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

Ich Liebe Dich

Posted on: March 16, 2013

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

Just browsing on the blog, through the list of songs by film, I come across the film ‘Sangam’ from 1964. As per records, the film has eight songs, and seven are already posted here on the blog. The last entry for this iconic film and its songs is from August last year. As I paused on this list, I immediately realized what is missing. The missing song is the famous multi-lingual creation in the voice of Vivian Lobo. And friends, that was the easy part. Getting down to decipher just the four lines of non-English verses, turned out to be a multi hour marathon exercise. Don’t know why, but I just got fixed on this today, and now, after having spent a better part of the night and day, I am thinking, I should have left it alone. Or maybe not. 🙂 🙂

The first thing that I tried of course was to locate a published or a print copy of the lyrics, but was unsuccessful. Even though I laid my hands on the film booklet of this film (courtesy Harmandir ji), the discovery still eluded me. Interestingly enough, this song is not included in the booklet, and possibly was added to the film at a much later stage. The song however, appears on the LP of the film.

And thus started my marathon search online for correctly identifying the words from different languages, using multiple translators available online. The first part was to identify the language itself, and then the second and the more difficult part was to get the correct words in place, because every language has its own multiple variations in expressing the same phrase, the same emotion. The most interesting find was about the fourth non-English language used in this song, but more about it later.

The song is built from the lines ‘I Love You’ said in five different languages. English, of course is easy, as the words ‘I Love You’ are repeated throughout the song. The first non-English was very easy. It is in German. I have learnt this language, so this identification was immediate.

ich liebe dich – I Love You

Folks who are familiar with this language, will know that the ‘ch’ sound in German is very different, and does not exist in English. It is not pronounced as in ‘machine’ or ‘mechanical’ or ‘chart’. The pronunciation of this syllable is a sound that is harder than ‘kh’ but softer than ‘ch’. And the translation is straightforward.

The second non-English line was a little more difficult. I could guess easily that it is French, as I am somewhat familiar with this language. But a direct translation did not bring out the correct words. I spent good amount of time playing with the phrases, such that the sound and meaning both would emerge as matching what is being sung. So the second line is

j’ vous t’aime – I Love You

The difficulty that I encountered with this phrase was that most online translators would convert the English ‘I Love You’ into French ‘ j’ t’aime’, which is the shorter and the more in use version of this phrase. And it was after many trials that I was able to establish that the longer form of the phrase is ‘ j’ vous t’aime’ with meaning unchanged. This longer version of the phrase also matches correctly with the way it is sung.

The third non-English was much much more difficult. It sounded like an European language, and I tried all translators available online, with Google and more. But nowhere I could find a correct match. The nearest I would get with multiple trials was Russian, but the translator did never give me the correct translation, that represented the entire phrase and also sounded like it is sung. Then I chanced upon a translator for Ukrainian language.

Ukrainian is very close to Russian, and only that now these are two separate countries, Ukraine has chosen to establish Ukrainian language as a separate identity. When I tried this translator, the words translated correctly in terms of meaning, but still not in terms the sound of what is being sung. I was struggling with this for a long time, before I thought of trying something different. I took the English phrase, and translated it into Ukrainian. Then I took the resulting phrase, and put it into the Ukrainian to Russian translator, and voila. The result of this two step translation was perfect. The result that had confounded me as I tried English to Russian and English to Ukrainian separately, suddenly appeared as I tried English to Ukrainian to Russian. Don’t ask me why, I am not the expert. 😀 😀

This time I was able to get the correct meaning as well as the correct pronunciation as it is sung. So the third line is

Я люблю вас – I Love You


ya lyublyu vas – I Love You

as transliterated into English. You can see the sound also matches the line as it is sung.

