mitwa re mitwa, poorab na jahio ....
This popular number is sung by Pankaj Udhas, who was extremely popular in the eighties with his own style of ghazal singing. The music of this number, again composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal, the genius duo that mastered the use of raag Bhairavi in popular Bollywood music, is having Raag Bhairavi as its base. The Raag has variations but not to the extent usually observed in Bollywood numbers and in that sense preserves its original form to a reasonable extent. Lyrics are written by Majrooh Sultanpuri.
movie: DIL SE (1998)
Jiya Jale na jale ....
And finally a number composed by the great Indian Master, A R Rahman, winner of two Grammies and two Oscars ... and this number is certainly a few notches above the numbers that won him those international awards. This popular yet classic number is based on Raag Bhairavi (of Hindustani music, which is very different from Bhairavi of Karnatika musical tradition but somewhat similar to Raag Hanumantodi of Karnatika music) with reasonable proportions of Karnatika style and innovations of Rahman's genius thrown in. Its greatness is equally contributed by the voice of Lata Mangshkar, singing with M G Shreekumar. Lyrics are written by Gulzar.
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movie: SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM (1978)
Bhor bhaye panghat pe ......
Had it not been for the manner in which this song is picturized, it might be considered more of a classical song rather than a popular number. It remains an eternal classic, yet is always remembered for the bold presentation of female beauty that became charactersitic of Raj Kapoor in his later years. The dress of Zeenat Aman (lead actor in the song) overshadowed the song to a large extent in terms of popularity. This great classical number is voiced by Lata Mangeshkar, composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal and its lyrics written by Anand Bakhshi. Taal is Kaherva.
movie: AITBAAR (1985)
Kisi nazar ko tera intezaar aaj bhi hai ....
This number was one of the more popular songs during the middle of eighties, when Bollywood music was experiencing perhaps its worst downslide. It lighted the relative darkness with Raag Bhairavi as its base. Its music was composed by Bappi Lahiri. The voices are of Asha Bhonsle and Bhupinder Singh and the lyrics were written by Hasan Kamal. Unlike many other songs of that era, this number retains its popularity and appeal till date.
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© 2012 V Kumar
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