Ten of my Favourite Manna Dey Songs

I’ve been away from the blogworld for quite sometime now. Lots of other things kept me extremely occupied – I was looking for a change in job, so to start with, I was busy attending interviews. When I got a new job, I resigned from my previous company and was serving notice period for a month, and that just flew away in giving trainings. And now that I have finally joined the new place, I’m trying to get used to the atmosphere here.

So, I hardly had time to watch movies or post something here for the last one month. Now that life has come back to normal again, when the weekend approached I was glad that I could watch movies and get back to blogging again. Thanks to Vividh Bharati that I came to knnow it’s Manna Dey’s birthday today. So here I am with some of my favourite Manna Dey songs.

Born on 1 May 1919, Prabodh Chandra Dey is better known by his nickname, Manna Dey. As he celebrates his 91st birthday today, here’s wishing him a very very happy birthday and a wonderful year ahead!

1. Laaga chunri mein daag (Dil hi toh hai, 1963) :  This is a real masterpiece, one of my all time favourites and one of the most popular Manna Dey songs. Roshan’s music, Sahir Ludhianvi’s lyrics, Manna Dey’s voice, Priyadarshini’s dance and Raj Kapoor’s screen presence – everything is just so superb. And this song has such a spiritual feel to it.

2. Yeh raat bhegi bheegi (Chori Chori, 1956) : Along with Mukesh, Manna Dey was also Raj Kapoor’s voice in many movies. And this movie is one of my favourite Raj Kapoor films. Raj Kapoor is undoubtedly one of the finest actors we’ve ever had and a great director too, with an amazing sense of music – all his films have such lovely songs. But his movies are usually so socially awakening that they leave me emotionally, morally and socially depressed. So I don’t re-watch many of his movies but this is an exception. It’s such a fun movie and has wonderful songs (Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics and Shankar-Jaikishan’s music) – be it Jahan mein jaati hoon, Aaja sanam or Panchhi banoo udti phiroon.

3.  Gori tori baanki (Aadhi Raat Ke Baad, 1965) : Manna Dey had a very strong classical base and was usually roped in to sing semi-classical songs. And this song, penned by Prem Dhawan and composed by Chitragupta is a semi-classical song set on Western music – a fun number picturised on Aagha where he tries to impress girls with his magic tricks.

4. Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo (Mera naam Joker, 1970)  : One more Manna-Raj duo and Manna Dey won the Filmfare best Playback singer award for this song.  This movie marks the debut of Rishi Kapoor. Raj Kapoor spent so much of his own fortune in making this movie, that when it flopped at the box office, Raj came close to being totally bankrupt. I had watched this film on Doordarshan during my school days but they had to cut it short to fit in the allocated 3 hours. But my dad says that this was almost 5 hours long and when he had watched it in a theater, it had 2 intervals.

5. Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge (Sholay 1975) : IMDB’s tagline for Sholay reads : “The greatest star cast ever assembled…….The greatest story ever told”. I doubt if there’s any Bollywood fan who has not seen this movie but I wont get into the details of the movie, let Raju Shrivastav do that. This Manna Dey-Kishore Kumar duet is one of the most popular songs on dosti – be it any occasion/event…this song is always played/sung.

6. Ek chatur naar karke (Padosan, 1968) :  A musical battle where both Mehmood and Sunil Dutt lip-sync to Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar respectively as they try to win over Saira Banu. The singing by both the artist is sheer madness at its best.

As per wiki –  “Reportedly the song ‘Ek Chatur Naar’ (a duet by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey) was partly improvised by Kishore Kumar at the time of recording and Manna Day, determined to show Kishore Kumar how he would sing the duet better (since Kishore had not been trained classically), got into the mood of the song and immortalized ‘Ek Chatur Naar’. Legend also has it that Manna Dey was upset by the fact that in the picturisation of the song, the singing competition between the two heroes (Dutt and Mehmood) was won by Dutt, for whom the background singing was done by Kishore. Dey didn’t like the fact that a classically trained singer like himself would have to lose, though only on-screen, to an un-trained singer (Kishore). In the song, at a couple of times Mehmood had to say “sur gadbad jee” against Sunil Dutt where Kishore was singing hence Dey refused to say those words so Mehmood gave his own voice for the same.”