Now came the most difficult challenge, as the fourth non-English line had me completely flummoxed, and took the longest to decipher, with a very surprising result. The starting sound in this line, plays out very close to ‘ich’ as in German. The earlier three languages being from Europe, I surmised that the fourth language would also be from the same region, and will be something very close to German. I tried Ducth, Italian, Polish to start with. No luck. Then I expanded the search to go through all the languages available on the European continent – Spanish, Portugese, Greek, Slav, Czech, Romanian, Hungarian, Sweedish, Finnish, even Turkish. No luck.

I knew that the official languages of Switzerland and Austria include German. So I searched for and located specific translators for Austrian – German and Swiss – German. No luck still. Then I completely opened up the search, thinking that this language is not from Europe. Well, this one assumption turned out to be correct finally, but I kept on looking for it in all the wrong places. I went across all the continents, and tried all variations of all language families for which I could locate translators online, including the Afrikaans, the Swahili, Hawaiian, the south east Asian family, and the Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc. But no, none even came close.

I continuously listened to this line again and again for some time and then it dawned on me to try the Arabic languages. So now I went to West Asia, and starting from Arabic to Persian to Pashto to Yiddish to Hebrew. . . I tried them all. It seemed to me that Arabic or Persian matched this sound somewhat, but neither language gave me the complete correct meaning and the complete correct pronunciation. And then it struck me, like a ton of bricks. Why was it that Arabic or Persian sounded somewhat close to the first part of this phrase, without making any complete sense for the whole phrase? OMG, the starting word that I got fixed on as something close to the German ‘ich’ was actually the Urdu word ‘ishq’. My God. 😀 😀

And so ‘laut ke buddhu ghar ko aaye’. It turns out that the fourth non-English line in this song is simply in Hindustani.

ishq hai ishq – I Love You

So this post now brings the tally of ‘Sangam’ songs to eight, and the film can be announced as complete, to be painted red. 🙂 🙂

And you can completely discount the statement on Wikipedia that claims this song is in German only.

The music of course is credited to Shankar Jaikishan, but strangely, the name of the lyricist is not available anywhere. The Geet Kosh is silent about it, and the booklet of the film does not contain this song. I checked with a couple of friends and one speculated that Vivian Lobo himself may have written the words of this song. But that is still a speculative statement. And I have found no way to confirm it yet.

Then I searched the net for any reference about Vivian Lobo. There are a lot of entries available from Google which link to webpages that carry links to this song, but nothing biographical about the person himself. After a much painstaking search, I was able to uproot a comment embedded inside another blog that made a brief statement about this singer. And the comment is by our very own Paresh Dubey ji. Paresh ji has been visiting our blog from Spain, since about middle of September last year. He had posted one biographical comment about Vivian Lobo, as follows (slightly edited).

I’m sure nobody knows that there was one song in Raj Kapoor’s SANGAM [1964] which had many languages like English, German, Russian etc. [. . .] It was sung by Vivian Lobo, a singer from a hotel at Churchgate, where the famous music director Jaikishan (of the Shankar Jaikishan team) used to go daily. The song was picturized in background, when Raj Kapoor and Vijyantimala visit Europe after their marriage. This song is available on ORIGINAL long play of Sangam and on 78 rpm. Must listen.

Paresh ji, if you read this post, I request you to add any more information you may have about this singer, and if there is any story behind how Jaikishan decided to bring on this singer for this song in ‘Sangam’. And yes, the same request is to other readers also, to share more information about him.

So, a mission accomplished finally today, about deciphering this song. Atul ji had once made a mention about it during one of his visits to Delhi, as we sat and talked about various peculiar things in the annals of Hindi film music. Then it went out of my mind for some time, and today caught my attention again. You can decide whether the eight hours spent today were worth it or not.

