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Best Songs of Mukesh

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V Kumar has been writing on Bollywood movies and music for several years, highlighting perspectives that are often missed out or ignored.

Mukesh: One of the greatest Singers of Bollywood (1923-1976)

Mukesh: One of the greatest Singers of Bollywood (1923-1976)

MUKESH - One of the greatest singers of Bollywood

Mukesh Chand Mathur, more commonly known as Mukesh, is considered one of the greatest singers that Bollywood has ever heard. Along with other legends like Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey, he was instrumental in creating the golden era of Bollywood Music, which remains unparalleled in its melody and reach. His songs are a great treasure that millions continue to benefit from, even four decades after his untimely demise.

The songs of Mukesh will rules the heart of millions for a long time to come - so strong and eternal is his legacy, and continue to inspire generations of new singers to follow in his footsteps. Here is a hub dedicated to this great artiste, consisting of ten of his best ever songs.


Mera Naam Joker

Mera Naam Joker

Jaane kahan gaye voh din...

Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri

Music by: Shanker Jaikishan

Raj Kapoor, the greatest showman of Bollywood, used to call Mukesh as his voice. This song, from the movie Mera Naam Joker tells us why. The sad song filmed on a circus joker would have been very different had it not been for Mukesh, who sang it. His voice added that touch of sincerity and innocence which was the hallmark of all Raj Kapoor characters.

Backed by excellent lyrics, this song is an eternal number giving expression to the yearning of all those who have passed the peak of their life and suddenly come face to face with this difficult reality. The words literally mean, "Where have those days disappeared ......?" It is the expression of having seen life or at least a major part of it gone by while we are left behind.


A great song from the movie Kati Patang

A great song from the movie Kati Patang

Jis gali mein tera ghar na ho balma ....

Lyricist: Anand Bakhshi

Music by: R D Burman

An extremely sensitive rendition of a theme that is full of love and selflessness. If one could say that pure love is divine, then this song brings you at the doors of that divinity and let you have a glimpse of it in this song. The words literally mean, " I will not pass through a lane that does not have your house, nor will I ever follow a path that does not lead to your abode...", and come from a man in love with a widow at a time in India when widows were not expected to marry again.

The song is great for many reasons, but its hallmark is the voice of Mukesh and his characteristically simple rendition, full of sincerity and a touch of sadness. It remains an eternal number for Bollywood connoisseurs.

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A great song from the movie Bombai Ka Babu

A great song from the movie Bombai Ka Babu

Chal ri sajni, ab kya soche...

Lyricist: Majrooh Sutanpuri

Music by: S D Burman

A song which still brings tears to those who know the realities of the life of twentieth century India, with regard to the destiny of every girl, who, having been protected from the world for all her life, suddenly finds herself married and left on her own to make a place in a stranger's family and be a part of it for the rest of her existence. Nothing else in history, literature or music has ever come so close in depicting this common reality and expressing the feelings of this inevitable misery.

Mukesh's singing reached a kind of peak with this song which was seldom broken again. It was also some great music and extraordinary lyrics, which gave this song its ethereal character.

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A great song that expresses desperate hope of millions

A great song that expresses desperate hope of millions

Woh subah kabhi to ayegi...

Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianwi

Music by: Khayyam

The words of this song represent that eternal hope that keeps humanity going in spite of every adversity, "That morning will eventually come some day... some day definitely ... that morning will also come .....". This is a song that hundreds of millions in India could relate to at that point of time, as the country, just after independence hoped for a brighter future and struggled with the adverse realities that bordered on hopelessness.

In spite of the great lyrics and subtle but extraordinary music, the song attains its greatness largely because of Mukesh's characteristic voice and his ability to express the mix of emotions in a way that would do justice to the theme of the lyrics.

An all time great number.

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A touching number from the movie "Teesri Kasam"

A touching number from the movie "Teesri Kasam"

Sajanwa bairi ho gaye hamar ..

Lyricist: Shaliendra

Music by: Shanker Jaikishan

Another extraordinary number, great because of its capacity to depict the feelings of unexpressed love in a way seldom achieved in Bollywood. The lyrics refer to the sadness of a wife waiting to hear from her husband who has gone abroad and is not contacting her. In the movie TEESRI KASAM, it depicts another dimension of the plot, the developing of a strange relationship between a rural cart driver and a theater artiste, whom he is carrying in his cart to another village.

The story belongs to an era when female theater artistes, even when they were famous for their craft, were looked down upon and not accepted in normal society. The song depicts their enigmatic relationship without saying a word about it. An eternal number indeed.

