Song of the Day: Jaan Pehechan Ho by Mohammed Rafi

“Jaan Pehechan Ho” is a popular Indian rock & roll song, composed by famous Indian music director duo Shankar Jaikishan, lyrics by Shailendra, and sung by Mohammed Rafi.

Lyrics:

Jaan pehechan ho,
Jeena aasaan ho,
Dil ko churane walon,
Aankh na churavo,
Naam tho batavo..

Aaj ki yeh shaam javan,
Yun na chali jaaye,
Aaj ki yeh shaam javan,
Yun na chali jaaye,
Phir se na aayegi yeh kisi ke bulaaye,
Phir se na aayegi yeh kisi ke bulaaye..

Jaan pehechan ho,
Jeena aasaan ho,
Jaan pehechan ho,
Jeena aasaan ho,
Dil ko churane walon,
Aankh na churavo,
Naam tho batavo..
Jaan pehechan ho,
Jeena aasaan ho,

Bolo yeh na bolo tum,
Hogaye ishaare,
Bolo yeh na bolo tum,
Hogaye ishaare,
Sidi sidi chot huve dil pe hamaare,
Sidi sidi chot huve dil pe hamaare..

Jaan pehechan ho,
Jeena aasaan ho,
Jaan pehechan ho,
Jeena aasaan ho,
Dil ko churane walon,
Aankh na churavo,
Naam tho batavo..
Jaan pehechan ho,
Jeena aasaan ho,

Chup chup dekha dekhi,
Nazaren diwani,
Chup chup dekha dekhi,
Nazaren diwani,
Zara si yeh baat ban jaaye na kahani,
Zara si yeh baat ban jaaye na kahani..

Jaan pehechan ho,
Jeena aasaan ho,
Jaan pehechan ho,
Jeena aasaan ho,
Dil ko churane walon,
Aankh na churavo,
Naam tho batavo..
Jaan pehechan ho,
Jeena aasaan ho..

……

It was produced for the 1965 Bollywood film Gumnaam, directed by Raja Nawathe, produced by N.N. Sippy, and starring Manoj Kumar and Nanda. The song has been widely “remediated” in North American circulation.

The song’s video was shot in a disco and features Laxmi Chhaya. The choreography was by Herman Benjamin.

The group “Ted Lyons and his Cubs” playing the song can also be seen in 1964 film Jaanwar playing “Dekho Ab To” (a cover version of I Want to Hold Your Hand by Beatles) and Tasveer (starring Feroz Khan), Love Marriage (starring Dev Anand), Bedaag (starring Manoj Kumar), Shehnai, and Mere Sanam (both starring Vishwajeet). The dancer/choreographer Oscar Unger can also be seen in most of them.

The song appears in the opening credits of the 2001 movie Ghost World. In an interview, Ghost World writer Daniel Clowes mentions that he obtained his 20th generation copy of the scene from someone who had been housesitting for Peter Holsapple, guitarist and songwriter for The dB’s, and he copied it from Peter’s collection. Then they approached the sons of the producers and acquired the rights to use the song in the movie. The Ghost World DVD features the entire music video from the movie.

The song, with similar costumes and choreography, also appears in the Cullberg Ballet’s rendition of Ekman’s Triptych.

The song was also used for Heineken’s 2011 “The Date” commercial.

In 2012, a cover of the song was included by The Bombay Royale in their debut album You Me Bullets Love.

In the 2014 video game Far Cry 4, by Ubisoft, the song is heard playing when the character storms the main antagonist’s fortress.

Grabbingsand:

— The title of the original post was all I knew of the translation. “If I knew you, living would be easy.” But what comes after?

Well, the first good source for an answer to this question is Sepia Mutiny. Sepia Mutiny is a great blog that I don’t read nearly enough. After all, without them, I would’ve never heard about the music-stealing treachery committed by The Black Eye Peas. (For shame, Will.I.Am.)

So Sepia Mutiny’s take on it goes like this …

If I knew you,
living would be easy.
All you heart-stealers,
don’t hide your eyes too—
at least tell me your name.

Heart-stealers. That’s pretty awesome.

Elsewhere on the Interwebs, I’ve found another variation on the first couple of lines. The differences aren’t great, but interesting all the same.

