November 14. Birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Also, Children’s Day. Hindi music has seen quite a few songs sung by, and for children, both in movies and outside of movies. So this Children’s Day we present you a set of videos of our favorite children’s songs. Hope you like them. Some of them are bound to take you on a trip down lane nostalgia. Click on the song title to watch the video.
Ichak Dana — Shree 420 (1955): A perennial favorite in antaksharis, the song was essentially a collection of riddles arranged in a musical form by Shailendra and Shankar Jaikishan, and sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
Chal Mere Ghode Tik Tik Tik — Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan (1959): Meena Kumari rendering a story to her boy child (played by Honey Irani!), the song is representative of the typical setting for children’s songs of the time. Sung by Lata Mangeshkar to the lyrics of Prem Dhawan, scored by Ravi who would later become famous for works like Chaudvi Ka Chaand, Waqt etc.
Nanna Munna Raahi Hoon — Son Of India (1962): Children’s song with a patriotic flavor, there aren’t a lot belonging to this genre. And quite a memorable track this was too, Shanti Devi Mathur doing the vocals, one of the very few done by the artist who passed away earlier this year. Naushad gave music to this track penned by Shakeel Badayuni.
Nani Teri Morni — Masoom (1962): Hemant Kumar worked his magic on this children’s poem and got his daughter Ranu Mukherjee to render it. While Ranu’s rendition is enough to have you hooked, the effect is quadrupled when you watch the video of a cute little Honey Irani running around doing an action song version of this track.
Rail Gaadi — Aashirwaad (1968): Some claim that this was the first Indian rap song. Whether that is true or not, the song definitely was a fun ride, with Harindranath Chatterjee’s frolicsome lyrics set to Vasant Desai’s music and Ashok Kumar’s spot-on rendition.
Chakke Mein Chakka — Brahmachari (1968): Coming from Shankar Jaikishen and Shailendra, Brahmachari was a musical extravaganza, featuring some of Rafi’s best songs, rightfully fetching all of them Filmfare awards. And one of the songs was this kids’ classic, Shammi Kapoor taking the children for a sawaari around Bombay City.
Sa Re Ke Sa Re — Parichay (1972): When one hears the name Parichay the first song that comes to mind would be Musafir Hu Yaaron. But the movie also featured this excellent children’s song sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle. A gem from the Pancham-Gulzar team.
Ro Na Kabhi Nahi — Apna Desh (1972): 1972 was a golden year for RD Burman with 19 of his movies getting released that year, most of them featuring superhits. And one of them was Apna Desh, famous for the cabaret Duniya Mein. Ro Na.. was a very heart-warming kids’ song from the movie, Kishore Kumar voicing Anand Bakshi’s lines.
Ek Anek Aur Ekta — NFDC (1977): This is one video that makes one nostalgic of the golden days of Doordarshan. With a wonderful animation film backed by a beautiful tune by Vasant Desai, NFDC had the perfect formula to teach children the importance of unity.
Lakdi Ki Kaathi — Masoom (1983): Shekhar Kapur’s directorial debut, while critically acclaimed, featured some more excellent songs from Pancham da and Gulzar. One of which was this evergreen children’s classic sung by Gauri Bapat, Gurpreet Kaur and Vanita Mishra.
Naa Maange — Mr. India (1987): One of the most creative parody songs ever seen in Hindi movies, sung by Anuradha Paudwal and Mohammad Aziz. And with Sreedevi, Anil Kapoor and co. at their comical best on screen as well, one really can’t get enough of this one. Which applies for the entire movie, by the way.
Anjali Anjali — Anjali (1990): Anjali was one of the most emotionally stirring movies that Mani Ratnam made, about an autistic child. The film had some trademark Ilayaraja tunes, the best of which was the title song. The above link leads to the Hindi version, though to me the Tamil version rates much above.
Title Song — Jungle Book (1990s): One of the earliest animation tv series on Indian television, the title song of Jungle Book was a rage among kids of the time. It was also probably the first occasion the dream team of Vishal Bharadwaj and Gulzar came together.
School Chale Hum — Bharat Bala: One of the many national awareness videos directed by Bharat Bala, this one was an excellent motivational video set to tune by Shankar Ehsaan Loy to Mehboob’s lyrics and sung by Kunal Ganjawala.
Chatri — Blue Umbrella (2007): The best Vishal Bharadwaj-Gulzar song that never got noticed. Sung by Upagna Pandy, Vishal wonderfully captures the childish emotions in the song bordering on fantasy, layering it on a highland-ish arrangement. Its a tragedy this song never got its due. A truly magical track to end our list.