Mukesh: Life and Times

Mukesh: Life and Times

Mukesh: Life and Times

ANAND (1970)

One of the greatest ever songs of Bollywood

One of the greatest ever songs of Bollywood

Kahin door jab din dhal jaye

Lyricist: Yogesh

Music by: Salil Chaudhary

One of the greatest ever songs in the history of Bollywood, this number is also the peak of Mukesh, the singer. This song is great because of many other factors, including its exceptional lyrics and melodious music, and yet it is difficult to conceptualize this song with any other singer, so great is the impact of Mukesh's voice and rendition.

This song expresses the feelings of the protagonist, Anand, who is suffering from incurable cancer and counting his days, and yet carries on with all the vigor and liveliness. It represents his feelings that otherwise never find an expression in the movie. An exceptional song considering how successfully it is able to depict this complex internal emotional conflicts of a man fighting with death and trying to live.

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A great song from the movie Saraswatichandra

A great song from the movie Saraswatichandra

Chandan sa badan, chanchal chitvan

Lyricist: Indeewar

Music by: Kalyanji Anandji

A very melodious number, made memorable by its sweet melody. This song introduces you to a kind of purity that differentiates between love and lust. On one hand the song portrays the beauty of his lover, but it does with an expression that is almost sacred, exemplifying how love and physical attraction can also retain their purity without necessarily belonging to the platonic level.

An extremely melodious and hummable tune and beautiful lyrics take it to heights not often seen, but the song still belongs to Mukesh and his characteristic rendition. It is largely his voice that brings in the purity and innocence that makes this song immortal.


One of the most popular songs of Bollywood

One of the most popular songs of Bollywood

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein..

Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianwi

Music by: Khayyam

One of the most popular songs of Mukesh and one that made him the darling of the masses. This song established him as a great even among his detractors, by its sheer popularity. It is actually more of a poem rather than a typical Bollywood song, and therein lies the exceptional singing talent of Mukesh, who converted it into a perfect Bollywood song.

Trained in classical Hindustani singing, Mukesh brought a kind of simple melody to almost everything he sang, but this number is great because its lyrics were brought to a musical format in a way rarely seen in Bollywood, prior or afterwards. When this movie was released, one could hear this song all around the Hindi speaking parts of India, at every nook and corner.

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BANDINI (1963)

A great number from Bandini

A great number from Bandini

O jaane wale ho sake to laut ke aana

Lyrics: Shailendra

Music by: S D Burman

A great song from a great movie composed by a great music composer and rendered by one of the greatest singers of Bollywood.

This song combines a strangely haunting quality with some very melodious music, in a manner not easily replicated in Bollywood. The lyrics literally mean, " O' departing person, you must return to your roots some day...if possible". In the movie, it expresses the feelings of a girl, in a very conservative rural society, who is leaving her village along with everything that formed her world. The song does not refer to her, but makes you feel something in a way only music can. In fact, only great music can...something like this eternal number.

RAFTAAR (1975)

A classic number from the movie Raftaar

A classic number from the movie Raftaar

Sansar hai ek nadiya..

Lyricist: Abhilash

Music by: Sonik-Omi

This is a somewhat unconventional number from Mukesh, but stamped with his characteristic style. The song has beautiful lyrics, literally meaning, "World is like a and sorrow are its two sides.." It is the voice of Mukesh which brings feelings and reality to this philosophical statement.

This extraordinary number combines a multitude of expressions, and bring to fore how our lives are a mix of several emotional sagas.The song also successfully depicts the desperation and the hopes that almost go hand in hand in spite of their extremely opposite character.

This song is also among his last great ones, before he undertook his journey away from us.

Help us in deciding the BEST SONG OF MUKESH


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© 2012 V Kumar


Harish K Bhatt.Mumbai on March 17, 2015:

Really Touched to listen to Legendery Shri.Mukeshji & Shri.Kishorji.

Would love to know Ten Best of Mahendrakapoorji & Mannadeji

shalini. on October 15, 2014:

I m a great fan of mukesh.i like his every songs..

V Kumar (author) on December 09, 2013:

Thanks so much !

Debora Wondercheck from 1518 Brookhollow Drive, Suite 15, Santa Ana, CA, 92705 on December 09, 2013:

Awesome collection!!!!!!!! I love it :)

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 04, 2012:

Very interesting layout..Well done..Enjoyed..Thank you..

Charu Bhatnagar from India on February 04, 2012:

Hey, so nice to see something on bollywood music, and that too on bollywood musical legends. Thanks, and very nice info.

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