Bollywood songs today seem to be falling into a pattern of repetition, lacking the creativity and excitement that once defined the industry. There was a time when Bollywood amazed us with its daring experiments, and one such captivating trend was the infusion of local folk melodies into its tunes. These Bollywood songs stand as prime examples, reflecting the profound impact of local folk songs – whether through direct inspiration or engaging remixes:
1. “Jugni” from “Cocktail”
The famous Punjabi folk song “Jugni” has experienced numerous adaptations, including a renowned Sufi version by Coke Studio. Historically, “Jugni” referred to a singer who narrates their own life experiences. In the film, the Sufi rendition reflects the protagonist’s journey through trials en route to love.
2. “Nimbooda” from “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”
The traditional Rajasthani folk song “Nimbooda,” first popularized by artist Ghazi Khan, employs ‘fetching limes’ as a clever double entendre.
3. “Navrai Majhi” from “English Vinglish”
A beloved Marathi wedding song, “Navrai Majhi” traditionally resonates with the bride’s family. It extols the beauty, elegance, aspirations, and dreams of the bride.
4. “Dilbaro” from “Raazi”
The opening lines of “Dilbaro” originate from a Kashmiri wedding song, typically sung during the bidaai, symbolizing a daughter bidding farewell to her father.
5. “Chudiya Khanak Gayi (Morni Baga Mein Bole)” from “Lamhe”
Another prominent Rajasthani folk piece, this song was traditionally sung by Banjaras, a nomadic community. It eloquently conveys the agony of waiting for a lover’s return, with the folk lyrics serving as the song’s opening verse.
6. “Engine Ki Seeti” from “Khubsoorat”
The vibrant dance track “Engine Ki Seeti” draws inspiration from a Rajasthani folk song. The original lyrics, “Anjan ki seeti me mharo man dole,” hold a somewhat saucy undertone compared to the Bollywood version.
7. “Pallu Latke” from “Nauker”
Originally featured in the 1979 comedy “Naukar” and later remixed in the 2017 film “Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana,” this Rajasthani folk song continues to charm audiences.
8. “Ambarsariya” from “Fukrey”
Sona Mahapatra’s hit “Ambarsariya” draws its melody partially from the Punjabi shabad “Rakkhi Charna De Kol.” While the film’s lyrics are altered, they are also influenced by another Punjabi folk song.
9. “Bumbro” from “Mission Kashmir”
A traditional Kashmiri folk song, “Bumbro” was initially created for the pioneering Kashmiri opera “Bombur ta Yemberzal.” Traditionally, it accompanies the mehendi ceremony at weddings.
10. “Mor Bani Thanghat Kare” from “Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela”
Poet Jhaverchand Meghani’s 1944 translation of the Gujrati folk song “Navi Varsha,” originally titled “Mor Bani Thanghat Kare,” finds its roots in Rabindranath Tagore’s 1920 poem “Navvarsha.”
11. “Kesariya Balam” from “Dor”
A quintessential Rajasthani folk melody, “Kesariya Balam” was originally composed to welcome Rajput warriors home after battles. The credit for this folk gem goes to Padma Shri awardee and folk singer Allah Jilai Bai.
12. “Genda Phool” from “Delhi-6”
The catchy “Genda Phool” is an adaptation of a Chattisgarhi folk song known as “Dadariya.” Originally, “Dadariya” contained humorous descriptions of personal situations, similar to “Genda Phool,” where a wife muses about her mother and sister-in-law as she anticipates her husband’s return.
Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.