Friday, June 12, 2009

A little banter in love: Noor Jehan and Lata Mangeshkar

In this blog, I juxtapose two melodious solos from the two divas of the Indian sub-continent, Noor Jehan and Lata Mangeshkar, respectively. Both songs are taken from films released in the same year, 1962. Both have similar lyrics, ja to say nahi bolun, a typical expression used when a little romantic banter takes place.

Let us sample first the voice of Noor Jehan from a celebrated Pakistani musical film "Mousiqar", produced by the renowned music composer Rashid Attre, who also composed the music of the songs featured in the film. Three lyricists are listed for this movie: Tanvir Naqvi, Habib Jalib and Tufail Hoshiarpuri. I do not know who amongst them wrote the lyrics for this excellent song featured here:

The same song was played a few years ago by Ustad Nafees Khan on sitar in a tribute show organized to honor the memory of Noor Jehan and a clip is added below:

An equally outstanding song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar in the film, Sautela Bhai, which was also released in 1962. Its music composer was Anil Biswas, regarded as one of the most oustanding composers of Hindi film music. The lyrics, jaa main tosay nahin bolun, were written by Shailendra and a video link to this beautiful the song is given below:

There are other songs from both countries with a similar theme. I would welcome your suggestions and comments.

In closing, I leave you with a short poem, written by Hartley Coleridge (1796 - 1849), the son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834), titled Song:

She is not fair to outward view
As many maidens be,
Her loveliness I never knew
...Until she smiled on me;
O, then I saw her eye was bright,
A well of love, a spring of light!

But now her looks are coy and cold,
To mine they ne'er reply,
And yet I cease not to behold
...The love-light in her eye;
Her very frowns are fairer far
Than smiles of other maidens are.

Could this be the response to the Noor Jehan and Lata Mangeshkar's ja mein tosay nahin bolun? Comments and suggestions are welcome. Thank you.