Advertisements

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

De de Khuda ke naam pe pyaare

Posted on: March 14, 2012


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

De De
Khuda Ke Naam Pe Pyaare
Taaqat Hai Gar Dene Ki

Eighty One years ago today, 14th March, 1931. The sounds of this song heralded the arrival of talking films on Indian screen.

Rewind the clock back by 81 years. And imagine the times in 1931. The Majestic theatre in Bombay is preparing to put on play, the first talking film in India. The show has been advertised in newspapers, and through posters. Also, making rounds of the streets are carts and rickshaws carrying banners announcing the arrival of moving pictures that would actually be talking, also. Some of the advertisement slogans that are seen on available posters are

“100% TALKIE PICTURE”

“INDIA’S FIRST PERFECT TALKIE”

“ALL LIVING BREATHING 100% TALKING”

“ALL TALKING SINGING DANCING”

For about 20 years now, people have gotten used to going to theatre that does not have a stage, and has no live actors who would present a play. Rather, in a hall without any lights, a big size picture is projected on a white screen. Twenty five, thirty years ago, when the white men with projecting machines brought moving pictures to India, it was a thing of wonder. How can a picture move? How can a moving picture tell a story? Why are they creating a theatre without live artists? A wonder of technology had forever changed the culture and the meaning of entertainment.

But then, there was news about moving pictures that could also talk. But wait, there was already music in the pictures, played by live artists sitting in front of the stage. And some pictures even had sounds of gunshot, or galloping horses. What do they mean that these pictures will have sound? Why would anyone want to go and see such a picture? Why, one would rather go to the theatre and see a play, and hear the voices of live actors? Well, these technical people are crazy. Talking pictures? Bah, just a passing fancy. They will not last. People with such observations were many. For them, the silent picture medium was complete in itself, with no room for improvement.

A second revolution came, with the talking pictures, and the concept of entertainment changed once again, and forever. The storytelling became emphatic, as now there were words accompanying the expressions and gestures. And the medium became more complete with the aural senses gaining the same ground and the visual and the emotional dimensions.

But an event of much greater, much more profound significance happened this day, eighty one years ago. That fateful day is also the birth of what we now refer to as the Hindi film song. Arguably, the music and the song transformed this medium, much more drastically than simply the ability to talk. Today, is the 81st birthday of the music in films. Today is the celebration of that which moves the hearts of millions of music lovers. Today is the celebration that is the soul and spirit of this blog. Today is a day to stand up and salute the beginning of this wonderful art form.

Produced and directed by Ardeshir M Irani, ‘Aalam Ara’ (1931) is a production from the banner of Imperial Movietone. Ardeshir M Irani was the guiding spirit behind this film. The main credits for the film are as follows:

Dialogues: Josef David

Scenario: Ardeshir M Irani

Sound Recording: Ardeshir M Irani

Cameraman: Adi M Irani

‘Director: Ardeshir M Irani

Assistants: Rustam Bharucha, Pesi Karaani, Moti Gidwani

Music: Pherozeshah M Mistry and B Irani

Settings: Munawwar Ali

The all star cast and the list of characters advertised for this film are:

Master Vitthal : Qamar

Zubeidaa : Alam Ara

Zillo (Zillo Bai) : Navbahar

Sushila : Dilbahar

Prithviraj Kapoor : Adil (Commander of Royal Forces)

Elizar : Badshah

Wazir Mohammed Khan : Fakir

Jagdish (Jagdish Sethi) : Rustam

The complete storyline of this film is available online on some websites. And for the friends who subscribe to the ‘Listener’s Bulletin’ (published by Harmandir Singh ji ‘Hamraaz’), the complete story is published in the issue no. 47. The name ‘Alam Ara’ variously means the ‘Light of the World’, ‘Jewel of the World’, ‘Adornment of the World’, ‘Honor of the World’. It is a tale of two young hearts in love, and it exemplifies the power of faith. The love is between a royal prince, Qamar, and a gypsy girl, Alam Ara. The setting is a royal palace, and the film starts with a rivalry between the two queens of the emperor. This rivalry is the precursor to the events in the film. As a result, the child Alam Ara, daughter of Adil, the commander of royal forces, is destined to be brought up in a gypsy camp, by Rustam. The story tells of the trials and tribulations of faith faced by Alam Ara, and how she is triumphant because of her belief in God.

