Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Nanhi kali sone chali

Posted on: August 28, 2008

What does one do when one wants to sleep but the sleep would not come ? Count sheep ? That does not work with kids. Ask them to finish their home work? It may work, but long term outcome may lead to more sleeplessness. And what about small kids, who have not yet begun going to school, or who in fact have yet to even talk ?

Small kids who can understand talk can be told bedtime stories, but the smallest kids know only one way to go to sleep- viz lori. If moms are into Bollywood music, then they have quite a few immortal lories to choose from.

One such lori is “Nanni kali sone chali” from Sujata (1959). There are quite a few memorable lories in Bolywood movies, and it is right up there with the best of them.

The popularity of this lori lies in the fact that the voice of Geeta Dutt is so soothing that any baby would be very comfortable listening to it. The words are simple and comforting, which shows the genius of Majrooh, who , we all know could write superb lyrics on any topic. And the music director, the great Sachin Dev Burman has very intelligently let the music be almost negligible. After all, the purpose of a lori is to put babies to sleep, not to wake them up by an impressive orchestra accompanying the vocal.

This lori does everything so correctly. Little wonder, it has been a perennial favourite of moms for the last half a century. Chances are, the lori singing mom mayherself have been brought up listening to this lori by her mom. It is indeed an evergreen and immortal lullaby.



Song- Nanhi kali sone chali (Sujata) (1959 ) Singer-Geeta Dutt, Lyrics- Majrooh Sultanpuri, MD-S D Burman


hawaa dheere aanaa
neend bhare pankh liye jhoolaa jhulaa jaanaa
nanhi kali sone chali hawaa dheere aanaa
neend bhare pankh liye jhoolaa jhulaa jaanaa
nanhi kali sone chali

chaand kiran si gudiyaa naajon ki hai pali
chaand kiran si gudiyaa naajon ki hai pali
aaj agar chaandaniyaa aanaa meri gali
gun gun gun geet koi haule haule gaanaa
neend bhare pankh liye jhoolaa jhulaa jaanaa

resham ki dor agar pairon ko uljhaaye
resham ki dor agar pairon ko uljhaaye
ghunghru ka daanaa koi shor machaa jaye
daane mere jaage to phir nindiyaa tu bahlaanaa
neend bhare pankh liye jhoolaa jhulaa jaanaa
nanhi kali sone chali hawaa dheere aanaa

18 Responses to "Nanhi kali sone chali"

Thank you Atul. Beautifully done.
I think my earliest memory of music is this song which my mother and aunt used to sing to me and that is why it is an eternal favourite and means a lot to me.
It’s such a simple song but Geeta Dutt made it something special with that lovely voice and SD Burman was a genius. Hats off to the three artists – Geeta Dutt, Majrooh and S D Burman who were involved in creating this beautiful piece of music.


Totally agree with you…. & thanks to Atul for this website.


While listening to this song a few times ( to get the lyrics right), I felt exactly the same way as you did. It is quite a masterclass crafted so lovingly by the people involved in it.


This is such a great lori….
And like you say, SD Burman has kept the music totally subdued with the intention of ensuring the lori is a lori…

Your style of presenting your songs is just brilliant, Atul…I come to your blog not just to know which song you have put out there but to read your way of presenting the song.


Indeed, Raja, I think that getting some background information about the song makes listening ( and watching) the song a more fulfilling experience.


What a beautiful song! I used to sing this song to my children when they were little and they still remember this song, or at least they say they do! Geeta Dutt’s voice is like silk, it just flows so softly. It was good to see the scene because it makes the experience even more meaningful.


Realy realy a gud sng . . . Bt i hav a request do send me 2/3 more that kind of sngs plz


My 1 & half year old daughter loves this lori when i sing it to her, and i have changed a line to include her name. She loves it!


[…] instance, this movie has one of most well known luallabies of all time, viz. Nanhi kali sone chali hawa dheere aana. Picturisation of this lullaby shows Sulochana singing this lullaby to babies who grow up to become […]


Beautiful lori. I love its lyrics and music


Yest, Atul ji, indeed its Sachin da- Majrooh ji – Geeta Dutt at the Simply best !!! My favorite lory!


Realy realy a gud sng . . .


Hear this after a long time. S. D. Burman did well to select Geeta Dutt for this song.

In the film, Sulochna and her husband are childless and they adopt a child who belongs to the lower caste. Soon after they have a child of their own, who grows up to be Shashi Kala, who is spoilt by all in the household. The adopted child shown crying in the other room grows up to be Nutan.


The lines is second stanzar are :

‘ ghunghar ‘ ka daanaa koi shor machaa jaye
‘ raani meri jaagi ‘ to phir nindiyaa tu bahlaanaa


Thanx for this lovely song… I sing this everyday for my daughter:::::


Simplicity of this Lori, the softness of lyric, the velvet voice and the soothing music has made it all time great. Just listen it calmly and most often than not you will be tempted to go to sleep irrespective of your age/work.




I think after a long gap this song is again back in the ‘Top posts’ list today !!


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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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