Favorite Car Songs

Songs that treat cars with the respect they deserve are special. I love cars and love to drive, and have been meaning to compile this list for a while. On to the favorites, then. No buses, trucks, RVs (such as motor homes) or carts allowed. Off we go!



11. Don Revisited from Don (2006). The true test of music and vocals is whether they can stand independent of each other and still sound good. Don Revisited (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) barely has lyrics to it (five words from the dialogue), but easily makes my top five Bollywood tracks for use at the gym. Never mind Don could make time to turn back during a car chase when speeding through underneath a truck moving at a different speed! :)


10. Ghumyo Chakkar from Aamir (2008), courtesy new Music Director Amit Trivedi. If you've seen the film, you know how delightfully it is integrated with the screenplay. "The wheel spins," it says. And so do we.

9. Pukaarta Chala Hoon Main from Mere Sanam (1965). Vocals by Mohammad Rafi, music by O. P. Nayyar, and lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Need one say more?

8. Yeh Dil Na Hota Bechaara from Jewel Thief (1967). Dev Anand in a song I have yet to tire of. There's something about his courtship ethic (especially in the black and white films I've seen) that makes me think it has the right mix of respect, mischief, and class. And to add to it all, blue shoes! Kishore Kumar does the singing honors, with music by S. D. Burman and lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri.

7. Hum Hain Raahi Pyaar Ke from Nau Do Gyarah (1957) as in Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin (1991), in which the realization of love is structured around a car. The original song stars Dev Anand driving more of a truck, but I love how it starts out -- "Teesri baar meri motor ko gaali di, toh khoon ho jaayega" (If you curse at my vehicle a third time, there will be murder -- talk about humble aggression!).

6. Dil Chahta Hai from Dil Chahta Hai (2001). Simple but effective (and very personalized, but that story doesn't belong here). Vocals by Shankar Mahadevan, from the debut album of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. What say?


5. Kahin Na Kahin Dil Lagaana Padega from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964). Not only do Shammi Kapoor and I share a passion for driving, we also have similar tastes when it comes to picking a car to drive around in. This song is perfect for what it is, from a fantastic film. Mohammad Rafi in fine form (is he ever not?), music by O. P. Nayyar, and lyrics by S. H. Bihari. And of course, a car that would end up by Champa! What's not to love about it? (Oh, and Lagaan in the title! Okay, okay, bad joke, I know ;)


4. Aaye Ho Meri Zindagi Mein from Raja Hindustani (1995) is a great car song. A cab driver and his 'Madam Memsaab', and a Kunal Khemu clapping away as if to create a qawwali-like atmosphere (which the song does carry) in a moving vehicle. Its music (Nadeem-Shravan) is among the best of the decade, the chemistry between Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor, and sung by the voice of Aamir Udit Narayan...stuff of legends.



3. From the film that had the word 'car' in its title -- Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) -- is Babu Samjho Ishaare. The song features lovely Bombay, three great comedians, and a car named Champion and with a swagger.

2. Chahe Koi Khush Ho from Taxi Driver (1954). Another Dev Anand song by Kishore and with music by S. D. Burman, this song tailored to car lovers' interests had lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi, and some vocals by all time favorite comedian Johnny Walker!


1. Paathshala - Be a Rebel from Rang De Basanti (2006). With music by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Prasoon Joshi, and vocals by Aslam, Blaaze, and Naresh Iyer, this (and especially its sister song -- Masti ki Paathshala) is likely the college favorite and party track of the decade. It is also an extremely well executed car song, the symbolism beautiful and its significance well beyond that of the rest.



Honorable mention to two songs that will forever be remembered for their picturizations: Kaise Mujhe from Ghajini (2008), and Yeh Dil Deewaana from Pardes (1997). Both had strong but temporary presence afforded to cars. Oh, and honorable mention to scenes set in cars! On my wish list is more car songs in which the women are driving!


All right. I'm sure I've missed a ton of really good songs. How about you share some of your favorites?


PS: Thank you random driver in Los Angeles with a sticker attached to your car reading "No Fear", serving up a welcome reminder for this post. You, my friend, haven't driven fast enough! (But within the limits prescribed by law, of course. I'm talking about here.)

31 comments:

ajnabi said...

How about "Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko To Pyar Sajna" from DDLJ? I love when shepherdess Kajol turns around and starts romancing SRK over the hood of his convertible. LOL

Anonymous said...

MMMBop

theBollywoodFan said...

Ajnabi: Of course! That can never be bad :D There are several vehicles in the song, including the car. DDLJ fans, I hope you appreciate this.

Anonymous: The only Mmmbop I know of (and like) is by Hanson (I was in high school in 1997, which is when I think 'Middle of Nowwhere' was released), and yes, it did have a few bits with the car! Fun song!

Kanan said...

