21 comments on “Ten Favorite Shamshad Begum Songs

  1. I treasure all these songs just as much as you do :) When we hear one of such vintage artists, we fell they are the best..and when we hear another, we take this second artist’s side…but we realise they are all absolute stalwarts and at some point (as it turned out for me) fell very happy hearing such a brilliant variety in vocal tones…especially in 1931-1949 where there was such a huge variety and uniqueness in voices.

    Shamshad Begum Ji was one great singer significant in this aspect, one of her kind and so original and remains one of her kind to date.

    Thanks for acknowledging me for the Khandan song :) I love it so much too. In fact, Shamshad sings for only Manorama and Naseem Akhtar lends her voice to all others.

    If you don’t mind, some corrections (these mistakes were probably because you haven’t seen much of these stars?)

    1 – Song 9: I realised recently after more knowledge of these great singers: playback for Nigar is Kalyani and not Surinder Kaur.

    2 – Song 7: the actresses are Shanta Rin (great comedienne mainly of the 1940s) and co. Jayshree, a great singer-actress (till this film, afterwards, unfortunately for me – a fan of her voice – got playback)

    Jayshree had many famous songs from Dahej and Vasant Desai composed 3 famous films (Shakuntala, Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani and this Dahej) and did an excellent job.

    All in all, fabulous post, great job!


  2. Vidur, thank you for your nice comments, and I am glad you like the selections. I agree regarding the great variety of singers between 1931 and 1949 – especially female singers. As I’ve mentioned before, the 1940s is my favorite decade for Hindi film music, and that’s one big reason.

    Regarding the corrections… For Song 9, I thought the singer sounded like Kalyani too, but a couple of sources credited Surinder Kaur. I know that Surinder Kaur sang in some different styles (her Punjabi folk songs sound very different from some of her Hindi film songs, etc.), so I gave these sources the benefit of the doubt. (I don’t remember which they were… Maybe one of them was you before you got your recent knowledge. :) )

    Anyway, certainly, I’ll change that.

    I’ll take your word for Song 7 too. The funny thing is, I’ve seen Jayashree in a few films… I saw Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani, I saw Dahej (though maybe about 15 months ago or so), and I saw Parchhaiyan. But her face doesn’t register as distinctly with me as some actresses do… For instance, her husband’s next wife is another matter entirely. I think I’d recognize Sandhya anywhere…and I’d probably be able to tell anywhere if someone isn’t Sandhya too. :)

    You are right, though, that I wouldn’t recognize Shanta Rin. Maybe I should if she was in so many ’40s films, because I’ve seen quite a few films from the ’40s by now.

    But, anyway, thanks, I will change these things. (I had some other minor corrections to this post that I wanted to make also – just small phrases, and I wanted to add a song title that I omitted – but I wanted to get this up already and take a break for a little while. :) I will keep these comments up so people can see that you’ve been helpful to me in getting all of this right. :) )

    P.S. Regarding Jayashree’s singing… I guess she sang all her own songs in Dahej? I know there are some duets she did with Shamshad Begum in that film, but I haven’t looked at them too closely since I saw the film so many months ago. :)

  3. I somehow love the song Leke pehla pehla pyaar from CID. But this is also a great compilation :)

  4. Iam really glad the corrections were helpful, and that period (1931-1949) was my favourite period for film music, but as far as non-film music is concerned, I like it from 1900 (I have songs beginning from 1902 – first records actually by Goharjaan/Gauher Bai, elder sister of Amirbai whom you probably know more about :)

    Yes, Jayshree did sing all her songs herself till 1950 (Dahej, of course)

    She did sing with chorus in Dahej’s Wo To Bans Bareli Se Aaya. Most were solos, but the notable multiple-singers melody was Choodi Dheere Pehna Choodiwali Ho, which she sang with Shamshad Begum with the lead (major part) for Shanta Rin, and also veteran singer-actress Hansa Wadkar (also singing heroine of Sant Janabai – songs of which Vintagemelodies uploaded – and you probably saw) was the singing Choodiwali/bangle seller here. The film was certainly great.

    The three Jayshree films which I had mentioned had very popular and fantastic songs of hers.

  5. Sharmi, thanks, glad you liked the selections. I know “Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar” is a good song and a lot of people like it, and the scene even has a dance by Sheila Vaz. But, of course, I had to narrow this down to ten songs, and I wanted to stick to one per film… :)

  6. Shamshad is such an infectious singer: great list, and you could just add more and more songs to it, couldn’t you?

    Of course, I am very partial to her Punjabi film songs, Batti Bal ke banere utte is favorite, but I also love her in quawalis, like Hum Bhi Dekhenge from Mughal-e-Azam. Another favourite is the serious number Barhi Mushkil se Dil Ki Beqarari ko qaraar ayaa.

