With thousands of Hindi songs being released every year, selecting a list of the 10 all time best Hindi songs can be difficult. However, some songs have become etched in listeners’ collective consciousness due to their timeless appeal. Here are ten of the best.
- "Zindagi Ek Safar": Life is a beautiful journey, how knows what will happen tomorrow? So goes the opening line of this song, sung by the great singer Kishore Kumar. This song is considered to be one of Kishore Kumar’s best achievements, and one of the all time best Hindi songs. It takes a light, happy view of life and exhorts listeners to enjoy themselves and not take life too seriously.
- "Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho": This iconic song was sung by Mohammed Rafi and is a great example of a early Hindi love song. The singer compares his beloved to the full moon. Partly due to its timeless nature and, partly due to Rafi’s great vocalization as well as its depiction of Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman’s love, this song is considered to be one of the finest examples of a Hindi love song.
- "Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon": This patriotic song is one of Lata Mangeshkar’s finest songs. It exhorts listeners not to forget the sacrifices made by soldiers manning the nation’s borders. It is well known that India has not been blessed with good neighbors – think Pakistan and China – and as a consequence, it has had to fight wars with both over territorial disputes. This song was recorded during India’s 1962 war with China, and reminded people of those that were martyred defending the nation and its people.
- "O Manjhi Re": Another of Kishore Kumar’s evergreen songs. The first line of this song goes: "O boatman! My destination is the river’s flow." The moral of this philosophical song is that sometimes the journey is worth more than reaching the destination. Life is a journey, and its destination is death. One must learn to enjoy the journey and not look forward to arriving at one’s destination. Kishore Kumar’s haunting vocal delivery and the great lyrics have cemented this song’s reputation as one of the all time best Hindi songs.
- "Na Jane Tum Kab Aaoge": This hauntingly beautiful love song from the 1940s was sung by Mohammed Rafi and established his reputation as one of India’s finest singers. It is a love song and portrays the protagonist’s longing for his beloved.
- "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja": If Lata Mangeshkar was good, her sister Asha Bhonsle was not far behind. This naughty, energetic and passionate song from the 1970s firmly established Asha as one of the most glamorous and avant-garde singers of the country.
- "Dil Cheez Kya Hai": This classical song that falls into the “ghazal” category showed Hindi song lovers that Asha Bhonsale could sing classical music based songs, and very well at that. With its beautiful, poetic lyrics and its theme of abandoning oneself in love, this song was an instant success and is as popular today as it was when released.
- "Saawan Ka Mahina": This evergreen song that pays tribute to India’s monsoon season was sung by the great singer Mukesh Chand Mathur, who is commonly known by his first name, Mukesh. This simple and melodious song describes the monsoon and its winds and rains. It is considered a classic and one of the all time best Hindi songs.
- "Hameh Tumse Pyar": "I don’t know how much I love you, but I know that I can’t live without you." Thus go the lyrics of this immoral song sung by the great Kishore Kumar. This is one of the great Hindi love songs and it added another feather to Kishore Kumar’s already overflowing cap.
- "Gata Rahe Mera Dil": This is one of Lata Mangeshkar’s finest songs. It depicts love and happiness at being with one’s beloved. This song was part of Dev Anad’s film “Guide” and was one of the reasons for the film’s overwhelming success.
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