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Mohammad Rafi’s Pathos-Laden Songs

Written by: H.A.K. Walijah

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

It is generally believed that pathos-laden songs is the realm of Mukesh and Talat Mehmood where they bring forth the human pain and suffering of the characters alive on the silver screen through their voices, whereas Rafi Sahab universally acknowledged as all-rounder due to his mind-boggling versatility, while millions revere him as the epitome of romance and solace; but a closer look will reveal that there are so many songs of Rafi Sahab that are really heart-rending and pathos-laden even excelled to Mukesh and Talat Mehmood melancholic songs. I have been a very strong follower of his songs, especially the “dard” that comes out naturally from his voice.  From the very beginning, K.L.Saigal was subjected to the fawning adoration of the public as  a singer he excelled in the pathos-laden songs like Jab dil hi toot gaya, Balam aan baso mere man mein, Karoon kiya aas niras bhayee, Gham diye mustakil Kitna nazuk hai dil. Later on Mukesh had a voice which could convey pathos very well and many of his songs like Dil jalta Hain, Saaranga Teri Yaad Mein etc. are the finest examples. Mukesh had the pathos. Talat Mehmood had the delicate tremor. Kishore Kumar had zany songs as well as gravitas. Rafi had all of the above plus an extra something.

The 50s and 60s are rightly considered to the golden era of Hindi film music. Each song was packaged admirably. One could not take out to a single word or note without destroying the song. The music, lyrics and the singer’s voice all jelled together. The focus used to be on the essential components of the song experience — the mind, the soul and the heart. The soul of the song was of course the voice. Each voice was honed to perfection by long years of classical riyaaz and love for originality. For them satisfying their latent and creative urge was what mattered the most. As long as these great masters remained at the helm of affairs, the Hindi film music retained its excellence and grandeur. Each of them gave his class music a mass touch with their distinct creative touch.  However, the untimely death of Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore and Talat created a void, which the successor singers could not fill up.  In those days film music was divine. It is hard to believe that — at such a distance in time ago-almost half a century there were so many wonderfully gifted people who left behind an inexhaustible treasure of perpetual joy in their music.

The sad songs of Rafi Sahab had the irresistible appeal of the sentiment of love and tender pathos. The inimitable Mohammad Rafi dominated film music for over three decades.  His deep husky voice resplendent in pathos is probably one of the radiant rays in the firmament of music. The heart-rending songs sung by Rafi Sahab touches the deepest chords of pathos expressing deep emotions used to bring tears in the eyes of the listeners and moreover the mellowness, sweetness and pathos in his voice set him apart from all the other singers.  Rafi Sahab had three solos in Guide: Din dhal jaye, Tere mere sapne, and Kya se kya ho gaya. It is interesting to note that S D Burman chose Rafi for three pivotal songs in the movie, which have a heavy dose of pathos and drama.  Listen to Rafi as he matches Mukesh’s pathos in Gham-e-hasti from Vallah Kya Baat Hai and Jinhe naaz hai from Pyaasa.  Just a cursory glance at Rafi’s repertoire shows us his mind-boggling versatility as who else could have sung songs of the patriotic (Kar chale hum fida, Haqeeqat), romantic (Aye husn zara jaag, Mere Mehboob), bidaai (Babul ki duwaein, Neel Kamal), melancholic (Yaad na jaaye, Dil Ek Mandir), philosophical (Yeh mahlon yeh takhton yeh tajon ki duniya, Pyaasa), devotional (Duniya na bhaye, Basant Bahar), classical (Nache mann mora, Meri Soorat Teri Aankhen), and qawwali (Na to carvaan ki talash, Barsaat Ki Raat) genres with so much fervour and effortless ease? Mukesh has given umpteen number of soul searching numbers in Hindi Music. I must say that his range was not as wide as Mohd. Rafi, but in the limited range that he sung, he was every man’s favorite. His songs like “Aansoon Bhari Hai Yeh Jeevan Ke Raahein” (Parvarish) – Is it the saddest song one can ever think of? In my opinion yes…. There is not much of music of wordings that make the song memorable… rather the typical sad tone of Mukesh the second one being “ Dil Jalta Hai To Jalne De”  (Pehli Nazar) – this song that put Mukesh on a fast track in Hindi filmdom. Till date this gem remains as a Mukesh Vintage Favorite and the last but not the least “Zindaa Hoon Is Tarah Ke” (Aag) – The movie that saw the greatest actor-singer combo coming to Bollywood, but this song remains as immortal.

The shade of sadness characterized Rafi’s songs; few could do it better than he, if at all they could do it. Hear the sadly lilting “Koi saghar dil ko behlata nahi / bekhudi mein bhi qarar aata nahi”. Or there is the heart-breaking “Toote hue khwabon ne / hum ko ye sikhaya hai / dil ne jise chaha tha ankhon ne ganwaya hai. In Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya / har fikr ko dhuen mein urhata chala gaya, or even the  old-fashioned pathos — that rises out of the depths when you recall Mohammad Rafi in “Yaad na jaaye beete dino ki / jaa ke na aaye jo din / dil kyun bulaye unhen”. Yet in another song wherein depicts the attachment between man and the beast “Nafrat ki duniya ko chhod ke pyar ki duniya mein” reminds us the melancholy & pathos vividly expressed because only Mohd. Rafi could have sung into such emotional tone. In “Main tooti huyi ik naiyya hun mujhe chahe jidhar le jaao” yet another specimen from the film Aadmi explicitly audible the pain and suffering of helplessness of the character.  The sadness of the song is evidently exposed by this great singer who has rendered it from his heart. “Aaj Purani Rahon Se koi mujhe awaz na de” from the movie ‘Aadmi’ literally takes you on a tour of the Mysore Brindavan Gardens even as you visualize Dilip Kumar on a wheelchair. I think Rafi is the only singer who has done justice to the lyrics penned by Neeraj – “Subah Na Ayi, Sham Na Ayi” from the  movie Cha Cha Cha and “Nayi Umar Ki Nayi Fasal” – “Swapna jhadde phool se, Meet chhubhe shool se….”. The title song of “Patthar Ke Sanam” remains another favourite. Listening to these songs by Rafi –these are filled with so much pathos that it really touches a chord in your heart – to name a few – “Na tuh zameen ke liye, hai na asman ke liye”, “Nazar athi nahin manzil, tadapne se bhi kya haasil”. There are lots more. The repertoire does not end, not here, not anywhere.

