4 Bollywood songs you thought were original – but totally aren’t!

Bollywood has never hidden the fact that it “borrows” from Hollywood. Over the years we have seen Bollywood copy songs, films, styles, lines, plots from various western media. Indeed some have been successes and others are best left forgotten. Which is why we’re focusing on the successes.

Here are some of Pakistan’s favourite Bollywood classics. These are songs that are requested at almost every mehfil and lauded for their melodies and lyrics. But what most people don’t know are that they too are actually copies of western songs! Have a listen and see for yourself.


# 4 – Jab koi baat bigar jayey

This is the ultimate comfort song, something that everyone needs to listen to at least once in their lifetimes especially when they’re feeling blue. In fact given the strained relationship between the US and Pakistan, perhaps the government would do well to perform this for US. Who knows it might just work?

An all time favourite, one can often hear this being sung at family do’s (well on television anyway) or by a besotted husband in a newly wed couple honeymooning in Murree.

So it’s a bit surprising that the original version of this song “500 miles” sung by Peter Paul and Mary is actually quite depressing and sad.

The original:

The Bollywood version:


# 3 – Chura lya hai tum nay

The guitar. Zeenat Aman. Her luscious black locks. The white dress. And those silver hoops. That guitar strum which is bound to continue to hypnotise many others even when we are long past out expiry dates.

It was the perfect setting to a classic RD Burman number sung flawlessly by Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi. Hundreds of men and women swooned over Zeenat Aman as she strummed away, making guitar playing seem almost like foreplay.

And why not? Even though it’s not an exact copy, Burman did borrow the haunting melody that plays in the background of “It’s Tuesday it must be Belgium” by Walter Scharf. This is one of those few Bollywood cases where the Indian version is better than the original western version.

The original:

The Bollywood version:


# 2 – Mehbooba o mehbooba

Sholay. The film is ranked as being one of the top 25 Bollywood films of all time and is legendary for its colourful characters, one-liners and its songs. Particularly the unbelievably popular “Mehbooba o Mehbooba”, a catchy tune sung by RD Burman himself, immortalising Helen and Jalal Agha as the Belly dancing gypsies.

This song is played and danced to at every mehendi and for some is probably the desi equivalent of Dancing Queen. But the original version is actually a song by a fellow called Demis Roussos “Say you love me”.

Except unlike Chura Liya hai where Burman borrowed the background melody, here it seems that Roussos’ lyrics have just been replaced with Hindi ones! But having said that, one has to admit that this is another Bollywood success story where the copy outshines the original (though I suspect a sexy belly dancing Helen may have much to do with this).

The original:

The Bollywood version:


# 1 – Jaana suno hum tum pay marte hain

Sanjay Leela Bhansali seems to have made films for all audiences. He’s made films about being deaf, dumb and blind (though not all three at the same). Khamoshi: The Musical had some beautiful moments in it as well as some beautiful songs. One of them was “Jaana suno hum tum peh marte hain” where Salman Khan and Manisha Koirala act out their romance in a church.

So they’ve got blessings, a peeping tom of a priest, candles… but no wine. But what does wine have to do with it?

The original song was actually called “Bring the wine” by Paul Anka. Though it’s a little difficult to decide which one is better, the original or the copy, it’s safe to say that either one is good for a romantic night in!

The original:

The Bollywood version:


Tags: ,

Categories: Music

Author:Mehr F Husain

Mehr F Husain was Features Editor of The Friday Times. She lives out of a suitcase.


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19 Comments on “4 Bollywood songs you thought were original – but totally aren’t!”

  1. Wilfred
    July 4, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    Which one is true? Maybe the copy is actually the copy of a copy?

    • Wilfred
      July 4, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

      Correct video!

  2. Daanish
    July 3, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

    Actaully Mehbooba is from a tradional fold song from Cyprus. Youtube the song ‘Ta Rialia’ most famously sung by Michalis Violaris

  3. Akshay
    April 2, 2017 at 1:26 am #

    Ohh jaana suno.. is the exact copy… shame

    Dancing queen by ABBA music has been copied somewhere in some hollywood songs, can anyone tell me which song is that, because I think it is copied but couldn’t remember where..

  4. Abdulllah
    March 21, 2015 at 8:36 am #

    hi.. all there I am searching for a pakistani albulm “Ali in Action” for past 15-20 years, which I heard in my child hood. But unable to locate this. But I think one bolly wood song “Bombay se gayi Poona” from Hum Hein Rahi Pyarke movie is a remake of one song from that album. can any body pls give details more abt that Album…

  5. Evil
    August 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Hate BOLLYWOOD and its MF****in movies……

    • Himanshu
      May 7, 2017 at 10:05 am #

      Love it or Hate it…. but you can’t ignore Bollywood;)

  6. Kamran
    November 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Tum mile dil khile was a straight copy of Enigma’s age of loneliness!

  7. max
    October 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    wattay kool artikle dis wuz

    • max
      October 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

      hi dis iz max frm sailkot/uk am mizzin ma khool cuntry

  8. Ali
    September 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    well there are tons of indian movies that are little more than shot for shot remakes of hollywood films so this doesnt come as a surprise. having said that, the indian versions still rock though! 😀

  9. fahd
    September 21, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    gr8 article u guyz shud do more like dis

  10. September 21, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    Wow! Didn’t know that all those songs were ‘copied’. Thanks for sharing.

  11. September 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    Really awesome..thanks fr sharing this..

  12. Maliha
    September 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    NOOOOOO!!!!! 😦 i really liked these songs… not that finding out they were remakes diminishes them for me really. so…. 😀

  13. Alliya
    September 11, 2011 at 5:45 am #

    copy-cats! Stopids!! 😀

    • Himanshu
      May 7, 2017 at 10:06 am #

      Love it or Hate it…. but you can’t ignore Bollywood;)

  14. Kausar
    September 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    uncanny! it’s not just inspiration its downright plagiarism. 😀

  15. September 9, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    I had no idea that “Mehbooba Mehbooba” was a copy. Thanks for sharing this with us 🙂

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