Ten of my Favourite RD Burman Songs

This day, 27th June, marks the birth anniversary of Rahul Dev Burman, aka Pancham da. Here a special post in fond memories of Pancham da. 

He belonged to a genre that Indian music lovers were unaware of back then – he is credited with revolutionizing the filmi music in Hindi films, and his style and techniques continue to be followed by the composers of today. Burman also did playback in few movies he composed. He was famous for unique, grunting bass singing style. He also acted in the film Bhoot Bungla and Pyar Ka Mausam.

RD Burman was India’s most popular composer in 1970s, famous for his peppy tunes. Though Pancham Da is known for introducing western style in Bollywood music, he has some truly Indian classical compositions as well. These are some of my favourite  RD Burman songs, I am sure I will  miss out on some of the most popular songs of his, but these are the first songs that came to my mind. I have tried restricting one song per actor as much as possible but am not sure if I’ll be able to follow it till the end and except for Libaas, all the others from the movies that I have seen .

1. Aanke chali baanke chali  (Namkeen, 1982) : When Gulzar, R.D Burman and Sanjeev Kumar get together, they always have something different and something very beautiful to present. Namkeen is one such movie. Beautiful story, amazing performance laced with such colorful songs, each one very different from the other. Raah pe rehte hai is a beautiful number but I like this the best, because of the folk touch that it has.

2. Kya hua tera vaadha (Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, 1977) : This movie was a musical blockbuser where each song was better than the other. And it was extremely difficult to choose just one song but thanks to Rafi saaf, at least I could make up my mind about this song. This song is also known to mark Rafi-saab’s come-back. I personally don’t believe that Rafi ever needed a come-back – he has always been there. But Nasir, it would be interesting if you could throw some light on this.

3. Khamosh sa afsaana (Libaas, 1988 ) : I fell in love with this song the very first time I heard it on Vividh Bharati and have been searching for this movie ever since, but haven’t been able to find it yet. Beautiful lyrics blended with such soothing  music, that it creates a very sweet and subtle effect.

4. Tujhse naaraz nahin zindagi (Masoom, 1983) : Anup Ghoshal at his best!! One of my all-time favourites and I am sure I’m not the only one in the league. It’s such a touching song. In fact, the song says it all….I guess it’s the masoomiyat in it that makes it so beautiful. Be it  Lakdi ki kaanti  or Huzoor is kadar bhi, love all the songs!

5. A aa e ee master ji ki aa gayi chhitti (Kitaab, 1977) : An unusual film with a full-on masti song! Reminds me of my childhood days and all the classroom pranks. And oh how I miss those days now. Again Gulzar and RD at their best. RD had actually taken real  desks to the recording studio for the desk-tapping part. “VIP Underwear Baniyan”,   “Magarbatti-Agarbatti”, “sharmila cheetah”, and at the end, “center of gravity miss ho gaya tha!”- what an awesome lyrics! 😀

6. Aaja aaja main hoon pyaar tera (Teesri Manzil, 1966) : How could I do a post and not include a Shammi Kapoor number. Initially when I started with this post I had sat down with the intention of including songs that are not very popular…but I couldn’t really follow that. There are so many songs to choose from…This was Pancham Da’s first hit movie. Burman gave credit to lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for recommending him to Nasir Hussain, the producer and writer of Teesri Manzil.Vijay Anand also said that he had arranged a music session for him before Nasir Hussain. After hearing his music, Nasir Hussain made him the music director of Teesri Manzil. Nasir Hussain went on to sign RD Burman and lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for six of his films including Baharon Ke Sapne (1967), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969) and Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973).

And as a kid I have fallen down so many times trying to imitate the steps in this dance…what energy level it has!

7. Is mod se jaate hai (Aandhi, 1975) : Another lovely movie with amazing music! Can’t imagine Aandhi without  Is mod se jaate ho, Tum aa gaye ho, Tere bina zindagi se koi. It has a strong story, not doubt about it but without the songs, I don’t think Aandhi would have been such a big hit and labelled a classic.

8. Piya tu ab toh aaja (Caravan, 1971) : This is another Pancham Da’s signature song, part of it in his own voice. This song is still a sensation, I can only imagine what rage it would have created back then. Sizzling Helen dancing to RD’s tunes and Asha Bhosle’s sensous voice…what a deadly combination!

9. Muthukodi Kawari Hada (Do Phool, 1973) : A catchy composition with South Indian flavour and it has Mehmood at his best. I actually wanted to include Padosan song but since I had already included Ek chatur naar in my Manna Dey special post, I changed my mind. I’m following mutually exclusive rule…so that I get to accomodate more songs that way. 😛

10. Meri soni meri tamanna (Yaadon Ki Baarat, 1973) : Meri soni meri tamanna, jhoot nahin hai mera pyaar, deewani se ho gayi galti jaane do yaar…I love you – this is all that I have to say to and about this song. This was another Nasir Hussain, RD Burman pairing and as expected a Musical blockbuster again. I actually saw a part of it on Set Max few minutes ago.