But this is what Manna Dey had to say about this song in – “Memories Come Alive: An Autobiography” :
“I was especially cautious when asked to sing for Mehmood in Ek chatur naar with Kishore Kumar. The latter had a unique and unaffected style of singing which tended to eclipse the subtleties of classical music, and place his singing partner, in a duet, at a disadvantage. To be put in the shade by Kishore’s flamboyant style of singing was a distinct possibility and, to counter the risk, I decided to work with Pancham, striving to build on my strengths and find a way of holding my own.”
“On the day we were to record Ek chatur naar, the entire staff at the studio stood outside the glass-door to watch Kishore and me sing. For the two of us, the session had taken on the magnitude of a duel. It took us 12 hours – the recording started at 9 am and ended at 9 pm – to complete it, and I must admit, Kishore was in his element that day. Out of this tough battle to outshine one another, would emerge a new star in the world of music.”

7. Ae meri zohra zabeen (Waqt, 1965) : Another gem of a song – picturised on one of my favourite actors, Balraj Sahni;  sung by one of my favourite singers, Manna Dey and from one of my favourite movies. This is just amazing! 

8. Pyaar hua hai ikraar hua (Shree 420, 1955) : Yet another Raj Kapoor-Manna Dey duo. I think of Raj Kapoor and Nargis and this song is the first thing that comes to my mind. I think of a rain song, I think of this song. I remember reading that this song is one of the top ten romantic songs in Bollywood.

9. Tum bin jeevan kaisa jeevan (Bawarchi, 1972) : There are some songs which I just cant imagine anybody else singing, and this is one of them. Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Rajesh Khanna playing the All-rounder Bawarchi is one of my favourite films too. And this film had a different music altogether, not the usual romantic numbers, as per the prevailing trend.

10.  Jhanak jhanak tori baje payaliya (Mere huzoor, 1968) : Its a great song, great composition and great singing by Manna Dey – simply superb.

And there I go as usual, I was just getting into the flow and I have reached 10 songs already. There are so many other songs of his – Chalat musafir (Teesri Kasam), Jeewan chalne ka naam (Shor), Door hai kinara (Saudagar), Na maangoo sona chandi (Bobby), Kaun aaya mere mann ke dware (Dekh Kabira Roya)…….to name a few.


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27 Responses to “Ten of my Favourite Manna Dey Songs”

  1. bollywoodeewana Says:

    Congratulations on your Job and fab list as usual maybe you should start compiling best of series for Shemaroo ;0)
    ‘Ae mere zohra jabeen’ will always be my favourite Manna dey song plus i just love Balraj Sahni’s mannerism in the song. The jHANKA JHANAK PYAAL BAAJE SONG from Mere Huzoor sounds a lot like the title track of V. Shantaram’s Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks! 🙂
      Yup, the two songs do sound similar. Even Chham Chham baje re payaliya …..I guess it’s the similar lyrics. Any one of these songs reminds me of the other two as well.

  2. dustedoff Says:

    Ah, this took me back a year! Last year, on Manna Dey’s birthday, I posted my list of favourites:


    And, interestingly enough, we have very few songs in common in our lists, but I love all the songs on your list too! Just goes to show what fabulous songs he sang.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      That was a lovely list!
      True, he was a very versatile singer and he has such fabulous songs to his credit.
      I still can’t get over the fact that > Ae mere watan, Zindagi kaisi hai paheli, Chanda chale chale re taara, Hansne ki chah ne didn’t come to my mind while I was making this list.

