It’s Time To Clap!

No no, it’s not the blog’s anniversary! But something interesting!

A few years back I really enjoyed my post ‘Hindi songs with whistling‘. It was one of my favourite posts. I had a second part as well to fit my 90s series.
In the beginning of this month, a fellow blogger, Anitaji on her blog, published a list, where the songs had laughter, either a small laugh to a longer laughter. This led to the wheels churning in my brain. What next?

I was thinking about it for a while. A song has the voice of a playback singer, then the sounds of various instruments. What additional sounds could there be in a song? Whistling! done already. Laughter! done, though not on my blog. And then, Eureka! Clapping sounds! This could be the next theme.

clapping 2

Clapping in songs makes it cheerful and it sounds carefree. We can find it in a variety of songs right from Qawwali to dance numbers. Clapping is an integral part of a Qawwali, where the sounds impart the characteristic rhythm to a Qawwali. The unmistakable rhythm makes it enjoyable and no one can escape its magical aura. So of course the post could have had ten qawwalis.

clapping 1
In addition to qawwali, club songs also have clapping sounds. Clapping is not always but at times associated with Mujra songs. Clapping can be randomly a part of any song, except perhaps lullabies. Of course lullabies are meant to calm the baby down.
Clapping also reminds me of Eunuchs who have a peculiar way of clapping as a part of their persona. Here, to mention Saj Rahi Gali Teri Maa from Kunwara Baap (1977) is obvious enough.

Clapping sounds can indeed act as a rhythm in a song. O P Nayyar was fond of Punjabi folk music and there a number of times clapping is incorporated in songs. The maximum number of songs with clapping that I could recollect are composed by O P Nayyar and Roshan. The latter of course was an ace Qawwali composer and hence his songs were more on my original long list.

I was wondering if in the 40s and the 50s, the original clapping was recorded or any instrument was used for it. I think the original sound must have been used. Later it’s possible that it was played on an instrument. Does a clapper or a tong (चिमटा) create a clapping effect? Less likely or so I think!

Let’s hit the list, the songs are from the pre-70s films and in no particular order.

1. Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo – Howrah Bridge (1958) Asha Bhosle / O P Nayyar – Qamar Jalalabadi
The song is full of clapping. It actually starts with clapping sounds and all the interludes, and the ending music of the song is full of it too. What a delight to watch young Helen dance elegantly on the tune! I think it’s a rock n roll dance form, though I may be wrong. Clapping adds a vibrancy and liveliness to the song. And what could be the best example!

2. Yaar Chulbula Hai – Dil Deke Dekho (1959) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / Usha Khanna – Majrooh
The song has clapping right from the prelude that reappears in all the interludes and the last music piece is full of clapping. The song is full of chhed chhad and romance. The dance is energetic and has an infectious foot tapping rhythm. A few more songs of the movie also feature clapping, the prominent one being, Bade Hai Dil Ke Kale.

3. Shola Jo Bhadke Dil Mera Dhadke – Albela (1951) Lata Mangeshkar & Chitalkar / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishan
The song needs no introduction, a very popular song. It opens and ends with clapping sounds. And what a great melody. The song is 70 years old, but seems as fresh as a song recorded yesterday. I think the clapping is closely associated with it and has become the song’s identity.

4. Sar Par Topi Laal – Tumsa Nahi Dekha (1957) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / O P Nayyar – Majrooh
Another one by Nayyar. Full of Punjabi exuberance. Lots of clapping throughout the song, in prelude, interludes, and again a musical tadka at the end. Such a wonderful and playful song.

5. Nigahen Milane Ko Jee Chahta Hai – Dil Hi To Hai (1963) Asha Bhosle & Chorus / Roshan – Sahir
While I could have selected any of the qawwalis, I chose a solo qawwali. Clapping sounds really are so much a part of it, the main rhythm of a Qawwali is the one by clapping. The song opens with beautifully played mandolin, followed by flute and harmonium. What a great prelude it creates! Later the song continues in a typical qawwali style. Nutan adds a charm by her beautiful expressions and delicate shoulder movements. Certainly my most favourite on today’s list.

