(Part I) Songs with ‘Train Rhythm’

First of all, let me thank all the readers for responding positively and energetically to the theme. It encouraged me a lot. As it was a commonplace theme, I was a little hesitant, but still I decided to go for it. As I have already pointed out, the songs which are picturised on a running train would feature on the lists of the forthcoming parts.

train 11
But there’s still a catch. When I started collecting the songs I could find a lot of songs and wanted to sort them out in an easily appreciable way. When I had a closer look, I found a way to sort it out. While a number of songs were picturised on a running train, some songs were supported by a train rhythm, while some were not. So I thought that’s the way to divide the songs into two broad categories.

And as the number of songs in each category was still huge, I decided to further subdivide. Today’s post will focus on the black and white Hindi film songs that are picturised on a running train and also have a train rhythm to assist.

I’m sure you must have thought of your own list and would have added a few to fit today’s list. I tried to select the songs that have the train rhythm throughout or at least for a majority of the length of the song. In this way, I dropped a few songs. Some had the train rhythm only in the beginning (for example, Aurton Ke Dabbe Mein Mard Aa Gaya from Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh), while in some of the songs, the actor / actress singing the song leaves the train (for example, Pyar Baantate Chalo from Hum Sab Ustad Hai or Mujhe Apna Yaar Banalo from Boyfriend). Also I tried selecting songs with obviously audible train rhythm in most of the songs. So you may not find a few of otherwise obvious songs on the list.

train 21

Without further ado, let’s visit the list. The songs are in no particular order,

1. Aayi Bahar Aaj Aayi Bahar – Doctor (1941) Pankaj Mullick & Chorus / Pankaj Mullick – Arzoo Lucknowi
It’s a pleasant song to listen to. And I was surprised to see it actually picturised on a real location. Many of the songs even in the late 50s appear to have been shot at a studio, and later superimposed on a suitable background. The hero is standing on the foot-board of the train compartment. Though it’s not a good idea to travel like that, it’s okay for a film song. The rhythm is quite clearly audible throughout the song. While the film had the first Hindi film song with a tonga rhythm, it perhaps also had the first Hindi film song with a train rhythm. At least it seems so. Experts please throw light on the issue.

2. Dhak Dhak Karti Chali – Dilruba (1950) Geeta Dutt / Gyan Dutt – Rajendra Krishan
The song opens with a foot tapping rhythm of tabla. Later as well, the song is adorned with beautiful tabla pieces. It adds an exciting rhythm to the song. If you listen carefully, the train rhythm can be heard throughout the song. Though it’s not a well known or popular song, it perfectly fits the theme. It’s quite a good song too.

3. Jaan Bachi To Lakho Paaye – Sanjog (1943) Shyam Kumar / Naushad – Prof. Waqif
I wasn’t aware of the song, I found it during the research for the post. The train rhythm is so nicely incorporated in the song, it just amalgamates. It is sung by Shyam Kumar, and picturised on Wasti and Charlie. It talks about a timely escape from a disastrous situation. I haven’t seen the movie, but it seems so from the lyrics.

4. Chal Meri Gaddiye Tu – Ek Do Teen (1953) Asha Bhosle, Rafi & Meenal Wagh / Vinod – Aziz Kashmiri
Vinod was an underrated composer. How nicely he composed the song incorporating the train rhythm throughout. The singer, Meenal Wagh has only a couple of separate lines. The song is full of fun. Meena Shorey appears to operate the train, with the help of her friends, Kaushalya and Majnu. When the train runs short of coal, they literally cut and use the wooden door panels and walls of a cabinet. The film sounds like fun. I should watch it someday!

5. Rahi Matwale – Waris (1954) Talat Mahmood & Suraiya / Anil Biswas – Qamar Jalalabadi
An iconic song needs no introduction. One of the best known songs of the movie, and I guess the most popular too. What an excellent train rhythm throughout, it never weans. And such a good idea to use the train’s whistles in the interludes. It was one of the first songs to remember when I thought of compiling the list. It’s so melodiously sweet.

6. Yeh Hai Jeevan Ki Rail – Mehlon Ke Khwab (1960) Kishore Kumar / S Mohinder – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
A typical Kishore Kumar song. Lots of fun and full of energy. Madhubala and Chanchal support him superbly. And as for today’s theme, the song continuously plays the train rhythm.

