There may not be a year when we don’t celebrate Lata Mangeshkar‘s birthday by playing a song of the best of India’s Nightingale. It has been so for the last five decades or more than that. The golden voice Lata Ji turns 90 today. No singer has captured the same stigma that her voice has. Music lovers may get confused choosing among the male singers of ’90s, but when it comes to choosing their favourite among female singers, the majority of them will pick Lata Ji without thinking twice.
Her voice is melodious, her range is wide, and the way of expressing the tone with her voice is always right. Moreover, the way she sings will never make someone think that she is singing out of tune. She was always the first choice for the composers as well as the heroines who acted in the respective songs sung by Lata Ji.
Let’s rewind to some of the legendary songs by Nightingale of India.
Ae mere Watan ke logo ko: For a country where the music about nation filled the patriotic feeling in every Indian heart and moved whole nation like no film song could. Recorded as a tribute to the Indian soldiers who fought against China in the 1962 war, great poet Pradeep wrote this song and was tuned by musician C. Ramachandra.
Ehsaan Tera Hoga: Lata Ji’s most popular melody composed by the hugely talented duo of Shankar-Jaikishan for this 1961 film Junglee. It is one of the songs that are rendered separately by Lata and Mohammed Rafi.
Satyam Shivam Sundaram: A song the aspiring Lata Mangeshkar opt to impress the audience, and she got overnight fame, too. An epic composition, in raga Darbari Kanada, by Laxmikant Pyarelal for a film which is said to have been inspired by the singer Lata Mangeshkar’s voice.
O Sajna Barkha Bahar: Perhaps Salil Choudhary’s best song for Lata Ji (though it may not be as famous as the Madhumati song, Aaja re pardesi…). It is from the 1960 Bimal Roy film, Parakh.
Chalte Chalte: Director Kamal Amrohi’s tribute to his loving wife Meena Kumari is still celebrated for the gifted actress’s superb performance in her last film. The entire album was dipping with melodies, like Inhi logon ne…, Thaade rahiyo…, Chal dildaar Chalo…., and Mausam hai aashiqaana…, but this one probably races out them all.
Lag Jaa gale: This beautiful melody from the 1964 film, Woh Kaun thi? filled everyone’s heart with love. This song is so beautiful that you will never want to stop listening to it. The lyrics by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan’s played a significant role in making the song immortal.
Mohe Panghat Pe:
A splendidly scripted movie with an excellent cast led by Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Madhubala, along with beautiful costumes and art design, graceful choreography. A film like this deserved an outstanding musical score too, and indeed Naushad provided that. The Nightingale of India filled the void of the singer, and it came out as a beautiful work by him.
Undoubtedly there are hundreds or more to remember and applaud Lata Mangeshkar’s work and a list of melodious song that one won’t get tired listening to. A very Happy Birthday to Lata Ji!