If we come to know each other,
Life will be a little easier

But neither of these finds offers everything that we’re looking for. Translating a couple of lines is great, particularly when you’ve no grasp of the language what-so-ever. We’re still left on our own to wonder about the rest.

Luckilly, I’ve found a cached AOL Video page via Google that offers a lot more information. The original link is dead. Now, I have no reason to believe this translation is true. But I’ve no reason to believe otherwise, either.

Let’s get to know each other
Life would become easier
You who have stolen my heart
Do no be so elusive
At least tell me your name

May this wonderful evening
Not pass unavailed
For it will not return
On anyone’s call
Whether you speak or not
Your message is clear

The hard blow fell
Right on my heart
Stolen glances,
Impassioned looks
Let this small matter
Not become a huge tale

Now we’re getting somewhere. In fact, I was ready to call this quest over and done, but then I found one more trove of Hindi-English treasure. In a comment on a blog entitled There Is No Cat, someone seems to have taken the task of translating as a personal project. His (or her) output is very literal, but in light of the other attempts, it only adds to our understanding. So for the final word (or something close to it), on the meaning of this song, we turn to the mysterious “N.S.”

Jaan Pehchaan Ho (If There Would Be References (Contacts Or Knowhows))
Jeena Asaan Ho (Life Would Be Simple)
Dil Ko Churane Walo, Aankh Na Churao (Oh You Stealer Of Heart… Dont Avoid Eye Contact..)
Naam To Batao…. ((At Least) Tell Your Name..)
Haha Jaan Pehchaan Ho..

Haaye, Aaj Ye Shaam Jawa….(Oh, Today This Young Evening..)
Yun Na Chali Jaye….(May Not Go Away Just Like This (Redundantly))
Aaj Ye Shaam Jawa….(Today This Young Evening..)
Yun Na Chali Jaye….(May Not Go Away Just Like This (Redundantly))

Fir Se Na Aayegi Ye, Kisi Ke Bulaye… (It Will Not Come Back, By Anybodys Calling…)
Fir Se Na Aayegi Ye, Kisi Ke Bulaye… (It Will Not Come Back, By Anybodys Calling…)
Fir Se Na Aayegi Ye, Kisi Ke Bulaye… (It Will Not Come Back, By Anybodys Calling…)
Yeaaahh… Hooh Hooh Jaan Pehchaan Ho..

Bolo Ye Na Bolo Tum… (You Say This Or Not…)
Ho Gaye Ishare.. (Hints Have Been Passed..)
Bolo Ye Na Bolo Tum… (You Say This Or Not…)
Ho Gaye Ishare.. (Hints Have Been Passed..)

Seedhi Seedhi Chot Lagi, Dil Pe Hamare… (Straight Straight Harm Struck, To My Heart…)
Seedhi Seedhi Chot Lagi, Dil Pe Hamare… (Straight Straight Harm Struck, To My Heart…)
Seedhi Seedhi Chot Lagi, Dil Pe Hamare… (Straight Straight Harm Struck, To My Heart…)
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaa Huh Huh Huh Huh… Jaan Pehchaan Ho..

Oh, Chup Chup, Dekha Dekhi.. (Oh, Silent Silent, Watching, Watching…)
Nazren Diwani… (By The Mad Mad Eyes….)

Zara Si Ye Bat, Ban Jaye Na Kahani (This Little Talk, May Not Become A Story)
Zara Si Ye Bat, Ban Jaye Na Kahani (This Little Talk, May Not Become A Story)
Zara Si Ye Bat, Ban Jaye Na Kahani (This Little Talk, May Not Become A Story)
Haaaaye Ooh Ooh Ah Ah Ah… Jaan Pehchaan Ho…

So there you have it. The deeper meaning of Mohammed Rafi’s “Jaan Pehechaan Ho,” now filled with more longing and unrequited admiration than anyone ever thought possible. — Grabbingsand

Mohammed Rafi

Mohammed Rafi.jpg

Native name मोहम्मद रफ़ी
محمد رفیع
Birth name Mohammed Rafi
Born 24 December 1924
Kotla Sultan Singh, Amritsar district, Punjab, India
Died 31 July 1980 (aged 55)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Genres Indian classical, Ghazal,Playback singing, Qawwali,Thumri, Bhajan, Western music
Occupation(s) Playback singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1944–1980
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