My favourite Trios

I wanted to publish the list of my favourite trios. The plan was not executed by me for some reason or the other. Perhaps I thought it to be too cliché to publish. But I later realised, my list would have my favourites. So it should be there on my blog. Hence here I’m today with the list.

Most of the songs in Hindi films are presented as either solos or duets. But at times, we come across situations where a third person enters a song adding an interesting dimension to it. There appears to be no definite name to the songs sung by three or four singers. Still the terms ‘trio’ and ‘quartets’ are used respectively to denote these songs.

I am always fascinated with the trios, So here I am with my favourite trios from the Hindi films of the golden era. I’ve gone in the 70s as well. But I haven’t included the 90s songs, which I intend to cover in a separate post (in my series of the 90s). I preferred the trios where all the three singers have equal or near equal opportunity. There are a few trios in Hindi films where a second or third rung singer sings with the leading singers. In such trios the former singer may or may not get a good number of separate lines. I’ve tried to avoid these ‘unfair’ trios.

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Hence trios like, Khile Hai Sakhi Aaj (sung by the Mangeshkar sisters) or Dhadka To Hoga Dil (sung by Asha Bhosle, Mahendra Kapoor & Kamal Barot) won’t be a part of today’s post. Also I couldn’t include Door Koi Gaye (Rafi sings only aalaps) from Baiju Bawra and Jab Jab Bahar Aayi (Usha Timothy has just a couple of lines) from Taqdeer. I couldn’t add the iconic qawwali, Aahen Na Bhari Shikwe Na Kiye from Zeenat (1945), though it’s a trio by Kalyani, Noorjahan and Zohrabai Ambalewali. I couldn’t differentiate the voices and confirm my criteria. Similarly there’s no popular qawwali on today’s list. A bit unexpected I guess! But I’m going to have a quartet song’s post as well, where I would be accommodating several qawwalis.

So here we go, a few of my favourite trios arranged chronologically.

1. Duniya Rang Rangili Baba – Dharti Mata (1938) K L Saigal, Uma Shashi & K C Dey / Pankaj Mullick – Pandit Sudarshan

I couldn’t have got a better song than this one to start today’s list. I just love this song. The song is opened by actor and singer K C Dey in the video version. It is said that all the prints of the movie were destroyed but fortunately most parts of the song remained. I get goosebumps when one singer finishes his part and the next singer enters the song. The climax of the song is of course the last part when all the three singers sing together. What a beautiful melody. There’s something magical about the song. It’s just mesmerising! Even after more than 80 years, the song is still fresh. I salute Pankaj Mullick for creating such an immortal melody.

The audio version of the song is sung by Pankaj Mullick himself with Saigal and Umashashi. The song is available in good quality audio.

2. Badariya Baras Gayi Us Paar – Moorti (1945) Mukesh, Khurshid & Hameeda Bano / Bulo C Rani – Pandit Indra Chandra

This is one of the earlier songs of Mukesh as a playback singer. I heard it perhaps a decade ago and took an instant liking to it. What a smoothly flowing melody! And all the singers get an equal chance to showcase their talent. Khurshid was a popular singer and actress then, so she sang the complete opening mukhda and the first verse. Mukesh sang for Motilal, and I’ve no idea whom Hammeda Bano sang for? An absolutely beautiful song. The song appears to have a mixed mood. Khurshid doesn’t sound desparate, but the other two definitely sing with a melancholy mood.

3. Kya Bataaun Mohabbat Hai Kya – Parbat (1952) Lata Mangeshkar, Rafi & Geeta Dutt / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra

I agree the film is obscure and the song is not popular. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the melody. I stumbled upon the song accidentally a few years back. It seems the film had a love triangle. As per the video, Parbat was a Verma Films production, directed by O P Dutta. The movie had Premnath, Nutan, Purnima. So it’s obvious that Lata must have sung for Nutan, while Geeta Dutt for Purnima. Enjoy the sheer melody!

