Night has its own beauty which sometimes contains passion, sometimes emotion, sometimes pain and sometimes suspense too. Bollywood music composers, lyricists and directors have always created situational night songs for the Hindi movie audience and several of them are a treat to listen even today when decades have passed since their creation.
In my list of top twenty night songs from Hindi movies, I have not included many great songs like Aaj Ki Raat Mere Dil Ki Salaami Le Le (Ram Aur Shyam – 1967), Jhoom Jhoom Dhalti Raat (Kohra – 1964), Raat Aur Din Diya Jale Mere Mann Mein Phir Bhi Andhiyaara Hai (Raat Aur Din – 1967), Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhoolegi Woh Barsaat Ki Raat (Barsaat Ki Raat – 1960), Saawan Ki Raaton Mein Aisa Bhi Hota Hai (Prem Patra – 1962), Rimjhim Ke Geet Saawan Gaaye Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein (Anjaana – 1969), Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si, Soti Raaton Mein Jaagi Si (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi – 1958), Jalta Hai Jiya Mera Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein (Zakhmee – 1975), Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein, Meethi Meethi Baaton Mein (Ajnabee – 1974), Lag Ja Gale Ki Phir Ye Haseen Raat Ho Na Ho (Woh Kaun Thi – 1964) etc. because I have included them in my previous songs reviews under different categories. Besides, certain night linked songs I have not covered here as I am willing to include them in my review of nature based songs. I have also not included a very popular Qawwaali – Raat Abhi Baaki Hai Baat Abhi Baaki Hai (Do Khiladi – 1976) as I will include it in my review of Qawwaalis.
The list is bound to be subjective as one can prepare his / her own list according to personal choice.
1. Ye Raaten Nayi Puraani (Julie – 1975) : It’s my numero uno favourite night song which is very emotional and its beautiful lyric authored by Anand Bakshi in the melodious composition of Rajesh Roshan touches my soul in Lata’s enchanting voice. It’s picturized on Rita Bhaduri on the occasion of the new year eve in the movie.
2. Raat Ne Kya Kya Khwab Dikhaaye (Ek Gaon Ki Kahaani – 1957) : A classic sad song sung by and picturized on Talat Mahmood. The touching lyric has come from the pen of Shailendra whereas the credit of the melodious composition goes to Salil Choudhary.
3. Phir Chhidi Raat Baat Phoolon Ki (Baazaar – 1982) : A beautiful Ghazal by Makhdoom Mohiuddin which has been melodiously composed by Khayyam and brilliantly sung by Lata and Talat Aziz. It’s been picturized on Farooq Sheikh and Supriya Pathak.
4. Raat Akeli Hai, Bujh Gaye Diye (Jewel Thief – 1967) : An enchanting song of Asha, picturized on Tanuja, penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri and composed by Sachin Dev Burman.
5. Mujhko Is Raat Ki Tanhaai Mein Aawaaz Na Do (Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere – 1960) : Mukesh’s classic sad song, picturized on Dharmendra (in his debut movie as a hero), penned by Shamim Jaipuri and composed by Kalyanji Anandji. It’s there in Lata’s voice too which has been picturized on Kumkum.
6. Ye Raat Ye Chaandni Phir Kahaan (Jaal – 1952) : Hemant Kumar and Lata sing this song separately in this movie for Dev Anand and Geeta Baali respectively. Hemant Kumar himself is the composer and the words are of Saahir Ludhiyanvi.
7. Din Dhal Jaaye Haay Raat Na Jaaye (Guide – 1965) : Rafi’s gem picturized on Dev Anand. The great lyric penned by Shailendra has been composed by Sachin Da (S.D. Burman).
8. Aadha Hai Chandrama Raat Aadhi (Navrang – 1959) : A mesmerizing Asha-Mahendra Kapoor duet picturized on Sandhya and Mahipal. Bharat Vyas’ lyric has been composed by C. Ramchandra. The choreography of this song is no less extra-ordinary than the song.
