Nostalgic memories about several enchanting lullabies and songs for children from Hindi films of yesteryears passed through my mind when I was preparing a post on Preeti Sagar. It prompted me to scan through my collection of gramophone records and listen to those immortal songs once again.
One of the earliest film lullabies was, of course ,K.L.Saigal's 'Soja Rajkumari', from film Zindagi. Though, I understand, not used as a lullaby in the film it is still a great 'lori'. There is also Saigal's song for children, 'Aao bachhe.......Ek Raje ka beta', from film President. It is, in fact, a rare combination of song and dialogue by Saigal. Another early lullaby was the melody from Do Bigha Zameen , viz., 'Aa Ja ri Nindiya too aa', by Lata and composed by Salil Choudhury.
Coming to later years, there are a few beautiful lullabies composed by Hemant Kumar like, 'Raat hai suhani O nindiya rani' by Lata in film 'Bandish' In film Jagriti, there is that famous song, 'Hum laye hain toofan se ' sung by Hemant Kumar himself and the other penned and sung by poet Pradeep, viz.,"aao bachche tumhe dikhayen ". In fact patriotism was the main theme of many songs for children during the period. In Ganga Jamuna ( Music-Naushad) there is a song ,'Insaf ki dagar pe bachchom ', by Hemant Kumar. If I remember correct the scene from the film was an open class room and the song was enacted by Hemant Kumar himself. In 'Son of India' [Naushad] there is a song by Shanti Mathur , 'Nanha munna rahi hoom .........Jai hind jai hind. No lullaby composed by Naushad is coming to my mind readily but there is yet another children's song of his by Rafi in 'Ram aur Shyam' , viz., Aayi hain baharen.
The combination of Shankar Jai kishan, Rafi, and Shammi Kapoor had given a few outstanding songs in this category. In film Brahmachari there is the hit lullaby, 'Main gaon tum sojao' featuring Shumi Kapoor quite contrary to his established image. There is also the song, 'Chakke main chakka' by Rafi. In film Andaz, the Hema Malini- Shammi Kapoor starrer , there are two very popular songs; 'Re mama re mama re' by Rafi and a chorus, 'Hainnah bolo 'by Rafi , Suman Kalyanpur , Sushma Shreshta and Pratibha. Two more songs of Shankar Jaikishan are , Mukesh's 'Ichak dana ichak dana' [film Shree 420] and the duet by Asha and Rafi, 'Nanhe munne bachche teri' from Boot Polish . But Sankar Jaikishans' versatality and talent also for soft melodies and lullabies are evidenced in their songs in films like Seema , BeteBete and Katputli. In Seema, we have the evergreen lullaby , ' Suno choty se gudiya ke lamby kahani'; in Bete Bete , 'Aaj kal main dhal gaya' and in Katputali , 'Soja re meri raj dulari'; all three songs jems by Lata . The jacket of the L.P. record of 'Seema' was a beautifully designed one by Mohanmurali in predominant blue showing the facial profile of Nutan, the heroine of the film.
Ravi is another music director who has given us a number of popular songs in this category. 'Chandamama door hai (film.vachan), 'Tumhi mere mandir (Khandan), both by Lata, are beautiful lullabies. In 'Ek Phool Do Mali', Manna Dey sang the soulful lullaby, 'Mujhe Sooraj kahe ya Chanda'. In Gharana there is the song,"Dadi amma Dadi amma man Jao', by Asha, featuring children trying to pacify their grandmother. In 'DO kaliyan', there is a duet by Asha and Rafi, 'Bachche man ki sachhe'.
Music director Ilayaraja had exploited the voice of K.J. Yesudas in full in creating an outstanding lullaby in film Sadma, viz., Surmein Akhiyom me Nanna munna......'; indeed one of the best in this genre reminding us of 'Nanhi Pari lori gae [Char Diwari-Salil Choudhury] and 'Dhere Se aajare akhiyan me [Albela-C.Ramachandra]
One of the best in this category of songs is the one composed by S.D.Burman for the film Sujata and sung in the silky soft voice of Geeta Dutt,viz., 'Nanhi kali sone chale hawa dheere aana'. One can go on listening to it any number of times.The song 'Chandare....'[Asha] in film Lajwanti and 'Chanda hai tu mera sooraj hai tu'[Lata] in film Aaradhana are two S. D. Burman songs coming to my mind.
Music director Khayyam has composed a song,' Mera ghar aaye meri nanhi pari' [Kabhi kabhi] and Mere chanda mere nanhe [Akhari khat] both by Lata. Music director Laxmi kantPyarelal composed the song 'Ek do teen char....'in film Sant Gyaneswar and 'Mein ek nanha sa buchcha hum', in film Harischandra Taramati, both by Lata .
There is one LP record in my collection titled,' Songs for Children from Hindi films -Lata Mangeshkar'. It contains 12 songs including a few mentioned earlier . There is also one song ,'Meethi meethi bathom se bachna zara[Quidi No 911] composed by Dutta Ram , one of the most talented but underrated music directors of Hindi films. [Who can forget the pathos filled song ,'Aansoo bhari hain yeh jeevan ki rahein ' from Parvarish?] 'Meethi meethi' was highly popular among college students and youngsters because of its tune, rhythm, simplicity and, above all, 'singability' on a mouth organ which was a common and affordable musical instrument those days.The non availability of the gramophone records of the film makes the album a collectors' item. The name of Dutta Ram also brings to my mind the song in film Ab Dilli Door Nahin, viz.,'Chun Chun Karti[Rafi].
Are we getting such pure and beautiful lullabies and children's songs nowadys?
Tail piece:Which is the best lullaby in Malayalam films? Argueably, 'Pattu Paadi Urakkam njan Thamarapoompaithale' by P.Susheela from film 'Seetha'.