  7. Thank you, Bawa. Yes, I could just add more and more songs…

    I was very tempted to include “Hum Bhi Dekhenge” because we get to see Shamshad on Nigar again and I do like the song… But on the other hand, the available clip is just sooo colorized, it would kind of mess up the scheme here :) . And anyway, it is such a Lata/Mahdubala song also. (They’re the ones we’ere supposed to be rooting for, right? Haven’t seen this film in a while – it was one of my first full Bollywood films. Probably, that goes for everybody among the relatively recent western converts here…)

  8. Thank you, Richard – this is a lovely compilation! There is about Shamshad Begum’s voice a spunky liveliness which I really love.

    Here are my two cents, two more Shamshad Begum songs which I like:

    Kahin pe nigaahein kahin pe nishaana, from CID

    (I think the presence of Waheeda Rehman adds a lot to my love for this song)

    And this one, Bachpan ke din bhula na dena, from Deedar, with Lata:

  9. Thank you, Dustedoff. Those are good songs. “Kahin Pe Nigaahein” always reminds me a bit in the beginning of “Tadbeer Se Bigadi Hui Taqdeer” in Baazi, but Waheeda goes into a much more active dance than Geeta Bali did in Baazi, so it becomes a somewhat different kind of scene. (Oh, and “Tadbeer…” was sung by Geeta Dutt, for S.D. Bruman….)

    But “Bachpan Ke Din Bhula Na Dena” reminds me even more of a song that I had in my “first draft” of the ten favorites list. (Yes, I actually went through some anguish trying to choose those final ten selections… Added some, then knocked them out to make room for others.) And it’s another Naushad song too – “Udan Khatole Pe” from Anmol Ghadi (only it’s a duet with Zohrabai, since Lata wasn’t very well known yet :) ):

  10. You’ve referred to two songs that my father is very fond of – and which I like a lot too. Somehow, whenever I visit my parents over a few days, he invariably ends up singing bits of either <i<Tadbeer se bigdi hui or Udan khatole pe ud jaoon.

    Thank you, especially, for reminding me of Udan khatole pe ud jaaoon. There’s a list I’m working on, and this was just the right song to add to it. :-)

  11. Richard,
    Latika was wife of famous comedian of the 40s/50s Gope. She appeared in few films of the 40s including Parakh, Inam, Saathi etc

    I will be posting my list of Shamshad Begum soon! (10 duets and 10 solos)

  12. Mister Jinx, thanks for the info. So, Latika was the real wife of the fat man who was tormented and rejected by so many women in those films from the ’40s and early ’50s. Interesting…

    I am looking forward to your list. (I briefly thought about doing separate solo and duets lists too. Yes, that is a good idea.)

    Dustedoff, now I’m wondering what your next list will be… Songs with children and horses? :)

  13. Shamshad was reigning playback queen of the 40s and early/mid 50s. And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that her voice was used by almost all music directors of that era. Even those music directors who thought that her style wasn’t suitable for their musical compositions i.e. Shankar Jaikishan and Anil Biswas had to use her voice for a song for two. Creating a top 10 list of Shamshad solos is a difficult task, because she gave so many hit songs. Most of the top 10 lists of Shamshad Songs usually end up with a high dose of Naushad and O.P. Nayyar because her most famous songs were with those two. So for a change, I am posting a list of 10 favorite Shamshad solos with 10 DIFFERENT MUSIC DIRECTORS. Here is the list :-

    1. This is her most famous solo for M/D Ghulam Mohammad picturized on Cuckoo. Ghulam Mohammad was one of the few music directors who remained faithful to Shamshad, even after Lata’s onslaught in the 50s and continued using Shamshad voice till his last film Pakeezah (1971).

    Mere ghoonghar wale baal – Pardes (1949) – Ghulam Mohammed

    2. When it comes to both quality and quality, it was Naushad who gave her some of the best songs of her career. I like almost all the songs sung by Shamshad for Naushad and it is very difficult to pick one from the >60 songs she sang for Naushad. So I will just pick one randomly:-

    Ho~ Aaj kahan ja kai nazar takrai – Anokhi Ada (1947) – Naushad

    3. Ghulam Haider was Shamshad’s mentor and her earliest hits were composed by GH. This song (which was also sung by Suraiya as a playback singer) is one of my favorites. I also like another solo from this film – Dil thandi hawa mein…

    Ek tera sahara ek tera sahara – Shama (1946) – Ghulam Haider

    4. It is ironical, that post-Lata Shamshad was usually type-cast into singing fun/frolic masala type or seductive songs. And like Geeta Dutt, this frequently landed her into trouble with the censor board. Censor board edited “Sambhal kai khidki khol balamwa dekhey mera baap re” from Ek do teen song from Awara. Similarly, this very well sung and composed seductive song by S.D. Burman was edited out of the film for being too suggestive.

    Sari khushiyan saath aayien aap jab aayey – Jeevan Jyoti (1953) – S.D. Burman

    5. Shamshad sang many hit songs for Meena Kumari, this fun song is one of them composed by lesser known music director Bulo C. Rani

    Tik tik tik tik boley o boley meray dil ki ghadi – Magroor (1950) – Bulo C. Rani

    6. Eccentric Music Composer Sajjad Hussain is on record saying, that God created Lata and Noor Jehan to sing, and after that I don’t know why he bothered to create any more singers (both male n female). I don’t know why he made such comment, because if you hear Suraiya’s and Talat’s songs under his compositions, they are all master pieces. I personally love Suraiya’s songs for him in 1857 and Rustom Sohrab. As far as Shamshad is concerned, she gave her best to Sajjad in Khel (1950). “Woh aayen gey” and espeically the song below are my personal favorites of Shamshad for Sajjad.