Ah well, enjoy this multi lingual song. 😀



Song-Ich Liebe Dich (Sangam)(1964) Singer-Vivian Lobo, MD-Shankar Jaikishan
Vivian Lobo+ Chorus,


ich liebe dich
I love you
j’ vous t’aime
I love you
ya lyublyu vas (Я люблю вас)
I love you
ishq hai ishq
I love you

ich liebe dich
I love you
j’ vous t’aime
I love you
ya lyublyu vas
I love you
ishq hai ishq
I love you

come shake my hand
and love each other
let’s bring happiness
in this world together
this is the only truth
remember my brother
this is the only truth
remember my brother

ich liebe dich
I love you
j’ vous t’aime
I love you
ya lyublyu vas
I love you
ishq hai ishq
I love you


37 Responses to "Ich Liebe Dich"

Sudhir ji

You are simply GREAT.
Enjoyed reading your post very much and thanks for the lyrics and all the additional information about the song. I think every minute spent by you on the lyrics of this song is “Anmol” for us.

Kaash main aapke aas-paas gaanv mein hi kahin rehtha aur Sunday ko aake geethon ke baarein mein,aapko pakaa saktaa 🙂

Aap toh baal baal bach gaye mujhse 🙂 🙂



It was Gaylord restaurant near Churchgate station that Jaikishan frequented. After he passed away, the table he sat was reserved in his memory. Like many things that have vanished in course of time, that restaurant is no more.

Sudhirji, only one-track minded persons can pursue their interests like you do. And only because of your untiring effort does this song become clear. The song was very popular. Sir, I salute you.


Dear Sudhir,

Thanks a lot for your painstaking efforts in writing this article. As a matter of fact, I gave up my efforts in writing an article on this song long back. The first stumbling block for me was the identification of the language itself 🙂 At that time, I had read somewhere on the internet that the tune of this song was composed by Raj Kapoor himself and the tune for ‘ sun saiba sun’ in ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ (1985) was partly inspired from this song.

Dear Seshadri

Gaylord Restaurant is still functional at Churchgate. I had seen on a couple of times in the afternoon of late 60s, Jaikishan sitting with his friends on the outer shaded lawn of the restaurant facing the footpath. There is virtually no change in the layout of tables that I had seen in late 60s than what I have seen a couple of months back. That particular table space is no more kept reserved in his memory.


Kamath ji and Seshadri ji,

The restaurant in which Jaikishen used to sit was called
“BOMBILLI”.It was a part of Gaylord Hotel.
I quote an excerpt from the interview of Shammi kapoor about
Jaikishen as published in Screen years back,which will substantiate what I said….
‘ “Jai was in the habit of calling me after shoots to Bombelli’s restaurant at Mumbai’s Churchgate. It was there that he would present the tunes, usually musically or with dummy lyrics, and I would ‘book’ them. He would actually hum or sing them out to me right there in the eatery, and most of them were fabulous compositions and went on to become instant and enduring hits.” ‘

Vivian Lobo was one of the Goan singers the Restaurant had employed to sing for customers’ entertainment.Jaikishen had selected him for this song-which happens to be the only Hindi film song that he ever did. However I think,he has done some Konkani songs along with Lorna the famous konkani singer.


Jaikishen was often seen seated at ‘Gaylord’, his big car (was it not the film stars’ favourite, Chev Impala!) paked in the space next to it. I remember ‘Bombeli’ as a western eatery across the street (Veer Nariman Road), but hope some old Bombay-hand would confirm that.


Thanks a lot Sudhir for this unusual, wonderful song!
Congratulations on deciphering this song!
I am also at the emoment stuck with a song, which has lyrics in Portuguese or Goan Konkani, which I am not able to really ascertain, since the lineis spoken so fast. The song in question is yaaron hamaara kyaa form Abhilasha
The line sounds somewhat like
arre jai chandi maai mio pire
I wonder if it could mean ‘I need money my dear father’. But I’m not so sure about it.


Sudhir ji,
Wow and Wow and Wow…..
What a terrific detailed article full of efforts to give whole info !
We can depend on you,always,to give us something out of the world,to enjoy.
Thanks again and again….



Hearing this song is sheer joy. About your single minded efforts in going to the end of earth and back to find the correct words and interpretation is so praiseworthy, that I dont have words to express.

Thanks for introducing this song. I am also glad that after looking at all the languages of the old world, you found the final line in our good new urdu.