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

Rafi Saab never seen not smiling.  A truly divine soul. From where did he borrow tears for these amazing songs! Good humans may have more insight into the human plight, as they say! It is very difficult to select the sad songs from thousands of songs sung by Rafi Sahab, but anyhow the below list shows the songs mainly based on melancholic mood are the best popular numbers and also all are my favorites.  I did not mention the name of the movie and year against each song as most of the Rafi fans are well aware of these popular songs and I am sure they know it by heart.

  1. Apna hai tu begana nahin
  2. Aap ke pehlu main
  3. Aag hai lagi huyee
  4. Aaj purani raahon se
  5. Aaj kal main dhal gaya
  6. Aja tujh ko pukare
  7. Akele hain chale aao
  8. Apni aankhon main basa kar
  9. Aaye bahar ban ke lubha kar
  10. Babul ki duayen leti jaa
  11. Barbad e mohabbat ki dua
  12. Bhari duniya main aakhir dil
  13. Chahoonga main tujhe
  14. Chal ud ja re panchchi
  15. Chalo re doli uthao kahar
  16. Dekhi zamane ki yaari
  17. Dil jo na keh saka
  18. Dil ke jharokhe main
  19. Dil ki aawaz bhi sun
  20. Dil ka soona saaz
  21. Dil ne phir yaad kiya hai
  22. Din dhal jaaye haaye
  23. Dono ne kiya tha pyar magar
  24. Doston main koyee baat
  25. Duniya na bhaye mujhe
  26. Gham uthane ke liye
  27. Hum tum se juda ho kar
  28. Huye hum jinke leiye barbaad
  29. Huyee sham un ka khayal
  30. Humne jafa na seekhi
  31. Hum intezar karenge
  32. Hum to chale pardes
  33. Hum bekhudi main tum ko
  34. Is bhari duniya main
  35. Jaane walon zaraa
  36. Jo unki tamanna hai barbaad
  37. Kabhi khud pe kabhi haalat
  38. Kabhi na kabhi kahin na kahin
  39. Kahan tera insaaf hai
  40. Kar chale hum fida jaan o tan
  41. Keh do koi na kare yahan
  42. Khilona jaan kart um
  43. Khush rahe tu sada
  44. Khushboo hoon main phool
  45. Kya hua tera wada
  46. Kya se kya ho gaya
  47. Koi sagar dil ko behlata
  48. Koi sone ke dil wala
  49. Kuch log yahan par aise
  50. Man tarpat hari darshan ko
  51. Main tere dar pe aaya hoon
  52. Main wohi wohi raat
  53. Maine chand aur sitaron ki
  54. Maine rakha hai mohabbat
  55. Man re tu kahe na
  56. Mera to job hi kadam hai
  57. Mere dost kissa ye kya
  58. Mere dushman tu meri
  59. Mere mehboob tujhe meri
  60. Mere mitwa mere meet re
  61. Meri hasraton ki duniya
  62. Mile na phool to kanton se
  63. Mujhe mat roko mujhe gaane
  64. Na aadmi ka koi bharosa
  65. Na tu zameen ke liye
  66. Naseeb main jis ke jo likha
  67. Nazar aati nahin manzil
  68. O door ke musafir
  69. O duniya ke rakhwale
  70. Pardesiyon se na aankiyan
  71. Pathar ke sanam tujhe
  72. Phir woh bhooli se yaad
  73. Raahi manwa dukh ki chinta
  74. Raat bhar ka mehman andhera
  75. Raha gardishon main har dam
  76. Rang aur noor ki baraat
  77. Sab ke rehte lagta hai aise
  78. Saathi na koi manzil
  79. Sau baar janam lengey
  80. Suhani raat dhal chuki
  81. Such ke sab saathi
  82. Toote huye khawabon ne
  83. Teri galiyon main
  84. Teri zulf se judai to nahin
  85. Tujeh kya sunaoon main dilruba
  86. Tujh ko pukare mera pyar
  87. Tukde hain mere dil ke
  88. Tum bin jaon kahan
  89. Tum mujhe yoon bhula na
  90. Tumhari  zulf ke saye main
  91. Tumhi ne dard diya hai
  92. Waqt se din aur raat
  93. Woh woh na rahe jin ke liye
  94. Woh jab yaad aaye
  95. Yaad na jaye bite dinon ki
  96. Yahan main ajnabi hoon
  97. Yeh aansoo mere dil ki zuban
  98. Yeh duniya nahin jaagir kisi ki
  99. Yeh duniya yeh mehfil
  100. Yeh zindagi ke mele
  101. Zindagi to bewafa hai ek din
  102. Zindagi teri yaadon main khoyi
  103. Zindagi zinda dili ka naam

I agree, the lyrics and melody in those years was better. And one appreciates Rafi more now listening to him. I think the seriousness with which he was considered however no one could take away from that fantastic voice. In this list itself, there are some super haunting numbers!

– Din Dhal Jaaye Haaye
– Kabhi Khud Pe Kabhi Halat
– Ham Bekhudi Mein Tum Ko
– Maine Chand Aur Sitaron Ki
– Raat Bhar Ka Hai Mehmaan
– Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki

This also reminds me of another superb performance of Rafi in the film “Sehra”. “Taqdir ka fasana, jaker kisko sunayen, is dil mein jal rahe hain, armano ki chitayen.”

More sad numbers of Rafi Saab –

–Akela hoon main, is duniya main – Jaal,
-Aaj ki raat mere – Ram aur Shyam,
-Keh do koi na karen yahan pyar – Gunj uthi Shenai,
-Dekhi zamane ki yarri bichade sabhi barri barri – Kagaz ke phool.

I can still say one thing ……..he is the best even in sad songs, look at these songs:

–  Ye duniya, ye mehfil
–  Nafrat ke duniya ko chodke
–  Chalo re doli uthao
–  Ab tumhare havale

An amazing and superb songs from Deedar (1951) by Rafi Saheb, Dilip Saheb’s performance along with Nargis in this movie was much appreciated in those days. All the songs from this movie were just too good. Excellent music by Naushad Saab and fantastic lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni Sahab. The three solo classic lamentation songs still considered to be as the priceless gems which are ~

– Huye hum jin ke liye barbaad
– Naseeb dar pe tere aazmana
– Meri kahani bhulne wale tera jahan

A very sad romantic song by Rafi Saheb singing for Dilip Kumar under Naushad Saab great music.though this movie Dil Diya Dard Liya (1966) was not a blockbuster hit, but all the songs composed by Naushad Sahab created lots of magic in the heart of the audience…enjoy these solos by Rafi Saheb.

– Guzre Hain Aaj Ishq Mein
– Koi Sagar Dil ko Behlata nahin

Likewise in Uran Khatola “O Door ke Musafir “an unforgettable melody composed by Naushad Saab.

One of the best songs from Madhumati sung by Rafi Sahab….only he could have given justice to this wonderful song under the composition of Salil Choudhary… Toote Huye Khwabon Ne as well as in “Maya” – Koi sone ke dilwala, koi chandi ke dilwala……..

I am sure everyone would come out with his own list rather than restricting to the above mentioned songs. I bet all have their own favorites to contribute, let us explore all great pathos-laden songs sung by Rafi Sahab that I have missed, neglected or most probably forgot to mention.

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53 Blog Comments to “Mohammad Rafi’s Pathos-Laden Songs”

  1. ANEES says:

    In the article two names were mentioned, so I would like to write something about the two greatest singing actors but later singers only of our age, namely Mukesh and Talat Mehmood. My first post is for Mukesh sahab whose brilliant and amazing voice lasted in the memories of music lovers.

    Mukesh’s clean good looks and sweetly sincere temperament perhaps inspired his directors to cast him as a singing hero. In any case, Mukesh was an unabashed admirer of the great K.L. Saigal, probably the greatest singer hero of our times.

    Mukesh’s first song was a ghazal, ‘Dil bujha to phasl-e-bahaar kya’ composed by Ashok Ghosh for the film Nirdosh where he co-starred with Nalini Jaywant. He went on to act and sing in Sukh Dukh opposite Sitara Devi. The music for the film was directed by the revered Khemchand Prakash. This was followed by Adaab Arz in 1942. In 1953, he co-starred with Suraiya in Mashooqa. Mukesh was honest enough to realize that he would
    never make it big as a hero, and in 1956 he starred in his last film Anurag with Usha Kiron. Here Mukesh revealed another talent — for composing including the songs ‘Kisse yaad rakhoon’ and ‘Pal bhar ki pehchan’.

    Mukesh acting career never took off but his singing was noticed when he sang for Motilal in the film Moorti (1945).

    The first glimmer of stardom came with the hugely successful ‘Dil jalta hai’ from the film Pehli Nazar. Here Mukesh’s open and uninhibited admiration of K.L. Saigal is on full display. In fact the young impressionable Mukesh has heard his adored idol in the immortal ‘Jab dil hi toot gaya’ and yearned to sing a song like that. Anil Biswas turned his dream to reality. When ‘Dil jalta hai’ was heard, thousands of music lovers, laid bets as to who sang the song. So effectively had Mukesh cloned his hero, that Saigal himself was amazed. After hearing the song he is said to have exclaimed ‘But I don’t remember singing this song!’

  2. RAJA says:

    to post 44: Man Mouji Saab,

    Very good observation of Mukesh Ji songs, it was generally believed that Mukesh Ji can sing only sad songs but your selection of 10 happy songs of Mukesh is fantastic. I enjoyed listening those songs mentioned in your post.Mukesh Ji also one of the legendary singer Thank you sir.

  3. Maha Devika says:

    “HAR Sapna Ek Din Toote Is Duniya Mein”



    regards. ——–
    maha devika

  4. Prem Kumar says:

    Mukesh was also having his own weight in film music world, no body can touch him. He is like one of the pillars of filmi playback singers. People love to listen his songs which most probably create the sadness mood.

  5. Maha Devika says:

    Abdul Majidji. post 38
    do you know that rafi sahab was the most favorite singer of mukeshji, although in earlier years he had been under influence of saigalji.
    i can give you the link as a proof, if you’ll insist,


    a sister

  6. Man Mouji says:

    moderator ji,

    My post is missing which posted this morning, could you trace out and publish it.


    Man Mouji

  7. Man Mouji says:

    I recently heard a joke on a reality show which went something like: Jo jeetega wo Singapore jayega, jo harega wo Mukesh ka gana gayega. I found the joke quite neat, though I did not agree with the underlying premise. I do not view a song as a happy or sad song. Great songs are beyond this classification. But deferring to the popular stereotype of Mukesh as a singer of ‘sad’ songs, here is my compilation of my favourite ten ‘happy’ songs of Mukesh.