This song carries the credit of being the first song ever to be played on the Hindi film screen. The name of poet is lost in history. The music is composed by Pherozeshah M Mistry. The singing voice is that of Wazir Mohammed Khan, who plays a fakir and a beggar. And he is singing this song, as he begs for alms in the street. And of course, the song is performed by Wazir Mohammed Khan himself on screen. Wazir Mohammed Khan, born in 1902, was all of 29 years old when this song was recorded live in 1931. Wearing a very white fake beard, he played the role of an elderly mendicant, who begs in the streets.

The song that is featured in this clip is not the song from the original film. So far as the information is available to date, there are no prints available of this film. In 2003, a disastrous fire in the National Film Archives in Pune resulted in the last known print of this film being destroyed (along with many other rare films). The practice of releasing films songs on records did not come up till 1933-34. And hence no songs of this film are available as records.

This film was remade twice. Once in 1956 and the second time in 1973. The 1956 version was produced and directed by Nanubhai Vakil, under the banner of Desai Films, Bombay. The music is by AR Qureshi, and the lyrics are by Shewan Rizvi. The star cast includes Chitra, Daljit, Maruti, Niranjan Sharma, Hira Sawant, Meenu Mumtaz, Jeevankala, Rajan Haksar, Sadiq, amongst others. After a gap of 25 years, Wazir Mohammed Khan reprised his role as a fakir in this film.

The 1973 version is produced by Mafatlal Shah and is directed by Nanubhai Vakil, under the banner of Jaishree Films, Bombay. The music is by Iqbal Qureshi and the lyrics are by Kaifi Azmi and Hasrat Jaipuri. The star cast includes Nazima, Ajit Sachdev, P Jairaj, Mohan Choti, Uma Dutt, Rajnibala, Mohan Sherry, Munshi Munakka, Bhushan Tewari, etc. And yet once again, Wazir Mohammed Khan, now 71 years old, played the same role of the fakir in this third incarnation of this costume drama.

This song does not appear in the list of songs of the two later versions of the film in 1956 and 1973. But in fact, Wazir Mohammed Khan has rendered this song in both the 1956 and the 1973 films. The rendering is live, in his own voice, and to the same tune that is the original melody created by Pherozeshah M Mistry. This particular clip is from the 1973 version of Alam Ara. In this film, this song is rendered twice in quick succession. It is the holy month of Ramzaan, and the faithful are observing the traditional fast from sunrise to sunset. Alam Ara (played by Nazima) is a steadfast believer in the beneficence of God, and is observing the Rozaa. Uma Dutt plays the role of her foster parent and guardian, having found her as a small child abandoned in the forest. (NOTE: the story line of this versions varies somewhat in detail from the original version of 1931.) After the sunset, when it is time for ‘iftaar’, the traditional breaking of the fast, and Nazima is settling down to her meal, Wazir Mohammed Khan, playing the role of fakir, appears on the scene, and begs for ‘iftaari’, the traditional meal after sunset on the day of fasting. Nazima is moved by his request. She offers him everything from her plate, and herself makes do with a pinch of salt and a glass of water.

The second day, the same scenario is repeated. Nazima is settling down for her ‘iftaari’ meal, when the fakir appears once again, and sings the same song, begging for the sunset meal. And once again, Nazima offers him everything from her plate. The fakir blesses her and goes away. After he leaves, and Alam Ara prays, her plate is suddenly full with choicest fruits and sweets, by the grace of Allaah. The third person visible in this clip is Uma Dutt.

Even though this song is not the true original song, yet this song still carries a historic significance. The lyrics, and the tune and the singing voice are original. Only that it has been re-sung after a gap of 42 years.

Listen to the sound of the very first song in Hindi films, in the original voice.


Song-De de khudaa ke naam pe pyaare (Alam Ara)(1973) Singer-Wazir Muhammad Khan, MD-Pherozshah M Mistry

Lyrics

de de
khudaa ke naam pe pyaare
taaqat hai gar dene ki
de de
kuchh chaahe agar to
maang le mujh se
chaahe agar to
maang le mujh se
himmat hai gar leney ki
le le

(NOTE: this is the complete song, as per the original booklet of the 1931 version of the film).

Advertisements

10 Responses to "De de Khuda ke naam pe pyaare"

What an informative write up ,painstakingly written! I bow in admiration.
Thanks
K S Shenoy
Bangalore

Thanks for taking so much efforts in collating the information about the first talky film for its wider dissemination. I was not aware of some of the information presented in the article.

