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20 Best Old Bollywood Songs

October 18, 2017
7 min read

Bollywood has given us songs so beautiful that it becomes a part of our being. Ranging from the most heart-warming romantic songs, the most elegant seductive songs, to philosophies on life, the more you dwell on it, the harder it gets to accurately account for the ways it has incorporated into our lives for generations on end. Here is a list of twenty old hindi songs that remained unforgettable, though numbers are too constraining, and in no list can the entirety of the magic of Bollywood music of the olden days be contained.

 20. Charlo Dildar Chalo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS2VY6zGTd4

Singers: Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar
Movie: Pakeezah

A song that invokes the wonders as it makes us dream of escaping the harshness of the world. Lata and Rafi’s soulful voices compliment each other beautifully, and when Lata’s charming voice sings Hum bhi tayyar hai chalo, it makes you want to get up and escape this place too. This one is for those who are looking for place and a new reality.

19. Yeh Mera Deewanaapan Hai

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBxDcoFVdVQ

Singer: Mukesh
Movie: Yahudi

This beautiful song is a subtle letter about slowly descending the steps of insanity with the weight of love that transcends the being, but still remains unrequited.

18. Mausam hai aashikana

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Movie: Pakeezah

In a song about the romantic weather and the welcoming nature, you can’t miss the loneliness that is laced through the voice that is searching for someone to share it with. With the preppy music accompanying the inherent sadness of a lonely woman, the contrast is heart wrenching.

17. O saathi re, tere bina bhi kya jeena

Singer: Kishore Kumar
Movie: Muqaddar ka Sikandar

A song which seemingly is an assortment of the different ways in which a man broke down because of the loss of love, is really a silent plea for apology.

16. Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate

Singer: Kishore Kumar
Movie: Aap ki Kasam

A beautiful ballad about the withering of precious things that are lost with the flow of life: be it friendships or relationships, everything is irrevocably forgotten, or trampled upon by the steady progress of time. Reminding you to keep grounded, this song will bring you right down to the harsh, inescapable reality.

15. Musaafir hoon yaaron

Singer: Kishore Kumar
Movie: Parichay

When you live as a wanderer, letting yourself go with the flow of nature, Musafir Hoon Yaaron rings in the mind. There is a certain calmness about letting go and surrendering to the free form of the days, and this feeling is beautifully captured in this song.

14. Kya hua tera wada

Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Film: Hum kisi se kum nahi

The timeless song about broken promises, and changing people still resonates within the people. It questions the human nature and greed at its core. The frailty of humans and their empty words are brought under scrutiny through Mohammed Rafi’s heart-breaking voice.

13. Yeh shaam mastani

Singer: Kishore Kumar
Movie: Kati Patang

There is hardly any Indian who can claim to have not grooved to Yeh Shaam Mastaani. Only the opening tune gets our mood up and preppy. Kishore’s idiosyncratic voice brings life to the lyrics, making it one of the most memorable songs from Bollywood.

12. Jhuki jhuki si nazar

Singer: Jagjit Singh
Movie: Arth

Contemplating the depth of emotions bottled by a person, Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar is a plea to let go of them to live a little more freely.

11. Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho

Singer: Jagjit Singh
Movie: Arth

This is for those times when the delicately crafted smiles to hide the pain underneath dwindles into a silent cry of despair: when people see right through you attempts at saving the world from your misery. It might have gotten lost in translation through the times, but this beautiful ghazal sang very accurately about melancholia when it was still a foreign concept.

10. In aakhon ki maasti mein

Singer: Asha Bhosle
Movie: Umraojaan

Way before degrading item songs took over Bollywood with their sheer vulgarity in the name of erotica, there was this song that seduced the entire country with sheer grace and elegance. Rekha’s panache backed by Asha’s sultry voice makes this the most alluring songs of Bollywood.

9. Mera kuch saaman

Singer: Asha Bhosle
Movie: Ijaazat

From the movie Ijaazat, Mera Kuch Saaman talks about the times when the forsaking of love is so clinical that you sort your memories into cleanly documented files. When memories are so palpable that they are not just evaporating feelings, but tangible pieces of yourself, you make an account of all the pieces you’ve lost to put them together and feel whole.

8. Bade Acche lagte hai

Singer: Amit Kumar
Movie: Balika Vadhu

Probably being the most beautiful ode to love, Bade Acche Lagte hai is heart-wrenchingly innocent and honest. The magic of this song lies in the simplicity of the composition by RD Burman, and it never fails to move even the coldest of hearts.

7. Ehsan tera hoga mujh par

Singer: Mohammed rafi; Lata Mangeshkar
Movie: Junglee

A beautiful request to a lover to accept his love, it is when a person surrenders completely to his love, embracing the pain that comes with it.

6. Lag ja gale

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFr6G5zveS8

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Movie: Woh kaun thi

A song that melts seamlessly into the ambience like a lullaby, this is a song about treasuring the love while it lasts. The melancholy and sadness braided into the words can bring tears to the eyes regardless of age or time.

5. Tujhse naaraz nahi zindagi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ_YUOr-tYw

Singer: Anup Ghoshal
Movie: Masoom

A song of awe and wonder at the way two lives seamlessly merge, this also speaks of the life where every smile is accounted for, and life itself isn’t an easy feat. The purity of this song pulls at the heartstrings, leaving you vulnerable and whole at the same time.

4. Ik din bik jayega maati ke mol

Singer: Mukesh
Movie: Dharam Karam

This song takes us on a journey, showing us the impact of our actions that will remain immortal, long after we are gone. It is the relationships we form for the short time we are in the world that transcends our being. It is one of those songs that we can never stop dwelling on as it stays with us forever.

3. Jeena yahaan, marna yahaan

Singer: Mukesh
Movie: Mera Naam Joker

This is one song that can bring any Indian to tears. this heartbreaking song is about the inescapable cycle of life on the earth which traps us in its redundancy. It is here, in this loop, that we get our salvation, and heaven and hell is nowhere else but here itself, stitching happiness and sadness as a part of the same fabric.

2. Kuch to log kahenge

Singer: Kishore Kumar
Movie: Amar Prem

A satire on the nature of people and their useless beliefs, this song asks you to break out of the fear for society as it does not even spare Gods, let alone humans. One of the most powerful songs about the society, this song strikes you mind hard, leaving you contemplating.

Read More: Best A.R.Rahman Songs

1. Zindagi ka safar hai ye kaisa safar

Singer: Kishore Kumar
Movie: Safar

This haunting song sings about the futility of trying to come to an understanding with the puzzle of life. The journey is so diverse and different for each person: sometimes stretching beyond one’s will to live, and sometimes ending before it even began, it is foolish to generalise the purpose of life under a broad definition. A deeply philosophical song that transcends time, this song by Kishore Kumar is one that probably can never be outlived.

Read More: Best R.D.Burman Songs

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