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

Archive for the ‘Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Songs’ Category

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusaist of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4299 Post No. : 15559

Hindi Songs in Bangla Films – 25

The personality I am going to persent in this article is one of the greatest exponents of Hindustani classical music. He has been often referred to as the ‘Tansen of the 20th Century’. He is also credited with creating an unique style of rendition with shorter ‘aalaaps’ and ‘vilambit’ (slow), greater emphasis on ‘taans’ and ‘sargams’ much against the likings of purists among the Hindustani classical vocalists. He did these improvisations to make his presentation interesting to his audience. This style of renditions was later to become an integral part of Kasur-Patiala Gharana for the nextgen vocalists. He is none other than Padma Bhushan Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan whose 52nd Remembrance Day falls today, the April 25th.

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (02/04/1902 – 25/04/1968) was born in Kasur, Punjab (now in Pakistan) in the family of three generations of singers. I had discussed in detail the profile of Khan Saheb in my article “Prem Jogan Ban Ke”. So, I will skip that part. During the intervening period, I have come across some interesting information especially from the writings of Professor BR Deodhar and GN Joshi, both Hindustani classical singers and musicologists. GN Joshi was also associated with HMV for a long time in popularising the classical and semi-classical music. Both of them were the close friends of Khan Saheb.

Khan Saheb started his training as a vocalist in Khayal singing. But it was his unique way of singing Thumris that enthralled his audience. Thumri as one of the forms of semi-classical singing was on the declining trajectory after the Indian mutiny in 1857 and the consequential decline of aristocracy which used to patronise the Hindustani classical musicians and singers. It was Khan Saheb who revived the Thumri form of semi-classical singing and made popular among the masses by improvising his presentation which sometime defied the traditional form of rendition.

Professor BR Deodhar has described an incident in one of his articles which appeared in 1949. He pointed out to Khan Saheb as to why his recitals left in a state of unfulfillment for purist like him. Without giving him reply to his query, Khan Saheb invited him to attend one of his forthcoming concerts to get the answer. In that concert, Khan Saheb sang Raag Darbari Kanhra in a traditional format. After the end of the concert, Professor Deodhar was very pleased and asked him as to why he was not singing the way he sang in the concert. Khan Saheb’s reply was that not all the audience were musically intelligent like him. A majority of audience who have only the basic knowledge of Hindustani classical music would like some kind of sensation and ‘harkat’ in presentations. Otherwise they would think that I am a sickly person.

The above incidence shows how Khan Saheb was adaptable to the audience’s interest. His singing was always a two-way interaction between him and the audience. That was the reason that when he gave concerts in halls, he would not allow the switching off lights in the area where the audience sit. He felt that by seeing the faces of the audience, he would be inspired to give his best performance.

According to Professor BR Deodhar, Khan Saheb was always immersed in music. He will always have with him his Swarmandal (Indian Harp), be at home or outside because he would get inspirations to sing from anything around him. He quoted an incidence which happened sometime in late 1940s when both of them were coming out of All India Radio, Mumbai. It was a rainy season and they were walking on Marine Drive to reach their homes. The high waves from Arabian Sea were hitting the sea wall of Marine Drive. It soon started raining. Khan Saheb was so much enchanted by the whole atmosphere that he sat on the sea wall and started singing Raag Megh Malhar. Professor Deodhar noted that Khan Saheb’s taans would reach in high octave to synchronise with the noisy rising sea waves hitting the sea wall. he would sing taans in lower octave to synchronise with the less noisy receding waves in the sea. He sang for nearly 45 minutes drenched in heavy rains and in the splash of the waves until his son forcibly took him away to the home.

Khan Saheb was active as a Hindustani classical vocalist from 1936 when he gave his first public performance in Calcutta (now Kolkata) to almost until his death in 1968. However, in terms of discography, very small fractions of his renditions are available in recorded format. The reason was that at the initial stage of his singing career, by and large, he avoided recording of his performances both for All India Radio and for the gramophone record companies. Generally, Khan Saheb would not say ‘no’ for recording of his singing but he would give excuses at the last moment for his inability to record the singing. Sometime in the middle of 1940s, he revealed that he was afraid of recording his singing as he felt that the quality of his voice would be severally affected by the electric wires of the recording equipment.

It was with great patience that music lovers like GN Joshi of HMV could persuade Khan Saheb to record his songs. Hence, in the initial period, his singing was recorded for 78 RPM records of about 3 minutes of duration because Khan Saheb felt that the shorter duration would not affect the quality of his voice. By 1960s, Khan Saheb had completely come out of his misgiving about the recording and had started recording the longer duration of his singing for All India Radio and the gramophone recording companies.

According to Ustad Raza Ali Khan, the grandson of Khan Saheb, contrary to general belief, Khan Saheb was not averse to singing in films. In 1944, Khan Saheb’s younger brother, Ustad Barkat Ali Khan had sung in films ( I checked and found a song in the film ‘Shukriya’,1944). Probably, at that time, Khan Saheb may have also got interested in singing in films. He had shown his desire to sing in the film to RC Boral, the music director for New Theatres. At that time, RC Boral had told Khan Saheb that it was below his dignity to sing in films when he had such a high stature as a Hindustani classical vocalist. This statement made him not to sing for any films in future (Source: The Times of India, April 02, 2020). The only exception he made was when Khan Saheb had to sing two songs in K Asif’s ‘Mughal e Azam’ (1960) against his wish. Despite quoting an astronomical fee of Rs.25000/- per song as a way of discouraging him from singing in the film, K Asif accepted his demand.

