Top Ten Semi-Classical Hindi Songs

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I wanted to write about this for a long time and finally I decided that I will tell you about my top-ten semi-classical songs. Semi-classical is known as the mix of classical singing and commercial music, mostly by the music directors of the film city.

There aren’t only ten, Bollywood has a long list of such songs. These ten which I am going to tell you are the top ten for me and they are not very old songs. You must have listened and enjoyed them and while reading this article, you would agree with me to an extent. I have tried to enlist only soft-slow-smooth songs, so if you try to listen any of these, use a headphone and close your eyes and let your mind  free to feel the magic of music.

It’s really hard for me to decide which song is the first and best, but I have to name at least one. All songs are great.

The first song is-

1-Wada Tumse Hai Wada, Janmo’n  Ka Pyar Ka

Movie-1920 (2008)

Singer- Pt. Jasraj

Music- Adnan Sami

Lyricist- Sameer

YouTube Link-

Like the movie, this song too will haunt you if you listen it once carefully and feel the melody of it. The music is as soulful as the singing of the classical vocalist Pt. Jasraj. He has not sung many songs in Bollywood and I had never listened him before this song. He has just filled it with life, romance and heavenly love. In fact, this song is more than a semi-classical but less than a pure classical. Listen it if you haven’t yet.

2- Hamri Atariya Pe Aaja Re Sawariya Dekha-Dekhi Tanik Hoi Jaye

Movie- Dedh Ishqiya (2014)

Singer- Rekha Bhardwaj

Music Director- Vishal Bhardwaj

Lyricist- Gulzar

YouTube Link-

The movie, Dedh Ishqiya is a gem and so is the song mentioned above. Hamri Atariya is basically a Thumri song, first sung by Mallika-e-ghazal, one of the greatest singers of Hindustani classical music, Begum Akhtar. Thumri is a vocal genre or you can say a style of Indian music that is connected with dance, dramatic gesture, mild eroticism, evocative love poetry and folk songs especially from Uttar Pradesh. Well, the above mentioned song has been modified by the lyricist and music director and it’s sung in purely different style by the singer to appeal the new generation. A few words about Rekha Bhardwaj: I am her fan since I listened ‘Namak Ishq Ka’ from Omkaara (2006), a song of great symbolism and deep meaning, sung in a quite deviant way. And since then I started to notice that she is quite cautious while choosing a song to sing, you just pick up any, Sasural Genda Phool from Delhi6 (2009) or Ghaghra from Ye Jawani Hai Diwani (2013) or Darling from 7 Khoon Maaf (2011). She is a versatile singer. So just listen this song with a Nawabi and Awadhi touch and watch also as it has great dance by Madhuri Dixit and Huma Quraishi.

3- Maula Mere Maula Mere

Movie- Anwar (2007)

Singer- Roop Kumar Rathod

Music- Mithoon

Lyricist- Sayeed Quadri

YouTube Link-

Anwar was a romantic thriller, a movie with a message, but if it is remembered by something within it, they are the two songs- Maula Mere Maula and Javeda Jindagi. Maula Mere Maula is such a song that takes you in some other world and you have to agree then that music really has a healing power. You just want to listen it endlessly. The music and the lyrics both are entreating, and the singing of Roop Kumar Rathod, unquestionably, is the best. This song has a Sufi touch.

4- Javeda Jindagi- Tose Naina Laage Piya Saanware

Movie- Anwar (2007)

Singer- Kshitiz Tarey and Shilpa Rao

Lyricist- Hasan Kamal

YouTube Link-

The best thing about this song is its music. The running water music blended with an alap in the very beginning touches your soul. It is an eight minute song and all the time while listening it you will feel yourself in a trance. Recitation of simple sargam between the lyrics made it more beautiful. This song has a devotional touch.

