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

Ramaiyya bin neend na aawe

Posted on: April 3, 2013

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

In the 30s and 40s, two groups of female actor-singers emerged prominently. The first group excelled in both acting and singing. Barring a few exceptions, they confined to playback singing on themselves. This group consisted mainly of Khursheed, Kanan Devi, Noor Jahan and Suraiya. The second group though started their filmy career as actor-singer in a smaller way, later they concentrated mainly on playback singing. This group comprised mainly of Rajkumari, Amirbai Karnataki, and Zohrabai Ambalewaali.

These two groups of female actor-singers/playback singers had a sizeable followings among the lovers of film songs. However, after 1947, Khursheed and Noor Jahan migrated to Pakistan. With the arrival of Lata Mangeshkar in 1948, the era of playback singers with heavy and full throated voices was coming to an end except for Shashad Begum who continued to be relatively active until late 50s. Among the second group of playback singers, Rajkumari survived the longest having left for heavenly abode in March 2000. She did her last playback singing for the film “Kitaab’(1977).

Rajkumari excelled in mostly singing devotional and semi-classical genre of songs. I have chosen one of her devotional songs, a Meerabai bhajan ‘ramaiyaa bin neend na aave’ from the film BADI BAHU (1951). Anil Biswas composed the music for the film which was produced under the banner of Variety Productions (probably a home production of Anil Biswas) and directed by Shamim Bhagat. The star cast included Shekhar, Nimmi, Sulochana Chatterjee, Raj Adib, Chandabai etc. As far as I know, this film is not available in DVD/VCD format and only audio clips of the songs from this film are available on the internet. From the title, the film may be belonging to the genre of family drama having many tear jerking scenes. This Meerabai bhajan is a symbolic of the separation of a woman from her beloved.

Song-Ramaiyya bin neend na aawe (Badi Bahu)(1951) Singer-Rajkumari, Lyrics-Meera Bai, MD-Anil Biswas


ramaiyaa bin neend na aave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave
neend na aave biraha sataave
prem ki aanch jalaave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave

piyaa bin jyot mandir andhiyaaro
deepak daya(?) aave ae
piyaa bin mori sej aluni
piyaa bin mori sej aluni
jaagat rain bihaave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave

daadur mor papeeharaa boley
daadur mor papeeharaa boley
koyal sabad sunaave
ghumad ghataa ular huyi aayi
daamini damak daraave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave

ko hai sakhi saheli sajni
piyaa ko aan milaave ae
Meera ko prabhu kabre miloge
Meera ko prabhu kabre miloge
manmohan mohe bhaave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave
ramaiyaa bin neend na aave

5 Responses to "Ramaiyya bin neend na aawe"

Kamath ji,
I think the longest survivor from the second group should be SHAMSHAD BEGUM and NOT Raajkumari.
3 songs of Shamshad Begum were recorded by MD/Lyricist Prem Dhawan for his film ” Ganga maang rahi Balidaan-1981. The 3 songs are-
1. Sanam tere liye
2. kar lo jitna sitam and
3. hamen mitane aaya jo



Secondly lest we forget SB is still alive.


Dear Arun and Nitin,
In my discussion, I have started the sentence with ‘among the second group of playback singers’ which included only Rajkumari, Amirbai Karnataki and Zohrabai Ambalewaali. So there was no question of Shamshad Begum coming into the discussion.

And I have not forgotten that Shamshad Begum would be completing 94 years of her blissful life on April 14, 2013.


Thanks for the melodious song/bhajan. I never heard this before. I was only aware of Lata ji’s version.


rajkumari’s version is a revelation to me


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