Editors' choice: The 10 best Bollywood songs of all time

Telescoping over a 100 years of awe-inspiring Bollywood music into just ‘10 songs’ is an almost impossible task, one that requires the skill of a Rafi or a Rahman: a dexterity that mortals like us lack.

Indeed, this is a wholly subjective exercise and any such list will remain woefully inadequate. With that caveat, we have tried to create our lists of the best Bollywood songs ever.

We now invite you, dear readers, to prepare your own ‘10 best songs’ list and post it in the ‘Comments’ section below the article.

As presumptuous as it may seem, here are our lists of what we believe are the 10 best Bollywood songs of all time:

Shishir’s list:

1. Din Dhal Jaaye Hai...

Singer: Mohd Rafi | Lyrics: Shailendra | Music: S D Burman | Movie: Guide, 1965

2. Itni Haseen Itni Jawaan Raat Kya Karein...

Singer: Mohd Rafi | Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi | Music: Ravi | Movie: Aaj Aur Kal, 1963

3. Dekho Kasam Se...

Singer: Mohd Rafi | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: O P Nayyar | Movie: Tumsa Nahi Dekha, 1957

4. Abhi Na Jao Chhod Kar...

Singers: Asha Bhosle, Mohd Rafi | Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi | Music: Jaidev | Movie: Hum Dono, 1961

5. Yeh Nayan Dare Dare...

Singer: Hemant Kumar | Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi | Music: Hemant Kumar | Movie: Kohra, 1964

6. Yeh Wadiyan Yeh Fizaayein...

Singer: Mohd Rafi | Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi | Music: Ravi | Movie: Aaj Aur Kal, 1963

7. Main Zindagi Ka Saath...

Singer: Mohd Rafi | Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi | Music: Jaidev | Movie: Hum Dono, 1961

8. Hum Hain Raahi Pyar Ke...

Singer: Kishore Kumar | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: S D Burman | Movie: Nau Go Gyarah, 1957

9. Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhoolegi Woh Barsaat...

Singer: Mohd Rafi | Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi | Music: Roshan Lal | Movie: Barsaat Ki Raat, 1960

10. Hai Apna Dil To Awara...

Singer: Hemant Kumar | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: S D Burman | Movie: Solva Saal, 1958


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Kunal’s list:

1. Pehla Nasha, Pehla Khumaar...

Singer: Udit Narayan/Sadhana Sargam | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: Jatin-Lalit |Movie: Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)


2. Nirbal Se Ladayi Balwaan Ki...
Singer: Manna Dey | Lyrics: Bharat Vyas | Music: Vasant Desai | Movie: Toofan aur Deeya (1956)

3. Itne baazu, itne sar...

Singer: Amitabh Bachchan | Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi | Music: Amar Biswas, Utpal Biswas | Movie: Main Azaad Hoon (1989)


4. Tere darr par sanam...

Singer: Kumar Sanu | Lyrics: Qateel Shifai, Kaifi Azmi and Zameer Kazmi | Music: Anu Malik | Movie: Phir Teri Kahni Yaad Aayi (1993)


5. Pukaarta chala hun main...

Singer: Mohammed Rafi | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: OP Nayyar | Movie: Mere Sanam (1965)


6. Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam...

Singer: Geeta Dutt | Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi | Music: SD Burman | Movie: Kagaz Ke Pool (1959)


7. Tu hi meri shab hai...

Singer: KK, Abhijit, Sunidhi Chauhan | Lyrics: Sayeed Quadri, Nilesh Mishra, Mayur | Music: Pritam | Movie: Gangster (2006)


8. Tu mera hero...

Singer: Mika, Shefali Alvaris | Lyrics: Irshad Kamil, Kumaar & Amitabh Bhattacharya | Music: Pritam | Movie: Desi Boyz (2011)

9. Zara Zara...

Singer: Bombay Jaishree | Lyrics: Sameer | Music: Harris Jayraj | Movie: Rehna Hai Terre Dil Main (2001)

10. Kal ho na ho...

Singer: Sonu Nigam | Lyrics: Javed Akhtar | Music: Shankar-Ehsan-Loy | Movie: Kal Ho Na Ho (2003)

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Khristina’s list:

1. Aane wala pal jane wala hai...

Singer: Kishore Kumar | Lyrics: Gulzar | Music: R. D. Burman | Movie: Gol Maal (1979)


2. Pal pal dil ke paas...

Singer: Kishore Kumar | Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan | Music Director: Kalayanji Anandji | Movie: Blackmail (1973)

3. Tum se hi...

Singer - Mohit Chauhan | Lyricist: Irshad Kamil | Music Director: Pritam | Movie: Jab We Met (2007)


4. Dil chahta hai...

Singer: Shankar Mahadevan | Lyricist: Javed Akhtar | Music Director: Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy | Film: Dil Chahta Hai (2001)