6. Chalte Chalte Yunhi Koi Mil Gaya – Pakeezah (1972) Lata Mangeshkar / Ghulam Mohammad – Kaifi Azmi
Though not common, I guess a few Mujra songs are backed up with clapping. And this exquisite Mujra is an excellent example. What a sublime Mujra! Absolutely fantastic! Though most of the Mujra songs are high energy, this one’s different. It has a comparatively slow pace, with beautiful Sarangi pieces and captivating ghungroo throughout. Though backed up with a percussion instrument, clapping also adds a significant rhythm to it. It doesn’t pump adrenaline, but fills your heart with mixed emotions. There’s a definite pathos in her narration. Meena Kumari is good in her expressions, and dancing is by a couple of good dancers.

7. Sheesha E Dil Itna Na Uchhalo – Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960) Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus / Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
Meena Kumari enjoying with her friends on a seashore. Such a pleasure to watch beautiful Meena Kumari in a carefree and playful mood. She looks so attractive even without fancy clothes and jewellery. There is reasonably fair clapping in the song. And I came to know Lata Mangeshkar sang for Meena Kumari and Shammi both, as a few lines of the verses are lip synced by the latter.

8. Mere Mehboob Mein Kya Nahi – Mere Mehboob (1963) Asha Bhosle & Lata Mangeshkar / Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni
In contrast to the other songs on the list, this song has clapping throughout the mukhda and antara, while the interludes are completely free of it. Though the clapping sounds are not picturised as such throughout the song, I always remember the song for the clapping.

9. Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen – Waqt (1965) Manna Dey / Ravi – Sahir
I’m not sure if the song is called a qawwali or not. But the rhythm by clapping sounds like one. The song of course has the main base of Punjabi music, but I think the song also has a touch of Arabian music too, perhaps due to the mandolin pieces in the interludes. All the interludes are full of clapping. Middle aged Balraj Sahni and Achala Sachdev look quite cute in the song.

10. Main To Bhool Chali Babul – Saraswatichandra (1968) Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus / Kalyanji Anandji – Indeevar
And a very popular song to end today’s list. A few of the folk dance forms are known for interesting use of clapping sounds. Garba is certainly the first we can think of. And which other song could have suited so perfectly to the occasion? The clapping imparts such a beautiful rhythm to the song. The clapping is there nearly throughout the song. Nutan tries hard to pretend happiness, though all of us know better! And if Seema Dev plays her sister in law, the couple Ramesh Dev-Seema Dev plays brother and sister? How odd when they were married in 1963. Anyways, very young Jayashree T and Meena T are seen among the dancers. Enjoy the beautiful song. Click for the video.

I’m so happy this time I could highlight my theme with all popular songs. Otherwise most of the time my friends tease or even criticise me for adding lesser known songs. I’m planning a sequel post from the later movies, mainly from the 90s and 2000s.

Would you like to 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.

41 Replies to “It’s Time To Clap!”

  1. There are some great songs on that list, Anup. I also find it very difficult to find a Hindi film song with clapping that I don’t like. 🙂

    When I saw the theme of this post, the first song that came to my mind was one that I might have mentioned under a certain post that you did last month. This is from Payal (1957). There’s certainly a qawwali quality to the sound of this, but it’s also a club song – and it’s a lot of fun.

    Then there’s this great song from Nagin (1954). The clapping happens only at the beginning, but it may be the most unusual clapping scene that I have ever watched, and it’s hilarious. The girls are not only clapping, but they’re playing patty cake! Right before Vyjayanthimala’s character starts her walk into the burning fire…


    1. Thank you Richard.
      And thank you for the song from Payal, I wasn’t aware of it. It was definitely a fun to watch.

      “The girls are not only clapping, but they’re playing patty cake!”

      Oh! That was really hilarious!
      But otherwise I like the song. In fact all the songs from Nagin are great.


