We’ve always had an idol in India who sang the voice of the divine. Lata Mangeshkar, the nightingale of India, has performed some of Indian cinema’s most iconic tunes. She expressed love, separation, hope, desire, and suffering, giving company in the happiest and most lonely times. There will never be another Lata Mangeshkar; heaven has taken one of India’s brightest stars, and heaven will be musical. Today we will celebrate her life with the stories behind her best songs; join us for this list of melodious Lata Mangeshkar old songs.
She is the most adored and recognized playback vocalist in the history of the music industry. Her career spanned eight decades, and she recorded songs for more than 2,000 Bollywood films. She will live on in the hearts of the generations that lived, the present generations, and the generations yet to follow.
Mangeshkar began professionally singing at the age of 14, and Bollywood stars from the 1940s to the 2000s have lip-synced to her on-screen. She earned many National Film Awards and the Padma Bhushan in 1969, the Padma Vibhushan in 1999, the Bharat Ratna in 2001, the Dadasaheb Phalke Accolade in 1989, and France’s highest civilian award in 2009. She was a source of inspiration for many musicians, having sung songs in over 36 Indian and foreign languages.
Early Life of Lata Mangeshkar
The eldest of five children, Lata Mangeshkar, was born in the Indian city of Indore in 1929. Lataji was born Hema, but her parents subsequently called her Latika after a lady character in her father’s play Bhaaw Bandhan. She began her musical journey at a young age under the guidance of her father, Deenanath, a classical musician, and began singing in his theatrical shows when she was just five years old. At the age of five, she made her theatrical debut in the play “Soubhadra.”
Her father traveled the country with his theatre group for most of her youth, so she spent a lot of time on the road. Her father’s death when she was 13 prompted her to step into the role of breadwinner to support her younger siblings, and the family finally relocated to Mumbai in 1945. She sang a song in the Marathi film Kiti Hasaal in 1942, but it was removed from the final edit. In the film Majboor, she received her first significant break with the song Dil Mera Toda, Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhora (1948). Ayega Aanewala from Mahal (1949) was her first big hit, starring Madhubala.
She had a brief career as an actress but was never at ease in front of the camera, so she began recording tracks to be lip-synced by other performers. Her breakthrough as a playback singer came in 1949 with the film Mahal. From the 1950s onwards, her high-pitched yet broad-ranging voice quickly became a mainstay of some of Bollywood’s most renowned films, with the songs she performed frequently becoming more memorable than the narrative.
There was no turning back after her big break in 1949. Mangeshkar sang thousands of songs that were lip-synced by Bollywood’s top heroines spanning generations throughout the following few decades. In 2001, she was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
Her songs are inextricably linked to the finest Indian films of all time. It’s tough to select among the tens of thousands of songs she sang, but here are a few of her unforgettable songs that reflect her diversity and range and have brought us great delight over the years.
Top 10 Evergreen Lata Mangeshkar Old Songs
As we revisit her legacy, let us celebrate renowned vocalist by recalling her most beautiful melodies, with this list of our own Nightingale’s old songs:
1) Ajeeb Dastan Hain Yeh
Dil Apna aur Preet Parai (1960)
Most sad songs incorporate melancholy music, with the composition intended to represent the atmosphere of the song. Shankar Jaikishan, on the other hand, created a melody that was fundamentally tranquil and even a touch uplifting with Ajeeb Dastan. The song is from a 1960 black-and-white film starring Raaj Kumar and Meena Kumari.
Words cannot express the beauty that resides within the legendary Lata Mangeshkar’s voice. Shailendra composed, and Shankar Jaikishan sang this classical Hindi song for the 1960 film Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai. This is an old Hindi song that will always be carved in our hearts hence it is on the top of our list of Lata Mangeshkar’s old songs. It was picturized by the late star Meena Kumari, and fans all over the world remember her via this exquisite performance. Shankar Jaikishan got the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for this song.