    1. Zulfon ka rangeen saya from Anjaam (1968), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi, music Ganesh
    2. Teri nigahoon pe mar mar gaye hum from Sahbnam (1964), lyrics Jawed Anwar, music Usha Khanna
    3. Dum dum diga diga from Chhalia (1960), music Qamar Jalalabadi, music Kalyanji Anandji
    4. Ruk ja O janewali from Kanhaiya (1959), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan
    5. Thumak thumak mat chalo kisi ka dil machalega from Kahin Pyar Ho Na Jaye (1963), lyrics Indivar, music Kalyanji Anandji
    6. Suno ji suno hamari bhi suno from Ek Dil Sau Afsane (1963), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan
    7. Mere joota hai japani from Shree 420 (1955), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan
    8. Chal mere dil lahra ke chal from Ishara (1964), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Kalyanj Anandji
    9. Mere man ki Ganga aur tere man ki Jamna ka from Sangam (1964), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan
    10. Hum aaj kahin dil kho baithe from Andaaz

  8. Khaja Aliuddin, MD says:

    Salaam to all Rafi lovers,
    I totally agree with Raja Sahab, Man Mouji Sahab and Asif Sahab about the song, “kaise kategi zindagai tere beghair”, it is a killer. No body can touch our beloved Rafi Sahab.
    A die-hard fan of Rafi Sahab,
    With regards to all Rafi lovers,

    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  9. RAJA says:

    Man Mouji Saab,

    You are absolutely true. I too purchased the CD album Kaise kategi zindagi and love to listen every day. The songs composed by swargiya Madan Mohan ji is unforgettable.

    I wish all rafi fans should listen the album kaise kategi zindagi once to bless our ears with the voice of Badashaa…… the one and only Rafi Saab.

  10. Man Mouji says:

    post – 39 Asif Sahab,

    I would like to shed some more light on the unreleased songs of Rafi Sahab which you mentioned in your post.

    ” Kaise Kategi Zindagi ” – A rare gems from unreleased films composed by late Madan Mohan ji. This CD album was released Yash Raj Music recently which contains 10 songs of Rafi Saab namely

    1) Kaise kategi Zindagi
    2) Har sapna ek din tute
    3) Mera Paigam
    4) Kadmon mein tere aye sanam
    5) Mere dil se aake lipatja
    6) Mehbooba Meri Mehbooba
    7) Jahan Mile Dharti Aakash
    8) Ya Elahi ek hasina ne
    9) Dhadke hai tu har dil
    10) Ye tera husn

    7 of these songs released earlier on the album “Tere Bagair – Madan Mohan”

    All songs composed by Madan Mohan and sung by Mohd. Rafi between 1964- 1972.

  11. Narayan says:

    Walijah saab Subhanallah !
    A great article which makes an excellent reading to all music lovers and Rafi devotees..
    Kindly try to publish such articles in leading newspapers like Times Of India ..

  12. Asif says:

    Grt writeup sir… I would like to add one super song of Rafi saab.. The song is ‘Kaise kategi zindagi tere baghair’… Its an unreleased movie’s song… Must listen this

  13. Abdul Majeed says:

    Dear all,

    My most favourite singer not only in india but throughout the world is the one MUKESH SAHIB. i have been one of the die-hard fan of this legend and will remain for ever as long as the music exist. mukesh was a god gifted singer india has ever produced. i have regard to all those singers which belonged to golder era. but listining to mukesh sahib’s songs is like a worship for me. my knowledge about music is too lomited, and i can’t judge who is better than who. but the only thing i know is that any singer who wins the heart of his fans is the master, that is mukesh sahib. his song in movie NIRDOSH 1941 is extrmely classical and i do not think Rafi saheb, Talat, Hemant and other to have tried that RAG so far, it is quite different and the most classical. in this song he proved that is got gifted singer. and as far as i remember in that era 1941 no body no Rafi, Talat or hemant existed in the realm of Music but it was only mukesh Sahib. LONG LIVE HIS MUSIC AND HIS NAME
    i pay my great tribute to this unique soul and a moddest human being

  14. Syed Zameer says:

    Well done Walijah Sahab, amazing article on sad songs of Rafi Saab. The selection of songs is too a great job done. The fellow rafians also added muti color to your article by providing number of songs which comes under the category of sad songs. Thanks……….

  15. Man Mouji says:

    I add here some more sad duets sung by Rafi Sahab and Lata Ji.

    # Dil Todne wale (Son of India)
    # O Raat ke Musafir (Miss Mary)
    # Laagi Chhute na ab to sanam (Kali Topi Laal Rumaal)
    # Teri Duniya se Door (Zabak)
    # Aap ne Yaad Dilaya (Aarti)

  16. Prasad says:

    A very nice write up. Thanks Walijah Sahab. The selection of songs is also a great job done by the rafi fans.

  17. LUCKY says:

    Even to the maximum extent Mukesh name is the epitome of sad songs, but Rafi Sahab too had given to his fans number of soul searching melodies which, I think, have in-depth pathos and sadness outwardly in much quantity. The quantity of sad songs goes in thousand if one sit to count them all.

    An apt and most prolific write up on the subject of Pathos-laden songs of Rafi Sahab, hats off to Walijah Sahab for presenting one more tribute to legend of legends, Mohammad Rafi Sahab whose voice have something or I would say a fraction of divinity in it, if I am not wrong.

    Great write up and I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks Walijah Sahab

  18. Prasad says:

    I am a late entrant to this mehfil, but there is a muhawara ” dai aaye par durst aaye”. I enjoyed reading another beautiful and “man ko moh lena wala” write-up. All the credit goes to Shri Walijah ji. Thank you sir again for your wonderful write-up.

    Also the distinguished rafians added so many pathos-laden songs sung by Rafi Sahab. It is a great feast to the eyes as well as ears to read and hear all those golden melodies sung by Rafi Sahab in sad mood.

    This write up has beautifully built up and passing through smoothly with the sweet doses of songs. Thanks Waljiah Sahab and to other rafi lovers as well.

