The monsoons are here in right earnest. And like every year, the country heaves a cumulative sigh of relief as grey clouds and stimulating petrichor usher in respite from the stifling, energy draining heat of the Indian summer. Infact, one can literally see beautiful hues of green taking over from the drab yellows and browns on the ground and the skies getting covered with various shades of black and grey clouds accompanied by thunder, lightning, and rains.
Bollywood has continued to remain inspired by life and its myriad emotions and has throughout the ages celebrated the monsoons with one of its most unique offerings to world cinema – The Rain Song!
We at InspiringMeMe have attempted to create the mother of all Bollywood rain songs list which is peppered with interesting trivia and social commentary for your reading pleasure.
1. Song: Din Aaye Pyare Pyare Barsaat Ke; Film: Sangram (1950)
This virtually unheard-of song from the crime drama Sangram from 1950 is probably the pioneering song which established the cult of rain songs in Bollywood. Barely 3 years into India’s independence this song features a very British and dapper Ashok Kumar along with a very popular actress of the 50s – Nalini Jaywant.
This song is a pioneer in many ways because it also depicts driving in the rain, which has become a major trend in real life, in 1950! Music by C Ramachandra is aptly rendered by Lata Mangeshkar to the words of lyricist Raja Mehdi Ali Khan – Din aaye pyare pyare barsat ke, Chori chori kisi se mulakat ke, Kisi se mulakat ke
2. Song: Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua; Film: Shree 420 (1955)
A newly independent India was fascinated by the lovable tramp played by Raj Kapoor alongside the ethereal beauty Nargis in this movie from 1955. Hummable lyrics by Shailendra set to a peppy romantic tune by Shankar Jaikishan, this song has now become the stuff of Bollywood legend. This also the first of many rain songs that will feature Raj Kapoor.
Lata Mangeshkar and Manna De weave magic with their voices which works wonders even today on a rainy evening – Main na rahoongi, tum na rahoge. Phir bhi rahengi nishaaniyaan
3. Song: Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi; Film: Chori Chori (1956)
Raj Kapoor and Nargis rekindled the magic of rains and romance with this intoxicating number from the movie Chori Chori in 1956. Once again set to the music of Shankar Jaikishan and peppered with the words of Hasrat Jaipuri, this song encapsulates the balmy nights after a downpour brilliantly.
The voices of Manna De and Lata Mangeshkar lend the desired charm to the song, some lyrics of which go like this – Ithlaati hawa, neelam sa gagan. Kaliyon pe yeh behoshi ki nami
4. Song: Jhir Jhir Jhir Badarwa Barse; Film: Parivar (1956)
This little-known gem from the family drama Parivar from 1956 features Sabita Chatterjee and Ashim Kumar getting romantic in the rains. Music director Salil Chaudhury crafts a lilting melody depicting the seasons romantic mood. Voices to the characters are lent admirably by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar.
Shailendra does great justice in the lyrics that evoke longing – Soye armaan jaage, kayi toofan jaage, mane na man mora sajna bina
5. Song: Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si; Film: Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)
This song from the comic caper from 1958 features the multi-talented Kishore Kumar and the epitome of beauty Madhubala. Music by the legendary SD Burman, lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri along with the impeccable voice of Kishore Kumar lent a naughty tinge to the rain song for the first time in Bollywood.
This song has classic lyrics which go like this – Tan bheega hai sar geela hai, Us kaa koyi pech bhi dheela hai
6. Song: Dum Dum Diga Diga; Film: Chhalia (1960)
Raj Kapoor features once again in a rain song from the 1960 drama Chhalia. A simpleton with a heart of gold dances in the rain with people from a chawl to this song sung by Mukesh set to the tunes of Kalyanji Anandji.
Very hummable lyrics of this song go like – Bin piye main to gira, main to gira, main to gira. Haay allaah, soorat aap ki subhaan allaah
7. Song: O Sajna Barkha Bahaar Aayi; Film: Parakh (1960)
This brilliant rendition by Lata Mangeshkar is from the 1960 satire Parakh. Featuring the classically beautiful Sadhana, this song is composed by Salil Chaudhury who also wrote the story of this film.
Shailendra once again lends his magical touch by penning lines like – Aise rimjhim me, o sajan pyaase pyaase mere nayan, tere hi khwaabon mein kho gaye
8. Song: Rimjhim Ke Tarane Leke; Film: Kala Bazar (1960)
The evergreen Devanand debuts on the list with the saintly beauty Waheeda Rehman in this song from the love story Kala Bazar. SD Burman concocts a brilliant composition to the apt lines penned by Shailendra.
Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar emote the feelings of both the characters in their iconic voices – Rah jaati hai kyon hooton tak aake dil ki baat, Rimjhim ke taraane leke aayi barsaat
9. Song: Garjat Barsat Saawan Aayo Re; Film: Barsaat Ki Raat (1960)
A classical bandish rendition from the film Barsaat ki Raat (this is probably the first film based on a rainy night!), this song features as the opening credit background score. Towards the end the video shows 2 girls practicing music on a rainy evening. This film features Bharat Bhushan and Madhubala in lead roles.
Music director Roshan (grandfather of Hrithik Roshan) stamps his class with this number sung by the duet of Suman Kalyanpur and Kamal Barot. Lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi weaves magic with words like – Pal pal chhin chhin pavan jhakore, Pal pal chhin chhin pavan jhakore, Laage tan par teer samaan teer samaan
10. Song: Dil Tera Deewana Hai Sanam; Film: Dil Tera Deewana (1962)
This peppy number from the 1962 film Dil Tera Deewana features the original ‘Junglee’ Shammi Kapoor serenading the very beautiful Mala Sinha. Music by Shankar Jaikishan is set to words by Shailendra which directly profess love in the rains. This song was a milestone in a way for rain songs because it not only showed Indians how to let their hair down in the rains but also paved the way for some classic rain dance moves!
The legendary duet of Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar add an incredible feel to this song. Some lines of the song go like this – Bijlee girake aap khud bijlee se darr gaye
11. Song: Jo Ijaazat Ho Toh Ek Baat Kahu; Film: Baat Ek Raat ki (1962)
The super-successful on-screen pair of Devanand and Waheeda Rehman are found professing their love for each other in the rains in this romantic number from the film Baat Ek Raat Ki. Music of this 1962 film was composed by SD Burman and sung by Mohd Rafi and the vivacious Asha Bhosle.
Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics add the desired romance and exuberance to this song – Zindagi afsana hai kisi jawan raat ka, o raat kya ek saya hai tere mere saath ka
12. Song: Ek Samay Par Do Barsaatein; Film: Jhoola (1962)
This song from the 1962 love story Jhoola is an odd one out in the list so far because it is actually not a love song or happy song. Infact you see a distraught Sunil Dutt and Vyjayanthimala trying to come to terms with two storms – one on the outside and one on the inside.
Manna De’s voice lends the desired gravitas to the music composed by Salil Choudhury and lines penned by Rajinder Krishan. The lyrics of the song have portrayed the conflicting emotions brilliantly – Umad-ghumad jab chhayi ghataye, neer barsega sabane jana ; koi na jane dil me toofan, kab aa jaye aur kidhar se; ek samay par do barasate
13. Song: Chhup Gaye Saare Nazaare; Film: Do Raaste (1969)
After a lull of almost 7 years, Bollywood rediscovered the rain dance and this time in full technicolor! India went hysteric with the birth of the first ever superstar that the industry had seen – Rajesh Khanna! Women across the nation were soon swooning to his good looks as he romanced a bevy of beautiful heroines on the big screen.
Here we see him with the gorgeous Mumtaz, serenading her to the tunes of this 1969 film Do Raste. With music by Lakshmikant Pyarelal, this song is sung brilliantly by Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. The lyrics of the song penned by Anand Bakshi are very hummable even today – Tune kajal lagaya din mein raat ho gayi
14. Song: Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke; Film: Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke (1969)
With Rajesh Khanna going berserk on screen, the handsome hunk Dharmendra also decided to take the rain song very seriously along with Asha Parekh in this 1969 song from the film with the same name – Aaya sawan jhoom ke.
Lakshmikant Pyarelal create a nice and peppy village dance number sung once again by Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. Anand Bakshi embodies the emotions of village folks celebrating the arrival of monsoons with apt lyrics that go like – Badraa ho badraa, Chhaae ki jhume parvat haay, Re kajaraari badariyaa ko chum ke
This list has so far taken us through 2 decades – the 50s and 60s. The days ahead were ofcourse wetter and wilder running upto the present day. But all progress must be first attributed to pioneers.
Do let us know how you liked our collection and ofcourse point out songs that we might have missed out in this era.
Read the continuation of this list in our next series of posts…