Cool list... now I wanna share mine soon. This post is too tempting! :D

theBollywoodFan said...

Thank you Kanan. Go for your list, we could have one great extended playlist then!

Darshit said...

Coincidence or similar thought process??

While going through your post from beginning, I thought 'Pathshala-Be a Rebel' is the best car song ever. The way it has been shot around India Gate, showing pop-patriotism, is excellent. And whenever I see India Gate at night, instantly relate to this song. (That's why I am looking forward to Delhi-6.)

and Voilaa !!! I scrolled down, and saw that you have mentioned it as No.1. :-)

Here is my list [in no particular order] - [and of course, in addition to your gr8 list]

Ramaiya Vastavaiya : My latest favorite. Why? Just because of Asin, dancing and whistling in 'Shetty Travels' owned Ambassador' :-)

Sun Suniyo: Well, in this song, car is not running on road, but Koena Mitra is cleaning the car. And man, the video is so so interesting ;-). Hema Sardesai does equally exotic singing.

So Gaya Yeh Jahan :Lonely at night, in Mumbai.

Mere Sapno Ki Rani : All time classic.

Yeh Mausam ka Jaadu Hai : All time favorite. S.P.Balasubramaniam at his best.

Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho : Vocals....On long drive at night, on silent road...

Mannu Bhai Motor Chali Pom Pom Pom: Ever since childhood, espeically in Antakshari played by us, I am fascinated by this song. 'Chowpati jaayenge Bhel puri khayenge' - lovely good old Mumbai, Na??

Na tum jano na hum : Lucky Ali is always my favorite, since his first song. So this is so special when He is singing for the first time on Big screen. And gr8 visuals too...

Chakke pe chakka : Shammi, and kids. And fun.

Ru-Ba-Ru [Rock Theme] - Rang de Basanti : Now this is not on the film's album. But its extra superb. It comes when they are heading towards DJ's home, from Pathshala. Instantly after the Pathshala song. And then in between Madhvan joins them on bike. Turns off the lights. And adrenalin rush...........
Here is the track

Your this post gave me some more ideas about track listing. Humm...I should work out on them now [damn, i am so lazy in winters] :-D

P.S.: I think 'Delhi 6' - the title song, must have been picturised in car. Its sound tells me that....

:-) sorry for such a long comment....

Nicki said...

Love the list!! Car songs. I never realized that there were that many. I always think of Dil Chahta Hai and Jewel Thief though.

Filmi Girl said...

I *knew* I'd see "Dil Chahta Hai" on this list!! LOL! (That is a good, one, though...!)

My current car favorite is "Ek Rasta Do Rahi" from Ram Balraam

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQBZsY7SJP4

theBollywoodFan said...

Darshit: Thank you very much for sharing your great list. Really, all your picks are great! Certainly go for your track listing(s)!

'Be a Rebel' from RDB had to be my #1! And that Rock Theme is just amazing, that scene is quite amazing, too. I totally forgot about Mere 'Sapnon Ki Rani', which would have somehow expanded the list. And dude, 'Mannu Bhai Motor Chali Pom Pom Pom', of course! Same deal with the antakshari in childhood, shame on me for forgetting.

My next post is on Delhi-6, it should be a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to it.

Nicki: Glad to see you back! Car songs are a lot of fun, aren't they? The two songs you mention are certainly very memorable.

Filmi Girl: Thanks for your pick! Of course, DCH! :o) Not that I didn't before, but I certainly do have a lot of appreciation for all the Kishore songs in the list!

Anonymous said...

How about Rajesh Khanna and Kishore and RD's "Chala Jata Hoon..." from Mere Jeevan Saathi?

Darshit said...

Hey hey hey...

I have just posted my Delhi 6 post.

And now, You are at it. Wow.....

I am waiting for your take on the musical extravaganza.

memsaabstory said...

Yay! I figured Shammi would have to be there at least once. And Dev Anand seemed to love car songs too :-)

bollyviewer said...

What a great idea! There are so many great car songs in movies. Love your list - especially #9, #8, #7, #5, #3 and I had totally forgotten about #2 and Mannubhai motor chali (was a staple in my kiddie Antakshari, too)! I would also add Chal chal chal mere haathi to the the list even though the car in question is a "khatara"!

Bhargav Saikia said...

Brilliant list! My pick is Dil Chahta Hai :)

Anonymous said...

Hi

My comment is not related to ur post but wanted to share that I saw a cute new movie "Meerabai Not Out" last night on DVD. Produced by Pritish Nandy communications - it is a really good movie based on a story revolving around cricket but not exactly on the sport itself - set in Mumbai. Is ia simple story well said. songs are also melodious. I would recommend people to watch it.

cheers

theBollywoodFan said...

Anonymous: Another Kishore song! And lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri! I did not know it was picturized with Rajesh Khanna in a car. Thank you so much for your comment.