    – Prasad

  19. Khaja Aliuddin, MD says:

    ASA, dear walijah sahab,
    bahut khoob, aapki yeh “khususi tahreer”. dil ko choo gayi.
    Post#29- I totally agree with Anees sahab.
    Aapke liye ek khoob surath sher sunata chaloon,
    ” main akela hi chala tha janibe manzil magar
    log saath aathe gaye aur karwan bantha gaya ”

    “Eid Mubarak” to walijah sahab and all Rafi lovers.
    Long live rafi sahab,

    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  20. ANEES says:

    All the stalwart rafi fans have given their great comments, I just want to add one more comment from my side, as usual, Walijah Sahab your article need no introduction to rafi fans. You are almost a known name in the rafian cirlcle and your article is mind-blowing.

    Most of the rafi fans have added so many pathos-laden songs and more rafians will join this “kafila” to enrich the beauty of this article.

    I congratulate you Walijah Sahab for your beautiful article. Please accept my Ramzan greetings as well. Ramazan Eid Greetings to all rafi lovers.

    Thanks and warm regards


  21. Hans says:

    here is my list

    1. agar bewafa tujhko pehchan jate – raat ke andhere men
    2. agar dil kisi se lagaya na hota – bada aadmi
    3. aakhri geet muhabbat ka suna loon to chalun – neela akash
    4. ae mere dost ae mere hamdam – meherbaan
    5. aanchal men saja lena kaliyan – phir wohi dil laya hoon
    6. aaj gaalo muskuralo – lalkaar
    7. aaye na baalam wada karke – shabaab
    8. badi der bhai kab loge khabar – basant bahaar
    9. baazi kisi ne pyar ki jeeti ya haar di – nazrana
    10. bhagwan ek kasoor ki itni badi saza – gehra daag
    11. babul kaun ghadi ye aayi – umang (picturised on subhash ghai)
    12. bhookh hi bhook hai insan se haivan tak – mazdoor zindabad
    13. bhala karne wale bhalai kiye ja – ghar sansar
    14. daman men daag laga baithe – dhool ka phool
    15. dil ki tamanna thi masti men – gyarah hazar ladkian
    16. dil ki lagi ne humko deewana karke chhoda – paras
    17. duniya men meri aaj andhera hi andhera – do bhai
    18. ek jhooth hai jiska duniya ne rakha hai – jadoo
    19. gham ne hansne na diya jabt ne – atma aur parmatma
    20. hai duniya usiki zamana usi ka – kashmir ki kali
    21. hazaron rang badlega zamana – sheerin farhad
    22. haye re insaan ki majboorian – ghoonghat
    23. itni badi duniya jahan itna bada mela – toofan men pyar kahan
    24. jane kahan gayi – 2 dil mera le gayi – dil apna aur preet parai
    25. jab bhi ye dil udaas hota hai – seema (1971)
    26. jata hoon main mujhe ab na bulana – daadi maa
    27. jhoom ke ga yun aaj mere dil – patanga
    28. jitni likhi thi muqaddar men ham utni pi chuke – nai roshni
    29. kisi ki yaad men duniya ko hain bhulaye hue – jahan ara
    30. kahan ja raha hai tu ae jane wale – seema (1955)
    31. kya yuhin rooth ke jane ko muhabbat ki thi – door ki awaaz
    32. kaun apna kaun paraya – kaun apna kaun paraya
    33. kiske liye ruka hai kiske liye rukega – ek saal
    34. koi mujhse poochhe ke tum mere kya ho – ye raste hain pyar ke
    35. kehke bhi na aaye tum ab chhupne lage tare – safar
    36. log to markar jalte honge – gauri
    37. meri zindagi men aate to kuchh aur baat hoti – kanyadan
    38. main apne aapse ghabra gaya hoon – bindiya
    39. main bewafa nahin hoon tere – preet na jane reet
    40. main kaun hoon main kahan hoon – main chup rahungi
    41. main zindagi men hardam – barsaat
    42. mujhe apni sharan men lelo raam – tulsidas
    43. mujhe le chalo aaj phir us gali men – sharaabi
    44. muhabbat ki rahon men chalna sambhal ke – udan khatola
    45. mere pyar men tujhe kya mila – suhagan
    46. maine peena seekh liya – goonj uthi shehnai
    47. mera ban jaye koi ye meri taqdeer nahin – ek sapera ek lutera
    48. main akela ja raha tha kya khabar thi – gauri
    49. o nanhe se farishte – ek phool do mali
    50. sari khushian hain muhabbat ki zamane ke liye – suhana safar
    51. sab kuchh lutaya hamhe aakar teri gali men – chunaria
    52. tum ek baar muhabbat ka imtihan to lo – babar
    53. tere pyar ne mujhe gham diya tere gham – chhaila babu
    54. tu hoke bada ban jana apni mata ka rakhwal – khandan
    55. takra gaya tumse dil hi to hai – aan
    56. tera aana bhi dhoka tha – mere arman mere sapne
    57. tasveer banata hoon teri khoon-e-jigar se – deewana
    58. tera kaam hai jalna parwane – paapi
    59. tera bhi kisi pe dil aaye – ek sapera ek lutera
    60. ya meri manzil bata ya zindagi ko – rakhi
    61. ye raat bahut rangeen sahi – shagoon
    62. ye dil nahin hai ke jiske sahare – aabroo
    63. yahi armaan lekar aaj apne ghar se – shabaab
    64. ye duniya ye duniya haye hamari ye duniya – yahudi
    65. zindagi ab to tere naam se dar – shaandar
    66. zindagi mujhko dikha de raasta – sanjh aur savera
    67. zindagi kya hai gham ka dariya hai – pyar kiya to darna kya
    68. zindagi bhar gham judai ka mujhe tadpayega – miss bombay
    69. zindagi ke mod par jo koi rasta mila – bedaag
    70. zindagi aaj mere naam se sharmati hai – son of india
    71. zindagi guzarne ko sathi ek chahiye – ek mahal ho sapno ka

  22. Hans says:


    you have put up an enlightening analysis typical of your other write-ups. also a fine selection of songs, which has been further embellished by bhagchandaniji, man mauji and kuttyji. i will also put up a further list.

    sad or pathos filled songs are food for human mind as talat’s songs goes ‘hain sabse madhur wo geet jinhen ham dard ke sur men gate hain’. every singer cherishes sad songs, because that always bring out the best out of the singer and they are the ones that have always been taken seriously by the cine-goers, at least in the golden era.

    all the top singers have been able to produce gems. but, they have been mostly straight sad songs. but, rafi is a class apart. his sad songs are the part of the story, because with him it looks as if he is talking with emotions through his song. with him the emotions vary according to the situation and the emphasis is not just on conveying sadness, but also expressing emotions in the right quantity.

    without saying too much i am giving links of two fast-paced sad songs, sung while the character in the film is dancing.

