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

Babul mora naihar chhooto hi jaaye

Posted on: February 20, 2009

These days, I am posting a K L Saigal song as the first song of the day every day. In this series, here is a K L Saigal song from “Street Singer” (1938).

Those days, actors needed to sing their own songs, and I suspect this singing was live ( viz they used to sing while playing their roles). Playback singing was not yet perfected.

Considering all that, I find this song a technological marvel. I wonder how a song like this could be recorded and how the voice is so clear and relatively free of noise despite primitive recording facilities available those days over 70 years ago.

Wajid Ali Shah was the lyricist ( who was he ?) whereas R C Boral was the music director.

Needless to say, this song is a K L Saigal classic and is very well known even today.

Song-Baabul mora naihar chooto hi jaaye (Street Singer) (1938) Singer-K L Saigal,Lyrics- Wajid Ali Shah, MD-R C Boral


babul moraa naihar chooto hi jaaye
baabul moraa naihar chooto jaaye
mora naihar chooto hi jaaye
chaar kahaar mile
mori doliya sajaawen
mora apna begaana chooto jaaye
mora naihar aa
chooto hi jaaye
angana to parbat bhaya
aur dehri bhayi bidesh
ye ghar baabul aapno
main chali piya ke desh
baabul mora naihar chooto jaaye
mora naihar chooto hi jaaye

21 Responses to "Babul mora naihar chhooto hi jaaye"

This is one of the defining songs of Indian cinema. It also be described as a “doli” song. It is extremely poignant.

Yes, in those days they had to record while filming the scene. Hence the marvel of Saigal as a singer and the sound recording technicians.

This song was resung by Jagjit and Chitra Singh for Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore starrer Aavishkaar. This was before J Singh was nit well-known and had already spent a few years in Bombay struggling to get a break as an actor and singer.

It is very much the soft style that would later be his trademark, although he could also sing it totally in K L Saigal’s style (have heard him do that personally…)

In this case, I think Saigal’s style is more suited to the heart-wrenching lyrics and situation.


Thanks for some valuable information, Bawa. I am quite loving the experience of posting K L Saigal songs.


Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was the last nawab of Awadh, who ruled from Lucknow from 1847 till his kingdom was annexed by British East India Company in 1856.
He is known as one of the greatest promoters and contributors to fine arts. He promoted and contributed to thumari, kathak, rahas, and shayari as well as to architecture and religious harmony.
He wrote this thumari “Babul mora naihar chhooto hi jaye” in 1856, while he was being sent to exile in Matiya Burz, Calcutta. Also based on his times and his exile is the movie “Shatranj ke Khiladi” by Satyajit Ray.

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This composition by the sawan was in reference to him being kicked out of his kingdoms his birthplace and his home. It has double meaning- babul is home, this world. Pi ka desh is place of divine . Doli as literal connotation.


Thanks for the information about Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, Sid.


I must THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, Atul. I was looking out for this kind of songs since forever, u made it happen. Many many Thanks to you again. Lyrics is a bonus actually. I am a certified Sound Recordist and has worked on various projects, I know so many artists and technicians but none of them bother to collect or even hear this kind of songs. You were right, Our senior says the same thing that In those days Singing, acting, recording and dubbing use to be live. Musician use to sit behind the camera and the amazing thing was that everything use to get completed in ONE TAKE. Truly marvelous.


It is nice to read your comments, Rajeev. It is comments like this that keep me motivated to keep adding “new” songs everyday. Thanks for your appreciation.


what about Babul ki duaye lethi jaa from Neel kama, sung by Rafi and music directed by ravi


This song from Neelkamal is also avaialble in this blog here

Babul ki duaayen leti jaa(Neelkamal)(1968)


Babul Mora____ was pehaps sung by maximum singers- classical and non-sclassical- during the previos century. The list of the prominents inclues: Ustad Faiyyaz Khan, Bhim Sen Joshi, Girija Devi, Begum Akhtar, Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh (duet), Jagjit Singh, Rasoolan Bai, Siddheshwari Devi, Kanan devi, Ud Mushtaq Husain Khan, Mahender Chopra and others. It was primarily owing to popularity of Saigal’s Babul mora.

What he (Saigal) sang was something different. Though there should not be any comparison; yet what Anil Biwas once said while discussing this grand melody made me speachless.

“Saigal ke alawa kisi ka naihar nahin chhuta!”

A detailed research paper on Babul Mora is available on


Love this Atul! Just saw the 2006 Amitabh Bachchan-Rani Mukerji tearjerker ‘Baabul’ where snatches of this song were played throughout the film. As Bawa notes above, Jagjit Singh has sung this and wonderfully. I’ve seen a live version of his performance on youtube and of course, the version with his wife Chitra in ‘Aavishkar’. Here’s a link to it. It’s beautifully picturized, though Raja may say I ALWAYS says so where our Kaka is concerned 😉


Hi, Wajid Ali Shah was the last Nawab of Lucknow, he loved music and composed this Thumri in a dismayed mood as he was exiled to Calcutta by Britishers.This thumri/song he meant for his beloved city of Lucknow that he ruled for almost 10 years and where he was born.You may listen to Pt Bhim Sen joshi on youtube singing this thumri alongwith his son after this rest will be history.


Great Thumri. It was written by Nawab Wjid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Oudh.


Very nostalgic and melodious ! The clipping adds life to the melody !! Thanks.


Wajid Ali Shah was the last Nawab of Awadh. He was a great poet, singer and actor. He encouraged people to stage plays around Hindu themes also. He was given the assurance by the British that he would be protected by them and was asked to disband his army. In the sudden act of treachery,he was imprisoned and thrown out of his kingdom. While on move away from Awadh, he composed this poem and sang it in the most heart breaking tune of Bhairavi


Very recently I heard the song “Babul mora naihar…..” sung by Manna Day. Yes, I heard the song on Vividh Bharti most probably on 27th January 2012. I was also surprised to listen the “Babul Mora..”song sung by Manna Dey ji. I still can’t believe.
I came to know that the song is sung in Hindi film “Mahatma(?)” Could any one please throw light on this information?. My information is absolutely true. I just want to know. My email id is
Awaiting for anyone’s response. — Manish Pandya


i think its “le baabul ghar aapno” instead of ÿe ghar….”……m i right?


love this saigal song – thank u!



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