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

Ghungharwaa baaje chhananana chhan

Posted on: July 25, 2011


This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog.

Street Singer (1938) is a landmark creation from New Theatres, Calcutta. Directed by the legendary Phani Majumdar, the star cast of this movie includes KL Saigal, Kaanan Devi. Bikram Kapoor, Subeer, Jagdeesh, Boken Chatto, Chamanlal, Abdul Rehman, Ram Kumari, Nirmal Bannerjee etc. The movie has as many as thirteen songs. The lyrics are created by Aarzoo Lucknowi, and the music composition is by another legend, RC Boral. Four of the more famous and familiar songs are already discussed on this blog, including the inimitable “Baabul Moraa Naihar Chhooto Hi Jaaye”. This song is a duet sung by Saigal Saab and Kaanan Devi.

The theme of this movie is a poignant story about two childhood friends, who are musically inclined, and grow up as a pair of street singers in the city of Calcutta. Kaanan Devi plays the role of Manju, a young lady with a very sonorous voice. Saigal Saab plays the role of Bhulwaa, the one with a deep understanding of music, who is a mentor and guru to Manju. Bhulwaa creates and both of them sing on the streets. The duo are noticed by a theatre owner, and they get a chance to play on the stage. As fortune would have it, it is Manju who gets the limelight and the attention. Bhulwaa slowly fades from the scene as Manju is loving the popularity and her moments in the sun, basking to her heart’s pleasure. Bhulwaa’s dreams are broken, and there is a distancing between the two. Manju almost becomes unmindful of their childhood association, and the mentoring and music lessons she got from Bhulwaa, that have made her what she is today. Bhulwaa leaves with his broken harmonium (and that is when the famous ‘Baabul Moraa’ song is played). But the separation and distance brings out the actual feelings the two have always had for each other, as an undercurrent to the childhood friendship. And the two are united once again at the end in very dramatic circumstances – the final scenes show a boat being washed ashore in a storm, symbolizing the ship of their association, weathering the stormy seas of this material world, and yet finding the safety of the shores of love and affection.

This song starts with the two friends in their childhood, and the first part of the song is actually sung by other child artists whose names are no longer available. Very soon the picturization transitions to the time when the two friends are now grown up. They now go about in the streets, singing for making a living. Most of the movie, one can see Bhulwaa with the harmonium, an association that he nurtures with lot of emotion and love, and does not want to part with it. In the song ‘Baabul Moraa’, he is turned away, and his harmonium is broken, and yet he carries it, although it cannot play anymore.

PS- I now have confirmed names of the two child stars who play the child role of Bhulwa and Manju on screen. The child Bhulwa is played by Master Subbir, and the child Manju is played by Baby Rekha.

The movie was a rage in its time, and became a thematic trendsetter. Its theme has been copied and imitated with variations, many times in many later movies; think of part three of Raj Kapoor’s magnum opus ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1970), the film Kathputli (1957) etc. I am aware that one (or more) Hollywood movies are also made on this theme, but I cannot recall the name at this time.

Enjoy this lovely song of street singers – they are in love, but they don’t know it yet.

Audio

Video

Song-Ghungharwaa baaje chhananana chhan (Street Singer) (1938) Singer-K L Saigal, Kanan Devi,Lyrics-Aarzoo Lucknowi, MD-R C Boral

Lyrics

ghungharwaa baaje
chhann’ananaa chhann
chhann’ananaa chhann
chhann’ananaa chhann chhann chhann
ghungharwaa baaje
chhann’ananaa chhann
chhann’ananaa chhann
chhann’ananaa chhann chhann chhann

is ghungroo ki chhanan chhanan mein
bharey padey hain gun
is ghungroo ki chhanan chhanan mein
bharey padey hain gun
ghungharwaa baaje
chhann’ananaa chhann
chhann’ananaa chhann
chhann’ananaa chhann chhann chhann
ghungharwaa baaje
chhann’ananaa chhann
chhann’ananaa chhann
chhann’ananaa chhann chhann chhann

chhanan chhanan jab ghungroo boley
bandhi gaanthh bhaagon ki kholey
sonaa rupaa ek mein gholey
aur barsaave gun
chhanan chhanan jab ghungroo boley
bandhi gaanthh bhaagon ki kholey
sonaa rupaa ek mein gholey
aur barsaave gun

meethhe bol pe kar na bharosa
jag mein hai dhokhaa hi dhokhaa
meethhe bol pe kar na bharosa
jag mein hai dhokhaa hi dhokhaa
jhhothhi baat par behraa ban jaa
sacchi baat ko sun
jhhothhi baat par behraa ban jaa
sacchi baat ko sun

boley saagar paar chiraiyyaa
har boli par doley naiyyaa
boley saagar paar chiraiyyaa
har boli par doley naiyyaa
is naiyyaa ka kaun khivaiyyaa
chal achhaa hai sagun
is naiyyaa ka kaun khivaiyyaa
chal achhaa hai sagun

phal karmon ke burey bhaley hain
laabh ke moti napey tuley hain
sacche jhhothhe miley juley hain
adhikaari ban chun
sacche jhhothhe miley juley hain
adhikaari ban chun

3 Responses to "Ghungharwaa baaje chhananana chhan"

Generally, this is the theme of such pictures as “A Star is Born” (remade at least three times, if not more), and “Kagaz ke Phool”, though in both of these, it is more that of a famous director finds and promotes an aspiring actress, much to his own detriment subsequently.

“A Star is Born” was made in ’37 with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, in ’54 with Judy Garland and James Mason, and in ’76 with Barbra Streisand and Kris kristofferson. I didn’t see the ’37 version, but the ’54 version is a classic. And the ’76 versoin pales in comparison.

Of course, Kagaz Ke Phool with Waheeda Rahman and GUru Dutt is a classic.

Like

Krishna ji

Thanks for the reminder and the additional info. Yes, it is the movie “A Star Is Born” that I was trying to remember as I was preparing this write up.

Thanks again,
Sudhir

Like

Also in the modern era Rangeela has shades of Street Singer.

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