Children’s Songs- Are they too Childish?

Today is 14th of November. The birth day of the first Prime Minister of our country- Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. Chacha Nehru, as he was fondly called, was very fond of children and deeply cared for them. It’s the reason his birth day is commemorated in India as Baal Divas or Children’s Day.

When I was young, however, the day didn’t seem so special except for the fact that we went to school in coloured dresses. No uniforms that day. Other things at school remained the same. But strangely we still felt excited.

Today I remember it more, perhaps because the good carefree days are over. So, to commemorate this Baal Divas I decided to compile a list of some of my favourite children’s songs and to discuss a little something more.

Children’s songs in movies and my favourites:

This post or rather its precursor was prompted by a comment from a 7-year-old girl, actually almost a year ago while celebrating my niece’s 5th birthday. The comment triggered a lot of thoughts and any list wasn’t a part of it. But today being children’s day, I decided to list a few of my favourite children’s songs before moving on to another discussion.

You see those, like me, who have grown up in the Doordarshan (herein after referred to as DD) and Chitrahaar age must be fairly acquainted with the children’s songs from the era of 1950’s and 1960’s movies.

I like all these songs and the list herein is only a compilation of some and not a ranking of any sort.

1. Chakke men chakkaa (Brahmchari, 1968):

Brahmchari is one of my all-time favourites, especially the initial scenes between Shammi Kapoor and the kids are truly enjoyable. This song is also one of the earliest I heard.

2. Daadi ammaa daadi ammaa maan jaao (Gharana, 1961):

This song if I remember right used to be a regular on DD. I loved the picturisation. And the way Lalita Pawar slowly melts to her grandson’s demands, is actually cute.

3. Chun chun karti aayi chidiya (Ab Dilli Door Nahin, 1957):

In the days of tape-recorders and cassettes, we had one containing lots of birthday songs and children’s songs. Though it was quite later that I came to know that some of these “birthday songs” were actually celebrating birthdays of grownups (like “Baar baar din ye aaye” from Karz or “Tum jiyo hazaron saal” from Sujata). But there were few others actually for children, like this one:

4. Master ji ki aa gayi chitthi (Kitab, 1977):

A classic children’s song sung by children, written by Gulzar in a way it feels a kid would write and the music to accompany it. The song is loads of fun to watch:

5. Naani teri morani ko (Masoom, 1960):

This too was one of the regulars of Chitrahaar or Rangoli and its famous enough so I need not say anything more:

6. Hum bhi agar bachche hote (Door Ki Awaaz, 1964):

The cassette I mentioned in song no. 3 above had few birthday songs on children too. This is simply the best. And it’s good that Johnny Walker has been given most of the screen time:

7. Hum kaale hain to kya hua- The Junior Mehmood version from Brahmchari:

The song by itself is good, but its way more fun when Junior Mehmood dances to it in Brahmchari to cheer the heroine- Rajshree:

8. Tim tim karte tare (Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan, 1959):

This is fairly a recent addition to my favourites. The song is so sweet, melodious and soft. So is the picturisation:

9. Lakdi ki kaathi (Masoom, 1983):

I do not remember any good children’s songs from movies later than 1980’s. This and the last one in my list must be one of a dying tradition.

10. Parody song (Mr. India, 1987):

Ok, so this one’s is parody, not a separate song as such. But it’s hilarious and fun. I never get tired watching either the kids or Sridevi in it. I am sure most of you like it too:

Which are your favourite children’s songs.

The comment and my questions:

About a year ago while celebrating my niece’s 5th birthday I downloaded and played as many of the children’s songs as I liked and could remember. My niece already knew many of these and was (still is) fond of listening to them. I therefore assumed that her contemporaries would like them too.

After a while I got a sort of shock when one of her friends, about a couple of years older, commented- “Kya bachchon wale gaane lagaye hain, koi achche wale lagane chahiye na.”

That comment left me angry, stunned and bewildered all at the same time. Also, for some strange reason- ashamed. Now what did that girl meant by “bachchon waale gaane” or “achche gaane”? Are the ones we played not “achche gaane”?

Of course, in all kids parties these days the usual songs played are the one on which they can dance. Few samples of the usual suspects being: “Chhityan kalayian we”, “Baby doll main sone di”, “Swag se Swagat”, “Baby ko base pasand hai”. I get it that they need something to shake a leg to. But aren’t there better songs to serve the purpose?

And are the children’s songs from old movies really- “bachchon waale gaane”. They are literally, yes. But the comment coming from a 7-year-old girl left some questions in my mind to which I still don’t have any answers.

So, I pick today (being children’s day) to put forth these questions to you and see if I can finally find the answers I seek.

1. “Bachchon waale gaane”- Are the kid’s songs really childish, and therefore inappropriate for children of that young age. Or did she mean that our choice was childish?

2. Or does that mean that perhaps I haven’t grown up yet?

3. Is lack of good writers/ poets a reason that kids these days are not used to such songs? Or are their parents and elders too responsible for exposing them to so called peppy songs the words of which carry meaning many of them won’t understand?

4. Or is it what’s said as being the need of the hour? Whenever we express such concerns the one thing we frequently get is- “Times have changed”. So, it perhaps means that I have grown too old fashioned for these times.

I really don’t know. In case you have an answer do let me know.