    1. jane kahan gayi – film dil apna aur preet parai

    2. mera ban jaye koi ye meri – film ek sapera ek lutera

  23. Binu Nair says:

    walijah saheb : i will like your indulgence in permitting me to write a few lines herein which could be “out of this topic”.

    I have done a great mistake by not reading True Voice – last several months.

    i will request mohd rafi lovers to read the article regularly since the author (who is no more) has given great details about the true voice quality of mohd rafi.

    there is hardly any mention of ghantasala or kishore kumar in the article. yet, some fans (very very jealous of mohd rafi) have come together in turns and in disguise – trying to belittle the tansen of music.

    mr hans is taking care of these ‘mukhotas’ very nicely. and, u may join in quoting what swaminathan has written about our hero.

    just to mention that, yesudas is on record saying that god has been very partial to mohd rafi and there is ‘none’ who can come near rafi saaaheb.

    our divine singers “must” rest in peace. and mischief makers need to be booked.



  24. Bipin.Jani says:

    Rafi saab was the greatest singer in India

  25. Binu Nair says:

    mohd rafi songs are always the best “among” the ocean of songs. there will be a “new crop” of writers, singers, artists, organisers from time to time.

    We are enjoying it walijah saaaheb as always and as usual…. keep up the flag flying only for the reason that “without” rafi saab songs there would’nt be a great l i f e……


    i will stray from the subject mohd rafi bakhts:

    in the article ‘true voice’, the writers of barren site : the shors and ghantasalans have come in and same persons writing in different names.
    mr hans has been doing great research and meting out the ‘just’ fare for these frustrated souls.

    please have a look therein and if needed put some sense on the senseless , mannerless – salans and shor-ums over there.

  26. Mumbaikar8 says:

    I would like to repeat what every one has said.

    Wonderful article from an ardent fan.

    I am an ardent fan too but cannot put it words like you can……..

    so keep it up.


  27. Ravi says:

    Dear Walijah sahab,

    As usual a beautiful article from your heart on Rafi sahab,without missing the greatness of the legend and giving due credit to music composers and lyricists for those wonderful gems.
    Rafi sahabs divine voice adds another dimension to the song which takes all these songs to a different level where no other singer can reach or even dream of as you have rightly mentioned which summarizes why Rafi is the greatest singer in “Rafi had all of the above plus an extra something”.

    Thanks for writing such a wonderful article,pls keep writing.

  28. Ali says:

    Thanks for list of songs

  29. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Dear walijah saab,
    nice article indeed as usual.
    my favourites are from the film “taqdeer”

    mujhe phool jaana agar ho sake
    jab jab bahhaar aayee

    kahee se mauth ko laao ke gam ki raat kate
    tu mere saam me hainnn
    un ke khayaal aaye tho
    choole ne do naazuk
    tum mujhe yum bhulaa na paaoge
    meri aawaaz suno pyaar ka raag suno
    tumari zulf ke saaye me
    ehsaan teraa ho gaa mujpar
    yeh waadiyaan yeh fizaayen
    oh muhabbath oh wafaayen kis taraa hum phool jaayen
    door rehkar na karo baat qareeb aa jaao
    kal chaman dha aaj ek seharaa huaa
    hum ne jafaa na seeki
    mere dost tuje teraa meet mubaarak
    jo unki tamannaa he barbaad ho
    muje ishq hai tujee se
    mere pyaar me tuje kyaa milaa
    charaag dil ka jalaao bahut anderaa hai
    zamaane ne maare jawaan kaise kaise
    mohabbat ke dhoke main koyee na aaye
    kya miliye aise logon se jin ki
    is rang badaltee duniyaa main
    aayaa hum mere dil bar
    subaa na aayee shaam na aayee

  30. Man Mouji says:

    I add here some more solo sad songs of Rafi Sahab.

    # Ek Dil tukde hazaar huye (Pyar Ki Jeet – 1948)
    # Aman ka farishta (Aman)
    # Main ye soch kar (Haqeeqat)
    # Pardesiyon se na aankhiyan milana (Jab Jab phool khile)
    # Akele hain chale aao janhan ho (Raaz)
    # Jab ek qaza se guzro to (Devta)
    # Babul ghar beti kisi aur ki amanat (Daata)

    Some more sad songs sung by Rafi Saab and Lata Ji which are very popular and can be added in the sad song list:

    # Mujhe teri mohabbat ka sahara (aap aye bahar aayee)
    # Wo jab yaad aye bahut aye (Parasmani)
    # Yaad main teri jag jag ke hum (Mere mehboob)
    # Yeh dil tum bin lagta nahin (izzat)
    # Awaz de kar mujhe tum (Professor)
    # Zara Saamne to aao chaliye (Janam Janam ke Phere)
    # Tumhare bin guzare hain kayee din (Aatmaram)

  31. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Wah bahut khoob. What a beautiful write-up! I completely agree with Haldar ji (Post no. 4). Mukesh is not remembered as much as he deserves. He has given us some excellent songs.