4. Mohabbat Ki Dhun Beqararon Se – Dil e Nadan (1953) Talat, Sudha Malhotra & Jagjit Kaur / Ghulam Mohammad – Shakeel Badayuni

A very beautiful and melodious song. You never get enough of it. Very wonderful piano pieces. Talat tried his luck as a hero, but failed. The songs of Dil e Nadan however stood the test of time. This trio has been immortal. Jagjit Kaur sang for the beautiful, Peace Kanwal, while Sudha Malhotra sang for gorgeous Shyama. Shyama’s face was very expressive, but Peace Kanwal struggled for expressions, at least in this song. I haven’t seen much of the latter’s films, so can’t say about her acting.

5. Ramaiya Vastavaiya – Chori Chori (1956) Lata Mangeshkar, Rafi & Mukesh / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra

Another iconic song on the list. A disappointed Raj Kapoor, still in party wear, comes to his old mates. He watches them singing and dancing from a distance. He finally joins the crew and the latter welcomes him. Lata Mangeshkar singing for Sheila Waz and Nargis obviously gets the maximum of the lines. But Mukesh also gets a full verse and Rafi’s share is equally important. A song without which my list would have been incomplete.

6. Aayi Aayi Basanti Bela – Angulimal (1960) Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, Meena Kapoor & Chorus / Anil Biswas – Bharat Vyas

I absolutely love the song. Though I agree a big part of it has a chorus, Manna Dey and Meena Kapoor do have sufficient lines to highlight their contribution. And Lata Mangeshkar has a full verse dedicated to her. That part of the song is very charming and melodious. Her flawless rendition and marvelous singing of the words, झन नननन नन, छुम छन नननन नन, is enchanting. The song is full of energy and celebrates Basant and Holi.

7. Phir Tumhari Yaad Aayi Ae Sanam – Rustam Sohrab (1963) Rafi, Manna Dey, Saadat Khan & Chorus / Sajjad – Qamar Jalalabadi

I mentioned in the introduction that I won’t add a qawwali, but this one actually is a qawwali. Though it doesn’t sound like a typical qawwali, maybe we can call it a soulful and soft qawwali. The war soldiers remember their beloved, while Premnath (Sohrab) also thinks of beautiful Mumtaz (Shahroo), his love. All the singers have sung fantastically, but call it prejudice, I love Rafi’s part more than the others. He just pours emotions into it, infuses the words with feelings as though the words speak for themselves.

8. Mubarak Hai Woh Dil Jisko – Benzir (1964) Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle & Usha Mangeshkar / S D Burman – Shakeel Badayuni

I was searching for trios of Mangeshkar sisters, where Usha Mangeshkar would have got sufficient lines of her own to qualify for my list. Though I didn’t search much, I remembered this song, at least she has a verse of her own. Tanuja’s friends tease her for falling in love. And what a beautiful song it is! Though it’s not as popular as other songs of the movie, it certainly has a place here. Still Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar get to sing more than Usha Mangeshkar. But it’s at least better than songs like, Hamare Aangan Bagiya from Teen Bahuraniya, where Usha Mangeshkar is reduced to chorus. Anyways, when Usha Mangeshkar didn’t complain about it, who am I to object!

9. Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega – Sangam (1964) Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh & Mahendra Kapoor / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra

Yet another iconic song on the list. A love triangle is depicted in the movie. Vyjayanti Mala clearly suggests her interest in Rajendra Kumar, while the latter doesn’t openly express it, though he actually loves her too. Raj Kapoor is head over heels in love with Vyjayanti Mala and very openly (& in a bit irritating manner) announces it too. All the singers get an equal opportunity. I like the song very much.