Darshit: Thanks for the link. I'll be headed over to check out your review soon.

Memsaab: I was surprised at how many Dev Anand songs made the list. Shammi probably has more memorable ones (with Rafi perhaps?) that I am unaware of, please let me know if you have any recommendations. I absolutely love that song from Kashmir Ki Kali, I even enjoyed the scenes leading up to it in the film!

theBollywoodFan said...

Bollyviewer: What a lovely song that 'Mannubhai Motor Chali' song is. And 'Chal Chal Chal Mere Haathi', of course! I guess one of the lessons learned of this post is that 'khataras' are good when they bring people together! ;)

Glad you enjoyed the songs. I was struggling in ranking #s 2 and 3, but went with the song I like slightly more. I even considered not ranking them at all, because all the songs (especially #9 and below) are so very good.

Bhargav: Thanks. It's difficult not to like that song from DCH! I wonder if 3 Idiots will have a car song, because the theme worked wonders in DCH and RDB.

Anonymous: Thank you for the recommendation! I'll hope to check it out. :o)

Beth said...

I just got a new car so will have to think carefully before I Bolly-christen her! (She has yet to have any film music played in her because I keep forgetting to bring CDs out or dig out the ipod cable).

I have a very hard time not gushing about personal connections to songs and movies and whatnot - I admire your restraint (but am, as always, v curious). ;)

Darshit said...

See, I told you 'Delhi 6' song has car. Now its out, and somewhat, I am right.

theBollywoodFan said...

Beth! Congrats on the new car! I wish I had put more thought into the Bolly-christening of my car. The iPod cable is such a blessing, although I've learned to live off playlists because I found myself changing albums while driving, which is not cool, to say the least, LOL. As far as personal connections, let's just say that film contributed to my car purchasing habits (although the intent was always there, it was just solidified) :)

Darshit: You're right! That should be fun indeed.

pitu said...

Awesome list :-D I have to second Darshit on 'So gaya yeh jahan' from Tezaab.

I also love 'Dil hai mera deewana' from Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman coz SRK is cho chweet in it :-)and for the sense of possibility in that song.

And although I know no *motorbikes* allowed, I am going to break the rule :-p and mention my all time favorite driving-at-nite-with-the-hubby song :-) 'Chandni Raatein' :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njnyAxY0n5M

Darshit said...

Oh, pitu. Such a lovely song u have mentioned. My fav. And yes, besides bike it also has car !

theBollywoodFan said...

Great selections, Pitu! Thanks for reminding of that song from Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman. And 'Chaandni Raatein' is a great song. I really liked the easel in that room, and was that Queens Necklace??!!

That song from Tezaab...what a cast! I wonder why Chunky Pandey isn't around as much any more. I quite liked Darwaza Bandh Rakho (by Ram Gopal Verma) a couple years ago, but he's been fairly quiet of late.

Darshit: Right on man! And going back to your previous comment with the list, I can't wait for the Ghajini DVD release...that Ramaiya Vastaiya integration was fun!

pitu said...

Ya, I'm pretty sure it's Marine Drive! I wonder who the singer is, she sounded so phenomenal!

Dude, the last movie I saw that had Chunkey in it was Apna Sapna Money Money and I am still traumatised :-p

theBollywoodFan said...

Shamsa Kanwal was the singer, going by this MusicIndiaOnline link. The album seems to have a lot of diverse content, I should check it out soon.

Apna Sapna Money Money was traumatic, agreed. To top it off, the song 'Sania Badnaam' (which sounded a lot better before the film, LOL) ko itna badnaam kiya :'(

Cheers.

Beth said...

She has been christened! I went with "Lazy Lamhe" and "Deewaangi Deewaaangi," mostly because they were handy in my playlist.

theBollywoodFan said...

Awrright!! Thanks for sharing, Beth :) And two thumbs up again to playlists!

Speaking of 'Lazy Lamhe', I have Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, and I'm going to try to see it soon, if only for the museum song! Then again, I'm probably one few who didn't dislike Ta Ra Rum Pum (give me NASCAR or Formula 1 in any way, and chances are I'll like it, LOL), hopefully that will provide some inspiration too :)

Saadia said...

Dude, what about Chayya Chayya...or is that good for a train ride ONLY? ;-)

theBollywoodFan said...

That's a great idea for a future post! ;) Of course Chayya Chayya works too (although per the rules, not even Yun Hi Chala Chal from Swades (I love the song) could make it! **Evil grin**).

Swathi said...

I don't think this one has been mentioned: "Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani" from Jawani Diwani (1972) in which Jaya B. tries to drive with Randhir Kapoor decorating her windshield.

I've been lurking around your blog recently, and I thought I'd finally make a comment :-)

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Swathi, and that's a great song! Thanks so much for sharing. And thank you for your comment! I hope you find the content interesting :)