Thanks and regards.


Thank you very much for reading my comments on one english song which was discussed some months back.I ,being a unique music lover since my childhood,believe that the god has blessed me with love and passion for hindi old songs,I was 9 yrs old when I started listening radio.I was attrected towards radio ,I used to listen radio till late night and keep radio near my bed,so that when I get up Ican start it immidiatelly.Whole day long some songs were playing in my ears,and my mind was always engaged thinking abt songs,if any speciality is hidden in i remember SANGAM when released in my small town of GUJARAT where I was born,I treid to buy tikets for me and my friends but did nt succeed.So I had to find out any influential person ,I got and saw the movie.That time I bought a 78 rpm record too [this song ]But some how I did not hear this song on radio NOT EVEN when I read abt some english song was to discuss I,IMMIDIATELLY THOUGHT ABT THIS SONG,AND as I have mentioned two RAFI songs music by S.J.
I was knowing the story behind this song.I m in spain a europian country
since last four yrs and more,all my geetkosh books are lying at my house in mumbai,so whatevr I write here on blog is based on my memories onlyAny how I raed your story too,U have worked very hard to gether the details of words,in future if u require any translation of RUSSIAN,GERMAN,POLISH,FRENCH.plz try to contact me.I will do my best to help u out. .


Paresh ji, one thing i identify with you of listening to the radio the way same way you do it and started at the same age, aur iske liye Pitaaji ki daant bhi sunni padti thi !! thanks for sharing ! thanks a lot !


“ish libedish’ played on Binaca geetmala for few weeks.


Commendable work. Congratulations.


Thank you for this, as I was the one who had asked for this, since all thru out my 39 years of Radio broadcasting in New Jersey, USA, no one could get the full “dope ” on this wonderful song, which I still feel is not complete in its total verse. Vivian Lobo is still a mystery.   Dev Joshi Bharat Darshan radio New Brunswick New Jersey.



Hats off to you Sudhir Ji. You have worked harder than an academic researcher. Great.


Great post ! Sir, aap mahaan hain !
We were listening this songs for years together and today we get to understand it. the longest time taken to understand a song.
While reading the write up i feel i have toured the world , i am roaming the world over and learning to say ‘i love you’ in the various dialects spoken . finally sir – ‘aamhi sarv tumchyarvar khup prem karto’ – we all love you very much ! thanks !


There was a violin and bass player name V.V.N. Lobo in the S-J orchestra.
But I’m not sure if he did the singing of ‘ish libedish’.
On LP of Sangam there is no name of the lyricist of this song.


Hullo Sudhirji
this was a gr8 work of decoding foreign languages. in the process you forgot our “BOLI” kya baat hain. like they say “Bagal Main Bachcha shehar main dindhora” very cute and small song


The French phrase is actually ‘je vous aime’ not ‘je vous t’aime’. Poetic license has been take here as the correct grammatical way would be ‘je vous aimez’. To explain further, in French, tu is like ‘thu’ in Hindi, and ‘Vous’ is like ‘aap’. So if speaking to a friend/lover, you’d say ‘je t’aime’ The more formal way is je vous aimez’ However, it has been changed to ‘je vous aime’ in the song to sound better and fit the beat.


Phenomenal efforts leading to a wonderful discovery !
Your single-minded pursuit has finally helped decipher this great song.
The tune appropriately relates to the sensual mood of the couple celebrating honeymoon in Europe.
Great composition by Shankar-Jaikishan.
The singer Vivian Lobo has sung it so well …
Thanks for a unique post on SJ-s Music.
Sanjay Tikotekar


Yes I have BEEN A GREAT FAN OF THE S J DUO and I knew about the singer since long as my father would write the music notations for the SJ duo as he was well versed with the western notations and earlier in my comments somewhere I dId mention about who Vivian Lobo was,he also would play the bass guitar then,My father had written STAFF notations for S J and O P Nayyar sahib .I am presently working as Prof and Head of Pediatric Medicine in a Govt Medical College .Vivian was probably staying in Bandra then. this kind of orchestral music is not heard nowadays ,its a great regret


