As the beats of Bollywood resound through our playlists, there's an untold tale echoing beneath the familiar tunes—the timeless melodies that inspired our favourite chart-toppers. From the war anthem 'Arjan Vailly' to the evergreen 'Chaiyya Chaiyya,' and the captivating 'Nimbooda' to the foot-tapping 'Genda Phool,' Bollywood has artfully woven its musical magic by reimagining classic folk songs.
1. Arjan Vailly: Unveiling the Punjabi Saga
Originally sung by Surinder Shinda, 'Arjan Vailly' is a Punjabi folk anthem celebrating the valour of the sons of Jats. The recent resurgence in its popularity, courtesy of Ranbir Kapoor's 'Animal,' introduces a new generation to the legendary Arjan Singh Nalva's tales, adding a contemporary twist to Punjabi folklore.
2. Chaiyya Chaiyya: Sufi Soul Meets Cinematic Brilliance
The iconic 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' from 'Dil Se' is a masterpiece merging Sufi music and Urdu poetry. Derived from Bulleh Shah's "Tere Ishq Nachaya," this A.R. Rahman composition, paired with Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi's vocals, transcends cultural boundaries and remains a global sensation.
3. Yeh Ishq Hai: From Uttarakhand's Heart to Bollywood
Kareena Kapoor's enchanting 'Yeh Ishq Hai' in 'Jab We Met' finds its roots in a regional Uttarakhand folk song titled 'Kaile Baje Muruli.' Pritam and Sandesh Shandilya's re-composition breathes new life into this traditional melody, connecting the audience to the rich cultural tapestry of India.
4. Chogada Tara: The Gujarati Rhythm of 'Loveyatri'
The energetic 'Chogada Tara' from 'Loveyatri' brings the festive spirit with its roots in the Gujarati folk song 'Rang lo.' Traditionally sung during Navratri's dandiya raas, this Bollywood rendition captivates with its lively beats.
5. Dilbaro: A Kashmiri Farewell with a Heartfelt Twist
Alia Bhatt's poignant 'Dilbaro' from 'Raazi' draws from a Kashmiri wedding song, capturing the essence of a daughter bidding farewell to her father during a traditional bidaai. This soulful track seamlessly blends the old and the new.
6. Nimbooda: Rajasthan's Folk Elegance
Aishwarya Rai's mesmerizing dance to 'Nimbooda' in 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' unveils the beauty of Rajasthan's folk tunes. Originating from the Manganiar community, the song's double entendre about fetching limes adds a playful touch to the traditional melody.
7. Ambarsariya: Sona Mahapatra's Contemporary Twist
Sona Mahapatra's hit 'Ambarsariya' draws inspiration from the Punjabi shabad 'Rakkhi Charna De Kol,' infusing a modern flair into traditional melodies. The blend of folk influences creates a mesmerizing musical experience.
8. Bumbro: Kashmiri Melody in 'Mission Kashmir'
Preity Zinta's graceful performance in 'Bumbro' unveils the beauty of a traditional Kashmiri folk song, originally composed for the first-ever Kashmiri opera. This enchanting track is synonymous with the joyous mehendi ceremonies at weddings.
9. Choodiya Khanak Gayi: Sridevi's Rajasthani Reverie
Before 'Nimbooda' and 'Bumbro,' Sridevi's 'Choodiya Khanak Gayi' presented a popular Rajasthani folk song, expressing the pain of waiting for a lover's return. The legendary actress elevated this traditional melody to cinematic brilliance.
10. Genda Phool: Chattisgarhi Folk's Playful Twist
The peppy 'Genda Phool' is a reinterpretation of the Chattisgarhi folk song 'Dadariya,' injecting playful humour into personal situations. The catchy Bollywood rendition has become a favourite on dance floors.
11. Mor Bani Thanghat Kare: Gujrati Folk Transformed
Deepika Padukone's performance in 'Mor Bani Thanghat Kare' from 'Ram Leela' breathes new life into a Gujarati folk song, originally inspired by Rabindranath Tagore's poem. The fusion of traditional and contemporary elements makes this track a timeless hit.
12. Navrai Majhi: Marathi Celebrations in 'English Vinglish'
Sridevi's 'Navrai Majhi' in 'English Vinglish' embraces the joy of Marathi weddings, praising the beauty and dreams of a bride. This song is a testament to the cultural diversity Bollywood encapsulates.
13. Jugni: A Sufi Journey in 'Cocktail'
The famous 'Jugni' from 'Cocktail' takes inspiration from a Punjabi folk song. Its Sufi rendition, Chambe Di Booti by Coke Studio, delves into trials and tribulations on the path to love, capturing the essence of the original folk narrative.
14. Engine Ki Seeti: Rajasthan's Vibrant Beat
The peppy dance number 'Engine Ki Seeti' in 'Khubsoorat' derives its inspiration from a Rajasthani folk song. While the Bollywood version translates to an upbeat dance number, the original lyrics carry a more playful tone.
In this musical journey, Bollywood not only entertains but also pays homage to India's rich folk heritage. These enchanting melodies bridge the gap between generations, ensuring that the soulful strains of traditional tunes echo through the cinematic corridors of time. As you tap your feet to these beats, remember the ancient tales and cultures that continue to resonate in every note.