Last week I “chronicled my search for a Hindi song that I had been tracking down for ages”:http://www.devanshanu.com/things/2006/03/30/tracking-down-the-roots-of-an-elusive-song/. This week, I found another one. This time, the search has been 11 years in the making.
The song is “Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuchh Kaha” from Basu Chatterjee’s “Baton Baton Mein”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0157339/ starring Amol Palekar and Tina Munim. The music was by Rajesh Roshan, sung by Amit Kumar and Asha Bhonsle with lyrics by Yogesh.
I had no idea this song had any older roots than the 1979 film until 1995 when I was watching Die Hard: With a Vengeance and the tune plays throughout the film. Once more, I had a case of a western version of an Indian song appearing after the Hindi version. Clearly, the song had older roots- but I had no idea just how old. I was about to be surprised… 11 years later. It was this military beat with an orchestra playing the tune which is the main part of the Hindi song:
“Na bole tum na maine kuchh kaha, kaha;
Magar na jaane aisa kyu laga, laga;
Ke dhup mein khila hai chand din mein raat ho gai;
Ye pyar ki bina kahe sunhari baat ho gayee.
Fascinating. After I had seen the movie I found the soundtrack CD in a music store and listened to it in the store. Nothing. None of the tracks sounded anything like what I was looking for.
Fast forward to 2006. This morning I was sitting at my desk at work and somebody was whistling the tune- with the same marching beat- as he walked by my office door. By the time I looked out, he was gone; but my quest had been refreshed. In 1995, the Internet was not what it is now. I went back to my trusty “IMDb”:http://www.imdb.com and found the page for the soundtrack listing for Die Hard: With a Vengeance. I listened to all of the songs listed there, but no luck.
So I figured I would try the trick I had failed at 11 years ago- listen to the soundtrack CD. So I went to the “Amazon page for the soundtrack”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000003FYR, but they did not have clips for the songs. However-
I scrolled down to the reviews of the soundtrack and someone named CitizenMcWorld was complaining that:
Be warned that in the movie “When Johnny Came Marching Home” is played continuously but is no where to be found in the Soundtrack.
BINGO! I had found my match.
A quick search in the iTunes Music store revealed hundreds of renditions of the song and the “Wikipedia revealed where the song originally came from”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Johnny_Comes_Marching_Home. It is a song of the American Civil War- one that expressed the longing of people for their friends and family who would return home after the war.
That’s not where the story ends. The tune of that song originally comes from an old Irish anti-war and _anti-recruitment_ song “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_I_Hardly_Knew_Ye. You can “listen to the song here”:http://www.pubsong.com/2005/12/johnny-i-hardly-knew-ye-lyrics-faq-mp3.shtml. To quote the song, hurroo! Hurroo!