9. Suhaani Raat Dhal Chuki (Dulari – 1949) : Rafi’s classic emotional song, penned by Shakeel Badayuni, composed by Naushad and picturized on Suresh.
10. Dhalti Jaaye Raat Keh Le Dil Ki Baat (Razia Sultana – 1961) : An enchanting romantic Asha-Rafi duet picturized on Nirupa Roy and Jairaj whose words were written by Anand Bakshi for the composition of Lachchhiram.
11. Raina Beeti Jaaye, Shyam Na Aaye (Amar Prem – 1971) : Lata’s memorable song based on Raag Todi. It’s been penned by Anand Bakshi, composed by Pancham Da (R.D. Burman) and picturized on Sharmila Tagore.
12. Beeti Na Bitaai Raina (Parichay – 1972) : An intense classical song composed by R.D. Burman in Raag Alhaiya Bilawal. The beautiful lyric is of the filmmaker Gulzar himself and the great composition for the voices of Kishore and Lata has been created by R.D. Burman. The song has been picturized on Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri in the movie.
13. Zulf Ki Chhaon Mein Chehre Ka Ujaala Lekar Teri Veeran Si Raaton Ko Sajaaya Humne (Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon – 1963) : A touching Rafi-Asha duet, penned by Majrooh Sulanpuri and composed by O.P. Nayyar which is only in the music album and not found in the movie. However now it’s available on youtube (picturized on Asha Parekh and Joy Mukherjee).
14. Main Dhoondhta Hoon Jinko Raaton Ko Khayaalon Mein (Thokar – 1974) : Mukesh’s classic sad song, picturized on Shiv Kumar in the movie. Shyamji-Ghanshyamji duo has composed the touching words of Majaaz Lakhnavi.
15. Ruk Ja Raat, Theher Ja Re Chanda (Dil Ek Mandir – 1963) : Lata’s great sentimental song, picturized on Meena Kumari (singing for her ailing husband, Raaj Kumar). The emotional lyric of Shailendra has been composed by Shankar-Jaikishan.
16. Raat Ka Sama, Jhoome Chandrama (Ziddi – 1964) : Lata’s melodious song in Raag Pahadi, picturized on Asha Parekh, penned by Hasrat Jaipuri and composed by S.D. Burman. Asha Parekh’s dance on this song is also great.
17. O Raat Ke Musafir, Chanda Zara Bata De (Miss Mary – 1957) : An amusing Lata-Rafi duet which has been picturized on Meena Kumari and Gemini Ganeshan in the movie. Rajendra Krishna’s lyric has been composed by Hemant Kumar. It’s a sweet song which shows a husband cajoling his resented wife.
18. Maine Chaand Aur Sitaaron Ki Tamanna Ki Thi, Mujhko Raaton Ki Siyaahi Ke Siwa Kuchh Na Mila (Chandrakaanta – 1956) : Mohammed Rafi’s great sad song, picturized on Bharat Bhooshan, authored by Saahir and composed by N. Dutta.
19. Raaton Ke Saaye Ghane, Jab Bojh Dil Par Bane (Annadaata – 1972) : Lata’s underrated sad song, picturized on Jaya Bhaduri, penned by Yogesh and composed by Salil Chaudhary.
20. Sunsaan Raaton Mein Jab Tu Nahi Aata (Sannaata – 1981) : A suspense song sung by Lata and picturized on Saarika. Rajesh Roshan’s has composed the lyric of Majrooh. It’s an underrated song for sure because it’s very impactful but less known by music lovers.
In addition to the above, the following nights songs are also worth being covered here:
1. Udhar Tum Haseen Ho Idhar Hum Jawaan Hain, Yeh Rangeen Raaton Ki Ik Daastaan Hai (Mr. and Mrs. 55 – 1955) : A great romantic duet of Geeta Dutt and Mohammed Rafi which has been picturized on Madhubala and Guru Dutt. The melodious tune has been made by O.P. Nayyar for the lyric of Majrooh.
