Hindi Films, Angrezi Lyrics

The night before he was shabbily removed as editor of the Hindu, Siddharth Varadarajan sent me a link to to this tune by Zohra Bai from the 1944 film, Jeevan. It’s called My Dear, I Love You. As Siddharth noted, it’s “slightly weird but quite charming”. It got me thinking about Hindi film songs that had lyrics in English. Here’s an arbitrary selection.

Perhaps the first Hindi film song in English was this rendition of the Longfellow poem A Psalm of Life by Shanta Apte. It’s from the 1937 film Duniya Na Mane.

In 1975, Preeti Sagar sang My Heart Is Beating in Julie. The music was composed by Rajesh Roshan and the lyrics were by Harindranath Chattopadhyay.

This song by Mohammad Rafi never actually made it into a film — it was only released on record. It’s a version of Hum Kale Hai Tu Kya Huwa Dilwa Hai, from the 1965 thriller Gumnaam. The music is by Shankar-Jaikishan and the lyrics are by Harindranath Chattopadhyay.

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3 Responses
  1. Karan Bali says:

    Long back at put up this link – P Bhanumathi singing whatever will be will be in a Telugu film. http://youtu.be/hvcZ2KiYV2g

  2. Shobhana Bhattacharji says:

    as students, ‘translating’ films songs into Indian English was a hilarious pastime. ‘My heart is broken in thoujand pieces. Some fallen hither, some fallen thither.’ Another was to reverse the words. Geeta Dutt’s ‘Ai dil mujhe batts de’ became (remember were were about seven years old she we did this) — Ai lid jhume tabaa ed, ut sik ep aa yagaa iah, etc. We felt so clever. We must have sung it often excuse I remember most of it. Six decades later!!

  3. Siraj Syed says:

    ‘The she I love’ was always intended to be a non-film number. It was part of a two-side release, where popular Hindi song tunes were retained, but entirely new and unrelated lyrics were substituted, in English. Mohammed Rafi and Shankar-Jaikishan were common, both the tunes being S-J compositions and Rafi singing the songs in both versions, while the lyrics were written by India’s poet-laureate Harendranath Chattopadhyaya. On the flip side of ‘The she I love’ was ‘Although we hail from different lands’, on the tune of ‘Baharo phool barsao’, the chart-topper from the film Suraj.

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