7. Dil Tham Chale Hum Aaj – Love In Simla (1960) Rafi / Iqbal Qureshi – Rajendra Krishan
Joy Mukherjee joyously enjoying himself on the train ride, remembering his girlfriend. A very good train song, maintaining the train rhythm throughout. Of course during the interludes, when the focus is on the party, it vanishes. I must say, even if the song was not picturised on a real train, the illusion of a running train is done quite effectively. The structure of the compartment and the arrangement of seats is different from what we see today.

8. Na Bhanwra Na Koi Gul – Aarti (1962) Rafi & Asha Bhosle / Roshan – Majrooh
A beautiful song, picturised primarily on Rajendra Nath and Vijaya Choudhary. Meena Kumari, Ashok Kumar and other cast members are also there in the compartment. It seems Rajendra Nath is a bachelor living alone, while Vijaya belongs to a joint family and is connected well with everyone. It is adorably adorned with the train whistles and train rhythm. It was one of the few songs I could immediately recollect while compiling the list.

9. Apni To Har Aah – Kala Bazar (1960) Rafi / S D Burman – Shailendra
It’s one of the well known train songs. And it’s also the only song on the list that has a slow train rhythm. Mainly the train whistles appear prominently and I think perhaps only a guitar is used for the subtle train rhythm, which is best heard with earphones. Dev Anand is actually referring to Waheeda Rehman, while the latter is confused whom is he addressing to? Dev Anand is impressed with Waheeda, who dislikes black marketing of tickets. She tears off the movie tickets. Infatuated, he follows her on the train to Ooty even though he is aware of her boyfriend. On the train he finds out an interesting way of flirting with Waheeda. He sings a song that may be taken as a prayer to god, though he clearly means to direct it to Waheeda.

10. Chali Jaye Re Jeevan Ki Gadi – Royal Mail (1963) Suman Kalyanpur & Badri Pawar / Avinash Vyas – Indeevar
And to end the list, I’ve a song that is not at all well known. In fact, even the film name wouldn’t ring a bell for the majority of us. The couple in the song dreams of their beautiful life together, they are ready for hardship, but they are optimistic about their bright future. It’s a bit strange how the lyrics of the song go! If the first line of the verse is philosophical, the next line sounds romantic. Even the mukhda has such combination lines. It feels as if the lines don’t actually convey anything.

Would you add a song?

Disclaimer –
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.

25 Replies to “(Part I) Songs with ‘Train Rhythm’”

  1. So far it seems that coal and steem engine is suitable for train songs. Let’s see in Part 3 if next generation of engines or metro trains with monotonous sound are suitable for such songs.
    Overall nice enjoyable train journey in part 1 and 2.


  2. You rightly said….
    First song comes to mind is of course Rahi Matawale. Fast compared to Talat’s default style, fantastically supported by Suraiyya


    1. Yes,
      It’s a delightful song! And fast paced it is! I think, the fast pace was used to coincide with the fast train rhythm. And though Suraiya has a little to sing, she is perfect.


  3. Raahi matwaale was the first song that came to my mind when I saw this post. 🙂 Glad to see it here, and also Aayi bahaar aaj – another song I like a lot. Would Jiya o jiya o qualify? I think it does have the train rhythm pretty much throughout.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A nice list of B&W songs!

    How about this one from Baharen Phir Bhi Aayegi 1966 – Badal jaye agar mali ?


    1. Oh!
      I think the song hasn’t got a train rhythm as such. It’s a typical O P Nayyar rhythm with his typical orchestration. So I skipped it. It’s all very much subjective as I guess.


  5. Anup,
    Trains evoke abiding romance. A very different type of train song is ‘Mere sapnon ki rani kab ayegi tu’ in which train and train rhythm are very conspicuous, but the singer , the hero is driving a jonga, and the lady is in the train with a book, but showing interest in the song and the singer.


    1. Yes,
      The song has train rhythm, but as the post was about BnW film songs, it’s not there on the list. It’s the first song on the next part, songs with train rhythm from colour Hindi films.


    1. Naghma Ji,
      The song has a train rhythm, but it’s not picturised on a running train. So it doesn’t fit in this part. It was mentioned in the comments section of the previous part, where it was a perfect fit. That part was published on 1st June.


  6. Just an observation that in all the songs in your list (and all other train rhythm songs I can think of) the Taal is 8 beats (Teentaal or Keharwa like 1-2-3-4/ 1-2-3-4) but ‘Apni to har aah ek” seems like a exceptional song because it use a 7 beat taal (Rupak like 1-2-3/1-2/1-2) instead. You also mentioned that SDB uses the guitar to set the taal, while the train sound is a soft percussion. This is typical SD Burman genius, I think.


