"These love songs have truly defined what epic romance is."
Romantic music and Bollywood go hand in hand. 100 years of Indian Cinema have given us some of the most romantic love songs to remember.
These songs, both old and new, remain evergreen to this day. Let us explore and enjoy this musical journey through some specially selected few songs that have stayed in our heart.
‘Pyar Hua Iqrar Hua’ (Shree 420, 1955)
Raj Kumar and Nargis set the platform for thriving romance in rain decades back with this beautiful number. The song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey.
‘Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho’ (Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho, 1960)
Composed by Ravi and lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni, it was sung by the legend that was Mohammed Rafi, ‘Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho’ rapidly becoming an all-time favourite.
‘Ye Mera Prem Patra Padhkar’ (Sangam, 1964)
Starring Raj Kapoor, Vyjayanthimala and Rajendra Kumar, Sangam was a huge hit and this song is one of the most romantic songs of that era sung by the melodic voice of Mohammed Rafi.
‘Chup Gaye Sare Nazare’ (Do Raaste, 1969)
Starring Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz, Do Raaste became a blockbuster, and is made memorable for this song sung by the sweet voice of Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi.
‘Mere Mitwa Mere Meet Re’ (Geet, 1970)
Again with the epic singing duo that was Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar, Geet’s music was composed by Kalyanji Anandji and starred Rajendra Kumar and Mala Sinha who played a stage singer and dancer.
‘Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko’ (Yaadon Ki Baaraat, 1973)
This film saw action star Dharmendra alongside Zeenat Aman in what became a box office hit. R.D. Burman was responsible for the epic love song that followed sung by a young Asha Bhosle and Rafi.
‘O Saathi Re Tere Bina’ (Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, 1978)
With Amitabh Bachchan the new Bollywood hero in the hearts of many, the film was the biggest of the year. Sung by Kishore Kumar, the music was composed by Kalyanji Anandji with lyrics by Anjaan.
‘Dard-E-Dil’ (Karz, 1980)
With the great Rishi Kapoor and Tina Munim, the disco music of Karz was composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal who won the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director. ‘Dard-E-Dil’ was also nominated alongside ‘Om Shanti Om’, becoming trendsetters for the music industry.
‘Dekha Ek Khawab To’ (Silsila, 1981)
The love triangle that was immortalised onto screen by Yash Chopra is one that still mystifies even today. Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Rekha starred in what would be their final outing together.
‘Yeh Vaada Raha’ (Yeh Vaada Raha, 1982)
Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar joined hands in this popular love song. Asha truly outdid herself with her amazing vocals, with the music again by R.D. Burman.
‘Dheere Dheere Se Meri Zindagi Mein Aana’ (Aashiqui, 1990)
Known for its superb music, Aashiqui made the careers of singer Kumar Sanu and Nadeem-Shravan who composed the music. Planet Bollywood lists the soundtrack at number 4 on their ‘100 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks’ list.
‘Kehna Hi Kya’ (Bombay, 1995)
Innocent looking, beautiful and mesmerising Manisha Koirala was loved in this song. The soundtrack was included in the ‘The Guardians’, ‘1000 Albums to Hear before You Die’ list. With music composed by A.R. Rahman, it was sung by K.S. Chitra.
‘Tujhe Dekha To’ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, 1995)
To this date, youngsters want to take that European trip, hoping to find that romance between Raj and Simran. It is written by Anand Bakshi and sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Kumar Sanu.
‘Taal Se Taal’ (Taal, 1999)
We all know how the sound of every drop of water and instrument was captured in this song. Soul-soothing music. The grace of Aishwarya Rai made this a number to remember. This was sung by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan.
‘Chaand Chupa’ (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, 1999)
This movie is what initiated the real life romance between Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan at one point. The lyrics, the actors, the ambience all add to the romance. The lyrics are written by Mehboob and the music is by Ismail Darbar.
‘Humko Humise Chura Lo’ (Mohabbatein, 2000)
A classic modern love song, to suit an epic love story between Shahrukh and Aishwarya, it was sung by Lata and Udit Narayan. The soundtrack became the biggest seller of the 2000’s.
‘Tere Liye’ (Veer-Zara, 2004)
Based on the untouched compositions of Madan Mohan, this film had an epic soundtrack that was composed by Mohan’s son Sanjeev Kohli. The song was sung by Lata Ji and Roop Kumar Rathod.
‘Chup Chup Ke’ (Bunty Aur Babli, 2005)
Composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy and lyrics by Gulzaar it was sung by Sonu Nigam and Mahalakshmi Iyer.
‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ (Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, 2006)
Composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy, the lyrics were penned by Javed Akhtar. The song is sung by Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik.
‘Hey Shona’ (Ta Ra Rum Pum, 2007)
This adorable track was sung by Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan, and composed by Vishal-Shekhar. The fun family film starred Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji.
‘Maula Mere’ (Anwar, 2007)
This heart-wrenching romance led to one of the most beautiful songs of all time features the incredible voice of Roop Kumar Rathod. It shares a Sufi ambience and beautiful vocals.
‘Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai’ (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, 2008)
Shahrukh’s lovable timid character is what made this film and the song work so beautifully. Sung by Roop Kumar Rathod the album was the first Bollywood soundtrack to reach the Top 10 on iTunes.
‘Tere Mast Mast Do Nain’ (Dabangg, 2010)
No romantic song list can be complete without Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s sound. Sung also by Shreya Ghoshal, the music was composed by Sajid-Wajid.
‘Be Intehaan’ (Race 2, 2013)
Atif Aslam and Sunidhi Chauhan sung this beautiful track. Music by Pritam, it was one of the popular songs of 2013.
‘Tum Hi Ho’ (Aashiqui 2, 2013)
The entire soundtrack is filled with epic love songs. Sung by Arijit Singh, you have to feel the pain, yearning and love yourself. A true modern classic.
You can watch and hear the songs in our special video compilation:
So there you have it, some of the most romantic songs from Indian cinema. While these are just a sprinkling of the huge music library of Bollywood, these love songs have truly defined what epic romance is, and how we perceive and enjoy it today.