5. Main koi aisa geet gaaon...

Singer: Abhijeet & Alka Yagnik | Lyricists: Javed Akhtar | Music Director: Jatin - Lalit | Film: Yes Boss (1997)


6. Yeh Shaam Mastani

Singer: Kishore Kumar | Lyricist: Anand Bakshi | Music director - R.D Burman | Film - Kati Patang (1971)


7. Nahin saamne...

Singers: Hariharan & Sukhwinder Singh | Music Director: A. R. Rahman | Film: Taal (1999)


8. My name is Antony Gonsalves

Singers: Amitabh Bachchan, Kishore Kumar | Lyrics: Anand Bakshi | Music Director: Laxmikant Pyarelal | Movie: Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)

9. Pehla nasha...

Singer: Udit Narayan/Sadhana Sargam | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: Jatin-Lalit |Movie: Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)


10. Yeh Haseen Vaadiyan...

Singers: Artists - S. P. Balasubramanyam & Chitra | Lyricists - P K Mishra | Music Director - A R Rahman | Film - Roja (1992)


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Bikash’s list:

1. Aa Bhi Ja...
Singer: Mahendra Kapoor | Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi | Music: Ravi | Movie: Gumrah, 1963


2. Mile Na Phool Toh...
Singer: Mohammed Rafi | Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi | Music: Roshan | Movie: Anokhi Raat, 1968


3. Maan Yeh Baavra...
Singers: Swanand Kirkire and Ajay Jhingran | Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire and Ajay Jhingran | Music: Shantanu Moitra | Movie: Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, 2005


4. Kaala Rey...
Singer: Sneha Khanwalkar | Lyrics: Varun Grover | Music: Sneha Khanwalkar | Movie: Gangs of Wasseypur Part 2, 2012


5. Saibo...
Singers: Shreya Ghoshal and Tochi Raina | Lyrics: Sameer | Music: Sachin-Jigar | Movie: Shor In The City, 2011


6. Suniye Kahiye...
Singers: Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar | Lyrics: Yogesh | Music: Rajesh Roshan | Movie: Baton Baton Mein, 1979


7. Rahen Na Rahen Hum...
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: Roshan | Movie: Mamta, 1966


8. Main Zindagi Ka Saath...
Singer: Mohammed Rafi | Lyrics: Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi | Music: Jaidev | Movie: Hum Dono, 1961


9. O Mere Majhi...
Singer: SD Burman | Lyrics: Shailendra | Music: SD Burman | Movie: Bandini, 1963


10. Sochenge Tumhe Pyar...
Singer: Kumar Sanu | Lyrics: Sameer | Music: Nadeem-Shravan | Movie: Deewana, 1992

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Rummana’s list

Aaoge Jab Tum...

Singer: Rashid Khan | Lyrics: Irshad Kamil | Music: Sandesh Sandilya | Movie: Jab We Met, 2007

Yeh Nayan Dare Dare...

Singer: Hemant Kumar | Lyrics:  Kaifi Azmi | Music: Hemant Kumar | Movie: : Kohraa, 1964

3 Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo...

Singer: Mohd Rafi, Asha Bhosle | Lyrics: Sultanpuri Majrooh | Music: Hemant Kumar | Movie: Yaadon Ki Baaraat, 1973

4. Nadaan Parindey...

Singer: Mohit Chauhan | Lyrics: Irshad Kamil | Music: AR Rahman | Movie: Rockstar, 2011

5. Tum Se Milke...

Singer: Asha Bhosle, Suresh Wadkar, RD Burman | Lyrics: Khursheed Halluri | Music: RD Burman | Movie: Parinda, 1989

6. Chaudhvin Ka Chand...

Singer: Mohammed Rafi | Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni | Music: Ravi Shankar Sharma | Movie: Chaudhvin Ka Chand, 1960

7. Badi Sooni Sooni...

Singer: Kishore Kumar| Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: SD Burman | Movie: Mili, 1975

8. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha to Aisa Laga...

Singer: Kumar Sanu | Lyrics: Javed Akhtar | Music: RD Burman | Movie: 1942, A Love Story, 1994

9. Baanwra Mann...

Singer: Shubha Mudgal | Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire | Music: Shantanu Moitra | Movie: Hazaaron Khwaaishen Aisi, 2005

10. Sathi Rey

Singer: Arko Pravo Mukherjee | Lyrics: Manoj Muntashir | Music: Arko | Movie: Kapoor & Sons, 2016


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Navneet’s list

1. Lag Jaa Gale...

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan | Music: Madan Mohan | Movie: Woh Kaun Thi?, 1964

2. Zindagi Ke Safar Mein...

Singer: Kishore Kumar | Lyrics: Anand Bakshi | Music: R.D. Burman | Movie: Aap Ki Kasam, 1974

