Beyond 'Oonchi Hai Building': Best of Bollywood's bad lyrics, from 'Kurta Phadke' to 'Hookah Bar'

Suryasarathi Bhattacharya

Sep 08, 2017 14:38:13 IST

Just when you thought Judwaa 2 songs — 'Oonchi Hai Building' and 'Tan Tana Tan' — are milestones in terms of lyrics, we bring to you a jukebox of some of Bollywood's so-bad-it's-good tracks.

In the good old days, songs like 'Aplam Chaplam', 'Suku Suku', 'Lara Lappa'  had phonetic couplets that somehow never overpowered the melody or musical tonality of the songs.

Cut to the 90s, and we have 'A Aa E Oo', 'Ilu Ilu', 'Hai Huku', 'Akhiyon Se Goli Maare' — and then it gradually worsens to lyrics ranging from 'Pyaar Hookah Bar', 'Tandoori Murgi Hoon Yaar' to 'I Miss You Like Mango', 'Tamanche Pe Disco'.

Here's our pick of the best (read: worst) five songs with lyrics that will make you stop and think:

Tan Tana Tan

'Oonchi Hai Building', if you really think about it, still makes some sense.

But this one is literally a 'dude-what-were-you-thinking' song. Even if one condones the catchphrase, the lyrics that follow are absolute nonsense. Who woos a girl asking for a '9 se 11' date? Salman, Karisma and Rambha (in Judwaa [1997]) made this song an anthem in the 90s, with kids and teenagers singing or dancing to it everywhere.

Hookah Bar

Out of the many Akshay Kumar films, this song finds a special mention. 'Tera Pyaar Hookah Bar' is as cryptic as it could get. Khiladi 786 (2012) was a movie that relaunched Kumar's Khiladi franchise all over again. Who could forget appalling songs like 'In the night no control' (Khiladiyo Ka Khiladi [1996]), 'Bholi Bhali Ladki' (Sabse Bada Khiladi [1998]) and many more?

But 'Pyaar Hookah Bar' ? Seriously? What has love got to do with a 'Hookah Bar'? This is one mystery that scientists must look deeper into. Is there a connection between the cupid's arrow to the smoke rings out of a hookah?

Kurta Phadke

Govinda is the unrivaled king of Bollywood when it comes to cringe lyrics in films. Most (if not all) of his films have at least one song that makes your ear bleed. After deliberating over an array of songs with 'thorny' lyrics, we zeroed down 'Kurta Phadke' from 1999's Anari No 1, to be the champion. The song starts with Govinda and Raveena Tandon tearing clothes of passersby (just imagine!).

Kudos to the genius who came up with this: 'Main Laila Laila Chillaunga Kurta Phadke' (I will shout 'Laila Laila' while tearing my shirt). No one stopped them from shouting whatever under-the-sun they wanted to, but why did they tear an innocent by-stander's shirt? Utter madness.

Mere Baap Ki Beti Mujhe Bhai Bolti

Listen to the song (just once) and you will wonder which virus pestered the lyrical abilities of writers during the 90s. This ain't no ordinary puzzle. It is extraordinarily bad.

Salman Khan has a repertoire of having been featured in many cringe-worthy songs and consequentially those songs become a part of pop culture. So before 'Selfie Le Le Re', 'Munni Badnaam', 'Humka Peeni Hai' and 'Fevicol' happened there was this song from the film Chal Mere Bhai (2000).

Did the lyricist think he was composing for toddlers? [Sameer, the lyricist, holds a Guinness World record for writing most number of songs. He has also written some really memorable songs in films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Devdas.]

Isak Ka Manjan Ghise Hai Piya

With the advent of mandatory item songs in films, the creative absurdity of lyricists went bazooka.  From 'Zandu Balm' to 'Fevicol' to 'Saree Ke Fall' to 'Ghagra via Agra' (smart, but daft) — name it and we had it.

This song is a prime example of the deterioration of Hindi lyrics in Bollywood songs over the years. Yamla Pagla Deewana's (2011) song 'Tinku Jiya' had some of the weirdest lyrics: 'Isak ka Manjan' (Toothpowder of love).

Brb, I need to find my sanity.

Updated Date: Sep 08, 2017 15:18:44 IST

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