Only a few songs have the potential to become everlasting masterpieces, and this magnificent melody in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice is one of them. When you hear this music, you start humming it without even realizing why you like it so much. Why does this song still sound so fresh after 60 years? Why did these lines hit you like a ton of bricks? Sometimes we do not want to think. Sometimes we want to listen to music and have a nice time.
2) Tere Bina Zindagi
The song Tere Bina Zindagi will take you on a voyage of ambition, love, the intricacies of human emotions, and much more, as shown in one of the most popular films of its time, Aandhi – honored by Suchitra Sen, Sanjeev Kumar, and Gulzar.
Though every song in Aandhi is a classic, Tere Bina Zindagi Se koi Shikva to Nahin is ageless, as heartfelt now as it was when Gulzar wrote it. The tunes enhance the timeless elegance of this timeless classic. Lata Mangeshkar’s soothing voice adds to the charm.
This is the most well-known song from the film, and it expresses sorrow and remorse for not allowing love to flourish while being preoccupied with politics.
3) Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Mann Mera
Songs like “Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Mann Mera” remind us of how romance might once be woven from the air’s enchantment. Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar sang this wonderful song. Very few love duets get everything perfect like this one, enveloping their listeners in the splendor of India’s natural surroundings while letting the lyrics and music speak for themselves. Sharmila Tagore’s smile and Rajesh Khanna’s renowned wink are sheer delights.
In its simplest form, the song tells volumes about desire and love. S.D. Burman, the composer, infused the song with a sense of northeastern folk heritage, while Anand Bakshi’s lyrics contributed significantly to the song’s ethereal atmosphere. This duet causes time to pause.
4) Lag Jaa Gale
Woh Kaun Thi (1964)
“Gale Lagna” means “to embrace.” This beautiful, one of Lata Mangeshkar’s old songs, expresses tremendous anguish about the oncoming, maybe ultimate division. Death, according to Hinduism, is the end of this existence. The Hindi phrase “ho na ho” means that it may or may not occur in the future.
Although the parting depicts the separation of two lovers in the film, this song appears to have a very personal connection with folks around the country. Madan Mohan’s composition is likewise regarded as classic.
This memorable number from the 1964 film “Woh Kaun Thi” was almost not recorded. Madan Mohan had created this tune with extra attention for a melancholy romantic scene in the film, but the film’s director, Raj Khosla, didn’t like the music and rejected it. This track was composed by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan and performed by Lata Mangeshkar in 1963. This track was not as famous when the film was released as it is now.
Many songs are enjoyed and grow popular with the passage of time. This song is truly unique, one-of-a-kind. This song is still one of her bests and has always been a fan favorite, and this song is the heart of Lata Mangeshkar’s old songs.
The melody has not only withstood the test of time but has also been adopted by Bollywood and others to emphasize an emotional tone in a number of films. Among the millions of songs produced by Bollywood, a handful stand out as really ageless, extraordinary, and one-of-a-kind. And if one were to filter through those few for a wonderful rare treasure, Lag Ja Gale performed by Lata Mangeshkar may potentially be it.
5) Jiya Jale
Dil Se (1998)
Dil Se was a romantic drama set against the backdrop of the Northeast India insurgency. It stars Shah Rukh Khan and Manisha Koirala as the lead roles, with Preity making her Bollywood debut as a supporting actress. The film, directed by Mani Ratnam and featuring music by AR Rahman, has remained a fan favorite among music fans.
This was Lata Mangeshkar’s debut song under A R Rahman’s musical direction. This song was recorded in a single take. This contender of the list of Lata Mangeshkar old songs is the sole lighthearted, romantic music in an otherwise dramatic film, with all of the other songs being fairly grim. What also made this song remarkable was Girish Pulthenchri’s Malayalam lyrics, which added a great touch altogether.
6) Aaj Fir Jeene Ki Tammana Hain
Waheeda Rehman’s blue sari and Mangeshkar’s voice are the pinnacles of delight; she sings of deciding to live a new on her terms, of all the things she’s endured, and how that feels.
