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Mohammed Rafi’s less heard songs; Shraddhanjali on 38th Punyatithi

By Udai V. Singh, Duluth, GA, USA

Mohammed Rafi's 38th Death Anniversary

Three decades and eight years ago, at 10:25PM of 31st July 1980, the legendary playback singer Mohammad Rafi passed into history at age of 56 years,  The divine voice that enthralled and mesmerised Bollywood song lovers all over the world for almost four decades drifted away into soulful silence with his last breath.

But in larger sense, he never became silent. He is with us as long his songs are with us. I don’t miss him because everyday I sing and listen his songs. Years ago, I promised myself to listen as many of his songs as possible, one after another. It has been a daunting task simply because there are a few thousand songs. But to listen one and sometimes a few new songs every morning gives me a refreshing start and enormous joy rest of the day.

Well, Rafi saheb’s famous and popular songs are marvellous by every measure and meter, but still there some equally marvellous songs that didn’t become as popular. To remember him and those songs, please join me and listen following “less heard” songs:

  1. Ganga tera pani amrit (1971)from the film of same name. Written by famous lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi on Ravi’s music. This song is such a powehouse of Rafi saheb’s high notes that its stirring impact that leaves listener in emotional rapture. It is history telling song.
  2. Duniya na bhaye mohe ab to bula le (1956) from film Basant Bahar. Lyrics Shailendra and music by Shankar Jaikishen. This song and other songs of this film proved that the classical music talents fo SJ were no less than that of Nashasd’s in Baiju Bawara (1951) famous “man tarpat hari darshan” and “o duniya ke rakhwale“. This song, however, has more soul and depth right from Rafi saheb’s starting alaap and last stanza’s painful and humble plea.
  3. Ilahi tu sunle hamri dua (1971) from film Chote Nawab, famous comedian Mehmood’s first production. Words are by Shailendra  and music composed by R. D Burman (his first film as music director, and what a moving music-listen other songs of this film). This song shows excellence of Rafi saheb’s superb skill to modulate voice to match the character on screen and to bring sustained pathos the notes of song require. Best song about respect for parent.
  4. Dil tardpe tardpaye (1965) from film Poonam Ki Raat. Words by Shailendra and music by Salil Chowdhury. This haunting song’s words are tricky ( notice this string of words -dil tarpe tarpaye) and SC’s music with sonorous chorus is multi layered and fast and make it a difficult composition but not for Rafi saheb to sing. Be prepared to transported to the world of fantasy.
  5. Aaye Baharon Ki Sham(1969) from flim Wapas. Words are by lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri and music is by Laxmikant Payrelal. Rafi saheb is not just singing but sweetly whispering. Note softness of his voice in words “badhaya tamana ka jaam“.
  6. Kaise kategi zindagi tere bagair(1968) from film Jahan Hum Wahan Tum which was never finished and so its songs were forgotten. In 2009 stars aligned to bring this song before public. Not sure who wrote the words probably Rajendra Krishan or Raja Mehdi Ali Khan. The music is by Madan Mohan. His son Sanjiv Kohli found this song among his father’s unreleased recordings. It excites my heart to think there are certainly many other songs still to be found. This song is a tribute to both Madan and Rafi saheb.

Thank you everyone. Keep listening!!

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3 Blog Comments to “Mohammed Rafi’s less heard songs; Shraddhanjali on 38th Punyatithi”

  1. Salil says:

    Lots of rare less heard melodious songs from the 1970s I love by RAFI that are not mentioned here. Of course you have selected only six songs out of thousands of gems from the greatest RAFI; the only singer whose every gem I cherish irrespective of era, mood and genre.

  2. Essen says:

    Udayji, thank you for your tribute to the Emperor – the God of Playback Singing! Each one of the songs you have linked in to your post are Rare Gems indeed.

    Luckily for us, there are hundreds of wonderful songs by Rafi Saab. However, it is difficult to choose just 10 of his best songs, for each person’s listing would be different from the other’s!

    Nevertheless, thank you for your choice – I enjoyed each one of them! Do keep writing!

  3. dev says:

    Aaj din badha beimaan hai 🙁

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