10. Sapnon Mein Mere Koi Aaye Jaye – Poonam Ki Raat (1965) Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar / Salil Chowdhury – Shailendra

Poonam Ki Raat is mainly remembered for the Lata solo, Tujh Bin Jiya Udaas Re. But the film also has a few more gems, including the said song. The song is picturised in an interesting way, so is the song’s structure. Mukesh starts the song at a bit slower pace, which becomes fast as the female singers enter. The song is sheerly melodious. As far as the picturisation goes, Manoj Kumar and Kumud Chhugani are singing together, while Nandini (I haven’t seen her in any other film) is singing in an adjacent room. Lata Mangeshkar sings for Kumud Chhugani and Usha Mangeshkar for Nandini. But one strange thing is that when Lata and Usha sing together, the lines are lip synced by either of the actresses. So we can listen to two different voices singing in tandem, being lip synced by one actress. And this is the case with each time they sing together. But otherwise I just love the melody.

11. Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya – Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966) Rafi, Mukesh & Suman Kalyanpur / Sonik Omi – G L Rawal

One of the most popular trios of Hindi cinema. Recorded during rift between Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi. So there’s Suman Kalyanpur instead. A beautiful boat song picturised on a picturesque lake. The film is horrible (I watched a part of it despite serious warnings by others), but the song is really good. It shouldn’t bear the brunt of the film. I knew the song decades before I watched the film, so the song still maintains its place. The lyrics are good and the singers do full justice.

12. Neend Ud Jaye Teri – Juaari (1968) Suman Kalyanpur, Mubarak Begum & Krishna Bose / Kalyanji Anandji – Anand Bakshi

I guess the song has lately become very popular, thanks to the internet! It is a good song. It starts as a telephone song, Naaz singing in faux anger to Shashi Kapoor. Mubarak Begum gets the maximum lines as she opens the songs and sings the first verse as well. Krishna Bose sings for a beautiful looking Tanuja, who curses herself for the tragedy. Nanda receives Suman Kalyanpur’s playback. She sings in real anguish. The song is a real gem in my opinion.

13. Zindagi Hai Kya Bolo – Satyakam (1969) Mukesh, Kishore Kumar & Mahendra Kapoor / Laxmikant Pyarelal – Kaifi Azmi

Satyakam was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, but it wasn’t popular. A couple of solos by Lata Mangeshkar were perhaps the only thing the movie is remembered for. But this trio by male singers is a fun song, yet it has a philosophical touch. The song is picturised on a moving bus. I always enjoy the song. A forgotten song, but perfect for my list.

14. Aati Rahengi Baharen – Kasme Vaade (1978) Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle & Amit Kumar / R D Burman – Gulshan Bawra

It’s one of the few songs of the late 70s that I like. I think the song is still very popular. Kishore Kumar sings for Amitabh, and Amit Kumar for Ranbir Kapoor. And it’s one of the songs that father and son sang together. And Kishore Kumar shines more than Amit Kumar in my opinion. I may not get an opportunity to include this song on any of my lists in future, so thought of adding it. It’s a perfect fit.

15. Mohabbat Bade Kaam Ki Cheez Hai – Trishul (1978) Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar & Yesudas / Khayyam – Sahir

Another of my favourites from the late 70s. Khayyam was one of the composers who had a glorious second innings. And he maintained the melody even after adapting to the new trends. Equal credit goes to Sahir for the meaningful lyrics. Yesudas sings for Amitabh, a rarity for that era. I mean Kishore Kumar lending his voice to someone else even though Amitabh is in the song.

With this song, I end my list. The list represented a few of my favorites. There are a lot of trios, a few of which would be your favourites. Please share yours.

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.

28 Replies to “My favourite Trios”

  1. Good list, Anupji – and a special thank you for the very nice songs you chose from the 70s! I don’t especially like the music of the late 70s, but you picked out two really good ones. I’m listening to them again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anup,
    ‘Balanced trio’ is a very good concept. ‘Duniya rang rangili baba’ rightly deserved the honour of top billing. ‘Mohabbat ki dhun beqaraaron se poochho’ is another of my big favourites. Nice post.
    AK

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Anup ji,

    Trios are so difficult to find and you seem to have got all of them. It’s a difficult topic but you have scored once again.