Waah! Mazaa aa gaya ye post padh ke! 🙂

Sudhirji, your posts are always a delight to read. 🙂

I knew the languages involved in this song, although I wouldn’t have dare d to translate the Russian line. 🙂

Anyway, let’s put it this way. Gaana to gaana, ab uske saath Sudhirji ki apni bhi kahaani jud gayi. 🙂

Nice, sweet song. I used to have a Sangam cassette many years ago – listened to every song many, many times. This was one of those cute, short songs in between the Mukesh songs. 🙂


Sudhir Ji, kya bataaoon jo pehle kisi ne kaha na ho. Blessed are we who get to spend this time on earth with people like you. You make life so very interesting for all of us. Hats off Sir!

Apart from all the efforts you have taken to write this article, the comments of this song are a treasure trove in itself. Thank you all for your lovely, interesting and trivia filled comments.

Oh.. main to bhool hee gaya.. Yippeeee! Sangam (1964) joins the ranks of movies where all the songs from the movie have been discussed on this plug. Yippeeee!


I was a little kid when my parents would listen to this song (which was released when THEY were kids!!) and I never could work out which languages were represented in the lyrics. My Mum told me the film itself – Sangam – had been shot in Switzerland, but after having learned both French and German in school, I still couldn’t identify any of the non-English lyrics. This evening, suddenly, all these years later, I thought I might try and locate this song (because I did not know which film it was from). I tried googling “old hindi films switzerland” but there were apparently several. So I narrowed the search down with “i love you” and finally re-listened to the song after all this time. I still could not identify the languages in it though (despite having since learned Greek, Polish, Spanish, and Italian). I googled the lyrics of this song and unfortunately everyone out there in cyberland got it heaps wrong – in fact, I reckon one person got it wrong originally and then everyone just reposted those incorrect lyrics.

Consequently, I was amazed to happen upon this blog entry by the clearly dedicated and very clever Mr. Sudhir and I smiled whilst reading his description of his own random curiosity to decipher this classic song’s true lyrics! It is a cool feeling to know that someone else is out there who also just needed to know the real lyrics of this song and persevered through the lack of information out there!!

Only after reading Mr. Sudhir’s brilliant assessment of the song on this blog did I finally come to realise that the singer – Vivian Lobo – has pronounced the “Ich liebe dich” in what I understand to be a very southern German accent.

The Ukrainian lyric was entirely new to me (so thanks heaps for identifying it so aptly!).

I would like to add, however, that the French lyric is actually “je vous aime” and NOT “je vous t’aime” (and an explanation for this small spelling/grammar error will ensue). But I must reiterate that Mr. Sudhir’s amazing detective work to identify the languages definitely trumps the pedantic spelling/grammar issue which prevented me from recognising the French lyric – despite French being my second language which I am fluent in since childhood. The first reason for my inability to recognise it is simply because of either Vivian Lobo’s accent, or the old recording’s sound quality, or a combination of the two. The second reason, however, is a bit more interesting (for us grammar nerds, that is…)

In French, telling someone “i love you” will always always be “je t’aime”. The tenderness and intimacy necessitated by the phrase “i love you” in French requires use of the informal tense. The informal form of the second-person pronoun (meaning “you”) in French is “tu” (which is surprisingly the same in Hindi: tu, or tum). When speaking formally in French, however, instead of “tu” we say “vous”. This is the equivalent of “aap” in Hindi.

However, in French language and culture, it would be considered weird – or comedic at best – to hear someone say “i love you” via the phrase “je vous aime”.

