Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar, feted largely as Hindi cinema’s “Tragedy King”, enjoyed stardom that was buoyed by more than just that image. Among many facets that define his legendary status are the songs filmed on him.
The 1950s and 1960s were considered the golden era of Hindi film music. Mohammad Rafi, the reigning male voice of the era, was Dilip Saab’s voice of choice mostly, though the thespian lip-synced to many gems by Manna Dey and Mukesh, too.
There was no official demarcation, but the three titans who comprised the Bollywood triumvirate of the era — Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand — are musically often identified with Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar respectively, as the playback voices that came closest to their on-screen persona.
In fact, so overwhelming was the association that Rafi’s voice had with Dilip Kumar on screen, that long after the legendary singer passed away, the thespian’s songs were recorded by Rafi’s clone, Mohammad Aziz, in films like “Karma” and “Saudagar”.
In fact, Dilip, Rafi and the late legendary composer Naushad were a trio who are credited with a series of unforgettable film albums in the golden era, notably Gunga Jumna, Ram Aur Shyam, Dil Diya Dard Liya, Kohinoor, Aadmi, Deedar, Leader, Mela, Amar, Uran Khatola, Aan and Sunghursh.
Writing about Dilip Kumar’s memorable songs in Hindi films could fill up an entire book. We pick up a few that would take you down memory lane, to the time when the Bollywood thespian reigned the silver screen with his charm.
UDE JAB JAB ZULFEIN TERI
The song features in the 1957 film “Naya Daur”. Composed by OP Nayyar, the peppy number is sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle. The song, picturised on Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala, captured a lively facet of the persona of the actor widely called Tragedy King.
YEH DESH HAI VEER JAWAANO KA
Sung by Mohammed Rafi and Balbir, the song featured in “Naya Daur”, which released in 1957. Picturised on Dilip Kumar, the song continues to be one of the biggest patriotic anthems that Bollywood has ever created.
DIL TADAP TADAP KE
The song is from the film “Madhumati”, which released in 1958 and features Dilip Kumar alongside Vyajanthimala. The number was sung by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar, and composed by Salil Chowdhury.
SUHANA SAFAR AUR YEH MAUSAM HASEEN
The song was from the 1958 film “Madhumati” and was picturised on Dilip Kumar. The song was written by Salil Choudhury and sung by Mukesh. The track captured the love for mountains and the weather as Dilip Kumar’s character took a stroll on the hills.
MADHUBAN MEIN RADHIKA
The endearing composition is from the 1960 film “Kohinoor”. It defines the musical image of Dilip Kumar — composed by Naushad and voiced by Rafi. The lyrics were penned by Shakeel Badayuni.
TERE HUSN KI KYA TAREEF KARUN
One of the most romantic songs from the 1960s, the song was from the film “Leader”, which released in 1964. The film featured Dilip Kumar opposite Vyjayanthimala. The song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi.
SAALA MAIN TOH SAAHAB BAN GAYA
The song featured in the 1974 film “Sagina”, and is a rare number recorded for Dilip Kumar in the voice of Kishore Kumar.The music is composed by SD Burman, and the film stars Dilip Kumar with his wife Saira Banu and Aparna Sen.
NAIN LAD GAYI HAI
The song was from the 1961 superhit “Gunga Jumna”, produced by Dilip Kumar himself and directed by Nitin Bose. The song was penned by Shakeel Badayuni, composed by Naushad and sung by Mohammad Rafi. The film stars Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala.
DIL DIYA HAI JAAN BHI DENGE
The song is from the 1986 Subhash Ghai directorial “Karma”, a multistarrer pop patriotic action drama that also featured Nutan, Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Naseeruddin Shah, Sridevi, Poonam Dhillon and Anupam Kher. The song became a popular Bollywood anthem upon the film’s release. It is composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal on the lyrics of Anand Bakshi.
IMLI KA BOOTA
The popular number is from the film “Saudagar”, which released in 1991. The foot-tapping track defines the on-screen friendship between Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar’s characters. The song composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal has Mohammad Aziz singing for Dilip Kumar.