    This is my addition to pathos-ridden gems of Rafi:
    (1) Hum aapki mehafil mein bhoole se chale aaye…
    (2) Aal ek darja pilaa do ki na kuchh yaad rahe..
    (3) Mehafil se uth jane walo……Mere saathi khaali jaam..
    (4) Sadke heer tujh pe hum faqir sadke..
    (5) Taqdeer ka fasaana jaa kar kise sunaaen..
    (6) Mili khaak mein mohabbat jalaa dil kaa aashiyana…
    (7) Ye hasrat thi ki is duniya mein bas do kaam kar jaate..
    (8) Khamosh zindagi ko awaaz de rahe ho…
    (9) Dono ne kiya tha pyar magar…
    (10) Mohabbat zinda rehati hai..
    (11) Na kisi ki aankh kaa noor hoon….
    (12) Lagta nahin hai dil mera…
    (13) Jaane kya dhoondhti rehati hain ye aankhe mujh mein..
    (14) Woh hum na the woh tum na the…
    (15) Kal chaman tha aaj ek sehra hua..
    (16) Jo zubaan-e-dil na samajh sake… ye to pattharon ka shahar hai..
    (17) Khush raho ahal-e-chaman hum to watan chhod chale..
    (18) Jo guzar rahi hai mujh par ..
    (19) Main ye soch kar uske dar se utha tha…
    (20) Maayoos to hoon waade se tere….

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  32. Narendra Yadav says:

    priceless and invaluable write up on the side of sad songs sung by the darling of million of music lovers that is our beloved Rafi saab.

    Walijah Sahab you have created again magic on this site with your mind-blowing articles. I was visiting every sunday in chance of having any article written by you appeared on this website or not, but at last I found it and I am very much delighted to read and re-read your article. The sad songs are in thousands but you selected the most popular songs which are even now playing on radio stations. Rafi Saab the legend popularity has been growing more and more as his songs have everlasting impact on music lovers. what a divine attraction his voice has got.

    God bless you Mr. Walijah, expect more from you, please prepare another article on another side of rafi singing.



  33. Prem Kumar says:

    Shri Walijah Saab,

    I have literally no words to express my gratitude to you for this great article. I am just mesmerized or say hypnotized while reading this article, it is having such impact on readers. At the same time. It is a great pleasure to have such great write-up published in rendering the whole humanity a great service to pay such a versatile kalakar who is irreplaceable and no the performer has ever created in this creation.

    It will be a forever memorable for the generations to come to pay a humble tribute to such a fantastic singer who had love for people of all religions the way he sang songs.

    Rafi sahab will remain in our hearts and for the generations to come because of his inimitable voice.

    Once again thanks for this fantastic article.


    Prem Kumar

  34. Man Mouji says:

    Magnanimous, an article on epic-scale. Wonderful!

  35. Hashmat Alvi says:

    Janab Walijah Sahab,

    “Rafi had all of the above plus an extra something” – “ye kehkar aap ne samadar ko surahi main band kar diya”. what an expression, zakakallah.

    Very nice article, I read such nice article after a long time.

    The songs selection is superb and golden haunting melodies all of them.

    Thanks for your nice efforts to bring it for the rafi fans.

    Warm regards

    Hashmat Alvi

  36. SalRafi says:

    Great article, I enjoyed reading it.
    “Rafi had all of the above plus an extra something” says it all. Thank you and God bless.

  37. RAJA says:

    What an article, simply mind-blowing!

    Hats off once again to our dear Walijah Sahab for coming up with one more superb write-up on pathos-laden songs of rafi sahab. Even at the end of his career, rafi sahab had sung umpteen number of sad songs, I specially like to mention film Sargam songs ~ Kahan tera insaaf, hum to chale pardes hum pardesi hogey. mujhe mat roko mujeh gaane do” the pathos are simply great in rafi sahab songs. Even again I remember the songs ” raha gardishon main hardam, naseeb main jiske jo likha hai etc. like that number of songs.

    Well done Walijah Sahab, very nice article, please keep going and come again with more nice articles on Rafi sahab our beloved singer indeed for the past so many years.

  38. Jayant Sanyal says:

    Dear Walijah Sahab,

    One of the best selling albums of HMV-RPG-Saregama is “Ghum ke Badshah- Mohd Rafi & Mukesh. If one listens to this album and reads your article or first listens to your article and then listens to the album, the effect over the listener of the article and the songs which is deeper and greater and deeper of the two will be hard to tell. Indeed, these gifted people were like Angels who formed a team of their own with the great lyricists and music directors of their time and acheived synergy in creating an assembly line of masterpieces per se. Whether it nausha, Shakeel Combo or SJ-Hasrat Combo, OPN-S.H.Bihari; Saleel Chaudhary-Sahilendra, Gulzar-Yogesh, LP-Anand Bakshi, their creations were given soul by these “actors of voice” who made the on-screen lives of the characters appear so real, so close to reality. Wonderful Article. The List of songs as you rightly put is endless. Thanks! Long Live Rafi Sahab!

  39. Kabeer Aman says:

    As I expected, I found today a nice article of Janab Walijah Sahab for whose articles I have something like passion about. I always read his articles and at the same time appreciate a lot who have a distinctive feature and a different style of writing keeping the script racy and lucid and to the content related.

    Regarding the sad songs I too have a strong liking like other rafi fans, my list is almost same as mentioned above. It take delight in reading this article number times since I visited rafi site today.

    I am too happy to express my thanks to Walijah Sahab and rafi site administrator to present this nice article.

    Thanks a million with lot of respect and love to all rafi fans.

    Kabeer Aman

  40. Rakesh Kohli says:

    Shukriya Walijah Sahab

  41. shekhar says:

    No doubt Rafi saab has unmatched quality of singing. his voice is such which cannot be imitated by anyone. the unique quality of Rafi saab is that his voice is perfectly suitable to any hero. I am die hard fan of Rafi saab. I desperatly want video of his live concert.
    I am grateful to walijah sahab for posting very good article on legendary singer.