3. Jhonka Hawa Ka...

Singer: Hariharan | Lyrics: Mehboob | Music: Ismail Darbar | Movie: Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, 1999

4. Dekhi Zamane Ki Yaari...

Singer: Mohammad Rafi | Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi | Music: S.D. Burman | Movie: Kagaz Ke Phool, 1959

5. Piya Tose Naina Laage Re...

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Shailendra | Music: S.D. Burman | Movie: Guide, 1965

6. Aap Jaisa Koi Meri Zindagi Mein Aaye...

Singer: Nazia Hassan | Lyrics: Indeevar | Music: Biddu | Movie: Qurbani, 1980

7. Pehla Nasha...

Singer: Udit Narayan, Sadhana Sargam | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: Jatin-Lalit | Movie: Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, 1992

8. Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan...

Singer: Mohammed Rafi, Geeta Dutt | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: O.P. Nayyar | Movie: C.I.D., 1955

9. Kuchh Toh Log Kahenge...

Singer: Kishore Kumar | Lyrics: Anand Bakshi | Music: R. D. Burman | Movie: Amar Prem, 1972

10. Moora...

Singer: Sneha Khanwalkar, Robbie Styles | Lyrics: Varun Grover | Music: Sneha Khanwalkar | Movie: Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2, 2012

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Sayan’s list

1. Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera...

Singer: A.R Rahman | Lyrics: Javed Akhtar | Music: A.R. Rahman | Movie: Swades, 2004

2. Jane Woh Kaise Log The...

Singer: Hemant Kumar | Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi | Music: S.D. Burman | Movie: Pyaasa, 1957

3. Main Zindagi Ka Saath...

Singer: Mohammed Rafi | Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi | Music: Jaidev | Movie: Hum Dono, 1961

4. Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaye To...

Singer: Mohammad Rafi | Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi | Music: S.D. Burman | Movie: Pyaasa, 1957

5. Ye Kya Hua Kaise Hua...

Singer: Kishore Kumar | Lyrics: Anand Bakshi | Music: R.D. Burman | Movie: Amar Prem, 1972

6. Pehla Nasha...

Singer: Udit Narayan, Sadhana Sargam | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: Jatin-Lalit | Movie: Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, 1992

7. Zara Zara...

Singer: Bombay Jaishree | Lyrics: Sameer | Music: Harris Jayraj | Movie: Rehna Hai Terre Dil Main (2001)

8. Bavra Mann Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna...

Singer: Swanand Kirkire | Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire | Music: Shantanu Moitra | Movie: Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, 2005

9. Are Ruk Ja Re Bande...

Singer: Indian Ocean | Lyrics: Indian Ocean | Music: Indian Ocean | Movie: Black Friday, 2007

10. Kuchh Toh Log Kahenge...

Singer: Kishore Kumar | Lyrics: Anand Bakshi | Music: R. D. Burman | Movie: Amar Prem, 1972

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Chaitra’s list:

1. Yuhin Chala Chal Rahi...
Singer: Udit Narayan, Kailash Kher, Hariharan | Lyrics: Javed Akhtar | Music: A R Rahman | Movie: Swades, 2004


2. Chaiyya Chaiyya...

Singer: Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Awasthi | Lyrics: Gulzar | Music: A R Rahman | Movie: Dil Se, 1998

3. Dil Mein Sanam Ki Soorat...
Singer: Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik | Lyrics: Zameer Kazm | Music: Anu Malik | Movie: Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi, 1993


4. Dheere Dheere Se Meri Zindagi Main Aana

Singer: Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwal | Lyrics: Rani Malik | Music: Nadeem–Shravan | Movie: Aashiqui, 1990

5. Je Lee Zara...
Singer: Vishal Dadlani | Lyrics: Javed Akhtar| Music: Ram Sampath | Movie: Talaash, 2012


6. Ae Mere Humsafar...
Singer: Udit Narayan & Alka Yagnik | Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri | Music: Anand-Milind | Movie: Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, 1988

7. Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko...
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan | Lyrics: Anand Bakshi | Music: Jatin–Lalit | Movie: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, 1995

8. Woh Pehli Baar...
Singer: Shaan | Lyrics: Shiraz Moti, Vishal Dadlani | Music: Purna Das Baul Samrat, Shiraz Mehra, Vishal Dadlani | Movie: Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi, 1999

9. Kabhi Kabhi Aditi...
Singer: Rashid Ali | Lyrics: Abbas Tyrewala | Music: A. R. Rahman | Movie: Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, 2008

10. Woh Lamhe Woh Baatein...
Singer: Atif Aslam | Lyrics: Shakeel Azmi | Music: Mithoon, Atif Aslam, Naresh Sharma & Jal (Band) | Movie: Zeher, 2005