The guide is as much about Raju (played by Dev Anand) discovering God as it is about Rosie (played by Waheeda Rehman) discovering herself. Rosie carves her own future before Raju loses all and learns his true calling. Rosie’s trip necessitates Raju’s presence, and it is during the tune Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai that hero and heroine become lifelong partners.
The guide is based on RK Narayan’s novel of the same name and tells the narrative of Raju, a smooth-talking tourist guide. The chart-topping song from the film, ‘Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna,’ became a mainstream hit.
The outstanding song in the list of Lata Mangeshkar old songs, written by Shailendra, is the lightest and most comforting in the whole SD Burman soundtrack, which is generally grim. Rosie rolls about on the hay, singing her heart out. Fali Mistry’s fluid camerawork swoops down, snakes up, and glides around Rosie in the song scene, accentuating Rehman’s beauty and dance skill.
As the song progresses, Rosie dances across high cliffs, frequently sliding down, in a superbly edited montage taken at Chittor fort. She is ready to skip a step and die (“Ho dar hai safar mein Kahin Kho na jaoon main”) when she notices Raju down below, signaling her to keep her cool. Raju maintains a close eye on Rosie throughout the song. Her theme of tune foreshadows the intense romance that is soon to flourish and, eventually, cause catastrophe.
7) Jo Wada Kiya
Taj Mahal (1963)
This film came with a bouquet of memories from a period when love was delicate and gradual, and time gave you the luxury of expressing yourself freely. That’s when M. Sadiq, the filmmaker, decided to create “Taj Mahal.” It was a timeless love story, and it was straight up the sleeve of the peerless Sahir Ludhianvi, who created the songs with immense flair and substance.
The art and the artist combined in a magnificent confluence here, with the art flowing from the artist’s distress. This film was a financial success, based on the history of Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and his love for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
In an interview about Lata Mangeshkar old songs, Lataji discusses this song in detail, stating that Jo Wada Kiya is one of the most requested songs at each live event at which she performs. She attributes the song’s appeal in great part to Mohammed Rafi. He was one of her favorite composers, and this song was one of his most popular works. However, vocalists made a significant contribution to the weight of the love lyrics.
8) Tere Liye
One of the best songs of a lifetime; we have all loved and appreciated Veer Zaara’s Tere Liye. The mesmerizing vocals of Lata Mangeshkar and Roop Kumar Rathod, as well as the steeped-in love lyrics by Javed Akhtar, make it a go-to tune for all of us when we’re feeling romantically sad. But the extra credit belongs to Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta’s acting, as well as Yash Chopra’s directing, which has imprinted this tune in our minds for the rest of our lives.
The legend goes that Yash Chopra loved “Tere Liye” so much; it was his ringtone till his demise in 2012. And of course, the ever-memorable album was also The Nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshkar’s last film as a playback singer.
9) Pyar Hua Ikraar Hua
Shree 420 (1955)
“Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua,” composed by Shankar Jaikishan and performed by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar and penned by Shailendra, is ingrained in the national DNA and is definitely our favorite in this list of Lata Mangeshkar old songs. If you desire light and breezy love duets, go no farther than Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey. In the song Pyar Hua Ikraar Hua, for example, Shankar-Jaikishan picked Manna Dey over their favorite Mukesh.
Manna Dey was a classically trained vocalist who delivered bubbly tunes with ease. That was also the case with Lata. She, too, was well-versed in Indian ragas, and it’s believed that their records together were a joy for the musicians since everything went so nicely. Lata Mangeshkar’s dulcet voice and command of melodies made her the ideal companion for Manna Dey.
10) Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni
S D Burman produced the music for this song, while Sahir Ludhyanvi wrote the words. In this music video, the man invites his lover to a late-night rendezvous. From a distance, he uses every imaginable term to persuade her. Sung by Hemant Kumar paired with Lata Mangeshkar, “Yeh Raat yeh chand” has a haunting touch to it.
