With every Hindi film, we are introduced to a fair share of love ballads, dance numbers, and theme songs. But what some of us may not realize is how many of those songs are actually inspired by, or remixed versions of, local folk songs. Like these songs:
1. Navrai Majhi in English Vinglish
A popular Marathi wedding song, Navrai Majhi is a song traditionally sung by the bride’s family. It’s a song that praises the beauty and grace of a bride, while also celebrating her hopes and dreams.
2. Dilbaro in Raazi
The opening lines of the song Dilbaro are actually a part of a Kashmiri wedding song. It’s traditionally a song sung during bidaai and translates to a daughter bidding a farewell to her father.
3. Genda Phool in Delhi-6
This simple but fun number is actually a Chattisgarhi folk song called Dadariya. Dadariya included folk songs that described personal situations, but in a humorous manner – such as with Genda Phool, where a wife talks about her mother and sister-in-law, as she waits for her husband to return home.
4. Engine Ki Seeti in Khubsoorat
This peppy dance number is actually inspired by a Rajasthani folk song, and the original lyrics were, Anjan ki seeti me mharo man dole. While the Bollywood number actually translates to an upbeat dance number, the original track has lyrics that are a tad bit more indecent!
5. Jugni in Cocktail
This famous Punjabi folk song has actually been recreated a number of times, with one of the most famous versions being the Sufi version Chambe Di Booti by Coke Studio. Originally, in folk music, Jugni refers to the singer who acts as an observer and sings about the situations he or she is in. In the movie, the Sufi version of the song was used. It talks about facing trials and tribulations in her path to love.
6. Kesariya Balam in Dor
Undoubtedly one of the most famous Rajasthani folk songs, the song was originally composed to welcome Rajput warriors to their home, after wars. It was first sung by Padma Shri recipient and folk singer Allah Jilai Bai.
7. Ambarsariya in Fukrey
One of Sona Mahapatra’s most famous numbers to date, the tune to this delightful track is slightly inspired by the Punjabi shabad (sacred song) Rakkhi Charna De Kol. Though the lyrics have been modified for the film, they too are inspired by another Punjabi folk song.
8. Bumbro in Mission Kashmir
Bumbro is a traditional Kashmiri folk song, originally written for the first-ever Kashmiri opera Bombur ta Yemberzal. Traditionally, this is a song sung during the mehendi ceremony at a wedding.
9. Nimbooda in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
First popularized by Manganiyar artist Ghazi Khan, this traditional Rajasthani folk song uses ‘fetching limes’ as a double entendre.
10. Chudiya Khanak Gayi (Morni Baga Mein Bole) in Lamhe
Another popular Rajasthani folk song, it was traditionally sung by Banjaras (traditional nomads). Here the singer talks about the pain of waiting for her lover to return. The lyrics of the folk song were included as the opening verse of the song.
11. Mor Bani Thanghat Kare in Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela
Poet Jhaverchand Meghani first translated this Gujrati folk song–originally titled Navi Varsha–in 1944. The song was originally inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, Navvarsha, published in 1920.
12. Kattey in Angry Indian Goddesses
A traditional Rajasthani folk song, the number was first recreated for Coke Studio India – where Rajasthani folk singer Bhanwari Devi and rap singer Hard Kaur together performed. It was composed, arranged, and produced by Ram Sampath. The original song has a strong devotional aspect.
13. Pallu Latke in Nauker
This Rajasthani folk song was first included in the 1979 comedy Naukar and later remixed in the 2017 movie Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana.
14. Balle Balle in Bride and Prejudice
The ending verse of this dance number is actually inspired by a famous Punjabi folk song (tappe) Baage Vich Aaya Karo. In fact, singers Jagjit and Chitra Singh even performed this particular number at BBC Pebble Mill, Birmingham, in 1979.
A special mention to the Kashmiri song Roshay, included in the web series Made in Heaven.