The song must have been an emotional resurrection in 1973 for Wazir Mohammad Khan.

Sudhir ji,
Thanks for reviving our memories.You have a knack of carrying the reader with your flow of narration.It is an art which is benefitting us,that way we are lucky.
Aalam Ara created a history,but as, we in India,are very bad history chroniclers,we could/did not look after this jewel of history and lost it for ever.The dumb attitude towards arts and culture,from the govt,add to it the apathy of the film Industry itself in retaining its own historical events spoiled the golden opportunity in storing this jewel for the future generations.
Wazir Mohd.Khan,the original actor and singer of the above song died 0n 14-10-1974,at the age of 72 years.
The story,other details and the details of court battle in connection of Alam Ara are available for our readers in this blog itself and they need not search on the net or refer LB.
I have given these details on 1-7-2011,as comments on a song from HALAKU,’dil ka na aitbar…’.
Thanks once again for a well written and well studied note on Aalam Ara.
-AD

Sudhir ji,
Just for the records,the FIRST song record for commercial purpose was done from the film MADHURI-1932.
4 songs by Vinayak Rao Patwardhan were recorded on 2 records of 78 RPM with No.s- N-5622 and N-5623.
-AD

What an absolutely fantastic post, Sudhirji. The amount of detail about the song and the movie is amazing. Thank you for recording this here for posterity.

Arun ji, Raja ji, Sadanand ji, Shenoy Saab,

Thanks for your kind appreciation. Yes, this post, and this date is very important to me also.

This post has been in the back of my mind since 1st July last year, the day when we discussed ‘Alam Ara’ as part of the comments on the song “Dil Ka Na Karna Aitbaar Koi” (https://atulsongaday.me/2011/07/01/dil-ka-na-karna-aitbaar-koi/). That discussion started off with an erroneous identification that I attempted, trying to name the person accompanying Helen in this song. I mistakenly posted the name of that person as Wazir Mohammed Khan. Arun ji corrected me by confirming that WM Khan was a different person. And then later in the same discussion thread, Yamini ji and Arun ji confirmed the name of the actor as Niranjan Sharma.

But as a result of this mistake, a good thing happened, and that is we got to discuss the film ‘Alam Ara’ in some detail, and Arun ji posted some very detailed information about it. As I researched for information, what make me sit up is the fact that this film was remade twice, and that Wazir Mohammed Khan played the same role of the fakir in all three versions, in 1931, 1956 and 1973. Across 42 years, he played the same role in all three films, and sang the same song in his own voice. When I came across this information, I was eargerly searching for the later versions of this film, realizing that these later versions also carry a significant historical value, just by the presence of this actor in all three, rendering the same song.

After some search, I was able to lay hands on the 1973 version. A friend says that he may probably know the whereabouts of the 1956 version also, but I have not been able to track it down yet. But getting the 1973 version is also a good deal. The song is available in the voice of the original singer at least, if not the original rendering.

So this date, and this event, is the remarkable and real milestone for lovers of Hindi film music. The Hindi film song was born today. 🙂

Cheers and regards
Sudhir

Next year, we are going to celebrate a century of the first Indian feature film, Raja Harishchandra (1913).

Great share Sudhir ji. Were you able to track the 1956 movie?

Not yet, Gajendra ji,
My friend says she has the film on a disc, and has promised me that she will search it out ‘someday’. That ‘someday’ has not yet arrived. 🙂 I keep reminding her regularly.

Hopefully, one of these days. . .

Rgds
Sudhir

This song is beautiful! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements

Important Announcement

(© 2008 - 2017) atulsongaday.me The content of this site is copyrighted and it may not be reproduced elsewhere without prior consent from the site/ author of the content.

What is this blog all about

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

This is a labour of love, where “new” songs are added every day, and that has been the case for more than nine years. This blog has over 13600 song posts by now.

This blog is active and online for over 3300 days since its beginning on 19 july 2008.

Total number of songs posts discussed

13654

Number of movies covered in the blog

Movies with all their songs covered =1024
Total Number of movies covered =3736

Total visits so far

  • 9,759,593 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,518 other followers

Bookmark

Bookmark and Share

Category of songs

Archives

Current Visitors

visitors whereabouts

blogcatalog

Music Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

blogadda

Stumble

Historical dates

Blog Start date: 19 july 2008

Active for more than 3250 days.

%d bloggers like this: