Hindi Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes
By Renu Chandarana @renjuc
I grew up speaking Hindi with my family at home but English really is my first language. Now that I’m married and have a daughter, I really try and speak as much Hindi as I can but I can never seem to find the confidence or the range of vocabulary to get my point across.
My husband doesn’t speak Hindi so it gets tough to encourage my daughter or me to speak it frequently. I discovered that YouTube is the biggest Hindi enforcer in our home! I grew up listening to so many fabulous Hindi kids songs especially lullabies. I remember watching these movies and hearing these songs in India when I would go visit and my mom now sings them to the grand kids in my family.
A lot of these songs come from Hindi films that were the era of our parents. So it’s no wonder I’m hearing them all now – as my parents and aunts and uncles sing these songs to my daughter and their kids – it’s what they know! What Hindi songs from our generation will you sing to your kids and grand kids? I mean…I grew up in the Choli Ke Peeche era…..so…
Here is a list of some famous lullabies/nursery rhymes that are near and dear to my heart, and maybe yours too? If not, maybe it’s a good starting point for you if you’ve always wanted to some Hindi kids songs influence your kids. They are in no particular order.
1) Chanda Hai Tu, Mera Sooraj Hai Tu – Aradhana (1969)
This link has a few more cartoon videos of children’s songs from older black and white Hindi films. Your kids might enjoy watching these videos instead of a dark poorly printed black and white oldie!
2) Gudiya Rani, Bitiya Rani – Lamhe (1991)
The sweetest song ever. A mother singing to her daughter.
3) Lalla Lalla Lori – Mukti (1977)
– okay, first of all…how hot is Shashi Kapoor? Seriously, love this guy!
4) Chanda Mama Door Ke
I love that these cartoons can be found on YouTube. They are no Max & Ruby (currently my daughter’s obsession) but they are entertaining nonetheless. I love the busty mom and the baby’s dance moves. Very sweet!
5) Yahoda ka Nandlala (Sanjog 1985)
I heard this song for the first time when my husband’s aunt sang this song to my daughter. She has the sweetest melodic voice and whenever my daughter sees her she asks her for “more zu-zu?” **warning, I put the cartoon here as a reference because the actual video from the film is quite sad but it features Jayaprada in a double role looking stunning!
6) Mere Ghar Aayi Ek Nanni Pari – Kabhi Kabhie (1976)
I love this movie. It’s a very ridiculous story…but I love it anyways. I love Amitabh sitting in his armchair, smoking a pipe as his wife sings to their daughter while her other biological daughter, who Amitabh doesn’t know about, enjoys the tune too….the plot thickens!
7) Nanni Teri Morni Ko Mor Le Gaye (Masoom 1960)
The most politically incorrect nursery rhyme you could sing to your child, but hey…it’s in Hindi and what are the chances they’ll really understand? I like how the Nanni looks so crusty in this cartoon.
8) Lakdi Ki Kathi (Masoom 1983)
This video is as precious as gold in our house. My daughter asks for it all the time in her broken, English accented Hindi, and I love it! We sing it all the time and we both love it! Take note – the older girl in the video is Urmila Matondkar. She grew up to be a famous Hindi film actress, known for her gyrating moves in the film Rangeela (1995)
9) Phoolon Ka Taron Ka Sabhka Kehna Hai – Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)
There are two versions of this song in this film, one depicting Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman as kids, and the other with them as adults. I chose the kid version cause not only is it sweet to see this brother sister relationship unfold, but the little boy is a very good Dev Anand impersonator – so cute!
10) Re Mamma Re Mamma Re – Andaz (1971)
I love this song because it shows such a positive relationship between a dad and his little daughter. While mothers sing most songs to their kids in Hindi films, this one is a dad singing to his daughter.
11) Jahan Chaar Yaar – Sharaabi (1984)
umm…okay, this is just for a good laugh for parents! I actually listened to this song when I was kid ALL THE TIME, not knowing it was all about drunken debauchery….I just thought it was hilarious! I guess when you have a little too much – it brings out the inner child?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this list or if you have any others you’d like to share too! There are tons out there.
Do you have any special memories of Hindi kids songs growing up? Do you integrate any songs like this into your kids play time? I’m all ears!
In my next article, I’ll put together a list of what I think are great kids songs of today cause I sure don’t want to be singing Choli Ke Peeche to my grand kids…. 😉
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