For the sake of this brilliant song from Sangam, however, there is one way that “je vous aime” is correct: IF the intention behind the phrase was actually “I love you (all)” – meaning, that Vivian Lobo is singing to a group of people – that he loves them. This is because whilst “vous” is indeed the formal way of addressing one person (who is either elder to you, of higher social status than you, or is simply unknown to you and you are addressing them for the first time), it is ALSO the way to address a group of people at once. In other words, it is still very much the equivalent of “aap” in Hindi! If a singer on stage tells the crowd: “je vous aime!” it means, “i love you! (all)”

“je vous t’aime” cannot exist in French because the phrase can only be “je t’aime” (i love you) or je vous aime (i love you [all])., (apologies Mr. Sudhir, no disrespect intended in dissecting the grammar of your otherwise brilliant translation!!)


enjoyed the song.thanks for the lyric.


My God, Sudhir! I just read this today and boy, was I impressed? You are one in a million “sangeet premi”, who can go to any length to get to the root of any song related issue. Great, man, just great!!



Dear Sudhir-ji,

I was absolutely flabbergasted by your wonderfully passionate pursuit of curiosity, and that too with such intellectual rigour, on a matter that has passed by virtually everyone for well over fifty years! I’m sure lot of people would have wondered about the lyrics and the lyricist of this delightful song, but none had the drive to find the answer – until you came along!

Thanks to your inspirational endeavour, we have an answer!

It’s heart-warming!


Hi Atul! Lovely Song! Reminds me of my 1960s days when thousands of movie fanatics were queuing to watch their favourite Idols.Mine definitely was Shammi Kapoor but I watched most actors as well.
As for your song … the French sentence should read ‘Je Vous Aime’ … meaning I love you. It is pronounced as ‘Je Vou Zem’ … but is written ‘ Je Vous Aime’.
I understand French, that’s why I’m pointing this out.


Hi Sudhir, I was dumbfounded on the endeavors made you to make this song, understandable to the general public and your search in different languages to give a meaningful tribute to the song-
But however, the Urdu line ” Ishq hai Ishq” does not actually mean ‘I love you’ but means ‘ Love is love’…
So, it must be something else, I listened to the song several times, but the phonetics were a bit soft, hence could not quite decipher the actual lyrics…
It would be very cruel of me to make you do more research on this particular line… So, anybody else…?
-Prasad [Bangalore]


OMG! what pains you have taken to decipher such a difficult one in so many different languages. In genius feat indeed. thanks a millions. best rgds. Umesh Ahmedabad





Amazing song, I always enjoyed it, but it’s lyrics are even more interesting and musical. Great job done. My heart beats for SJ.


OMG! What perseverance, what dedication,what energy!!!
For a stray query in Songs Of Yore,I wanted to know more about Vivian Lobo, and, after meeting a dead end at Google and Wikipedia,I thought Atul’s Song A Day may have the information I want.
Saw SANGAM as a three year old kid in Mumbai, during a visit from Mangalore. Grew up to be a music lover like all of you. The musical gems of SANGAM, true classics all mesmerized me. As would O Mere Sanam, Dosth dosth na raha,Ye mera prempatra… would enamour me,so would the breezy ICH LIEBE DICH… always! I had somewhere read about Lobo being a Mumbaikar. But, that’s it.
Absolutely delighted to read this, Sudhir ji.
I will share the link to SOY and quote from the article.
Thanks again for a wonderful, fantabulous piece.
EEREDA MASTH MOKE UNDU… ILY in my mother tongue Tulu.


Hi Sudhir,
Wonderful to read that the song is combination of five languages. I tried since many years to download this lovely song ( though i have 78 rpm vinyl with the song ) from Sangam , a film by the greatest showman Raj Kapoor music by Shanker Jaikishan , lyrics by Hasrat & Shailendra. F
Great .
Anil Kapur


Great info Atul !
This solved the puzzel which was in mind for last 30 years !


Wonderful…spend hours to understand it. Many Thanks !!!


its really great to see the full lyrics of this song. Sangam was playing on one of the networks and I heard this song and felt nostalgic since it was a favorite tune to hum. Searching for lyrics for this song, I came across this wonderful blog. Thank you for painstakingly diving deep into the lyrics.


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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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