Ten of my Favourite Geeta Dutt Songs

Geeta Dutt was launched in a chorus song in Bhakta Prahlad (1946), where she sang only two lines. But her rendering of those two lines stood out. She rose to fame with her next major assignment – as a Playback singer for Do Bhai. Initially she was typecast into singing bhajans and sad songs, but it was S.D Burman who recognized the magic in her voice and brought out a new facet of Geeta’s singing in Baazi. It’s believed that no female singer has better articulated the spirit of Burmanda’s music in its early years than Geeta.

Apart from S.D Burman, she worked a great deal with O.P Nayyar who developed the side of Geeta which had emerged with Baazi. Under his baton she turned into a really hep singer who could belt out any number – soft, sultry, happy, snappy, romantic, teasing or tragic.

Quoting him on Geeta: ” ……….Who will deny there is a unique quality to her singing. Give her a blatantly westernized tune this momentand a complex classical composition the next, and she will do equal justice to both with an ease of expression which a singer can only be born with. She is particularly good for songs accompanying boisterous jamborees. With that tantalizing lilt and fascinating curves she puts into her singing,she is the ideal choice if it is seductive allure you want in a song……..Geeta Dutt is an asset to any music director.”

Remembering Geeta Dutt fondly today, 20th Jul, on her Death Anniversary,  here’s a tribute to this great singer – some of her songs that I like the most.

1. Ae dil mujhe bata de tu kispe aa gaya hai (Bhai Bhai, 1956) : I must say that this is a Madan Mohan hangover 😉 It’s such a playful number filled with so much of innocence. It conveys the feeling of a first teenage crush, so unsure and so happy at the same time. Am not a teenager any more but given a situation like this, I would love to dance to this tune myself  – though very filmy, I am not as creative as the people in fims to sing a song of my own (so I would adjust with this) . Madan Mohan’s melodious composition, Rajendra Krishan’s lyrics, Geeta’s magical voice and the glow in Shyama’s face and the twinkle in her eyes – it’s such a mesmerizing blend!

2. Tadbeer se bigdi hui  (Baazi, 1951) : It’s S.D Burman’s jazzy musical scores in Baazi that demonstrated a new facet of Geeta’s singing. She had this ability to breathe life and emotion into any song she was singing. Take this one for example – at times I wonder if this really had two Geetas in this song – one onscreen and the other one behind the screen singing for her. Both are so vibrant and lively. Every emotion that Geeta Bali displays on screen can be felt in the voice. Sahir’s lyrics are quite meaningful and inspirational which inspite of the jazzy music stands out.

3. Arey tauba yeh teri ada (12 O’Clock, 1958) : Be it this or Tum jo hue mere humsafar, Aji ho suno toh, Kaisa jadoo balam tune dara….each song is a gem. Early in the morning, I had heard Kaisa jadoo balam tune dara in Bhoole Bisre Geet on Vividh Bharati, and I was humming it the whole day. I was so definite that I would include it in the list here but then I thought of Arey tauba yeh teri ada and I changed my mind. There’s quite a lot of similarity between Ae dil mujhe bata de and Kaisa jadoo balam tune dara – they both have the same feel to it where as Arey tauba is different in every way and it has HELEN in it!  Aji ho suno toh is quite different too, it has an unique lilt to it, quite different from other songs sung in restaurants and clubs but Arey tauba wins for me. This song does look and sound like a precursor to Mera naam chin chin chu  – the ending music of this song was the starting music of  Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu.

4. Babuji dheere chalna (Aar Paar, 1955) : This is Geeta Dutt’s trademark song. The first thing that strikes one when you hear Geeta Dutt sing is that she never sang. She just glided through the tune. This song just goes on to prove this! Be it Geeta’s rendition or Shakeela’s moves, they just flow with the music. Amazing! This song demonstrates the sexiness in Geeta’s voice and her easy adaptation to western tunes. Though it’s inspired by Perhaps perhaps perhaps, I find Babuji breathtakingly sensuous. Geeta Dutt’s breathy and sultry singing, the brilliant music and picturisation: all of it make it a superb example of what an inspiration should be!

5. Jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji (Mr. and Mrs. 55, 1955) : This song is such a fresh breath of air. An all time favourite of mine. Beautiful and mischievious at the same time with the  right amount of teasing flirtatiousness. Rafi and Geeta Dutt’s rendition for Johnny and Yasmin is so perfect. I love everything about this song. Saw the video after quite a long time today and this reminds me that I had wanted a dress like Yasmin’s when I had first seen this video. By the way, long ago I had heard on tv/radio that Johnny Walker married the girl in this song. But Yasmin and Noor are two different people, right? He was married to Noor (Shakeela’s sister).

6. Aaj saajan mohe ang laga lo (Pyaasa, 1957) : An amazing movie with lovely songs. We have discussed quite a lot about the movie and the song when harvey reviewed the film followed by the musings on the film. As he rightly puts – “The song itself evokes memories of “Aan milo, aan milo shyam saanware” from Devdas. Common to both songs is the origin in the Bhakti. In Bengal and Orissa it is heavily influenced by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The ‘aim’ is to be in love with God so much that one dissolves in the divine. This is the emotion in the song as well. When the song begins placidly Waheeda is shown downstairs. She listens to the song with suspicion and wariness. As the song moves ahead she is shown climbing the stairs symbolising her slow transition and moving to higher levels. She is so overcome with love for Guru Dutt that tears well up in her eyes. And as the mridangs beats rise to a crescendo the emotions swell and she is about to hug him. She raises her arm up and then she moves back and runs to her room. And in this moment there is such clarity as if everything dissolves in the present.”  – truly fantastic and mindblowing! Be it Jaane kya tune kahi or hum aap ki aankhon mein, each song is a beauty (am only talking about the songs that have Geeta’s rendition) but Aaj saajan mohe is not just beautiful, it’s divine.

7. Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam ( Kaagaz Ke Phool, 1959) : This song is a result of Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics, Burmanda’s music, V. K Murthy’s cinematography, Guru Dutt’s direction, Geeta Dutt’s voice and Waheeda’s onscreen presence.  It’s such a  haunting melody – a heart-touching rendition, which has left an indelible impression in my memory. I first heard it on radio and it was only after few years that I actually saw the picturisation. And it took my breath away! I usually prefer playful and romantic numbers but this is one of those few sad songs that I simply adore. Geeta Dutt’s voice lingers in my heart long after the song is played. She makes every word throb with meaning – what an intensity of expression!

8. Piya aiso jiya mein (Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, 1962) : A gem of a song! It just can’t get any better than this. Marvelous singing and incredible performance. When Geeta sings the lines more angan me jub purvaiyya chale, the windows in your brain will open to admit the air full of love. This is a very beautiful & happy song, with traces of a subtle pain, floating deep within the heart….Both Geeta and Meena have no match – they are stupendofantabulouslyfantastic!!! While each of the performances are spot on, if there is one person who is the heart and soul of the film, it is Meena Kumari. Her portrayal of Chhoti Bahu is perhaps the greatest performance ever seen on the Indian Screen. The sequence where Chhoti Bahu dresses for her husband singing Piya Aiso Jiya Main is a poignant exploration of a woman’s expectations.

9. Mujhe jaan na kaho meri jaan (Anubhav, 1971) : This is probably the last recorded song of Geeta Dutt.  It’s such a great song,  something mystically romantic about it.  Exotically crafted – be it Gulzar’s lyrics, Kanu Roy’s haunting music, Geeta Dutt’s seductive voice,  Tanuja’s performance or the cinematography (esp the raindrops sliding through the window and the plants outside dancing to the breeze and trying to hold the raindrops on their leaves – amazing piece of work!), it’s simply mindblowing – An unmatched classic! It has that lingering effect too….tugs at my heart strings every time I listen to it and it stays with me long after I have heard it. Honth jhuke jab honthon par, saans uljhi ho saanson mein (note the way she breaks the flow and takes a breath while singing saans uljhi ho) and that laughter while singing Meri jaan at the end!

10.  Nanhi kali sone chali hawa dheere aana (Sujata, 1959) : A lovely lullaby – what a soothing rendition! This song speaks a volume about the movie – a mother putting her baby to sleep and  an adopted girl child sleeping in another room. A very well written and executed tale, not to forget absolutely fabulous music by SD Burman. It’s raining outside and there’s a cool breeze coming in from the window…how I wish my mom was here too, I would have asked her to sing this for me. I’m going to play this song to put myself to sleep tonight.

Geeta Dutt, with no formal training in singing of the type of songs that were in vogue at that time, introduced her own brand of appealingly fresh and free flowing style of singing. Her singing was based on instincts and spontaneity, guts and feelings, and love and pensiveness that resulted in breathing life and emotion into each song she sang.