There I go again….I’m done even before I started, yet again! Few other songs I had in mind were Ruth na jaana tumse kahoon toh, Hume tumse pyaar kitna, Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata, Raat kali ek khwab mein aayi, Kiska rasta dekhe, Aane wala pal jaane wala hai, Mere saamne wali khidki mein, Kali palak teri gori, Sun sun sun didi, Kasme vade nibhayenge hum, Ek din bik jayega, Mehbooba mehbooba, Ek ajnabee haseena se, Roop tera mastaana, Saagar kinare, O mere dil ki chain, Biti na biai raina, Kanchhi re kanchhi re, Bahon mein chale aao, Jaan-e-jaan dhoondta phir raha, Chingari koi bhadke….

Pancham was comfortable with all types of music, be it the romantic Raat kali from Buddha Mil Gaya, the sexy cabaret Piya tu ab toh aaja from Caravan, the ultimate hippie anthem Dum Maro Dum from Hare Rama Hare Krishna  or the classical Raina beeti jaaye. It is said that Dev Anand did not include the complete version of Dum Maro Dum in Hare Rama Hare Krishna, as he was worried the song would overshadow the film.  His most famous song as a singer was Mehbooba from Sholay.

Pancham Da was a very creative person. His percussion included a spoon against a glass (Chura liya hai from Yaadon Ki Baaraat), desks (Masterji ki aa gayee chitthee from Kitaab), a bamboo whistle with a balloon (Abdullah) and bottles filled with water at different levels (O maajhi re from Khushboo).


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39 Responses to “Ten of my Favourite RD Burman Songs”

  1. dustedoff Says:

    What a great list! (And I love the other songs you had in mind, too). RDB doesn’t feature much during the 60’s – even though he did do some superb work (including, as you mention, Teesri Manzil, which has some of my favourite songs), so I probably won’t get around to doing an RDB post myself… but thank you for this one!
    Happy birthday, Pancham, and RIP.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I prefer the songs and movies from the 50’s and 60’s myself…but thanks to Pancham Da that there are some really lovely songs in the 70s and 80s too. I was listening to radio on my way back home from office and the RJ said it was RDB’s birth anniversary on 26th. It was a different thing if I didn’t know…but since I got to know about it in advance, I just couldn’t help myself from posting this 🙂

  2. Archana Says:

    Once again u hv enlightened me with the filmy gyan:)
    Gr8 list and gr8 composition

  3. Sharmi Says:

    Awesome post. I think I’m incomplete without the songs of Teesri Manzil. Yesterday, I was watching a RD Burman special in Total Recall on Times Now. After the programme got over, I started weeping thinking that we don’t have such creative geniuses anymore. Pancham Da was one of the greats we had. I’m still a bit introspective after reading your post. Thank you so much 🙂

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Am so glad you enjoyed the post. I get very emotional as well when I watch such programs. Half the time I keep wondering why I wasn’t born back in the late 40’s through 70’s. Filmy soul that I am, I console myself saying, may be I was and this might be my second birth 😛

  4. bollyviewer Says:

    He did have so many and such varied kind of songs! I’ve actually come to the conclusion that if I like a 70s song (it doesn’t happen very often!), then its probably because Pancham da composed the music with his usual manic energy. And Libaas and Masoom songs constitute the few 80s songs that make me run to switch turn up the radio volume, rather than switch it off. 😀 Long live RD’s music!!!!

  5. bollywoodeewana Says:

    great Job, this is not a list i would have dreamt of doing there’s just way too many, but an R.D Burman soundtrack that forever takes me to another place is Yeh vaada raha, i love each and every song on that album plus is music for The burning train you see i just can’t make up my mind ;0)

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks 🙂
      I like the songs from The Burning Train as well, in fact I like everything about this movie but there were just too many to think about while doing the post. Since I haven’t seen Yeh Vaada Raha , it easily skipped my mind 🙂

  6. Nasir Says:

    RDB’s CHHOTE NAWAAB has had quite an impact on me since it was his first credited film as the Music Director and it had songs of many genres. All the songs are favourte. I love all the songs of TEESRI MANZIL as well.
    My favourites are:
    1. Elaahi tu sun le (Chhote Nawab)
    2. Waadiyaan mera Daaman (Rafi – Abhilasha)
    3. Maine Poochha chaand se (Abdullah)
    4. Dekha na haay (Bombay to Goa)
    5. Tujh se naaraaz (Maasoom)
    6. Tumne Mujhe Dekha (Teesri Manzil)
    7. Zamaane ne Maare (Bahaaron ke Sapne)
    8. Rut hai milan ki (Mela 1971)
    9. Yeh jo mohabbat hai (Kati Patang)
    10. Pal doh Pal ka Saath hamaaraa (Burning Train)

  7. Fimbuff Says:

    I have been reading your posts for some time but this is my first comment on your blog. You have a very nice blog with some very interesting observations on movies. Keep it up.