    1. Magiji,
      Welcome to Mehfil. And thank you for commenting.
      But I must confess, I don’t have knowledge of music as such, though I’ve heard of the taals you mention.
      I’ll be learning from the knowledgeable readers like you.
      I hope I would find you frequently on my blog.


  7. Anupji, I can see how the different sub categories are turning out to be very interesting! Here’s one from my side.
    <Thokar Naseeb Ki Jo Khakar Bhi from the movie Miss India (1957)

    It is shot in a moving train and the interludes have the train rhythm.


    1. Anitaji,
      I’m glad you are finding the series interesting.
      I was mainly looking for the songs with train rhythm throughout or at least for the majority of the length of the song. In addition it should be picturised on a running train. Though the song mentioned by you fulfils the second criteria, the train rhythm is not very prominent and not audible throughout the length.
      But I want to thank for the song, as it started a chain of thoughts and I will now have a list of train songs picturised on beggars. It could be a post in itself, a subcategory of train songs, if I could get sufficient number of songs to make a post. Let me see when would I be able to do it.
      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I an interested in seeing your list of train songs picturized on beggars.

        I could recollect only one.

        Kaisi tune reet rachi bhagwan – Asha, Manna Dey – Chitragupta – Oonche Log 1965 (actually, all the 4 songs of the film are excellent).


        1. Oh yes!
          That part would be the last part of the series to be published on 30th June.
          The song you mentioned would be there on the list.
          And I fully agree, all the four songs of the movie are masterpieces. In fact Chitragupt is one of my top favourite composers and I had written four posts on his songs so far on the blog.


  8. Anup ji ,
    Namaste .

    Wow .. nice post .
    Many of the songs were new to me but I liked them .
    Thnx for introducing those songs .

    I wud like 2 add 2 marathi songs from black nd White movies .

    1) A very very popular train song .. close to the heart of our generation
    Movie तू सुखी रहा sung by Asha Bhosle
    झुक झुक , झुक झुक अगीनगाडी
    धुरांच्या रेघा हवेत काढी
    पळती झाडे पाहूया
    मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया . … जाऊया
    मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया
    2) movie एक गाव बारा भानगडी , sung by Suman Kalyanpur
    कशी गौळण राधा बावरली … बावरली
    कशी गौळण राधा बावरली

    With best wishes ,
    Pramod Godbole.


    1. Thank you Pramod Ji fir the appreciation.
      Glad you enjoyed the post.
      I couldn’t get the video of the song, mamachya gawala Jauya.
      Have you seen the video?
      I’m sharing the audio. A good song of course. I’ve been listening to it since childhood. Very popular.

      And, the second song is very good too. That reminded me of my post on Suman Kalyanpur’s Marathi songs. Oh boy!
      It’s more than three years now. I should be planning it coming January on her birthday.
      About the song, कशी गौळण राधा बावरली
      But it actually has no train rhythm and will suit the next post, where I would list the songs picturised on a running train but no train rhythm supports it.
      I’m sure you and your family are safe. The pandemic is not over yet. Take care.


      1. Anup ji ,
        Thank U for Ur concern .
        Yes , we r safe .

        Looking forward for the long-awaited post on Suman Kalyanpur . I m sure that it will also b in 3 – 4 parts …. for the whole month .

        Thnx for adding the songs I mentioned , in part I nd II .

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Dr. Anup,

    Really looking forward to your post on Suman Kalyanpur’s Marathi songs.
    I am sure it would be a great one, considering her tremendous memorable work in Marathi cinema and your ability to do a meticulous research.

    Talking of Marathi films, I hope someday there is also a post on Mahendra Kapoor’s Marathi songs. He actually deserves two posts – one on his songs on Dada Kondke and one on other actors..


    1. Dr Rajesh,
      Thank you for your kind words. I’m planning it in coming January. It would have at least two parts, film and non film Marathi songs. Let me see.
      While I may write on Mahendra Kapoor’s contribution to Marathi films, Dada kondake’s share would be less, as I’m not at all a fan of the latter. And I haven’t yet dedicated a post to Mahendra Kapoor on the blog. As the blog primarily focuses on Hindi films, his Hindi film career would find a place first. But thanks for the suggestion.


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