Introduction to Bengali Basic Songs

Salil started composing the modern Bengali songs from the early fifties. One of his first songs 'Sei Meye'(1950) sung by the famous Rabindra Sangeet singer Suchitra Mitra was in one way an exceptionaly haunting and beautiful song and in another way it continued the story of Rabindranath Thakur's famous song 'Krishnokoli aami tarei boli'. Salil's interpretation of that beautiful doe-eyed dark girl was the harsh reality of the poverty of Bengal. No romanticism here...

Salil's songs, unlike his contemporaries, never talked about the moon, the stars, the birds and the romantic love.
His songs were about the end of romance, the stark reality and broken dreams. His songs were also of new optimism, new hopes and new dreams.
Salil nearly always wrote the lyrics of his songs. In a few exceptional cases he composed for some other poets and lyricists. His musical interpretations of the poems 'Abaak Prithibi' , 'Runner' and 'Thikana' of the legendary Bengali poet and his close friend Sukanto Bhattyacharya, who sadly died at a very early age, have become a part of the Bengali musical heritage along with classics such as 'Gaanyer Bodhu' .

Salil started experimenting with new techniques, new melody lines with complex chord progressions, using vocal harmony and rich orchestration. In fact one can easily identify a Salil-song from the crowd of other songs just by his unique style. He started a revolution in the Bengali Modern Music and created a new musical style, a 'Gharana'. The gharana of Salil-Sangeet...

In fact, understanding, analyzing and interpreting his songs has become a challenge to many music composers and music lovers. Salil was much ahead of his contemporaries. A composer for the composers. Once you start getting into his music you can only wonder about his unfathomable talent, his deep understanding of melody and harmony, his wonderful feeling for the orchestration and above all his musicality. Behind each and every song Salil composed, there was so much thought, so much imagination and so much melody.
As you can see from the list of singers, Salil used practically every known or less-known singers for his songs. The list of singers in the "Other Singers" page contains no less than 30 different singers. His uncanny ability to compose just the right song for the right voice is remarkable. For example, it seems like "aami paarini bujhite paarini" was just cut out for the classically trained voice of Manabendra Mukherjee and similarly "Kaachhe theke bhule gechhe mon" was just the perfect song for the renowned singer of Atul Prasad songs - Krishna Chatterjee.

Other Known variations

Very often Salil used one melody as a basis melody and used that in another language with diffrent arrangements and with dramatic effect. This way, one very popular Bengali song,for example, would also be available to the Malayalam or the Hindi speaking audience. A good example is 'O Sajana, Barkha bahaar aayii', one of Salil's greatest creations was first released in Bengali as 'Na Jeona, rajoni akhono baaki'. There are numerous such examples. For many Salil admirers I have tried to give this cross-reference below under 'Other known variations'. Hnd=Hindi, Mal=Malayalam, Tam=Tamil, Tel=Telugu, Kan=Kannad, Bng=Bengali and Oth=other

How does this cross-reference work ?

Songs of each singer and each film are presented in a table and they are numbered in a sequence. Each table gets a two-character ID. So, you can identify a song by it's two-character ID and the sequence number. Songs in Lata's Bengali song table, for example, get IDs such as LM1,LM2 etc.
If you see an entry under a language, then just click on it and it should take you to the relevant table. You can then identify the song.If you see a 'Y' under a language and not the song-id, then it means that I haven't been able to link it yet. It will come though. Just be patient !

How can I listen to some songs ?

The songs that are available can be heard as "streaming songs". That means, you can't do "save as" and save the song. You can, of course, listen to the song as many times as you want.