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

Meri mast aankhon se aa pi bhi le

Posted on: December 5, 2018


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog.This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

3792 Post No. : 14777 Movie Count :

4038

Recently, I came across one of the interesting topics of discussion about the ‘ghost’ singers of Hindi film industry in an editorial in October 1945 issue of ‘Filmindia’ magazine. I reproduce below some relevant portion of the discussion for the purpose of the article:

Outside the film industry, very few people seem to know what the ‘ghost’ singers of the screen earn per month. Many people are under the impression that music is still a cheap commodity in the motion picture world and can be purchased with paltry payments. Whatever be the actual quality of the film music from purely classical point of view, the silly, insipid music which Indian film producers usually give, cost them anything from Rs,400/- to Rs.1000/- per song and very often merely for the singing voice apart from the cost of orchestration and recording.

Amir Karnataki, a popular ‘ghost’ singer charges Rs.1000/- per song which require an hour for the rehearsal and two hours for recording the song. India’s best musicians (singers) – man or women – never earned so much money even during 24 hours of non-stop singing. There are many ‘ghost’ singers in the film industry. Some of the prominent ones like Zohra Jaan (Ambalawaali), Shamshad, Zeenat, Naseem Akhtar and Rajkumari should be earning Rs.8000/- to Rs.10000/- per month in good season. Amir Karnataki’s monthly earning should be colossal the way we find selling her voice to all and sundry pairs of lips on the screen.

The editorial has further estimated that with the number of films produced in a year, assuming an average of 9 songs per films, the total cost of music during a year comes to about Rs.6,50,000 with an average payment of Rs.500/- per song. This amount is shared by a dozen female playback singers and about half a dozen male playback singers, most of whom, according to the editorial, are rotten singers.

The editorial smacks of the jealous attitude towards the popular playback singers of that time. I have, however, brought this out for a different reason. If the producers thought that these were the popular playback singer those days and deserved such kind of payments, then why did producers refrain from giving them publicity to add value to their films in terms of creating the audience’s interest ?. Names of playback singers did not appear in the credit titles of the films until sometime early 1950s. Based on a few cases which I had come across, I guess, the song pamphlets of the films of the 1930s and the 40s may have mentioned mostly the names of the actors on whom the songs were picturised. So the playback singers during these times remained really the ‘ghost singers’ without any official identity with the films’ music. But why did they remain ‘ghost singers’?

The concept of ‘ghost singers’ has to be seen in the background of how the music in sound films evolved in its early stages. During this stage, actors were required to sing the songs on themselves in the films. Although the playback system was introduced in 1935 in Calcutta and in 1937 in Bombay, the system got well-established only in the early 1940s. However, the convention of giving credit to the actors as singers either in their own names or in the names of the roles they performed on the screen continued in most cases well into the end of the 1940s. The convention created a lot of problems in the latter years in identifying the so called ‘ghost singers’ especially for those who had interest in listening to the songs of pre-golden era period of Hindi film music. It was only after Lata Mangeshkar became a force to reckon with in the sphere of playback singing in early 1950s, the system of giving credit to playback singers both in the credit titles of the films as well as on the gramophone record labels was put in place.

It is in the context of identifying the playback singers and also music directors/lyricists that Har Mandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’ of Hindi Film Geet Kosh has rendered yeoman service in documenting the Hindi film music up to 1985. The process of documenting the Hindi film music – especially of 1930s and 1940s are an on-going process as we still come across many songs of these periods where playback singers, lyricists and music directors have not been identified.

Recently, I came across 4 rare songs of an obscure film ‘Mohini’ (1947). All the songs are very melodious. However singers for the songs have not been identified. There were three lyricists – Bekal, Sarshar Sailani and Raj Hashmi and two music directors – Lachhiram Tamar and Bhai Lal. But the individual songs were not identified with any one of the lyricists and music directors.

