In recent years, remixing old songs, especially, long-forgotten folk songs, has become the standard practice in the Punjabi music industry. Case in point, the viral track Bajre Da Sitta

But, if you’re in love with the remixes, then it’s high time you sample the originals too! Mostly (but not always) sung during weddings, here’s a look at some of the most popular and melodious folk songs and old Punjabi songs:

1. Madhaaniya

Describing the heartbreaking separation of daughters from their families after marriage, Madhaaniya is a beautiful, soulful track, that will not leave a dry eye in the house, any time it’s played.

This version, by Hari & Sukhmani for Tehelka Music Project, is one of the finest modern-day renditions of the track. 

2. Suhe Ve Cheere Waaliya

A simple, fun track, here the singer requests a local seller to help find her shade in the scorching heat, and through this theme, continues to express her various desires.

3. Sui Ve Sui

This is a light-hearted track, where, by using the catchphrase ‘sui ve sui‘, the singers cast taunts on their partners’ family, while also passing remarks upon their partner and their love for him. 

4. Kaala Doriya

Yet another popular track, its remixed version, sung by Neha Kakkar, appeared in Saif Ali Khan’s Kaalakaandi. This is also a folk song usually sung during weddings and characterized by good-natured teasing about going to the in-laws’ house.   

5. Ik Meri Akh Kashni

Easily one of the earliest songs to celebrate self-love, Ek Meri Akh Kashni talks about a woman describing her own beauty, while comparing it to the visible lack of qualities in her husband and her husband’s family members. 

There are multiple modern-day versions of the track, but the versions by Neha Bhasin and Jasmine Sandlas are the most popular. 

6. Chitta Kukkad

Traditionally sung during mehendi or sangeet function, this song is usually sung by the bride’s sisters and friends.

9. Kale Rang Da Paranda

Perfect for a dance, this song is a celebration of the happiness that a woman feels at the thought of her lover. 

10. Laung Gawacha

From Nucleya’s EDM version to Coke Studio’s traditional rendition to Bally Sagoo’s hit version from the 90s, Laung Gawacha has been remixed and reproduced multiple times, but its charm is everlasting. The song talks about how a man, attracted to the singer’s nose ring (and her), keeps finding ways to meet her. 

11. Jutti Kasuri

A beautiful track, this song moves away from wedding celebrations to talk about how a woman is forced to walk long paths in uncomfortable shoes, while her husband fails to grasp her discomfort. Yes, it really is an age-old problem!

Singer Harshdeep Kaur’s has also given a delightful modern rendition of the track. 

12. Akhiyan Ch Tu Vasda

Undoubtedly one of the most melodious and beautiful love songs ever written, this is the kind of track you can listen to a hundred times, and never get tired of it. The singer talks about how everything reminds her of her lover when they’re apart, to the point that she can’t even put kajal in her eyes, because her lover resides in her eyes. 

13. Chan Kithe Guzari 

Though originally sung by a female singer, most modern renditions of the song have been by male singers (Ali SethiAyushmann KhurranaSukhwinder Singh for Coke Studio, etc.). Irrespective of who sung it, the song beautifully captures lovers’ pain of separation.

14. Baagay Vich (Kothe te aa mahiya)

If you love old folk songs, chances are you’ve already seen the now-viral video of Jagjeet Singh and his wife singing this song at a live concert. A fun banter between a couple, this song is a perfect example of tappe – a form of Punjabi folk song where two opposing sides counter each other’s points in the form of small couplets. 

This song was also used at the end of the song Balle Balle in Pride and Prejudice, though this version by Hari & Sukhmani is a personal favourite when it comes to modern renditions. 

15. Bari Barse

A track that earns a new variation every time it is played, no Punjabi wedding is complete unless Baari Barsi plays

16. Latthe Di Chadar

Before the London Thumakda version in Queen, there was Rajeshwari’s version from the 90s. And before it all, was the original version by Surinder Kaur. 

17. Sarke Sarke Jandiye Mutiyare Ne

A song that wonderfully builds up a whole scenario (if you understand Punjabi, of course), Sarke Sarke is a track where a woman’s journey to get water from the well becomes a test of her loyalty to her husband. 

18. Mathe Te Chamkan Waal

Yet another song that celebrates the function of mehendi, this track talks about the joy of getting the groom ready for his wedding.

19. Aaya Lariye

Most Hindu and Punjabi weddings are incomplete without the traditional baraat – the groom’s wedding procession. And this is a song dedicated to the moment when the groom finally reaches the wedding venue.

Over the years, music has become more about the beat than about the beauty. But there’s something to be said about the joy of original, folk songs that just can’t be matched, especially not with senseless lyrics and auto-tuned remixes.