Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Story of Babul mora naihar chhooto hi jaye-The Queen of Thomris

We all have heard this famous song of K L Sehgal.After close to nearly 80 years of it being released (for the 1938 movie, Street Singer), this still remains a favorite of the discerning listener of vintage Indian film music. This is being one of my favorites of K l Sehgal songs.
A thought came in my mind why not write a blog on this Immortal song.Very few  would know that this Bhairavi thumri, was composed by Wajid Ali Shah,when he was expelled to Calcutta, he wrote the parting song Babul Mora,picturing the mind of a heart broken man. He expressed his pain of parting in the lyrics of ‘Babul mora naihar chhuto jaye’, It has been one of the favorite thumris of many a singers over generations—from Ustad Faiyaz Khan—the most well-known singer of Agra Gharana and arguably one of the best voices on record—to Alisha Chinoy. 
The most famous version of Wajid Ali Khan’s Babul Mora was sung by Kundan Lal Saigal in the movie Street Singer in 1938. The music was composed by Rai Chand Boral, who is considered as a father figure among  cine-music composers.  
The list of luminaries who sang ‘Babul Mora’ includes-  Bhim Sen Joshi, Kesarbai Kerkar, Siddheshwari Devi, Rasoolan Bai, Khadim  Hussain Khan, Mushatq Hussain Khan, Girija Devi, Kishori Amonkar, Jagmohan, Padma Talwalkar, Shanti Vaidyanathan Sharma, Mahender Chopra (son-in-law of K.L.Saigal) and none other than Ghazal queen Begum Akhtar.
Thumri arose in popularity during the 19th century in the Lucknow court of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. At that time it used to be a sung by courtesans accompanied by dance. It is said that Thumri is a short piece of semi-classical rendition usually sung at the conclusion of a classical music concert. 
The Saigal version is set in Raag Bhairavi – Bhairavi had traditionally been performed in the early morning hours.  However, due to the fact that performances lasted all night, it has now become common to consider Bhairavi to be the finale.
To my readers I have taken the videos of various version of this immortal song sung by the great singers of their time In fact the latest version with modern instruments by Rajesh Panwar at New Jersey in 2015. 

K L Sehgal

Song from Street Singer 1938

Kanan Devi

Song from Street Singer 1938

Kesar Bai Kerkar

                                                 kesarbai kerkar sings 'babul mora' 


                           Babul Mora Naihar Chhooto Jaaye - Beghum Akhtar version

Girija Devi

                                  Jugalbandi babul mora shobha gurtu & girija devi 

Sidheshwari Devi

                                       Babul Mora - Thumri in Bhairavi - Girija Devi

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi

                                 Pt Bhimsen Joshi -Babul Mora Raga Bhairavi, 1960s

Kishori Amonkar

                               Kishori Amonkar - Raag Bhairavi Thumri - Babul Mora Naihar Chhuto Hi Jai

Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh 

Song from Avishkar

Ruchira Kedar

                                      Ruchira Kedar Live "Babul Mora" Bhairavi Thumri

 Rajesh panwar 

                               Babul mora naihar by Rajesh panwar At New jersey 2015

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