10 comments on “Seven Beautiful Songs with Kanan Devi, Who Lived April 22, 1916 to July 17, 1992

  1. Enjoyed listening to them, Richard.
    Bengali songs are always good for the years, and the one you’ve posted were no less. Never heard them before, of course.
    The only one I’s heard before was – loot liyo mann dheer

    tum bina kal na – I think will do very well for Madhu’s ‘women at the piano’ post. I think I’ll cheat and post it there, unless you’d posted it the. Will check of course.

    There must be a reason for not posting the evergreen ‘toofan mail’, but I thought of posting it here.

  2. Hi, Pacifist. Regarding “Toofan Mail,” I skipped that song because I’ve already featured it in this blog probably half a dozen times. And I thought about Madhu’s “Women At the Piano” post too. Plus,”Tum Bina Kal Na” reminded me so much of the shiny piano scenes in Anmol Ghadi, which came out five years later! When I read your “good for the years” comment (before you corrected the typo), it kind of made sense to me, because this music sounds so good so many years after it was made. :)

  3. >“good for the years” comment (before you corrected the typo), it kind of made sense to me, because this music sounds so good so many years after it was made. :)

    That must have been in my subconscious thought :-)

  4. Richard,
    Bengali song Jodi bhalo na lage is lovely. Let me add three of my top favourites, I do not know whether these have figured earlier on your log.

    1. Ami bonophool go (Bengali) from Shesh Uttar

    2. Zara nainon se naina milaye jao re from Hospital

    3. More anganaa mein aye aali from Vidyapati

  5. My first exposure to Kanan Devi’s voice was when I was in my 20’s. Till then I steered clear of singers from the early age of film music since their voices sounded so nasal and old-fashioned. When I heard Kana Devi’s song (it was a Rabindrasangeet) I was bowled over since it sounded so modern. I am also a big fan of her music (though not her movies). Thanks for shining the spotlight on her.

  6. AK, thank you for your contribution of beautiful Kanan Devi songs. I do not think these figured earlier in my blog, but they do come from the same movies as the ones that figure in my list above. Although, in one case you posted from the Hindi version of the film while I’d posted from the Bengali, and in another you posted from the Bengali version while I’d posted from the Hindi. I actually was able to watch all of Shesh Uttar but not all of Jawab, because Shesh Uttar was posted in its entirety with English subtitles on the Angel YouTube channel, as was Mukti (and both copies were surprisingly clear also). It’s great watching a Kanan Devi film all the way through! I think you know about a couple that I watched without subs as well.

    On your blog recently, you did a post of Geeta Dutt singing S.D. Burman and mentioned that they were both Bengali. On Geeta’s death anniversary, which was just three days after Kanan Devi’s, there were so many tributes as well as praises from the Geeta Dutt fanatics (as I think you called them?)… Though you said you were not actually one yourself, and neither am I, much as I appreciate some of her songs and most of her singing. And where singers and musicians with Bengali origins are concerned, I actually like Kanan Devi more. Well, maybe not the entirety of her songs repertoire vs. Geeta’s, but I like her voice even more. (She might be number three among my favorite female singers from classic Indian cinema. Or maybe number four… It’s so difficult to rank these things, hence my endless delay with posting the revised “filmi favorites” list.)

  7. Soumya, you are very welcome. It’s true that Kanan Devi’s voice had a very modern quality – or maybe just a timeless quality. I did like the films of hers that I saw, but I agree that the main draw for me is her singing voice and the music.

  8. Richard,
    Are you saying Ami bonophool go has a Hindi version, and one of Zara nainon se naina milaye jao re or More angina mein aye aali, a Bengali version? I am not aware. I would love to have their links.

    Yes, there are some Geeta Dutt ‘fanatics’, and perhaps no less Asha Bhosle’s. I am quite detached about these two singers, though I have some favourite songs of theirs. Coming to the vintage era, I am passionate about most of them – Kanan Devi, Khursheed, Amirbai Karnataki, Zohra Ambalewali, Shamshad Begum. About Noorjahan, somehow I am not as passionate as you are. :)

  9. AK, I was saying that you posted from the same films that I did, only sometimes in the other-language version; I wasn’t referring to the specific songs. Hospital is the Hindi version of Jagajog and Shesh Uttar is the Bengali version of Jawab. And we both posted from Vidyapati.

    I think that most, if not all, of the songs in Shesh Uttar have an equivalent in Jawab. Some are also identical. (In the case of “Toofan Mail,” the song has the same title in both films too. :) ) I don’t know what the equivalent song for “Ami Bonophul” would be; I haven’t been able to find it. But while looking around, I did find a nice version of this song with English subtitles:

    Meanwhile, could “Zara Nainon Se Naina” actually be an equivalent song to “Jodi Bhalo Na Lage”? (They seem to begin the same way musically, at least to my ears.)

    Anyway, I am glad that you are also passionate about the female singers of the vintage era. I also love all of these singers that you mentioned.

    If I am to name, say, my top five singers from classic Indian cinema, I guess they would be Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Kanan Devi, Lata Mangeshkar, and Noor Jehan. I don’t know if you are saying that you don’t think Noor Jehan was a great singer. Of course, you don’t have to quite share my passion, considering that she is my favorite woman of all from all classic South Asian cinema. :)

    And I also share your somewhat detached feelings about Asha Bhosle. I feel the same way, especially re. the earlier years. The only movie in which in which I can definitely say I love her singing is Umrao Jaan, from 1981! (Credit Khayyam for that.) I do love her songs in a few C. Ramchandra films (Navrang really stands out), but I think more about the music in those films in general than her voice in them.

    I like Geeta Dutt more; I think her voice sounded really nice in some places. But, no, overall, I can’t see her as my #1, either (maybe #6 or #8 or something like that?)… It is sweet, though, to see all these people showing so much love for her…

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