      1. You’re welcome, Anup; I’m glad you liked those.

        I am wondering, though, why you switched video clips for the song from Payal. The one that I sent you is a much better-quality video and it has English subtitles, too. And it came from my own old YouTube channel (though that – and all of the other videos there – were actually prepared by Tommydan aka Tom Daniel). Since it was from my own channel, if there was any reason why it couldn’t be included, I would like to know!


        1. Richard,
          The link wasn’t opening here in India. It showed, ‘the video is blocked on copyright grounds in your country’.
          So I thought of changing it. I couldn’t even watch it myself.
          No other reason! Perhaps I should have included this explanation in my last comment itself to avoid misunderstandings. But I faced such a problem for the first time.
          I regularly add Tommydan’s videos in my posts, good audio video quality.
          No intention to hurt you.
          Sorry if I inadvertently did so!



          1. Anup, you didn’t hurt me at all – I was just eager to find out what had happened, most of all because I wondered if there was something wrong with the video on my channel. And it turns out there was – for India. Oh, well.

            I have faced this problem a bunch of times, though I don’t think on your blog so far. It’s true that a video can be blocked in one country and not another, and sometimes we have no way of knowing that that is happening until the block in the other country is tested. 🙂

            But come to think of it, there’s no reason for this video to be blocked on copyright grounds, because Payal was made in 1957, and an Indian film is supposed to enter the public domain after 60 years. I suspect the claim is bogus. 🙂


  2. Innovative blog doctor sir. And for the first time I know almost all the songs!!
    The first song I imagined for clapping was Oonchi oonchi diware sainya tod ke from Nagin. It has clapping sound often and clearly used!!


    1. Thank you Swanand for your appreciation.
      Thanks a lot for adding one of my favourites. I somehow couldn’t remember it while compiling the list.
      Here’s a very good quality video of the song,



  3. Great post, Anupji, and lovely songs – one superb song after another. Here are a couple of others:

    Jab chali thandi hawa from Do Badan:

    And, Asha Parekh again. Aji qibla mohtarma from Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon:


    1. Thank you Madhuji for your appreciation. This time I wanted to have all popular songs on the list and I could do it.

      Thank you for sharing the beautiful songs.
      I had thought of Do badan song, but clapping is there only in the beginning so skipped it. And couldn’t recollect the PWDLH song.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I daresay they are cliched choices, but:

        Ja Re Ja Re O Deewane from Kachche Dhaage (potato quality video):

        Ladki Tumhari Kanware from Krodhi:

        I would also add I Am A Disco Dancer which I had to listen to in order to see if the clapping was actually percussion on the recording (it was!) and Pehle Pehle Pyar Ki from Ilzaam, which uses clapping on the instrumental breaks but I wasn’t sure if that was enough to qualify (also, if you decide to watch that, mentally prepare yourself for Govinda’s shorts).


        1. Yes,
          Though the songs are not great, not bad either!
          And clapping is there, so fit the bill.
          And in both the other songs (Disco dancer & Ilzam) it’s not clapping but instrumental.
          And, about, Govinda’s shorts,
          I had watched the song earlier, so no shock!
          😀 😀


  4. Dr. Anup,

    An interesting and unique theme with the best of songs, all known and popular.

    Besides the two Shammi Kapoor songs that are there in your list, the other song that I remembered was another O P Nayyar’s – ude jab jab zulfein teri – Naya Daur

    Will come back with some more..


    1. Dr Rajesh,
      Thank you so much for your appreciation.
      I had thought of the Naya Daur song, but though the audio has clapping sounds throughout, the video has clapping only in the initial scenes. And I already had a couple of songs by Nayyar. So I dropped it. But of course it’s one of my great favourites.
      Thank you for mentioning it.


  5. Dear Anup ji,

    You have done it again! Taken us by surprise! What a novel theme! Pl keep it up and keep catching us by surprise!

    Basically, the clapping, the Ek Tara or even the Chimta are a means to keep a beat. The Chimta is popular in Punjabi Folk Music, just as the Ek Tara is prevalent in the Eastern Part of the Country.

