Famous copied songs of R.D.Burman

Happy birthday Pancham Da. Thank you for giving us so many wonderful tunes and putting life into so many words. As Gulzar correctly points out, you nourished the soul of the songs. You were the bridge between the changing musical space of Indian cinema. You blended romance with glamour, pain with panache, undertones with enigma and sounds of our soul with resonance. You were the answer to "Boss Kaun hai".
But why did you do this? You already had thousands of tones from your own fountainhead of music. You were already on the altar of divinity. I do not mind if a certain Pritam or Anu Malik does this. I do not mind you getting inspired. Everyone gets. Even this write up has taken information from http://itwofs.com/hindi-rdb.html . But do not you think a simple mention to the source would have been a fitting thing to do? Pancham Da, I fought, with you on my side, many battles between Indian Popular music and the growing world music. I am a nobody and can not question you. But I really feel even you would have wanted to accept that you lifted these up.
Here is a list of a few of your greatest tunes

Mehbooba-o-Mehbooba - Sholay


Tumse Milke Aisa Laga - Parinda

O Maria -Saagar

Jab Tak hai Jaan, Jaane Jahan - Sholay

Aaj Tu Gair Sahi - Oonche Log

Kabhi bekasi Ne Mara - Alag Alag

Dilbar Mere - Satta Pe Satta

 Jahan Teri Ye Nazar Hai - Kaalia

Kahin Karti Hogi Wo Mera Intezaar-Phir Kab Milogi


Mil Gaya, Humko Saathi-Hum Kisi se Kam Nahin

Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko-Yaadon Ki Baarat

My friends have argued, that it is good that the popular tunes were copied and Indian-ised, and we were enthralled at a time when world music could no way reach us. And thus such inspiration/copying of tunes was actually serving the music and its audience. I do not doubt that. Most of these were my favourite songs. They still are. But somewhere I feel cheated. These songs make me doubt originality of any thing in Bollywood. While ignorance brought me entertainment, knowledge eroded my trust. May be like all of us, You were also flawed somewhere. Yes you are no more the un blemished untarnished God you once were for me, but you are still one of my favourite composers and one of the reasons I love music. You were wonderful and I still love you a lot. Thank you Pancham Da!

Find the full list at Songs that RDB copied

{ 8 comments ... read them below or Comment }

  1. There is an absolute master piece, which you have some how missed. "Dhanno ki Akhon mein" from Kitaab - I hail it as one of the best works of RD Burman. This is the song which introduced the technique called Flanging to Bollywood musicians.

    1. I like Dhanno as well. But the intent of the article was little different. If you have not, you can have a look at the videos in the link.
      Is Dhanno also copied? Then please share the original.

  2. Thank you for posting.....as a Pancham fan I would say I feel even more proud after reading this post.....most of these songs I have never heard in my life nor would I have cared much to but Panchamda made these tunes immortal with his magical touch....wish he had done more...no wonder he is still so popular among the young generation....because he opened the door to world music for Indian music lovers...Please do not use the word "lift" if you listen carefully the intricacies, the nuances he added to these tunes...wish the original composers could listen...all artists are inspired someway or other...in his period he was considered unconventional, and faced lot of criticism for changing the face India filmi music....Had our society been more open may be he would have openly given credit to these compositions....Thanks, Suma

    1. Thanks for the reviews.
      I do not agree that there was any opening up to the world idea behind his picking up music. People have been lifting music in India since Bollywood was in its nappies. I never mind getting inspired. Infact I never mind picking up the whole song. Just a foot note at the bottom would have done. Not giving credits to original composers is thievery and I have full faith that R D as a talent was much more than this. And yes, the 'openness' of society has nothing to do with it. blaming society for our weakness is meaningless and not suited at least someone who is hoisted as God.

  3. Yaar ye padh ke to purane Indian Cinema se bhi bharosa uth gaya :O

    1. Unbelievable na. We were so sad. You have no idea how many people I have fought against citing the genius of the Boss. It was such a big let down.

  4. First of all, none of these are his "greatest" tunes. They are hits, that's all.

    And his versions are almost always much better than the so called originals.
    Also, he has modified and added his touches to most of those tunes.
    A faint resemblance is not the same as "copy".

    If you say that then even Rehman copied his way to oscar. Evryone knows he was "inspired by " LP and others.

    To start with, I will ask you to change your views on "copyright".

    I suspect that you know nothing of western classical musicians who operated entirely in an era without copyrights.
    Vivaldi will make a composition. And the very next day Bach will come up with a spin-off of that composition. Will Vivaldi get angry at Bach? No, he will be flattered that a great composer like Bach thought about reusing his work to make something new.

    Everything in this world is a remix. Copyright laws are bogus and should be abolished.
    Intellectual property is no property at all. Read " against all intellectual property" by kinsella.

    R.D.Burman is the greatest musician that ever lived. Period.

  5. Hi. Thanks for reading the post. I have not read "against all intellectual property". Will read for perspective. I hoped you enjoyed the originals. I have come to like them more them the originals. But again I believe that RD was a great musician, not the greatest, and he could have easily written a word of credit to the guys he lifted.


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