    But, as they say, “Seek and you shall find”. Maybe you deliberately left this out 🙂

    From the Film “BABUL” (1950) featuring Mohd. Rafi, Shamshad Begum and Talat Mahmood, in that order, together with chorus :

    With warm regards

    PARTHA CHANDA

    Like

      1. Dear Anup ji,

        When you have the time, please do explain the yardstick that you use to measure the “balance” of voices in a Song. Is it the duration in minutes and seconds or the number of words that a singer utters?

        If we apply the same yardstick to duets, there would be many songs which should be branded as Solos, since the second singer hardly gets a few lines.

        Take for example, this “Duet” from HOUSE NO. 44 where Hemant Kumar does not even get a single word – all he does is Humms and Haws 🙂

        Should we count this song as a Solo?

        With warm regards

        PARTHA CHANDA

        Like

        1. In the introduction, I explained that my list has trios where all the singers have equal opportunity. That’s what is my criteria for the list. Hence though the song is technically a trio, it can’t be a part of the post.
          🙂

          Like

  4. Dear Anup ji,

    Here is one more, from Kishore Sahu’s Film “NADIYA KE PAAR” (1948), featuring Lalita Deulkar, Shamshad Begum and Chitalkar

    With warm regads

    PARTHA CHANDA

    Like

    1. Oh! I completely forgot about this song. But it has four voices. In the third verse, there are at least two distinct male voices. Of course the other male voice has just one or two lines. And of course there are two female voices already.
      🙂

      Like

  5. Anup ji ,
    It is said that तीन तिगाडा काम बिगाडा !!!
    U hv proved it wrong by doing this post including एकसे बढकर एक trios ..
    I liked Ur theme nd selection of songs .
    All Ur songs r melodious nd nicely pictueised ones .

    The song from पूनम की रात was new for me .

    Randhir Kapoor seems to b very fond of trios !!!
    There r 2 many trios in which Randhir is present .. U hv included आती रहेंगी बहारें of कस्में वादें , which had 1 more trio starring Neetu nd Amitabh with him मिले जो कडी कडी

    … With Rekha nd Shatru , Randhir sings
    प्यार का समय कम हैं जहाँ in रामपूर का लक्ष्मण …

    With his dad Raj Kapoor nd wife Babita , Randhir sings टिक टिक टिक टिक चलती जाए घडी in कल आज और कल

    With Neetu nd Premnath , Randhir sings वो हैं एक बहरुपिया in ढोंगी ..

    With Prema Narayan nd Neeta Mehta , Randhir is there in जीजाजी मेरी दीदी हैं अनाडी in पोंगा पंडित

    Well , some of them r nt balanced trios ( AK ‘s word !!! ) Nd some r nt that gr8 ..

    I add one from early 80’s ..
    Suman Kalyanpur singing for Reena Roy , Anwar for Amitabh nd Kamlesh Awasthi for Shatru ..
    ज़िंदगी इम्तहान लेती हैं from नसीब

    Looking forward for Ur post on trios in 90’s .

    With best wishes ,
    Pramod Godbole .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pramod ji,
      Thank you so much for your appreciation. And thank you for remembering and adding so many trios picturised on Randhir Kapoor.
      The trio from Naseeb is a perfect fit for the post.
      🙂

      Like

  6. Dear Anup ji,

    I am extremely wary of your “balance” measuring instruments. So, it is with extreme caution that I am placing this Song from CID (1956). Would it count as a Trio ? The voices of Shamshad Begum, Md. Rafi and Asha Bhonsale are clearly distinguishable.


    (लेके पहला पहला प्यार …..)

    What does your measuring instrument say? 🙂

    With warm regards

    PARTHA CHANDA

    Like

    1. I never said that I won’t call those songs trios. The songs are trios. No doubt!
      Trios where one particular singer has lesser lines are trios of course, but my word for it was ‘unfair‘. But such songs won’t be a part of my list.
      Leke pehla pehla pyar has two separate parts in the film, a happy part with a fast tempo, sung by Rafi and Shamshad Begum. And a separate song by Asha Bhosle, a sad one with slower tempo.
      But the song is a trio as an audio version.