    One person who used the Chimta very frequently in his performances was ALAM LOHAR (1928-1979) of Pakistan who also popularised the Jugni Songs. Here is a sample from a live recording

    (today his son ARIF LOHAR is very popular on Coke Studio)

    With warm regards



  6. In the beginning of this month, a fellow blogger, Anitaji on her blog, published a list, where the songs had laughter, either a small laugh to a longer laughter.
    Thanks for mentioning my post, Anupji! The link however seems to be of a different post. The correct one is
    Here, I will add a song that has a bonus attached – it has fingers being snapped in addition to clapping!!
    Hain Preet Jahan Ki Reet Sada from Purab aur Paschim (1970).


    1. Oh!
      I’m so sorry! I corrected it. Thank you for pointing it out.
      And thank you for sharing the song from Purab Aur Paschim. It has bonus of finger snapping and clapping.
      Could it be the next theme in this series?
      Let’s see!
      Off hand I could only recollect, Kya Ghazab Karte Ho Jee from Love Story. It has snapping of fingers in the very beginning itself.


  7. Two of my favourite Helen songs:
    Huzurewala jo ho – Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (1966) (OPN)

    Is duniya mein jeena ho to – Gumnaam (1965)

    And Two more OPN songs:
    Humdum mere maan bhi jao – Mere Sanam (1965)

    Tareef karoon kya uski – Kashmir Ki Kali (1964)


  8. Now posting some songs from the 80s, which I have enjoyed.

    1. Sara zamana haseenon ka diwana – Yarana (1981)

    2. Ye din to aata hai ek din – Mahaan (1983)

    3. Songs from Ye Wada Raha (1982) where the clapping style is part of the heroine’s identity – Tu tu hai wahi dil ne jise

    Mil gayi aaj do lehren

    4. A brief moment of clapping in Chandni o meri chandni – Chandni (1989)


  9. Anup,
    This is a very interesting category. Some songs we recall for their clapping. The classic case is Dr Deshpande’s example from ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ and ‘Mere Sanam’. In the same vein I remember ‘Baar baar ekho hazar bar dekho’ from ‘China Town’. Qawwali songs would have clapping as part of their DNA. Clapping songs are so many, they could be broken down in many categories. Thanks for a nice post.


    1. AKji,
      Thank you for your appreciation. And I should have remembered Baar Baar Dekho. Such a delightful club song! And that even mentions Taali Ho
      Let me add the link

      But thank god, I didn’t think of splitting the post in several parts!
      Otherwise my blog would have become popular for ‘parts’. I always tend to divide my post in parts, this time I avoided it.


  10. Posting one evergreen Marathi song from Amar Bhoopali (1951) that begins with clapping. My 82 year old father is very fond of the song and still enjoys watching and listening to it.
    Latpat latpat tuza chaalna – Lata


    1. Oh yes!
      It’s a wonderful song. What a great lawani+powada. It mixes the two styles or so I thought.
      The record version has no clapping sound, so couldn’t recollect the clapping. When I watched the video, I was pleasantly surprised.
      Thank you so much for the song!


  11. Tareef Karun Mein Kya Uski, from Kashmir ki Kali, is an ultimate clapping song, wish it was in your original list.
    And if you included qawwalis too, then Ye Ishq Ishq Hai, deserved a mention.


    1. Tarif Karun Kya Uski was there, but I dropped it later. It had clapping only at the end, I selected the ones with clapping throughout the song.
      Yes, I had shortlisted a few Roshan qawwalis, and then I included my most favourite among them.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. While trying to figure out the date of a different Neetu Singh song, I stumbled back upon a lovely clapping song I had not heard in some time: “Pal Do Pal Ka Saath Humara” from “The Burning Train.” A large group of passengers on the train clap the beat while a group of musicians play and sing.


    1. Yes,
      It’s a qawwali. Very well backed up with clapping.

      Let me add the video

      Thank you for adding the song. Usually a month old themes are forgotten, very few people remember the older themes and add songs to it.
      So I appreciate you.

      Liked by 1 person

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