But one thing I do know is that however fast, modern or changing these times might be, nature hasn’t brought any change in its process of evolution and growing-up as of yet. It may catch-up with humans later on, but not yet.

DISCLAIMER: The videos/ songs linked/ embedded herein above from YouTube are only for the purpose of entertainment and pleasure of viewers/ readers. The copyright over the songs/ videos/ films rests with the owners/ producers of the respective movies.



9 response to "Children’s Songs- Are they too Childish?"

  1. By: dustedoff Posted: November 15, 2018

    Nice set of songs, and nearly all among my favourite kids’ songs too.

    As for the comment… that’s so sad, really. 🙁 But you know, I think this attitude stems from what children see and hear around them. As an example, let me tell you about my daughter (who’s almost 5) and the daughter of a very good friend of mine – this kid is also 5. Both girls are in the same class, but in different schools.

    In our home, much of the music our kid gets to hear is (unsurprisingly!) from the 50s and 60s. My friend, though she loves old film music and is trained in classical Hindustani music, tends to play lots of new Hindi music.

    In school, my daughter is being taught Lakdi ki kaathi, Naani teri morni, and Nanha-munna raahi hoon. But a few weeks back, I met my friend and she showed me what her daughter has been taught in school, for a dance the kids had to perform: Chhota bachcha samajhke humko na samjhaana re. For the performance, she had to wear a strappy dress (really, spaghetti straps) and makeup. My friend showed me a video of the child performing, and I was embarrassed. It was like making a child become an item girl. It was as if her innocence had been ripped.

    So depressing.

  2. By: aadya1 Posted: November 15, 2018

    Thanks so much for the reply, I knew you would like all the songs.
    I am also glad that you found it relevant. You know I was a little hesitant to put forth those views.
    “It was like making a child become an item girl. It was as if her innocence had been ripped.”
    That’s so right. This trend is everywhere. I have seen little girls in halter necks and dresses with really deep backs. We always wondered why such things are thrown in the market. More than that how can mothers choose such dress for their child. But I have also found that mothers kind of of feel a pride in it, they find it stylish. It is depressing as you say.

  3. By: dustedoff Posted: November 18, 2018

    To give her credit, my friend did feel very uncomfortable about her little one having to wear spaghetti straps. She even raised the issue with the teacher, and the teacher said. “Arre, but they look so cute like that!”

    I hate it. I even hate it when I see my neighbour plastering her five year old’s face with rouge and eyeliner (and lots of lipstick, of course) for functions at school. I personally think the beauty of little children lies in their clean, unblemished, un-enhanced innocence; to make them look or behave like small adults sickens me.

  4. By: aadya1 Posted: November 20, 2018

    Sorry for replying late. But you are right. And you know what’s funny. When I was in school there was strict rules against flicks, stockings. make-up. And today’s’ they celebrate a lot more festivals in schools. And it’s the teachers who themselves ask the parents to send children in a little make-up. Now annual functions are different, but why do you need make-up for a regular celebration at school, is beyond me.

  5. By: dustedoff Posted: November 21, 2018

    Your comment reminded me of when my daughter was in play school. For the annual function, instructions came to dress her up in the costume the school had sent, and to put ‘light makeup’. I used my palest pink lipstick and put a dab on her lips. She was dropped off early at school and we went later to the venue – when we saw her, dark red lipstick had been rubbed on to her lips, along with a caking of rouge on her cheeks. She looked like a clown, really. 🙁 I felt so angry.

    Fortunately, her current school does not go with this policy, so (though some other little girls – 5 years old, like mine – do wear lipstick, rouge, nail polish, etc even for minor celebrations) I can safely send her to school un-made up, and the teachers don’t interfere with that.

  6. By: aadya1 Posted: November 21, 2018

    It’s good that the make-up is not compulsory.
    By the way I know I am now going to do, what they say “purana raag alaapna”.

    But since you found this post relevant, could you do me a favour of reading the one dated 5th September.
    It’s a long one, so take your time. But I will be grateful if you can provide your views. And do not forget
    to watch the movie in question. I am updating my post with the link.

    Here’s the link to the post:

  7. By: Anu Warrier Posted: November 22, 2018

    Uff! Don’t even get me started. A few years ago, at a Diwali celebration, a young girl – around 7 or 8 perhaps – was dancing to Sheila ki jawani. My husband got up and went away – he was angry at the strongly sexualised moves that the girl was gyrating to. When he expressed his displeasure (privately) to me and a friend, the friend remarked – ‘But she’s just a kid. Don’t be so judgemental.’

    Swoosh! That was the sound of irony whooshing over his head. Because that was precisely my husband’s point – she’s a kid! What looks sensuous in a grown woman looks cheap and vulgar when done by a small child who apes those moves without realising what they imply.

    Most of the songs you listed are among my favourites. And no, they are not ‘bachchon ke gaane alone. I’m very glad your niece still likes them.

  8. By: aadya1 Posted: November 23, 2018

    Thank you so much for reading my posts.
    And your observation about the dance moves, it’s correct. All reality dance programs are filled with it and no one from parents to judges
    to audience objects to it.
    These are the reasons partly and another being there is no useful thing on T.V., that we have stopped recharging
    our DTH, We download old movies, songs or disney cartoons and they are more than enough for entertainment purposes.

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