  42. A. Almas says:

    I visited rafi site today after more than a month and found this article and am glad to congratulate Walijah Sahab for his yet another exuberant and free flowing write-up on sad songs of Rafi Sahab, like his romantic songs, the sad songs too had an everlasting impact on music lovers specially rafi lovers, and his renditions are too good to forget. I have my own favorite list of sad songs. We can really feel the pain in rafi sahib voice when once listen to his sad songs, specially the songs mentioned here the three fantastic songs of Deedar (1951), nobody can match these songs composed by genius composer Naushad Saab. Those songs mentioned above are all my favorite and I guess for other rafians too.

    I like to express my gratitude to Walijah Sahab for posting another write up on yet another dimension of Rafi saab singing talent.

    Thanks & warm regards

    A. Almas

  43. P. Haldar says:

    Walijah saab:

    It is impossible to come up with an exhaustive list of Rafi’s pathos-laden songs, but I’d still say that there’s one song that’s conspicuous by its absence. Below your long list, you have listed six super haunting melodies. Out of these two are composed by Dada, and two are composed by his one-time assistants. If I may, I’ll add one more super song, Dada’s “Tere bin sooni” from MSTA, pciturised on Ashok Kumar. The nightingale comes in the end, but after Rafi’s pathos-laden portrayal, it is impossible for anyone to come close.

  44. P. Haldar says:

    Small correction to my previous post:

    The Hindi version of Hemant’s Bengali song is “Kahin door jab din dhal”, not “main ne tere liye”.

  45. Zaheendanish says:

    Walijah Sahab wrote: “Mukesh had the pathos. Talat Mehmood had the delicate tremor. Kishore Kumar had zany songs as well as gravitas. Rafi had all of the above plus an extra something.”

    Rafi had all the above plus an extra something, yes that something is lacking in other singers that is why he named as legend of legends or I think more than a legend.

    for Rafi Sahab I would say, “Rafi Sahab sab se pehle, baqi sab Rafi ke baad. Rafi Sahab jaisa singer doosra kahan, qata’an kabhi nahin na tab, na ab aur na bhavishya main”.

  46. Zaheendanish says:

    If we analyze the movie “ Haathi Mere Saathi” one of the blockbuster movies of 1971 starring Rajesh Khanna, yesteryear superstar, the total number of songs was six. All the songs sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar except one song that is ” Nafrat ki Duniya ko Chhod ke” is one of my favorite songs, which was the highlight songs of that movie. Even LP at that time approached Kishore kumar to sing this song, but Kishore Kumar was simply refused to sing this song, he humbly requested LP to give this song to Rafi Sahab who is the singer can do justice to this song; it is not my cup of tea. Such was the respect of Kishore kumar for Rafi Sahab. Since I read this article I hear this song Nafarat ki duniya ko number of times today just remember Rafi Sahab.

    No one can match Rafi Sahab, the legend always.

    Long live Rafi Sahab.

  47. P. Haldar says:

    Dear Walijah saab,

    Excellent article! I’m so happy that finally someone has talked about one of my favourite singers, the great Mukesh. No one seems to remember him nowadays. He was not only great for pathos-laden songs, but also very good for classical songs. Other than Manna and Rafi, I don’t think any male singer has done more justice to classical songs than Mukesh. Kishore’s classical-based songs seem to be pedestrian compared to Mukesh’s. Among all the md’s who composed for Mukesh, my favourites are Shankar-Jaikishan, Salil Chowdhury, Kalyanji-Anandji, Roshan and Khayyam.

    It is a well-known fact that Dada Burman could not stand Mukesh. But even among the few songs he composed for Mukesh, there are two standouts:

    O Jaanewalo ho sake to laut ke ana
    Chal ri sajni ab kya soche

    You can’t get any better than this. Listen to Shankar’s “Dost dost na raha” and you get the same feeling.

    Much before Anand, Salil had composed the Bengali version of “Main ne tere liye hi saat rang” for Hemant; here’s the link:

    This was a major hit in Bengali. But when it came to Anand, Salil chose Mukesh. Hemant was not amused. But, much as I love Hemant’s voice, I will concede that Mukesh’s version is better. Listen to “Kahin door jab din dhal jaye” from the same film”; simply superb!

    I’m sorry I got carried away a little. It’s perhaps because no one talks about Mukesh nowadays.

    Regards and best,
    P. Haldar

  48. Shabana says:

    You deserve rich praise for such a beautiful article on Rafi Sahab. not only the article is rich in content, but the presentation is also very good.

    The article brings out the best out of a fan who remembers his idol at all times, and goes on to give the reader the joy of re-discovering Rafi Sahab- the singer and the great human being we all appreciate and admire.


    The pathos is one more such arena where our Rafi sahab renditions will be remembered always.

    Walijah sahab thanks for this brilliant and amazing write-up.

  49. Y. Sharif says:

    Dear Walijah Sahab,

    Very nice of you to come again yet with another brilliant article on Rafi Sahab, where again Rafi Sahab had shown brilliant and amazing renditions which are incomparable. The list of the songs mentioned are almost famous songs and on the lips of every rafi lover. we had been grown up listening rafi sahab and he is truly a legend of legends. Your article has withstand the glory yet again brought out the pathos in the songs of Rafi Sahab. A brilliant piece of write up.

    I simply salute you for this polished article can be regarded as a great articles posted to rafi forum in recent times.

    With all my respects and regards to rafians

    Y. Sharif

  50. Zaheendanish says:

    Wah, Walijah Sahab,

    What an amazing article you have written, “dil ko choo liya”. Moreover the selection of songs “lajawab”.

    “Rafi Saab never seen not smiling. A truly divine soul. From where did he borrow tears for these amazing songs! ” what an expression about Rafi Sahab, Maan gaye Walijah Sahab, you are genius rafi fan.

    I truly want to write in this comment, but some time later.

    Thanks for your wonderful article.

    Zaheen Danish

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