Rain songs naturally surface out in the lovely Monsoons of Goa. The rain when it rains, it pours. It pours for more than 4 months – reminding me of the ‘Chaumasa‘ when the wandering saints would settle down at a place, probably caves like Ajanta or Barabar. Sometimes it is so powerful that it shuts all the noises and all you can hear is rain. That is when you listen to yourself and your own emotions.
Some of these songs in Hindi Films have captured these heightened emotions during monsoons very well – from childhood playfulness to being in love to the longing in love or simply the anticipation of rains that is the harbinger of the good life.
Popular Rain Songs from Bollywood
Sharing these songs that I have enjoyed over the years.
Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhagi Si – Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi 1958
This is a classic Kishore Kumar song with all his madness. There is no rain in this song except the rain-soaked Madhubala who has inspired the song, This rain song is all about a rain-soaked girl out alone at night. You just get a glimpse of the girl; the whole focus is on Kishore Kumar the mechanic who can play music with his tools. You cannot but admire the music by S D Burman.
Dum Dum Diga Diga – Chhalia 1960
Mukesh sings this fun song to celebrate the joy of rains on music by Kalyanji Anandji. Raj Kapoor in his trademark style jumps around as women pull dry clothes from the clothesline, people pull out umbrellas and run for shelter. It is the joy of first rains that you see when you see this eternal song in black & white.
O Sajna Barkha Bahar Aayi – Parakh 1960
This black & white rain song takes you back to some realistic rainy days. Sadhana stands in her balcony looking at the rain, thinking of her beloved and talking to him, telling him the rains have come filling the heart with love. A very subtle song where rain falls on leaves, on roads, and from the rooftops.
Lata Mangeshkar sings to the melody of Salil Chaudhary.
Zindagi Bhar Nahi Bhoolegi Wo Barsat Ki Raat 1960
Just 2 frames and no rain, but each word of poetry is about meeting the beloved on a rainy stormy night and the detailed description of each moment spent together. Communication happens via radio – Bharat Bhushan or should I say Mohd Rafi sings at the radio station and Madhubala recreates the moments with her expressions.
Lakhon Ka Sawan Jaye – Roti, Kapda Aur Makan – 1974
This song represents the emotions of couples who have to stay away during rains, a kind of Viraha that comes from helplessness. Nonetheless, Zeenat Aman expresses herself in rather rustic words but the part I like most is – Abbar pe hai racha swayamvar, in the ubiquitous voice of Lata Mangeshkar.
Rim Jhim Gire Saavan – Manzil 1979
Amitabh Bachchan and Moushmi Chatterji still raw in their earlier careers walk on Mumbai roads and beaches giving you a glimpse of the city as it used to be 40 years ago when people could still enjoy rains. There are two versions of the song, one sung by Kishore Kumar which is incidentally picturized totally indoors. The Lata Mangeshkar version is where you see the rain, the Mumbai and the just in love lead pair.
Rim Jhim Gire Sawan always gives me that feeling of being soaked in rains to the bone, like being one with the rain. Of course, the haunting music by R D Burman just multiplies it manifold.
Megha Re Megha Re – Pyaasa Sawan 1981
This song is about clouds who are flying by, and the lovers do not want it to go anywhere but they want it to rain right here and soak them in rain. Clouds oblige and the emotions change from wanting to what happens when you receive what you wish. The heart is like a peacock when it rains. Lata Mangeshkar and Suresh Wadkar sing it beautifully on the music of Laxmikant Pyarelal.
Aaj Rapat Jaye To – Namak Halaal 1982
While the Mukhda of this song does not talk about rains, the Antaras or the stanzas do talk about rain. The whole song is shot in the rain, of course.
Lagi Aaj Saawan Ki Fir Wo Jhadi – Chandni 1989
This rain song is hauntingly sad. It touches the chords of the past associated with rains. It is a trip down the memory lanes, memories that you can not bring to the present. There is a juxtaposition of present and past – the gentle hint of moving from past to present. Listening to this makes me sad, every time, though I can never pinpoint where it touches me.
Suresh Wadkar sings it on the music by Shiv-Hari.
Sun Sun Sun Barsaat Ki Dhun – Sir 1993
Naseeruddin Shah as a teacher tells his students to listen to the rain and they do listen. I find this song relevant because we hardly listen to the songs these days.
Rim Jhim Run Jhum – 1942 A Love Story – 1994
This rain song set in the 1940s is simple, sweet and romantic with a purity that is rare to find in songs of later era. The credit must go to the voices of Kumar Sanu, Kavita Krishnamurthy and the music of Pancham.
Tip Tip Barsa Pani – Mohra 1994
Personally, this is not a song I like too much. However, this seems to top the mind of most people when you ask for rain songs. So, this song by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan is here as most of my readers and followers like it.
Koi Ladki Hai – Dil To Pagal Hai 1997
This rain song brings out the childlike playfulness that we all feel when we see the rains. Do we not feel like going and standing in the rain and jump in the puddles. We want to dance our hearts out like they do at Chikal Kalo Festival in Goa. This song captures that through its lyrics that are like a nursery poem and its choreography that is simple to the core. In fact, the usual background dancers are kids in this song. It is the playful emotion of knowing someone before you realize you love them. Sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan on the music of Uttam Singh.
Ab Ke Saawan – Shubha Mudgal 1999
Not from a film, but this song is a sheer celebration of rain and the powerful voice of Shubha Mudgal is simply the icing on the cake.
Ghanan Ghanan – Lagaan 2001
No song captures the anticipation of rain the way this song from Lagaan does. It is probably the only song that captures the cultural as well as the socio-economic link of rains to our lives, especially the lives dependent on agriculture. If you listen to the lyrics you will see the imagery of all that rains will bring with them. The song ends on a sad note as clouds decide to pass by. As someone who likes folk songs, this is one of my favorite rain or pre-rains song.
Barso Re Megha – Guru 2007
Barson Re Megha captures the rains in south India beautifully, with its stone temples soaking in rain, waterfalls full of water and of course the green fields greener with their thirst quenched. It was probably a misfit for a film set in Gujarat. At an emotional level it is the rains putting a spring in the feet of a woman in love for the first time when she is ready to do anything for love, cannot see anything but love – the blind kind of love.
Shreya Ghosal’s voice adds to the magic of A R Rehman’s music.
Give Me Some Sunshine, Give Me Some Rain – 3 Idiots 2009
I just like the tone of this song – all that we need is some sunshine and rain, everything else is irrelevant. Not really in this category of songs, but not any less inspiring than them.
Other popular Rain Songs include:
Rim Jhim Ke Geet Sawan Gaye – Anjana 1969
Bheegi Bheegi Raton Mein – Ajnabee 1974
Dekho Zara Dekho Barkha ki Ladi – Yeh Dillagi, 1994
Saawan Barse Tarse Dil – Dahek 1999
How I chose these?
There are thousands of these kinds of songs in Bollywood to choose from. Apart from my personal choice, I also looked at the songs that talk about rain and are not just shot in rain. I looked at the lyrics, where rain has a role to play in the emotion being displayed in the song.
There are popular songs like ‘Pyar Hua Ikraar Hua’ from Shri 420. It is a memorable song but it does not talk about rains, so I let it go.
Read More – 20 Songs shot on Indian Railways
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Lapak Jhapak Tu Aa Re Badarwa – Boot Polish (1953)
Tell me your favorite ones in the comments below.