It was so frustrating for me for not being able to formally identify those associated with four melodious songs of the film. So I contacted Sudhir ji for help in identifying at least the singers of the songs. Though he had all the four songs in his collections, none of them were tagged. So he contacted one of his collector-friends who identified not only Munawwar Sultana as singer for all the four songs, but also confirmed that all the four songs were composed by Lachhiram Tamar. I am thankful to Sudhir ji and his friend for the help.

‘Mohini’ (1947) was produced under the banner of Mahindra Pictures, Lahore and was directed by Mahindra Gill. The star cast included Chand Kumar, Mahapara, Pran, Roofi, Nazar, Niranjan, Baby Shamshad etc. The film had 7 songs.

I am presenting the first song from the film,’meri mast aankhon se aa pee bhi le’ sung by Munawwar Sultana to appear in the Blog. As mentioned earlier, there were three lyricists and the song writer for this song has not been identified. The song was set to music by Lachhiram Tamar. The prelude music of the song would give an impression that the song belongs to the music style of early 1950s.

Enjoy this ‘Aankh’ song with ‘masti’.

With this song, ‘Mohini’ (1947) makes a debut in the Blog.

Audio Clip:

Song-Meri mast aankhon se aa pi bhi le (Mohini)(1947) Singer-Munawwar Sultana, MD-Pt Lachchiram

Lyrics

o o o
jeenewaale
pee bhi le
pee bhi le
pee bhi le
o o o
jeenewaale
pee bhi le
pee bhi le
pee bhi le
meri mast aankhon se
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
meri mast aankhon se
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le

lutaayi huyi zindagi laayi hoon
lutaayi huyi zindagi laayi hoon
laayi hoon
bebasi ki hansi
laayi hoon
laayi hoon
bebasi ki hansi
laayi hoon
bol kar aaj saahab mein tere liye
bol kar aaj saahab mein tere liye
ye aahon bhari zindagi laayi hoon
ye aahon bhari zindagi laayi hoon
zindagi ka sahaara hai hi kya
zindagi ka sahaara hai hi kya
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
meri mast aankhon se
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le

meri yaad dil ko sataati thhi jab
kya tujhe
yaad hai
yaad hai
aankhon(?) ke baat
yaad aati thhi jab
kya tujhe yaad hai
yaad hai
yaad ho ya na ho
ab aa bhi jaa
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
meri mast aankhon se
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le
aa pee bhi le

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9 Responses to "Meri mast aankhon se aa pi bhi le"

Sadanand ji ,
Namaste .

I liked this post about ” ghost singers “.
It is very interesting one.

I remember having read somewhere that even ” Aayega aanewala ” was credited to Kamini ( the name of Madhubala’s character in the film ) nd not to Lata Mangeshkar .

Pramod ji,
Thanks for your appreciation.

Dear Sadanandji,

Munawar Sutana (1924-1995), the singer should not be confused with Munawwar Sultana (1928-2007) the actress. While both were born in Lahore, the singer died in Lahore and the actress in Bombay.

Perhaps Arunji who has dwelled extensively on people of same names could throw some light.

With warm regards

PARTHA CHANDA

You are right.
-AD

Yes Pramodji,
I had purchased 78 rpm records of film ‘Mahal’, and the singer’s name on the record was that of “Kamini’. It was Manohar Mahajan of Radio Ceylon that identified the voice as that of one Maharashtrian singer Lata Mangeshkar. !!!

I had bought 78 rpm record of ‘aayega aanewaala’ in early 1970s. Despite being a ‘reissued’ record (silver color print on label instead of golden colour in the earlier print), the name of the singer continued to be ‘Kamini’.

Sada hi Aanand dete ho, Sabanandji.
Thanks for presenting ‘MY TYPE’ of song. Can you please mail me an audio file of the same song, and prove your name?

Bharatbhai,
My laptop is taking the afternoon siesta!
I will send you the mp3 clip of the song in the evening.

Bharat ji ,
Thnx for the reply nd confirmation regarding the ” Mahal ” song .

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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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