1974: A Year of Fun-Filled Songs!
‘Aana meri jaan, Sunday ke Sunday’, ‘Eena meena deeka’, ‘Rail gaadi rail gaadi’, ‘My name is Anthony Gonsalves’ and ‘Budtameez dil’ – Hindi cinema has hada number of fun, zany songs over the decades that have tickled audiences. Whether it is Majrooh Sultanpuri’s ‘C-A-T cat, cat maaney billi’ or ‘Aala aala matwaala Barfi’, written by Swanand Kirkire, such songs have endeared themselves to audiences for their fun quotient.
The year 1974 in Hindi cinema was filled with such songs. The very first film that comes to mind when we look back at songs from that year is Aap Ki Kasam. Although the film had many good songs such as ‘Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaatey hain’ and ‘Suno, kaho’ it was the ‘Jai, jai Shiv Shankar’ track that went on to become really popular for the joy that it conveyed. In the upcoming episode of The Golden Years: 1950-1975 where he discusses the many fine Hindi film songs of 1974, Javed Akhtar narrates an interesting anecdote regarding the song a few months before Aap Ki Kasam’s release. Akhtar says that the episode is around the time Sholay (1975) was being shot in Bengaluru and all the cast and crew were put up at the same hotel. “I went to visit Amitabh Bachchan in his room. Amitabh Bachchan was very good friends with R.D. Burman. Amitabh told me, ‘Look, RD has recorded one song [‘Jai jai Shiv Shankar’] for a film. It is a super-hit song and you must listen to it.’ He had the song on tape and when I heard the song even I felt that it would become really very popular.”
Aap Ki Kasam featured the hit-pairing of Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz. The two actors also came together for another blockbuster film in the same year. Roti, which was directed by Manmohan Desai, the king of the 1970s masala entertainer, featured a number of fun, hit songs. ‘Yeh jo public hai, yeh sab jaanti hai’ became quite popular for echoing the sentiment that nothing is hidden from the common man and that he is aware of the corruption that plagues society. ‘Gorey rang pe na itna gumaan kar’ and ‘Naach meri bulbul tujhe paisa milega’ have, similarly, been used tongue-in-cheek by listeners; the former to remind people that beauty is short-lived while the latter is a comment on the faustian exchanges we sometimes make in order to earn money. Interestingly, two of these songs from Roti - ‘Gorey rang pe na itna gumaan kar’ and ‘Yeh jo public hai, yeh sab jaanti hai’ – were used in the memorable antakshari sequence of the hit 1989 film, Maine Pyar Kiya.
When talking about or discussing amusing, entertaining songs, it is hard to ignore the comedian Mehmood. The actor-director featured in a number of such songs through his career in Hindi cinema - ‘Humi kaaley hain toh kya hua’ (Gumnaam - 1965), ‘O meri maina’ (Pyar Kiye Jaa - 1966) and ‘Ek chatur naar badi hoshiyaar’ (Padosan - 1968). Even when he turned director, Mehmood made it a point to have such merry songs in his films. In 1974, the legendary comic actor directed Kunwara Baap, whose music was given by Rajesh Roshan, the composer Roshan’s son. While the film is most remembered for the lullaby, ‘Aa ri aa ja’, sung by both Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, the song, ‘Main hoon ghoda yeh hai gaadi, meri rickshaa sabse niraali’, written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, made for a most amusing song.
But the two songs from this year that really packed in an unbelievable level of zaniness featured the actor Pran. The first was from the Salim-Javed film Majboor where Pran played the character Michael. Here the actor had the song ‘Phir na kehna Michael daaru pee ke danga karta hai’ picturized on him. The song was sung by Kishore Kumar, who sang another enjoyable number for Pran in another film, Kasauti, in the same year. Kasauti, too, (like Majboor) featured Amitabh Bachchan. Here Kishore sang ‘Hum bolega toh bologe ki bolta hai’, for Pran. Just like for the Majboor song, Kishore put on a different accent while singing ‘Hum bolega toh bologe...’to factor in Pran’s Nepali character in this film. As Javed Akhtar notes, “The remarkable thing is that Kalyanji-Anandji [the film’s composers] produced a composition that appeared very similar to a Nepali folk tune. And Kishore Kumar really did well to deliver the Nepali accent in a Hindi film song. The song was very popular and it became a big hit.”
Catch the next episode of The Golden Years: 1950-1975 with Javed Akhtar this Sunday at 8 pm to know more about the many wonderful Hindi film songs from 1974. Presented by Dettol and co-powered by State Bank of India and Good Knight Fast Card.