    Kahey mujh say jawani – Khel (1950) – Sajjad Hussain

    7. Shamshad sang almost 40 songs for Nayyar, and most of them are considered the most popular songs of her career. Both of them were Punjabis hailing from Lahore, and whenever they united, they brought the sheer verve and rhythm of Punjab to their songs. Again it is hard to choose just 1 song from the list of dozens of hit songs, I will just pick one randomly. Also keep in mind that even though Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt sang more songs for Nayyar, according to Filmfare Magazine CID can be considered Nayyar’s biggest musical hit where Shamshad was the main leading singer.

    Boojh mera kiya naam re – CID (1956) – O.P Nayyar

    8. This song was one of the greatest hit of 1953, composed by lesser known music director Nashad (many people confuse him with Naushad). It is one of my favorite songs of Shamshad.

    Badi mushkil sai dil ki beqarari ko qaraar aaya – Naghma (1953) – Naashad ‘Shaukat Dehalvi’

    9. Love this song by S.N. Tripathi with its Arabic tune.

    Ankh mili hai pyar hoga – Alibaba & 40 Thieves (1954) – S.N. Tripathi

    10. Again arabic tune, composed by Chitragupta. This song was picturized on Vyjanthimala, but it is not as famous as the Bahaar songs.

    Dil na lagana dil ka lagan buhut bura – Miss Mala (1954) – Chitragupta

  14. Unfortunately, In order to create the list of 10 solos of Shamshad, I wasn’t able to include her work with other music directors including Anil Biswas, Madan Mohan, Roshan, Hansraj Behl, C. Ramchandra and many others. Now I will post my top 10 duets songs of Shamshad after few hours.

  15. Vidur and Richard,

    I also agree with you guys on the great selection and variety of female Singers in the 40s. My favorite decades in Hindi film Music is 40s/50s (1949-1960) to be exact, especially because Lata was at her best in the 50s, and other female singers like Shamshad, Geeta, Talat, Rafi, Mukesh etc also gave their best during that decade. Post 50s, Hindi film music was monopolized by Lata/Asha and we don’t see any variety as far as voices are concerned.

    Also in 40s/50s all singers had their individual style of singing and for the most part you can tell who is singing.. You can tell Shamshad from Geeta, or Lata from Geeta. Even the lesser known singers of those era, also had their individual singing style like Rajkumari etc.

    After 1950s, singers like Suman Kulyanpur, Vani Jairam etc never developed their own individual styles and I call them Lata like voices, and it starts to get boring..

  16. Richard, songs with ‘children and horses’ would be a little restrictive, I think. ;-) But there IS one thing that’s there in Udan khatole pe ud jaaoon but not in Bachpan ke din bhula na dena. Patience, patience! Just a few more days, and you’ll see my list.

    By the way, I watched Rattan yesterday.

  17. Mister Jinx, thanks for sending that great list. Most of these songs are unfamiliar to me (if not entirely new to me), and, actually, I can’t even find one or two on YouTube (so it will be a little more time before I’ve seen/heard everything here.)

    Mere Ghoonghar Wale Baal” does have a classic Cuckoo dance. It’s funny, because the beginning of that scene reminds so much of Sawan Ke Nazare Hai…” from Khazanchi (1941 or ’42 – MD was the other Ghulam – as I’m sure you know :) ). I probably would have included that Khazanchi song in my list above if embedding hadn’t been disabled.

    “Tik Tik Tik Tik Bole Mere Dil Ki Ghadi” is a lot of fun. Yes, Shamshad on Meena Kumari was a very nice combination.

    I’m still looking for “Kahey Mujh Say Jawani” – can’t seem to find it on YouTube so far… It is strange for Sajjad Hussain to dismiss his other great singers in such a way. Maybe he just got carried away with his enthusiasm for Noor Jehan and Lata. I can’t really blame him, because the songs he did for them are so beautiful. (Those Noor Jehan songs in Dost (1944) are heavenly!)

  18. Dustedoff, Ok, I’ll try to wait a few days. :)

    I am glad you finally got to see Ratan. The film is pretty good; the soundtrack, as you know, is outstanding. Zohrabai’s singing is great in this one!

  19. Bit late for this, but had to comment on how much I enjoyed this lovely list of Shamshad’s songs.
    Of course the CID songs and ‘Piya gaye rangoon’ are so well known.
    Yes, it came as a surprise that the elegantly dancing Latika was Gope’s wife :)

    The Dahej swing song is actually a monsoon song, or rather the beginning of the monsoon. Yes, it’s celebrated, and welcomed, unlike how rain is considered as ‘bad weather’ here. The weather forecast is always read as;
    “There will be bad weather tomorrow with rains and showers in most of the region.”…and they aren’t damaging as monsoons can turn out to be.

    Sorry for going OT.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s