Daily O

What makes the Bollywood title song eternal

The title song is amongst the many subgenres that exist in the delightful world of Hindi film music, especially till the mid-70s. Though not extinct yet, they are certainly on their way out.

Songs you hear while growing up stay loyal to you forever. One such song, which I heard when I was nine years old, was Love in Tokyo from the film of the same name (1966). The song was a feel-good, bubbly, and energetic song. But the icing on the cake was Mohammad Rafi belting out “Jaaapaaaan, Love in Tokyo”. The accent was Indian, Japan pronounced as it is in Hindi, but it did not matter. The song went on to describe Tokyo and its denizens – “Dekho woh gori gori raahen, humko ishaaron se bulaayen, kitni rangeen hai fizayen, Jaapani pariyan muskaraayen...”

As a title song, it was doing its job: that of giving a preview of what could be expected in the next three hours. The song encapsulated the essence of the film and introduced its theme – a sort of a preamble to the storyline. The viewer would have no doubt, after listening to the song, that the film dealt with love, with Tokyo as a setting, with all its attendant formulaic accoutrements.

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