Since 1948, Khan Saheb had spent most of his life in India by renewing his visa during which time, he was on concert tours mainly to Bombay (now Mumbai), Calcutta (Kolkata), Hyderabad, Lucknow Delhi etc. After getting Indian Citizenship in 1957, Khan Saheb was staying in a Bungalow in Malabar Hill in Mumbai. In 1961, he had a paralysis attack which prevented him from singing for some time. He made a good recovery from paralysis and had started singing in concerts with the vocal supports from his son, Ustad Munawwar Ali Khan. In 1963, he shifted his base to Hyderabad and stayed in Basheer Baug Palace. Khan Saheb left for the heavenly abode on April 25, 1968 after a prolong illness arising out of the paralysis attack in 1961.

As a tribute to Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan on his 52nd Remembrance Day, I have chosen one of his most popular thumris which was first recorded in 1948 though he had started singing this thumri much earlier in his concerts and on All India Radio. I am referring to his thumri “Aaye Na Baalam Ka Karoon Sajni” which he has rendered in Raag Sindh Bhairavi. It is a surprise discovery for me that Khan Saheb had rendered this thumri as a playback singer for the actor Basanta Chowdhury in Bangla film ‘Basanta Bahar’ (1957).

I was under the impression that Khan Saheb has rendered only two film songs in his life time – “Prem Jogan Ban Ke” and “Shubh Din Aayo Raaj Dulaara” in ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ (1960). How come Khan Saheb sang, “Ka Karoon Sajni. . .” in Bangla film, ‘Basanta Bahar’ (1957), that too as a playback singer ? Unfortunately, I did not find the record version of this thumri from the film other than what Khan Saheb recorded it as a non-film thumri sometime in 1948 (Record No. VE.5052), the audio clip of which I have also attached for the sake of comparison.

It is said that the bandish of the thumri under discussion and also another popular thumri, “Yaad Piya Ki Aaye” were written and composed by Khan Saheb after the untimely demise of his wife Ali Jiwai in 1932. These thumris are called the classical thumris of longing. Many stalwart vocalists of Hindustani classical music have rendered beautifully these two thumris – both within the Patiala Gharana as also from other Gharanas. But for me, Khan Saheb still rules in these two thumris.

Video Clip: (Film sound track)

Audio Clip: (Non-film thumri)

Song – Kaa karoon sajni aaye na baalam (Basanta Bahaar) (Bangla )(1957) Singer – Ustaand Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, MD – Pt Jnan Prasad Ghosh

Lyrics: (Based on Video Clip)

aaa aaa aaa aaa
aaaa aaaa aaaa aaaa
aaye na baalam
ka karoon sajni ee
aaye na baalam
aaye na baalam
aaye na baalam
tadpat beeti mori
aaa aaa aaaa aa
tadpat beeti mori
un bin ratiyaan aan aan aan
aaye na baalam

rowat rowat kal naahin aaye ae ae
nis din mohe birahaa sataaye
yaad aawat jab unki batiyaan aan aan aan
aaye na baalam
aaye…na aa aa …baalam
ga ma ga pa
ma dha ma dha pa
pa ga ma pa
sa ni ni da pa ni
ni da pa ma ga pa
ga ma pa ma ga ma ni da sa
aaye na baalam
aaye ae ae……naa…baalam re
ae ae ae
baalam re
aaye na baalam
ka karoon sajni
aaye na baalam
aaye na ba..
baa…….la….m…….aa aa aam
aaye na baalam
dh re ma sa re ma
ma ga pa
ga ma pa
tadapt beeti mori
un bin ratiyaan aan aan
aaye na baalam
aaye na.. baalam ma aa
aa aa aa aa
aaye na
ka karoon sajni ee
aaye na baalam re..

Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)

आs आs आs आs
आsss आsss आsss आsss
आए ना बालम
का करूँ सजनी॰ ॰ ॰
आए ना बालम
आए ना बालम
आए ना बालम
तड़पत बीती मोरी
आsss आsss आsss आsss
तड़पत बीती मोरी
उन बिन रतियाँ॰ ॰ ॰
आए ना बालम

रोवत रोवत कल नहीं आये॰ ॰ ॰
निस दिन मोहे बिरहा सताये
याद आवत॰ ॰ ॰ जब उनकी बतियाँ॰ ॰ ॰
आए ना बालम
आए॰ ॰ ॰  ना॰ ॰ ॰  बालम

ग म ग प
म ध म ध प
प ग म प
स नी नी ध प नी
नी ध प म ग प
ग म प म ग म नी ध स
आए ना बालम
बा॰॰ ॰॰ल॰॰ ॰॰म
आए॰ ॰ ॰ ना॰ ॰ ॰ बालम रे
ए ए ए
बालम रे
आए ना बालम
का करूँ सजनी
आए ना
आए ना बा॰ ॰ ॰
बा॰॰ ॰॰ल॰॰ ॰॰म॰ ॰ ॰ आ आ आ म
आए ना बालम
ध रे म स रे म
म ग प
ग म प
तड़पत बीती मोरी
उन बिन रतियाँ॰ ॰ ॰
आए ना बालम
आए ना॰ ॰ ॰ बालम॰॰म॰॰म
आ आ आ आ
आए ना बा॰॰ल॰॰म
का करूँ सजनी॰ ॰ ॰
आए ना बालम रे


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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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