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Ten Greatest Songs of Mukesh - The Legendary Singer of Bollywood

Updated on November 11, 2014

MUKESH - The Legendary Singer of Bollywood

Mukesh, whose full name was Mukesh Chand Mathur is considered one of the best singers to have existed in the history of Bollywood. Born on July 22, 1923 in Ludhiana, he began singing for Hindi movies in 1941, in an era when the actors used to sing their songs themselves. Primarily due to hi singing abilities, which were far more precious than his handsome looks, he had a reasonable career as a hero-singer, before he settled as a playback singer and gradually became a legend. His unique voice could convey the sentiments in a way that few could ever match, and when it came to tragic songs, he was and till date remains unmatched.

Mukesh was trained in Hindustani Classical music, and many of his songs provide enough evidence of his musical acumen in the classical fields too. However, in the end, he had his own style, ... and voice, and we are all thankful to the great Lord for having sent him among us. He breathed his last on August 27, 1976 in Detroit, Michigan.


.....some of greatest ever songs of Bollywood

Here is a selection of ten best songs sung by Mukesh in a career that spanned 35 years and included around 1200 songs. What makes them great is the way they touch the heart of every listener. There cannot be any denying that a lot of credit for these great gifts of Hindi Cinema to the music of the world also goes to the Music Director, the lyricist and in many cases, even to the way they have been filmed in the movie.

Rajesh Khanna & Amitabh Bachchan in Anand (1970)
Rajesh Khanna & Amitabh Bachchan in Anand (1970)

Kahin door jab din dhal jaye .....

[from the movie - ANAND (1970)]

This is certainly one of the greatest songs ever heard in Bollywood. It aptly fits into the movie, ANAND made in 1970 which was the story of a young man who is struck with incurable cancer and knows that he is going to die in a few months, but still continues to live cheerfully, even when his friends are shaken. The resilient character of Anand, the main protagonist of the story seldom allows the world outside to see or hear his sorrows and disappointments. This song, during a few moments of introspection, expresses his feelings and emotions in a way that can only be felt .... it cannot be described in words.

Rajesh Khanna & Asha Parekh in Kati Patang (1970)
Rajesh Khanna & Asha Parekh in Kati Patang (1970)

Jis gali mein tera ghar na ho ....

[from the movie - KATI PATANG (1970)]

Another great rendering from the master. In an era, when society did not approve of remarriage of a widow in India, this song expresses love of a man who is encouraging one such woman to break out of these shackles. His expression of love, without breaking any of the moral norms of those days and a promise of his commitment could not have been expressed in a better manner than this. There is long tradition in Indian social psyche that compares love with eternity and god. This song is just that eternal bridge between selflessness and love!

Teesri Kasam
Teesri Kasam

Sajanwa bairi ho gaye hamar .....

[from the movie - TEESRI KASAM (1966)]

This song is one of the best depictions of the rural life and its harmony and music, from the movie, TEESRI KASAM, wherein a simple countryside bullock-cart driver gets to know a theater dancer and almost falls in love in her, as also is the case with the dancer. But back in those days, dancing was not considered a respectable profession for a woman in a society that was nearly mostly rural and extremely family centric. The lyrics of the song narrate the story of a wife who is not getting a response from his beloved husband who has gone another place, but in the movie, it is more an expression of the innocent character of the simple countryside protagonist and his sensitivities.

Mera Naam Joker
Mera Naam Joker

Jaane kahan gaye voh din ......

[from the movie - MERA NAAM JOKER (1970)]

The song is probably the best ever that Mukesh sang for Raj Kapoor, the greatest Bollywood showman of those times. The movie, MERA NAAM JOKER is the story of a circus artiste and his life. The songs whose first line translates into "where have those days vanished..." depicts the way an artiste looks back on his work and life. Many consider this movie to have an autobiographical aspect, which has been made unforgettable by this great song. One of the most popular numbers ever sung by Mukesh.

Kabhi Kabhi
Kabhi Kabhi

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal .....

[from the movie - KABHI KABHI (1976)]

This is not a song - it should be classified as poetry - such is the strength and beauty of its lyrics. But then, singing poetry is never an easy task for a singer as in such a case music takes the back seat. The melody that this poem achieves in addition to its extraordinary wordings takes it many notches above any ordinary song. It became a rage when it was released in the seventies and remains so till date, making people hum it spontaneously whenever it is heard again.