2. Yaad Aayi Aadhi Raat Ko Kal Raat Ki Tauba (Kanhaiya – 1959) : Raj Kapoor’s memorable song in Mukesh’s voice. Shankar-Jaikishan has melodious composed the meaningful lyric of Shailendra.
3. Do Sitaaron Ka Zameen Par Hai Milan Aaj Ki Raat (Kohinoor – 1960) : Rafi and Lata sing this popular duet for Meena Kumari and Dilip Kumar whose lyric has been penned by Shakeel Badayuni and tune has been made by Naushad.
4. Dil Jo Na Keh Saka, Wohi Raaz-e-Dil Kehne Ki Raat Aayi (Bheegi Raat – 1965) : A memorable song sung separately by Lata and Rafi for Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar respectively. Roshan has composed the lyric of Majrooh.
5. Raat Ke Humsafar, Thak Ke Ghar Ko Chale (An Evening in Paris – 1967) : A brilliant Asha-Rafi duet sung for the on-screen pair of Sharmila Tagore and Shammi Kapoor. Shailendra’s lyric has been composed by Shankar-Jaikishan.
6. Kaisi Haseen Aaj Bahaaron Ki Raat Hai (Aadmi – 1968) : A joyful song sung jointly by two great male singers – Mohammed Rafi and Talat Mahmood for the on-screen duo of Dilip Kumar and Manoj Kumar. Leading ladies – Waheeda Rehman and Simi Grewal are also in the scene. Naushad has composed the words of Shakeel Badayuni.
7. Khushi Ki Woh Raat Aa Gayi, Koi Geet Bajne Do (Dharti Kahe Pukaar Ke – 1969) : A unique song which apparently appears to be joyful but the singing person is filled with grief in his heart. Jeetendra has performed on the voice of Mukesh with the credit of the lyric going to Majrooh and of the composition to Laxmikant Pyarelal.
8. Raat Kali Ek Khwab Mein Aayi Aur Gale Ka Haar Hui (Buddha Mil Gaya – 1971) : A song which I myself love to sing for the audience. It’s sung by Naveen Nishchal for Archana on the screen. Kishore Kumar has given voice to the lyric of Majrooh in the music direction of Pancham Da (Rahul Dev Burman).
9. Kal Ki Haseen Mulaaqaat Ke Liye, Aaj Raat Ke Liye, Hum Tum Juda Ho Jaate Hain, Achchha Chalo So Jaate Hain (Charas – 1976) : A Lata-Kishore romantic duet sung for the on-screen pair of Hema Malini and Dharmendra. Anand Bakshi’s lyric has been composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal.
10. Yamma Yama Yamma Yama, Ye Khoobsoorat Sama, Bas Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi, Kal Hum Kahaan Tum Kahaan (Shaan – 1980) : R.D. Burman has composed this group song whose lyric has been penned by Anand Bakshi. It has been sung by R.D. Burman himself alongwith Rafi and chorus for Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Parveen Babi, Bindiya Goswami etc.
11. Raat Baaki, Baat Baaki, Hona Hai Jo, Ho Jaane Do (Namak Halaal – 1982) : A very chartbuster of its time, penned by Anjaan and composed by Bappi Lahiri. Sung jointly by Asha Bhosle, Bappi Lahiri and Shashi Kapoor, this song has been picturized on Parveen Babi, Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor himself.
12. Raat Hamaari To Chaand Ki Saheli Hai (Parineeta – 2005) : It’s an underrated song of the album which has been sung by K.S. Chitra for Vidya Baalan. Swanand Kirkire has penned it and Shaantanu Moitra has composed it.
And finally, Mukesh’s classic song – Suhaani Chaandni Raaten Hamen Sone Nahin Deteen (Mukti – 1978) picturized on Shashi Kapoor (singing for Vidya Sinha), penned by Anand Bakshi and composed by R.D. Burman.
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