9 comments on “Love Those All-Women Qawwalis from the 1940s!

  1. Heard them for the first time, though these are popular set of couplets, especially the first two, being sung qwaali style.
    I love this style of singing so much.
    Can’t add to the list, though I know quite a few from the later decades, mainly 50s and 60s.
    But will come back when I find something :)

  2. Thanks, Pacifist. The first two are the first ever – first all-women qawwalis in Indian cinema (Zeenat was late ’44 or early ’45 and Village Girl was ’45) and I have seen some say the first cinema qawwalis in general, though I doubt that is true (?)… And the third is from 1949. Their being from the ’40s is what makes them so special, I think. Of course, there were quite a few in the early ’60s, some of which we’ve talked about here just recently. :)

  3. Richard,
    After the making the comment, I realized that I do not have any idea of the reliability of these sites. Another site also says that the first song was the first women’s qawwali in Hindi films
    You will have better idea of these than me. Regards,
    P.S. As a byproduct, I got to know about books on women’s songs in India. Earlier, I only knew through an article by Velcheru Narayana Rao, women in some parts of Andhra have their own version of Ramayana.

  4. Thanks for the other link. Yes, I think the consensus has been that the Zeenat qawwali was the first. Some people debated on YouTube whether the Gaon Ki Gori/Village Girl qawwali could have been first, but the evidence in a few places is that that film came out later in 1945.

    And I think I would like to see some of those books that you referred to!

  5. The second song, the song from “Village Girl”(1945) is a qawwaali al right, but its lyrics are not what have been mentioned by the uploader. The words “Chhalla de ja” does not appear anywhere in the song. The uploader has gone through the list of the songs of “Village Girl”(1945) as contained in Hindi Film Geet Kosh (Encyclopaedia of Hindi movie songs) and saw an entry “challa de ja” and concluded that the song must have these lyrics if the HFGK said so. In reality this is a”new” song that is not included in HFGK.

  6. Atul, thank you for sending in that correction for this post from over two and a half years ago. Regarding the error, II’m not surprised – there are so many errors in videos posted to YouTube, with entire films mislabeled (never mind just songs)…. Unfortunately, I guess I will have to continue to have the video embedded with the wrong title, unless I find another copy that I can use… I think I saw others out there, but unfortunately, the quality of those videos was even worse. :)

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