  3. Nasir Says:

    My 10 favourites won’t be the popular Manna Dey Songs but these:
    1. Title song from Kinare Kinare. (Chale jaa rahen hain mohabbat ke maare kinaare kinaare kinaare kinaare).
    2. Jaa re beimaan tujhe jaan liya – from Private Secretary.
    3. Kaun Aaya mere mann ke dware – from Dekh Kabira Roya.
    4. Poochhaa na kaise maine rayn bitaayi- Meri Surat teri Ankhen.
    5. Sur na saje kya gaaoon main – Basant Bahaar.
    6. Tu Hai Mera Prem Devta – with Rafi in Kalpana.
    7. Aayo kahaan se ghanshyam – Buddha Mil Gaya.
    8. Aao Twist Karen – Bhoot Bangla (RDB FIRST)
    9. jeevan Chalne ka Naam – Shor.
    10. Sooraj zara aa paas aa – Ujala – (I love this song for the names of the dishes: Aalu Tamaatar ka saag, imli ki chaTni bane, roTi karaari sikhe, ghee uspar asli lage….)
    Of course, the Bawarchi song is my favourite too and so are others. The one song that fascinated me in my childhood was Phir Wohi Raat Hai Phir Wohi Hai Dar…from Apradhi Kaun . which was a murder mystery, and I used to get goose pimples thinking who would be the next backed up by this song. LOL…..

  4. Anirban Says:

    Happy Birthday to Manna Dey and I love his songs in Hindi and Bangla. Probably in Bangla more than in Hindi because it is my mother tongue.

    Nice list here. Many are my own favorites too. 🙂

  5. Richard S. Says:

    Sunheriyaadein, that’ s a very good list… Though Nasir is the one who mentioned my favorite Manna Dey song. There are obvious reasons why it is my favorite, though I swear I really do enjoy this duet with Rafi even apart from the visuals that accompany it:

  6. Nasir Says:

    Thanks for that song Tu Hai Mera Prem Devta!

  7. harvey Says:

    Last year, if i remember right, dustedoff had put up a list of her fav ten Manna Dey songs.
    Nice to see yours this year!

    Thnks for oyur list as well, nasir!
    I love Jaa re beimaan tujhe jaan liya from Private Secretary and Aayo kahaan se ghanshyam from Buddha Mil Gaya very much as well.

    Laaga chunri mein daag is one of my fav songs of maana as well. I like this song for its spiritual content as well. But the picturisation lets it completely down.

    Saanjh dhali from kala Bazaar is a beautiful duet with manna dey. And there is the famous qawaali from Barsaat ki raat ‘na to carvan ki talaash hai’. Waqif Hu Khub from Bahu Begum is also a great qawaali.

    ja tose main nahin boloo from parivar and “Ae Sakhi radhike banwari ho gayi” from Jurmana I like as well although he has shorter parts than Lata in this songs.

    re man sur mein gaa is also one of his little known songs! A great singer! Thanks for your post!

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I read dustedoff’s post few days back and I still can’t forgive myself for forgetting Aye mere pyaare watan.
      True, a very great singer and very versatile too!

    • Nasir Says:

      Indeed Harvey, Jaa tose naaheen boloon from Parivar was a class song I had heard in my childhood and tune is still fresh in my mind. Talking of Parivar, there was a Kishore Kumar song too: Kooen mein doob mar jaana yaar tum shaadi mat karna.

  8. bollyviewer Says:

    Now how did I miss this? Its all Vinod Khanna’s fault – my google reader has been so full of Khanna posts that I missed other meaningful stuff!

    I love all the songs you listed. In fact anything that Manna da sang, is automatically good. And he is still singing, at this age too! My top ten list, though, would include his more haunting numbers – Aye mere pyaare watan, Kasme waade pyar wafa sab, Tu pyar ka sagar hai and Kaun aaya mere man ke dwaare.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      And I’ve been missing out on everything else 😦 Have been extremely busy of late. Haven’t been able to follow ur posts.
      Thanks a lot! I totally agree, anything that Manna da sang is automatically good 🙂

  9. sophy Says:

    Hi sunheriyaadein,

    Do you have a youtube channel? I’ve seen some of your uploads there. Anyway, since it was the Tagore sesquicentennial a few days ago, I was listening to “Aye mere pyare watan”
    from Kabuliwala all day. I love Manna Dey since I tend to prefer classical to filmi music. Laaga chunari mein daag is fantastic. My top 10 would also have “Poocho na kaise maine rain” #1 or #2, “Tu pyar ka sagar hai” and something from Basant Bahar (Ketki, gulab…).

