Monday September 30, 2019

Music For An Arabian Night and Hindi film world!

Posted by Karthik

One of the world music albums that’s very close to me because I have heard it extensively as a child and while growing up was ‘Music For An Arabian Night’, by Ron Goodwin And His Concert Orchestra. It was released in 1959 by Parlophone and was a collection of Middle Eastern folk songs composed by assorted composers from the region, like Egypt, Lebanon etc. Most of these songs were composed much earlier and were compiled into an instrumental album by Ron Goodwin’s orchestra, for a world audience.

I know these songs way too well given that these have been background music to my growing up years, all through Bhubaneswar, Bhopal and Srirangam (Trichy), in the late 70s and 80s.

The whole album (12 songs) is here, for your listening pleasure:

What makes this album so much more interesting for us Indians is that you may spot a couple of 50s and 60s Hindi film songs as well while you listen to the album 🙂 Here are the ones I know.

1/ Ye bhi koi roothne ka din hai – Film: Solva Saal (1958). Music by S.D.Burman. Considering Solva Saal came out in 1958, and Music for an Arabian Night was released in 1959, it is possible that the senior Burman sought inspiration from the original version of Arab Feast, called ‘Ya Ghozayel’, composed by the Rahbani Brothers.

2/ Yeh Chanda Ruus Ka – Film: Insaan Jaag Utha (1959). Music by S.D.Burman. The original was called ‘Albint Al Shalabiyya’, and ‘Barefoot Girl’ in Ron Goodwin’s album. Original music, again, by the Rahbani Brothers.

3/ Bin dekhe aur bin pehchane – Film: Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai (1961). Music: Shankar Jaikishan. The original was called ‘Dancing Eyes’ aka ‘Abbo Oubib Ghanoura’, composed by the Rahbani Brothers.

4/ Main aashiq hun bahaaron ka – Film: Aashiq (1962). Music by Shankar Jaikishan. The original was Return to Paradise aka ‘Sanargi’u’, composed by the Rahbani Brothers.

5/ Baje payal chun chun – Chhalia (1960). Music by Kalyanji-Anandji. Original was Desert Hero aka ‘Qalbi Nazil Daqq’, composed by the Lebanese singer/composer Philemon Wehbe.

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