To quote Raju Bharathan, Music Critic…

“Geeta Dutt was thandi hawa and kaali ghata rolled into one. The moment she came, you got the refreshing feeling of aa hi gayi jhoom ke. There was a rare swing in her voice. She hit you like a thunderclap……….This made Geeta Dutt the one singer that Lata Mangeshkar really feared. In training and technique Lata was way ahead but neither training nor technique was of much use when pitted against Geeta in the recording room……..

Truly love her. She will always remain alive through her songs!

May her soul rest in peace!

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38 Responses to “Ten of my Favourite Geeta Dutt Songs”

  1. Rajagopalan Says:

    I wonder how can a person have so much of knowledge about music (when infact he/she is into a totally diff profession) – amazing is ur knowledge. Coming to GD, Yet another tribute-deserving voice from Bollywood.. what involvement in all of her songs, interestingly all the songs appear to be made for her… yes, May her soul Rest in Peace!

  2. dustedoff Says:

    Archana, wonderful list! I won’t say which are my ten favourite Geeta Dutt songs (I’m saving that up for my post, to coincide with her birthday), but yes, we certainly do share a lot of favourites. But then, all her songs were so absolutely fabulous.

    BTW: You’re right, Johnny Walker was married to Noor. In fact, you can see them together in another Geeta Dutt song, Arre na na na tauba tauba tauba from Aar Paar. My father told me long ago that Yasmin got married to the cameraman – a Britisher, I think – who worked in Mr and Mrs 55. Don’t know if that’s correct, though.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks, Madhu! 🙂
      Am eagerly waiting for your post now. True, all her songs were so absolutely fabulous!
      I too read that Yasmin got married to the cameraman of Mr. and Mrs. 55, he was a German (courtesy : comments on youtube). But then recalled the bit which I had heard years ago that Johnny bhai was married to the girl in Jaane kahan mera …so was just confirming.

  3. Nasir Says:

    Yes, Pandit Hanuman Prasad discovered Geeta Roy and gave her few lines to sing in as many as four songs in the film Bhakta Prahlad (1946). The songs were heavily chorus-based: –

    1) Suno suno binti hamari prabhuji bhool hui mujhse bhari
    2) Ab jani re,pehchani re mana.
    3) Suno suno hari ki leela sunayein,
    4) Jaag uthe hum jaag uthe

    BTW, Pandit Hanuman Prasad was the husband of Lalita Pawar.

    There are conflicting reports that even before 1946, Geeta Roy sang for the film called GAALI (1944). That may not be correct.

    I would like to invite you to my Tribute to Geeta Roy entitled THE IMPACT OF GEETA ROY IN NINETEEN FORTIES, contributed to:
    The same article appears with the title THE MAGIC OF GEET ROY IN NINETEEN FORTIES in my Blog at:

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks for the links….will definitely check them out. I never knew that Pandit Hanuman Prasad was Lalita Pawar’s husband. Thanks for that piece of info 🙂

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I had heard about that part….that’s so sad na. Just yesterday I was talking to my colleague about Meena Kumari, Parveen Babi, Geeta Dutt and Lalita Pawar – they all met with such tragic ends.

  4. harveypam Says:

    Great List sunehri!
    It is amazing, when one listens to the treasure trove left behind by Geeta Dutt.
    Mujhe jaan na kaho meri jaan is one of my fav songs of all times.
    And I also prefer Piya aiso jiyan mein to na jao saiyan from Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam.
    BTW didn’t know the song ‘Arre tauba’ from Twelve O’Clock.
    Thanks for the citation!

    BTW have you heard her Bhajan renditions in Jogan. I’m not really into bhajans very much, but her rendition of ‘Ghunghat ke pat khol re’ is phenomenal!

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks Harvey! 🙂
      Yes, her songs are truly amazing….her voice quality was superb – seductive and sultry. Unki awaaz mein jaan thi (it does sound like birla cement ad , na – is cement mein jaan hai).
      Yes, I have heard Ghunghat ke pat khol re – it’s Wow!!! I’m not much into Bhajans too but some of them just take my breath away. And this is one of them.

