Two in Tune: Times when musicians & poets collaborated

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Two in Tune: Times when musicians & poets collaborated

Music albums that sealed great partnerships between poets and musicians

Two in Tune: Times when musicians & poets collaborated

Artist collaborations can bring a whole new perspective to an original work of art. When poets and musicians get together, the mediums naturally flow well with one another and the results are often epic.

The marination of poetry and music is an aesthetic union of arts, it becomes harmonious through procedures and affinities. The relationship between poetry and music has been narrowed down to this playlist below:

'Khwahish' by Gulzar, Javed Akhtar & Jagjit Singh (1970)

Photo Credit: Amazon.in

Javed Akhtar remembers Jagjit Singh as an affable human being with an ever-present sense of humour. On Singh's death, Javed Akhtar wrote, “Jagjit was an era in himself. One of a kind. He leaves behind a void that no one can ever fill adequately. I have lost a friend, a partner and a kindred soul. Like all those other grieving music lovers out there, I too find myself devastated.”

Gulzar dedicated a ‘Nazm’ for Jagjit Singh “Ek Awaz Ki Bauchar Tha Woh”, in which he wrote,

“Sar hilata tha kabhi jhoom ke teheni ki tarha,
Lagta tha jhoka hawa ka koi chhed gaya hai
Gungunata tha toh khulte huye badal ki tarha
Muskurahat mein kai tarbon’ ki jhankar chupi thi
Gali kasim se chali ek ghazal ki jhankar tha woh
Ek awaz ki bauchar tha woh”

'Khwahish', released in 1970, had the following ghazals included in it:

  1. Kabhi yun bhi to ho
  2. Shaam hone ko hai
  3. Mujhko yaqeen hai
  4. Pyaas ki kaise laaye
  5. Ab agar aao to
  6. Tum baithe ho lekin
  7. Ek pal ghamon ka
  8. Kyon daren zindagi
  9. Aap bhi aaiye

'Gurus Of Peace' from Vande Mataram Album - AR Rehman, Nusrat Fatehali Khan & Mehboob (1997)

Photo Credit: CitySpidey

This album got released in 1997. Staging another example of how a masterpiece is created when a poet and a musician work together. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sang the beautiful composition.

'Silsilay' by Javed Akhtar & Jagjit Singh (1998)

Photo Credit: Discogs

This is another album in which Javed Akhtar worked with Jagjit Singh. 'Silsilay' was released in 1998. The album has 9 songs:

  1.   Main bhool jaau
  2.   Mere dil ne kaha
  3.   Jaate jaate woh mujhe
  4.   Dard apnata hain
  5.   Mujhko yaqeen hain
  6.   Sach yeh hain bekaar
  7.   Dard ke phool bhi
  8.   Kabhi yu bhi to ho

'Marasim' by Gulzar & Jagjit Singh (1999)

Photo Credit: musicindiaonline

Marasim translates to ‘relation’ in English. The relation between the ghazal singer Jagjit Singh and Gulzar is said to have started when Jagjit Singh composed Gulzar's serial 'Mirza Ghalib'. 

It took more than six years to compose ‘Marasim’. The album was released in 1999 and had the following ghazals included in it:

  1. Aankon mein jal raha hai kyun
  2. Din kuch aise ghujarta hai koi
  3. Ek parvaz dikhayi di hai
  4. Ek purana mausam lauta
  5. Haath chhute bhi to rishtey nahi tora karte
  6. Shaam se aankh mein nami se hai
  7. Who khat ke purje udaa raha tha
  8. Zindgi yun hui basar tanha

'Soz' by Javed Akhtar & Jagjit Singh (2001)

Photo Credit: musicindiaonline

In 2001 Javed Akhtar & Jagjit Singh again came together to marinate their artwork. The album had the following songs:

  1.  Aaj maine apna
  2.  Aap bhi aaiye
  3.  Ab agar aao to jane ke liye mat
  4.  Ek pal ghamon ka
  5.  Kyon daren zindagi se
  6.  Pyaas ki kaise laaye
  7.  Shaam hone ko hai
  8.  Tamanna phir machal jaaye
  9.  Tum bithe ho lekin

'Mann Laago Yaar Faqiri Mein' by Kabir, Abida Parveen & Gulzar (2003)

Photo Credit: Gaana

Bhagat Kabir Das is a revered 15th-century Indian saint-poet loved for his mystic verses that beautifully embrace a simple, non-sectarian and egalitarian spirituality. Sikhism's holy book Guru Garanth Sahib includes almost 500 verses by Kabir. Gulzar (born Sampooran Singh Kalra in 1936 in Jehlum District in pre-partition Punjab) is a modern Indian poet and lyricist best known for his sublime poetic contributions to Indian cinema. 

Abida Parveen, from Larkana, Sindh (born in 1954), is one of the finest performers of sufi classical music and is justly referred to as the 'Queen of Sufi Music'.

Below is a soul-stirring rendition of Kabir's 'Mann Laago Yaar Faqiri Mein'' by Parveen. In the introduction in Urdu, Gulzar pays rich tributes to Parveen's divine talent. Here's a poor translation of Gulzar's beautiful words: "Her voice sounds like the voice of all worship. When she calls out to the divine you think yes, this voice must reach him; he too must be listening to this deeply sincere, truthful voice."

'Meri Pukar Suno' by Gulzar & AR Rahman (2021)

Photo Credit: Sony music

AR Rahman and Gulzar, who have created incredible songs over the last three decades, are back with yet another soulful number, 'Meri Pukaar Suno'. The single is a tribute to Mother Earth, written from her perspective, where she is appealing to people to value the gift of sun, water and air.

To poets (as well as to musicians), who collaborate to build a bridge that is traversable as a stairway crossing one, seeing no barriers. A creative space where poets and musicians can move through impossibilities to find one right word and compose one right tune. The best moments are spent on the bridges between them. 

'Fine feathers make fine birds'