    Just wanted to share that the Masoom song “Tujse Naraaz Nahin zindagi” is my fav too. It was sung by Suresh Wadkar and not Anup Bhonsle. Suresh Wadkar sang a number of hindi film songs including this, ” sawan nahin badon nahin, bin badal bijli kidar kadki” from Kudrat and also that lovely song from Gaman – “seeney mein jalan, aakhon mein toofan”

    • Nasir Says:

      TUJH SE NAARAAZ NAHEEN ZINDAGI is actually a tandem song: One by Lata and the other by Anup Ghoshal. It is certainly not Suresh Wadekar as is evident from the voice and style.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      @ Fimbuff : Welcome on board! : -) Thanks for dropping by and for the lovely compliment.
      Tujhse naraaz was sung by Anup Ghoshal. It’s Huzur is kadar bhi from this movie that was sung by Suresh Wadkar and Bhupinder Singh.

  8. Veen Says:

    Hi, found your blog through Nasir saab’s site. Adding you to my blog list. Caravan is one of my fav. Burman albums, as well as Pyar Ka Mausam.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Welcome on board! Caravan was a musical delight! Each song is a gem. Hopefully some day I’ll get to include all its songs in some list or the other 🙂
      You have a lovely blog there…just saw it now, will read after I get back from work in the evening.

  9. harveypam Says:

    You are BRAVE!
    I jus twouldn’t know where to start with Pancham da. The nearest I can come to it is maybe when I select his albums.
    RD was simply great. In the 70s he is hard to beat!
    And then are his songs from lesser known films like Mr. Romeo, which bollyviewer reviewed some months back.
    RD reminds me also of my master thesis, cause when I was photoshopping the pictures, I would listen to Panchamda.
    As for Libaas the film has not released yet and has been shown only at some film festivals. HMV had issued an audio cassette with the dialogues, but I lost it when I moved away from India. I wonder if a copy exists somewhere.

    I loved the fact that you have put ‘A aa e ee master ji ki aa gayi chhitti’ on the list, since msot people know only ‘Dhanno ki aankhon me’ from teh movie. The other songs are not so melodious like the above two for my ears.

    Thanks dear sunehri for reminding us of Panchamda’s birthday!

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thank you so much!!! It wasn’t easy doing this post but I felt I could keep adding more songs in future. (If only I wasnt as busy as I am now) 😦
      A aa e ee master ji ki aa gayi chhithi , Rajoo Shrestha and the fact that it was a Gulzaar movie was more than enough to tempt me into watching Kitaab and I totally loved it. It was a different kind of movie, unlike the usual hero-heroine romances.

  10. Merideth Gonzalez Says:

    Great job on the blog, it looks outstanding. I am going to bookmark it and will make sure to check back often

  11. Basab Dasgupta Says:

    This was a great tribute to RDB on his birthday and indeed some of these songs are eternal classics. What amazes me about RDB is simply the volume of his output (music direction in 331 hindi movies plus some in other languages!!). However, I must confess that I believe it was the sixtees which was the ‘golden era” of Bollywood music highlighted by Shankar-Jaikishan (who directed in only 69 movies). Even the best music of RDB was created between 1964 and 1975 in my opinion. It was this pressure of producing hit after hit that probably diluted his creative genius in later years and also forced him to copy music from a variety of different sources. Sorry RDB fans – it is still Shankar-Jaikishan who was the best ever in music direction at Bollywood!

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thank you so much! 🙂
      He had some real good compositions.
      I have always preferred both movies and music from 50’s and 60’s. Shankar-Jaikishan were undoubtedly great. But when it comes to Music Directors, I’m not partial to anybody. I love all of them equally and love all their work, be it OP Nayyar, Naushad, SD Burman, SJ, RDB…..all of them.

  12. Aviji Das Says:


  13. sunheriyaadein Says:

    @ Aviji : Thanks to you for dropping by.

  14. VIPIN THAPAR Says:

    I read your comments about selection of pancham da i think that it is extremely difficult to choose a particular songs from his vast collection still i liked all the songs told by you .very soon i will tell you more unheard songs of our pancham da thanks

  15. manoj kumar Says:

    I realy like it rd burman all songs i m big friend of rd sir and ofcoras i miss him gretest creator

  16. n.chanddramohannaidu Says:

    ek teesri manzilkaafihain unke liye baaki sab bobus hai

  17. Nandkishor V. Deshmukh Says:

    RDB is my favourite alltime, since i am in fourth std. my brother brought some casetts of yadon ki barat & some other film composed by RDB & ifell in love with his music . where will i receive list of total songs composed by him

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Yaadon Ki Baarat was a musical blockbuster. And so are lots of his other work. I dont know if there’s any site that has a list of all songs composed by RDB. Will definitely share it with you if I come across it 🙂

  18. Sibasish Paul Says:

    With the blessing of the Great Creator Maha Guru R. D. Burman i express my inner feeling since my childhood i like to listen his Musiscal Hits.I was much inspired by Pancham Da,the great musician of the century and intruduced a little Musical Band named Pancham Melody willing to work on his great creation.

  19. shafiq Says:

    rd burman is great compuser hindi cinema i like only rd burman

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