  5. Nasir Says:

    My random selection of ten songs of Geeta Roy-Dutt:
    The following are the Geeta Roy-Dutt songs that are my most favourite:

    1. Meraa sundar sapnaa beet gayaa (Do Bhai 1947)
    2. Koee duur se aawaaz de chale aao (Sahib Bibi Ghulam 1963)
    3. Mujhe jaa.n naa kaho meree jaan….(Anubhav 1971)
    4. Udhar tum hasee.n ho ( with Rafi in Mr and Mrs 55 and all her songs )
    5. Bachnaa zaraa yeh zamaanaa hai buraa (with rafi in Milap 1955)
    6. Thaa Thaiya karte aana (with Lata in Panchayat 1953)
    7. Boojh meraa kyaa naam re (CID 1956)
    8. Sun sun sun zaalimaa (with Rafi Aar Paar 1954 and all other songs)
    9. Suno gajar kyaa gaay (Baazi 1951)
    10. O Jaane Wafaa (The solitary song in Anarkali 1953)

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks for that fabulous list, Nasir!
      I hadn’t heard Thaa thaiya karte aa and I completely forgot about O jaane wafaa , but all the others would have made it to my top 20 list.

      • Nasir Says:

        I couldn’t forget O Jaane Wafaa though I confess I last heard it while playing my gramaphone records in the mid-fifties. The last part of the stanza rises to a higher pitch: DARBAR KE SHAAHO ME.N KAHEE.N ISHQ JHUKAA HAI…TU ISHQ KE DARBAR ME.N SHAAHO KO JHUKAA DE, AA JAANE WAFAA AA, SHAAHO KO JHUKAA DE, SHAAHO KO JHUKA DE, AA JAANE WAFA AA~~~ and what a fine rendition by Geeta Roy!

    • bollyviewer Says:

      Nasir, Boojh mera kya naam re is sung by Shamshad Begum, not Geeta Dutt!

      • Nasir Says:

        How silly of me! Mayb I was thinking of AANKHON HI AANKHON ME.N ISHAARA HO GAYA… Pardon me Archna for that oversight. There can’t be a mistake because voices of Shamshad Begum and Geeta-Dutta are distinct.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      And how silly of me too not to notice that…I was in a hurry to leave for work when I checked the comments in the morning…and took it for granted that it was Aankhon hi aankhon mein . 🙂

  6. bollyviewer Says:

    The first thing that strikes one when you hear Geeta Dutt sing is that she never sang. She just glided through the tune.

    What a splendid observation. She really DID glide through her songs! What a lovely voice. She sounded even better (if that is even possible!) in her Bangla songs. Check this lovely number from Harano SurTumi je amar.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks for that link. I have heard some of her Bengali songs – they are truly awesome! Bengali songs have different sweetness to them. Though I can’t understand the language fully, I do listen to lots of Bengali songs and watch few movies now and then.

  7. Richard S. Says:

    Geeta Roy/Dutt did so many great songs… I started to comment earlier, but I was planning to post clips or links and I didn’t have time to go through all the songs that occurred t me. (Though I am very fond of the songs on this list too…) I have noticed that Geeta Roy did some fine singing for a few of the best and most beautiful actresses in their earliest Hindi films – or in their earliest Hindi films as adult actresses, anyway – such as Meena Kumari (that combination started as early as 1949 or ’50 – and I try not to think of the tragic real-life irony), Geeta Bali, and Padmini. Of course, she also was the voice behind Helen’s breakthrough in Howrah Bridge. I’ve also noticed that she did some great singing for Rehana in a couple of films, and I like the singing that she did for Pandari Bai in Bahar.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      There are so many songs of hers that I adore but it becomes so difficult to list just 10 of them here. So I usually pick up songs from the movies that I have watched. But I haven’t heard many songs from the 40’s. 50’s and 60’s have been my favourite decades be it for movies or music. Let me search for her songs on Rehana and Pandari Bai.

  8. Richard S. Says:

    I know that many people who’ve grown up with classic Hindi film music like the ’50s and ’60s best. But coming to this obsession just a few years ago seemingly out of nowhere 🙂 , I just happened to progress (or go backward) from the Golden Age ’50s films to the ’40s, and for music, the ’40s have become my favorite decade. (For other things, maybe I still like the ’50s best – but, then, I haven’t found nearly as many ’40s films with English subtitles 🙂 …)

    By the way, it might be difficult to search for Geeta Roy’s songs on Pandari Bai in Bahar, because Pandari Bai was strangely identified in credits as Padmini. But some people on YouTube know this, I think…

  9. Sharmi Says:

    To quote you, “Truly love her. She will always remain alive through her songs!”
    And, I will always be devoted to her songs!! Godawesome post, thank you so very much. 🙂

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I am so glad you liked them! There are so many songs of hers…in movies like Aar Paar, Mr. and Mrs. 55, 12 O’Clock….every song is so amazing! I was so confused as to which one to pick. Geeta was a true genius!