5- Aaoge Jab Tum Saajna, Aangna Phool Khilenge

Movie- Jab We Met (2007)

Singer- Ustad Rashid Khan

Music- Sandesh Shandilya

Lyricist- Faaiz Anwar

YouTube LInk-

Well, I think Jab We Met was among the best romantic movies of the last decade. But like the tradition is, in India, there is no romance without song and music. All the other songs of this movie were great, no doubt, but this one, I think, was fitted somehow in the script. Because all the other songs were written by Irshad Kamil and the music was given by Pritam, but this was the only song that got special treatment.  And this song did deserve that. Ustad Rashid Khan is an Indian classical vocalist about whom Pt. Bhimsen Joshi once remarked that he is the assurance for the future of Indian vocal music, and after listening this song or another song ‘Poore se Zara Kam Hai’ in Mausam (2011), you would have to agree with Joshiji.

6- Kun Faya

Movie- Rockstar (2011)

Singer- A. R. Rahman, Javed Ali, Mohit Chauhan and Nizami Brothers

Music- A. R. Rahman

Lyricist- Irshaad Kamil

YouTube Link-

Of all the sufi songs in Bollywood that are sung in group, Kun Faya is the best concerto I ever listened, variation of sur on every antara, strains of different scales after every two-three lines, and the soulful music of A. R. Rahman, all these made this song magnificent. Overall, what I observed in this song is that singing has more weightage than the music and it’s really a tough song to sing, but listening it is absolutely spiritual. The lyrics are quite philosophical.

7- Mere Dholna Sun/Ami Je Tomar

Movie- Bhool-Bhulaiya (2007)

Singer- Shreya Ghoshal, M. G. Shreekumar

Music- Pritam

Lyricist- Sameer

YouTube Link-

This song is sung by my favorite Bengali beauty and great female singer of our times, Shreya Ghoshal. There are so many other songs of Shreya Ghoshal that I can count as my favorite, but this song is full of classical beats and half of the song is only sargam. She and the male singer M. G. Shreekumar just recite for more than three minutes with great tempo and you just want to be lost in it. If you watch this song, you can enjoy watching Viddya Balan, another Bengali beauty, doing classical dance and if you just listen it, you will like it the same.


8- Tu Jo Nahi Hai To Kuchh Bhi Nahi Hai

Movie- Woh Lamhe (2006)

Singer- Glenn John

Music- Pritam

Lyricist- Sayeed Quadri

YouTube Link-

This song is one of my all time favorites and I can listen it more than ten times in a day. I don’t have much knowledge about the singer, Glenn John, but I really appreciate his talent, the way he sang. The music of this movie had faced some plagiarism issue, but I think the music of this song is original, but it is said that the lyrics are inspired by a Pakistani ghazal. Well, I think this is one of the greatest love-song of the last decade. Listen it and feel the longing of a lover.

9- Tere Bina Beswadi-Beswadi Ratiya

Movie- Guru (2007)

Singer- Chinamyi, Murtaza Khan, Qadeer Khan

Music- A. R. Rahman

Lyricist- Gulzar

YouTube Link-

I can remember the first impression I had when I listened this song first time. It was the first line of the lyrics, ‘tere bina beswadi-beswadi ratiyaa’, means, ‘darling, nights are tasteless without you.’ Whoa! What an imagination! That’s why I love Gulzar Sahab. Apart from the lyrics, the singing is just great and it’s not an easy song to sing. A. R. Rahman is undoubtedly great. Indians must be proud of him.

10- Kuchh Na Kaho

Movie- 1942: A Love Story

Singer- Kumar Sanu

Music- R. D. Burman

Lyricist- Javed Akhtar

YouTube Link-

Kumar Sanu is the first singer whom I started calling as my favorite in my school days. I have listened almost every famous song sung by him and, for me, he is easy to copy, but I don’t think if I sing I can do justice with this song. This movie was musical hit and every song is great. I really had to go through an inner conflict as which should I put as the semi-classical in the list. “Ye safar”, and “Ek Ladki ko Dekha” both are equally great. But this song is quite unique in itself. If you only listen the instrumental and no vocals, you will like it the same way. Kumar Sanu himself said in an interview that this tune should be listened by every ear.

P. S. The pics are borrowed from the internet and I give full credit to the original creator/owner

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