This song is sensual and seductive at the same time, and it may be one of the most erotic music picturizations ever. Each word, each phrase that the main character sings, adds to the tension between reason and passion. Nature mirrors the lover’s growing passion, and the screen crackled with the intensity of their feelings. The camera lovingly catches the heroine’s heaving sighs and troubled eyes as she succumbs to her lover’s appeal to ‘listen to his heart.’
You can’t call yourself a music enthusiast if you haven’t heard any of Lata Mangeshkar old songs. She is one of the industry’s most influential icons. Her signature white saree draped casually, hair plaited into two, and her lovely voice all contributed to her being the diva that she is.
Lata Mangeshkar, also known as the Nightingale and the Queen of Melody, had a turbulent career. However, her magnificent and one-of-a-kind gift of voice made the journey worthwhile. Her contributions to music are immense, and her voice has had a significant impact on creating the country’s musical culture. You’d be hard pushed to find an award she hasn’t received.
Lata Mangeshkar old songs captured the whole range of Indian emotions. For nearly 70 years, India’s journey has been accompanied by the thrum of her dulcet voice. Many people think that God resides in Lataji’s soul and enters her throat and outwards in a heavenly grasp. When you hear her sing a love song, you wonder to whom she is dedicating the tune. She was dubbed the “Queen of Melody” in the country, and her songs may be applied to a variety of situations in our life.
Her voice has remained a fixture in our lives for many years. Her music gave voice to the upheavals of India’s freedom fight and comforted people ripped apart by conflict and violence. Other noteworthy Lata Mangeshkar old songs are Hawa Mein Udtaa Jaye (Barsaat, 1949) and Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya (Mughal-E-Azam, 1960).
Lata Mangeshkar was named the most recorded singer in the history of playback singing by the Guinness Book of Records in 1974. Her voice is nothing short of a miracle; if you listen to her old classic songs and compare them to her most recent successes, you will notice that her voice has remained consistent throughout her 70-year career.
Even while discussions regarding her voice’s range and femininity rage on, Lata’s music continues to captivate millions, steeped with the mystique of the unknown. Her music was both surrendering and perfecting. And it’s an unstoppable mix.
Without Lata Mangeshkar’s old songs, Indian film music would not have sounded the same, and actresses would not have looked as stunning on-screen, and storylines would have been monotonous.
While many Indian music critics regard Lata Mangeshkar old songs as the loveliest melodies about the darkest feelings, her singing was equally joyous, motivating, and touching. It was impossible not to melt in the presence of her crooning. Her voice was soulful, her singing was emotive, and her style was upbeat.
Lata Mangeshkar is the first Indian musician to play live at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall. She picked the UK venue for her worldwide debut in 1974, where she sang some of her most popular tunes in front of a crowded house.
Throughout the concert, she recalled singing with her Bollywood peers like Kishore Kumar and Hemant Kumar, as well as performing with famous musicians such as S.D. Burman and Naushad. She exchanged experiences with the audience and demonstrated a unique sense of humor.
A career as a vocalist spanning over eight decades and a life lived to the fullest. Lata Mangeshkar’s voice and melodies shaped numerous generations and our entire lives. But she was also an inspiration, repeatedly imitated by singers, painted by many, and a supporter of many others in artistic disciplines. She was a woman with many interests. She was an avid cricket fan, frequently taking breaks from work to watch Test matches. Her hobbies included cooking and photography.
Lata Mangeshkar passed away in the early hours of February 6, and the country said goodbye with tears in their eyes. Despite police building barricades and preventing public admission, thousands of people gathered around Shivaji Park, where she was cremated, scaling walls and trees to catch a sight of the ceremonies and pay their own condolences in any way they could.
However, the outpouring of grief was not restricted to India. People all throughout the world were mourning the death of the Queen of Melody. A memorial to the late 92-year-old playback singer has lately appeared on Times Square billboards in New York.
Lata Mangeshkar was a warm and caring person who loved life in all its splendor and agony. She was beautiful and enjoyed life in all of its beauty. She was the epitome of simple life and high intellect. We hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane with the list of Lata Mangeshkar old songs. She was adored, revered, and will be remembered till the end of time.