      Like

  7. Dear Aup ji,

    Here is another Trio, from the Film “SUNEHRE DIN” (1949), where Shamshad Begum Sings for REHANA, Geeta Roy (she became Dutt in 1953) sings for BIMLA KUMARI and Sulochana Kadam sings for HEERA SAWANT. They are accompanied by a Chorus :


    (poor audio)

    With warm regards

    PARTHA CHANDA

    Like

  8. A lovely list, Anupji! I do not know if this song would fit the bill. This is the title song of Amar Akbar Anthony – the voices are Mahendra Kapoor, Kishore Kumar and Shailendra Singh. They sing together for a major part though their individual voices are also heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dr. Anup,

    What an enjoyable post!! A nice selection songs, all familiar except nos. 2 and 3.
    I have always liked trios and quartets. I like your concepts of balanced trios and unfair trios.
    Unfair trios would be unfair to the singer who gets little scope to sing but often, they seem fair in the context of their picturization and song situation.

    The first song that came to my mind was the title song of AAA, which has been posted by Anitaji.

    Here are two songs from another MKD-AB movie – Suhaag 1979
    Both sung by the trio – Rafi, Asha and Shailendra Singh
    1. Teri rab ne bana di jodi

    2. Aye yaar sun yaari teri – Asha gets less scope here but has an antara to sing

    Rafi, Kishore and Suman singing for Badaltey Rishey 1978
    Na jane kaise pal mein badal jaate hain – Here Suman has more scope as she begins the song

    And one starring all my 3 favorite actors – Shammi, Vyjayantimala and Helen –
    Muqabla humse na karo – Prince 1969 – Lata, Asha, Rafi

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr Rajesh,
      Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

      “Unfair trios would be unfair to the singer who gets little scope to sing but often, they seem fair in the context of their picturization and song situation”

      Yes, I agree. At times this is true.

      And, thank you for sharing the trios.
      I quartets post would be published next month.
      🙂

      Like

  10. Good to know that you are doing a quartets post next month.
    I am also looking forward to the 90s trios post. That decade had many of these songs.
    Here’s one from a film released in 1989 – Tridev
    Gajar ne kiya hai ishara – Alka Yagnik, Sadhana Sargam and Sapna Mukherjee

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pramodji has mentioned some trios featuring Randhir Kapoor

    Here’s one more:
    Dharam Karam 1975
    Tere humsafar geet hai tere – Kishore, Asha, Mukesh

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dear Anup ji,

    There is an error, perhaps an inadvertent typo, for the heading of Song No.5 in your list. It should be “Shree 420” (1955) and not “Chori Chori” (1956). You may like to correct the same.

    Here is one Trio from the Film “SANAM” (1951), with Suraiyya singing for herself, Shamshad Begum singing for Meena Kumari and Amirbai Karnataki singing for Jilloo :


    (बोलो बोलो रे भगवान…..)

    Hope it meets with your approval.

    With warm regards

    PARTHA CHANDA

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lovely songs! I wonder if you know the name of the type of drum heard in “Zindagi Hai Kya Bolo.” I am referring to the very deep-voiced drum that plays through much of the song but which is particularly clearly heard in the second phrase of the introduction (after the guitar solo but before the cowbell has joined). It is such a distinctive sound and I don’t recognize the instrument at all.

    The birthday theme of “Aati Rahengi Baharen” recalled to mind this pleasant song which I recently heard for the first time:

    It sort of is and is not a trio: more than three singers are featured in the verses, but the chorus is sung by three voices together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the songs. But sorry! I don’t at all any technical knowledge of musical instruments. But you certainly made me listen to the song carefully. Really such a lovely orchestration. Henceforth I’ll try to listen to the minute details of orchestration and I’ll enjoy it.
      And, as you say, the song is not a trio but is based on birthday theme. I’ll be publishing ‘quartets and more’ songs post soon. This will fit in that post perfectly.
      Thank you for introducing me to the song.
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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