A beautiful rendition from a great legend!

Chal Ree Sajni
Chal Ree Sajni

Chal ri sajni ab kya soche....

[from the movie - BOMBAI KA BABU (1966)]

This song is the best depiction of the plight of a girl in traditional India, when she gets married and has to leave his home and family forever to become a part and parcel of another household, where she does not know anyone. During the era of arranged marriages, the marriage was always a family affair, where many a times the bride and the groom would meet for the first time only after marriage. The point where the girl leaves her family used to be, and to some extent, still remains an occasion that touches your heart. The greatness of this song lies in having captured the essence of an age-old practice which is now disappearing fast from the modern society.


Oh jaane wale ho sake to laut ke aana.....

[from the movie - BANDINI (1963)]

This song is one of the most haunting songs ever rendered in the history of Bollywood. It is set up in the movie at a time when the main protagonist of the movie, a village girl, who had been defamed due to her love affair, leaves her home and village to save her father from becoming a target of social ire and taunts of the neighborhood. As she leaves everything that she has known till then in her life, the song begins with words that translate into, "One who leaves, please try to come back sometime, if possible ...." and goes on to describe what she is leaving and what she may never see again. A heart rendering number that just tells us what one can possibly loose in life....

Vo subah kabhi to ayegi
Vo subah kabhi to ayegi

Woh subah kabhi to ayegi....

[from the movie - PHIR SUBAH HOGI (1958)]

This song is actually an aspiration of those millions of Indians who having become free from foreign rule, were trying to fight with their destiny. It expresses the irony that the common man faced during those times, and in many ways, still continues to face.... the man, who lives every day of his miserable life, grappling with the unfair circumstances that face him and still keeps trying to carry on... all in the hope of a better tomorrow. The words literally mean," That morning will eventually come some day... some day definitely ... that morning will also come ....."

This song is a lifeline for all those trying to survive, with a thread of hope ... hope, that never eludes!!.


Sansaar hai ek nadiya....

[from the movie - RAFTAAR (1975)]

This song is another great rendition of words which carry a deep spiritual meaning, describing how sorrow and ecstasy are the two sides of the stream, and how the destiny of a man makes it way navigating this stream of life between the two sides. If this song is able to put such a deep philosophical narration in the midst of all the melodrama taking place in the plot of the movie, the credit goes to its near perfect rendition that mesmerizes the audience and makes everything else more or less redundant.


Chandan sa badan, chanchal chitvan...

[from the movie - SARAWATICHANDRA (1968)]

This song was part of the movie, SARASWATICHANDRA, which was the last black & white movie made in Bollywood. The song will always be a reminder of the artistic beauty of black and white era. However, what makes it look extraordinary is the sweetness of the song, coming from a voice that has the innocence and sincerity to take it to an altogether different level. Man and woman will always have a physical attraction that forms the basis of their bonding, but this song shows how this attraction can be converted into something that is not just full of lust, but a piece of art... a thing of beauty and ... a classic song that is eternal!

Select the Best Song of Mukesh

Which one of these is the best in your opinion?

See results

Let us know what you think ....

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      In the song "Kise yaad rakhu kise bhool jaoo" from film anuraag.

      What is the meaning of the line " Muhabbat ke sapne mai kispe lautaoo"

      Thank you

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Mukesh's voice has some medicinal value.Ilove all the songs of Mukeshji.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Mukesh's voice has some medicinal value.Ilove all the songs of Mukeshji.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


    • DeepaVenkitesh LM profile image

      DeepaVenkitesh LM 5 years ago

      My babuji introduced me to old Hindi songs and i just loved your lens, could know more about the great singer. I love all the songs that you have mentioned here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


    • profile image

      Arc4life 6 years ago

      good collection of songs..

    • profile image

      Arc4life 6 years ago

      good collection of songs..

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice memorabble songs

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 6 years ago

      I always like reading lens like this :)

    • madoc profile image

      madoc 6 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for the notes that put the songs in context.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow, you have put a great deal of work into this lens about Mukesh.

      Keep on tweaking and fine tuning it. :)

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      how can i forget his 'kabhi kabhi mere dil me'. how can we forget his golden voice? nice collection.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      These are memorable songs of Mukesh, they are terrific.

    • bhavesh lm profile image

      bhavesh lm 6 years ago

      Blast from the past! Nice collection of Mukesh's songs!


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