What are we listening to?
Beat pe Booty, Matargashti, Baby Doll main sone di, Nashe si Chadh Gayi, Pyar ki Maa ki… Such ‘Besharmi ki Height’ used in the lyrics makes you feel a ‘Nonsense ki night’ in a party playing Bollywood dance numbers & you feel like saying ‘Aata Maazi Satakli’…
When was the last time you loved a new song instantly because of its good lyrics? Something clean, romantic and poetic… tough to name even 20 such songs released this year, right!
When I thought about it…
A thought just came to my mind while watching Mr. Bachchan’s movie Shamitabh which had a sequence where Dhanush has been asked by his director to record a song in his voice (means Mr. Bachchan’s voice) and before the recording, he objects on the Lyrics saying ‘Ye kya hai PIDLI, kya gaana hai ye’ and here the lyricist justifies saying ‘Sir it means small and an inconsequential thing’ further saying ‘Sir pyar ke aage to sab Pidli hi hai na aur sir aajkal ek hook word bhi chahiye hota hai.’ R Balki, the director, has wisely given this scene to justify his own catchy yet senseless hook word PIDLI.
Their side of the story
And now you realise that they make songs keeping them somewhat logical and not just a catchy number to be played in a discotheque or party. Now you can give a green signal to the lyrics ‘Pyar ke saaye mein sab pidli hai yaar’ or ‘Teri na na, uske aage saare haan pidli pidli’. Not to forget this song was the launch promo of the film where Mr. Bachchan sings sitting on a WC in a toilet to which you think is Bollywood at its lowest low? Don’t you have anything better to show with such a legendary actor? But the logic here is Mr. Bachchan gives voice to Dhanush (a mute hero) which is a secret so he is in there singing the song for him. It’s easy to criticize, but difficult to create something new and different all the time in this 100-year-old industry. If you are told to make a new song you’ll be stuck realizing that all songs are romantic in Bollywood, all words like pyar, dil, mann, jigar, jaan, jiya, chaahat, ishq, mohobbat, zamaana, aashiq, etc. are already being used more than a hundred times. What new can someone make now?
Several songs are made every year with hundreds of releases and every film has a minimum of five songs. The industry is huge in size and to make it meaningful as well as successful all the time is not a piece of cake. So you have a blockbuster film having its famous promo song ‘Baby ko bass pasand hai’ and a B grade movie song saying ‘Mera pyaar hai Maggi jaisa, instant milega Garam Garam’ making you feel it’s all so cheesy, be it a 50-crore budget film or a 5-crore one. Where are those days where songs like ‘Tum dil ki dhadkan mein’ or ‘Saanson ki zarurat hai jaise’ were on the top charts??
We are yet lucky to have good lyricists who believe in writing sensible songs like Prasoon Joshi, Javed Akhtar, Gulzar Saab to name a few and a few filmmakers using only poetic numbers like the Bhatt camp (Vishesh Films), Mohit Suri, Vishal Bharadwaj and a few more. To see the positive side, we have the same movie Sultan with amazing and meaningful numbers like ‘Jag ghoomeya’ and ‘Bulleya- Har dam dam tu’ or Badlapur giving songs like ‘Jeena Jeena’ so aptly placed in the movie matching up the situation and you feel Bollywood is still incomplete if we stop making songs to follow the Hollywood style of films. Though it’s true, we do not have people singing and dancing at different stages of life in real, but the music generates revenues, gives work to many people and entertainment to the audiences.
Observations from the Past!
If we observe a few songs from the past, we had good lyrics like ‘Taare hai baarati’ or ‘Tujhe dekha to ye jaana sanam’ as well as cheesy ones like ‘Sexy sexy muje log bole!’ and ‘What is mobile number?’ being superhits from the same era. Some other catchy yet double meaning lyrics which prevailed in the 90s were songs like ‘Choli ke peeche kya hai’ (seriously, you are asking that??), ‘Tu cheez badi hai mast mast’ (objectifying a woman, huh), ‘Chath pe soya tha behnoi’ (Jija-Saali affairs promoted), ‘Khada hai khada hai’ (Ahem Ahem!) and ‘Chadh gaya upar re’ (We know why you have a pause there) yet most of them were perhaps superhit songs. The formula is good music and catchy lyrics (could be senseless or vulgar) makes the song a super hit, though the life of the song is a few months (till the release of the film to be precise). On the flip side we do have some amazingly sensible lyrics in songs like Channa Mereya, Sun Saathiya (ABCD 2), Kaun Tujhe (MS Dhoni), Tu hi tu (Kick) or Ikk Kudi (Udta Punjab) which are permanent songs in our music library & most of the times on the recent playlist too. However, it takes time to create such good songs and not every filmmaker is interested in making classics (After all, it’s a game of three-days business, do what is needful and not something memorable is what some follow).
Let’s talk business…
In the current competitive scenario, those senseless yet catchy ones are at times needed cause they act as an easy promotional tool though criticized by most listeners (Negative publicity is also publicity after all!). Easier ways found now are bad remakes of old famous songs so the audiences already remember the lyrics when released online (easy to register a hit with million views in hours). Indeed, we are likely to know about an upcoming movie release and the star cast if we have a hit song from its album. Personally, I was more keen to watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil over Shivaay that year because I could connect to those amazing songs so much and a few dialogues in the promos.
Plus the music rights is a good source of income and they earn Royalty for songs played on public platforms like discos, concerts and parties where it’s obvious that party numbers like ‘The breakup song’ or ‘Tamma tamma again’ are preferred and not a melodious touchy song like ‘Main phir bhi tumko chahunga’ or ‘Ae Dil hai mushkil- title’. Not to forget you can bear to watch movies like Yaariyaan, Raavan and Shaandaar not for the subdued script, but for the heartwarming songs which are just unavoidable. Thanks to the makers who at least focussed on the songs very well, though not on their film.
And we still love it!!
Another amazing role that songs and its lyrics play for us is we can relate a lot to those situational songs with our own life stories. We have songs in movies for every occasion (Shaadi song, sangeet song, friendship song, heartbreak song, death song and so on), every genre (yet all having romance in common), to make you happy or to recover from sadness, to make you dance or to fall in love with someone also perhaps make you laugh at them at times with those silly lyrics. That’s the way it was and will remain and somewhere we will connect to all of their craziest efforts to entertain and sell their products to us. ‘Kitne bhi tu karle sitam hass hass ke sahenge hum, ye pyar na hoga kum’ is the track which I can think of for our song makers…
Photo credit: <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/author/555a29″>Tatiana_0000</a> on <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/f2fc04″>VisualHunt</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”> CC BY</a>