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I do upload some songs on youtube but don’t have a channel as such. I usually put up songs from movies that I have watched, makes the selectione asier. Otherwise it’s such a difficult task to list only 10 songs 🙂

  10. Sharmi Says:

    I think Pyaar hua ikraar is a watershed song in the history of Bollywood. My friend says, its a bit inspired by Kelly’s singin in the rain…great post. I love how you’ve matched songs in hom dono hain alag alag…
    I also write a blog on old films. do visit sometime. here:
    P.S. I just love old songs…

  11. stuartnz Says:

    Awesome list, thank you. So nice to see some of my favourites – even though I can’t sing aworth a damn, I earned BIG brownie points by dedicating “ae meri zohra jabeen” to my wife (& translating it) when she heard it playing the other day. There are so many great songs and so many movies I wish I had the Waqt for – including that great film, which I’ve only seen once, too long ago.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Welcome aboard! 🙂 Am glad you liked them. You sang Ae meri zohra jabeen to ur wife? How sweet!!!! 🙂
      I have seen this movie couple of times and I totally love it. But there r so many other movies and so little time….wonder when I’ll get to watch all of them.

  12. stuartnz Says:

    “You sang Ae meri zohra jabeen to ur wife? ” Ah, no – my singing is officially listed as a crime against humanity. I played it, and said it was for her.

  13. musicparast Says:

    Hello! I loved everybody’s listing of Manna Dey Songs. Isn’t it wonderful that we all have so many to choose from!
    I should confess this first: I am not a very big fan of Manna Dey. But that does not mean I do not love some of his songs…

    kisne chilman se maara (Baat Ek Raat ki)
    meri bhais ko DanDa kyon maara? (w/others) (Pagla Kahin Ka)
    ek same par do barsaaten (Jhoola)
    chaand aur main aur too (w/Asha) (Manzil)
    muskura laadle muskura (Zindgi)
    zulfon ki ghaTa le kar (w/Asha) (Reshmi Rumaal)
    mere jeevan me kiran ban ke (w/Asha) (Talaaq)
    too chhupi hai kahaan? (w/Asha) (Navrang)
    ..tujh ko chalna hoga (w/others) (Safar)
    parda uTHe salaam ho jaaye (w/others) (Dil Hi To Hai)
    sooraj zara, aa paas aa (w/others) (Ujaala)
    leke haathon me haath (w/Lata) (Ghar Ghar ki Baat)
    aye mere pyaare vatan (Kabuliwaala)
    main tere pyaar men kaya kya n bana (w/Geeta) (Ziddi)
    mera sab kuchh mere geet re (Zindgi Zindgi)
    kaun gali gaye shyaam? (Madhu)
    raat gai phir din aata hai (w/Asha,others) (Boot Polish)
    lapak jhapak too (w/others) (Boot Polish)
    phir wohi dard hai (Apradhi Kaun?)
    dost kahaan koi tum sa? (Khaamoshi)
    chham chham, lo suno (w/Lata) (Ujaala)
    qasme, vaade (Upkaar)
    soch ke ye gagan jhoome (w/Lata) (Jyoti)
    kaun aaya mere man ke dwaare? (Dekh Kabira Roya)
    ye hawa, ye nadi ka kinaara (w/Asha) (Ghar Sansaar)
    aye meri zohra jabeen (Waqt)
    jeevan se lambe hain (Aashirwaad)
    solo song (Padosan)
    joDi hamaari jamega kaise? (w/Asha) (Aulaad)
    masti bhara hai sama (w/Lata) (Parvarish)
    chhuppa chhuppi (w/Lata,others) (Savera)
    insaan ka insaan se (w/others) (Paigham)
    o meri maina! (w/Usha) (Pyaar Kiye Jaa)
    meri patni mujhe sataati hai (w/Surendra) (Patipatni)
    main tere pyaar ka bimaar hoon (Love in Tokyo)
    haaye re, main to prem diwaana (Bedaagh)
    tere naina talaash (Talaash)
    jaao, laadli! pati ke ghar (Stree)
    shaam dhale jamuna kinaare (w/Lata, others) (Pushpanjali)
    yaari hai imaan mera (Zanjeer)
    abhi to haath me jaam hai (Seeta aur Geeta)
    har taraf ab ye hi afsaane hain (Hindustan ki Qasam)

    Oops… i sure got carried away, eh! Thanks for going through with it!

  14. Nasir Says:

    Great List Musicparast!

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