  10. bollywoodeewana Says:

    j’adore your list, i’ve bookmarked it, Geeta Dutt is not a singer i know too much of so this post was very informative and i like ‘stupendofantabulouslyfantastic’ as a descriptive word

  11. Archana Says:

    yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh…i hv heard most of them. it feels like an accomplishment tht i m aware of the songs in ur list.:)
    my favs are : tadbeer se bigadi hui, babuji dheere chalna, jaane kahan mera jigar gayaji,aye dil mujhe bata dey

  12. Zaqs Says:

    Geeta dutt has always been my favourite artist. It is very hard for me to limit to 10 hindi song. So i will mention some other songs:
    1. Koi dur se awaz(shahib bibi gulam)
    2. Rut phiri din par (deleted pyaasa song)
    3. Aaj nahin toh kal(Naagmani)
    4. Ye kaun aaya ki mere(Baazi)
    5. Mose chanchal jawani(Bahu beti)
    6.Zara tham ja tu(Jogan)
    7.Yeh lo main haari piya(Aar paar)
    8.Gaye ghabrake mil(deleted paying guest song)
    9.Ek dil tha mera jo tera
    10.Zara dekh sambhal ke chal(vazi e Azam)
    11. Yaao aja chai bare
    12. Piya ye kya tune ishara
    I have not included any duets and avoided famous songs except one or two.Also these are not necessary my top 20.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      That was a great list! I haven’t heard a couple of them. Off to search for them on youtube. Thanks a lot!
      It’s very difficult to limit myself to just 10 songs…hopefully I’ll get to include lots of other songs in the posts to come.
      Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  13. jason Says:

    i like your blog very much.. and if you love watching movies please check my blog too.. thank you

  14. Parag Says:

    Many thanks for this wonderful post highlighting some popular songs of Geeta ji. It will be very generous of you if you can visit our blog page http://www.geetadutt.com/blog dedicated to her. We also have a complete website in her memory http://www.geetadutt.com
    Please do visit and give us your valuable comments/suggestions.
    Best Regards
    Parag (On behalf of the Geeta Dutt fans team)

  15. fauzia Says:

    The more I read about Geeta Dutt the more I admire her and it makes me sad to think that such a talented person left this world at such a young age, I wish she had lived to see how she is adored and hero worshiped by millions, its amazing how much knowledge you have about her, thanks for sharing it with us, can you send me a link where I can down load karoeke tracks of her songs, I’m so interested in singing to her song tracks.

  16. Meenu Says:

    Neither training nor technique worked for LATA then how she reached to the fop leaving Geeta dutta far behind ?
    How she bacame ‘Bharat Ratna’ ?
    This is author’s assumption nothing else. The truth is – Lata is unbetable, nobady can reach to near by her. She is ‘Maa Saraswati’

  17. Shatadal Mitra Says:

    Sure Lata ji is unbeatable, but Lata too can’t catch the style & domain of Gita ji, She is ‘dard’, she is ‘chubuli’ and the pathose in her voice no one can match. S.Mitra, Lucknow

  18. babu kali Says:

    Madan mohan’s top ten is totally a wrong selection.

  19. s p sinha Says:

    i would like to mention a geeta talat duet ‘raat hai armaan bhari’ ( film sangam ’53 ,lyrics hasrat jaipur and beautifully composed by ram ganguly).Lata was numero uno geeta was no pushover. i feel 75% of a song is made by beautiful lyrics and beautiful composition. dolly parton,american pop queen wrote 3000 beautiful songs composed them and sung. thats what is a genius.

  20. adam singh Says:

    likh padh likh padh likh padh ke achha sa raja beta ban
    apne liye nahin auron ke liye hai ye tera jeewan
    which movie which year who acted please upload and inform at adamsin29@yahoo.com if u know some thing
    i would be highly obliged

  21. adamstngh Says:

    Thanks a lot
    I am obliged

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