Music and Lyrics

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A quiet moment in solitude and not much that you have to do. Suddenly there was some melody that your radio set hummed and a smile sparkled your face! They say music lifts up one’s spirits and soothes the soul. But is it just the music? Perhaps we should just walk a step more and acknowledge the magic the songwriters create with lyric. Well, yes there is a little monotony in not a few but many songs and it leaves you with a feeling that songwriters sit with a dictionary of rhymes while writing them. Clichés like Pyaar, Aitbaar and Intezaar or jeena, marna rule this dictionary. This way, anything that rhymes becomes a song and smart engineers may soon develop a computer program to aid songwriters writing songs. If you have googled enough, you may know that such things already exist. Let me categorize these as the machine-driven. You can easily identify them, and guess the next word even when you listen to them for the first time, because the words are so predictable and monotonous.

But then what keeps songwriting alive is the other portion of the breed of songwriters, who have bothered to think beyond the obvious. Let us call them mind-driven. Thanks to them that we still like to listen to songs, keep humming them and yet smile. And this actually reassures us that songwriters and poets are still humans and not machines. Take this for Gulzar’s romantic song that takes you through a bride’s journey starting from her innocent concern of marrying a businessman who doesn’t understand anything except profit and loss, and expressing her love to him to the intimacy to her maturity:

Aye Hairath-E-Aashiqui… (Film: Guru, Lyrics: Gulzar)
Kyun Urdu Faarsi Bolte Ho, Das Kehte Ho Do Tolte Ho,
Joothon Ke Shehenshah Bolo Na…
Jinhein Dekha Nahin Kal Tak Kahin Bhi, Ab Kokh Mein Woh Chehre Bote Hain…

And then I was just wondering how on the earth being troubled could ever be so beautiful!

Pareshaan (Film: Ishaqzaade, Lyrics: Kausar Munir)
Zara Zara Phoolon Se Jhadne Laga Dil Mera
Zara Zara Kaanton Se Lagne Laga Dil Mera
Main pareshaan, pareshaan. . .

When we speak of the all-consuming emotion called love, the most mundane of conversations can often spark the fire. At times it is these simple words that let you gauge the depths of the worship that the heart lifts above and the heavens reject not. It is at such moments, when the mystery lies behind absolute simplicity that sheer masterpieces come to life. For instance, can you imagine a love song without the word ‘pyaar’? Well I can quote the best example when Gulzar created magic, narrating the story of two lovers, who are plotting to save the sun from setting, simply to ensure that the day they meet does not end:

O Saathi Re – (Film: Omkara, Lyrics: Gulzar)
Aanchal Din ko Roke, Dhoop ke Peechhe Daude…
Thaka Thaka sooraj jab nadi se ho kar nikalega,
hari hari kaayi pe paaon pada toh phislega,
Tum Rok Ke Rakhna, Main Jaal Giraau,
Tum Peeth Pe Lena, Main Haath Lagau, Din Doobe Naa…

 It is not only the soft romantics where lyricists tend to get the magic called inspiration and put thought into writing songs. When ‘humans’ write songs, their creativity has no boundaries. No matter how offensive you must have found the D K Bose number from Delhi Belly, Amitabh Bhattacharya deserves an applaud for his shrewd perfidy in the lyric. Or if you can remember O Naadaan Parinde Ghar Aaja from Rockstar. Such beautiful expression of the longing to see one’s lover till the last breath and beyond:

Naadaan Parinde (Film: Rockstar, Lyrics: Irshaad Kaamil)
Kaaga Re Kaaga Re Mori Itani Araj Toh Se Chun Chun Kahiyo Maans,
Arz toh se khaiyo na tu naina more, khaiyo na tu naina,
Mohe Piya Ke Milan Ki Aas

One of such compositions that particularly touches my soul and leaves me smiling, despite its rustic language brought out with sheer simplicity is from Gangs of Wasseypur II: Moora

Moora (Film: Gangs of Wasseypur II, Lyrics: Varun Grover)
Frustiyaao nahin Moora, Narbhasaao Nahin Moora,
Anytime Moodwa ko Upsetaao Nahin Moora…
Jo Bhi Wrongwa hai use set rightwa karo ji
Naa Hi Loojiye ji Hope, Thoda Fightwa Karo ji Moora…

Indeed something that is beyond the comprehension and capability of softwares that produce songs. And then, there is this happy break-up song from the movie Love Aaj Kal, where two lovers feel the space and freedom to tell each other what they couldn’t because they ‘were’ in love:

Chor Bazaari… (Film: Love Aaj Kal; Lyrics: Irshaad Kamil)
Taareef teri karna, Tujhe Khone Se Darna,
Bhool Gaya Ab tujh pe din mein chaar dafaa marna…

There are n number of poets and lyricists and songwriters; but there are only a few who truly let us know that humans out there are constantly moving out of the mundane to prove that creativity still prevails in the world. It is their freshness in thought that poetry has not vanished from the world and perhaps that has breathed life back to the world of music and lyrics.

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2 thoughts on “Music and Lyrics

  1. Wonderful as ever.
    And I dare not agree to it; it is only when, the writers (composers) get out of the box to express themselves, one can find songs with weirdest of mash-ups (ref: D K Bose) getting an eternal life. However blunt or however subtle, it hardly matters as the words bring out not only what the composers write but also what the audience hears or wants to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice….A song… A poetry… Is liked by one who listens to it, reads it when it brings a gush of emotions. Difficult to say ‘enjoyable’ or not but definitely “liked”… and would like to listen to over and over again. The precondition ( this is automatic- if you have a pochu pochu heart )- you should be able to empathize- feel what the poet or the character depicted feels – one of the greatest examples- Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics in Haqiqat- ” Ho ke majboor mujhe usne boolaya hoga.. jahar chupke se dava jan ke khaya hoga.. brings only tears in the eyes and great pain in the heart. Really speaking not enjoyable but definitely liked. Add to this Madan Mohan’s marvelous composition -can not imagine it to be separate from the lyrics. Another example from the same- ” Jara si aahat hoti hai to Dil sochta hai.. kahin ye wo to nahin”.. Enjoy…. Like.. and most important – FEEL..

    Liked by 1 person

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