LEISURE: Instrumental music – my ‘saxy’ reinterpretation of ‘Lag Ja Gale’



This is my Saxophone reinterpretation of the fabulous song, Lag Ja Gale, by Lata Mangeshkar, composed by the genius Madan Mohan, written by the inimitable Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, from Woh Kaun Thi. What a brilliant gem of a song! Every time you listen to it, you discover a new pleasure.  I sincerely hope you like this reinterpretation. It is just my own little way of thanking the great living Ma Saraswati, Lata ji! Love her, bless her always.

Here’s my reinterpretation of Lag Ja Gale. Remember, this is a reinterpretation, but only in tempo and a bit of the mood and style of the instrumentation – the percussion, saxophone, et al. It’s also set to a punchy, uptempo beat, and dressed in a jazz-pop style, but I’ve tried to retain the amazing feeling of the lyrics and the Goddess’s singing style – a tiny, little, microscopic, infinitesimally small bit!

I played this on my Korg keyboard, and recorded the tracks on the amazing free Audacity audio editing and mixing software (love it).

OK, enough said. Listen to the track, below, and tell me what you think.

Lag Ja Gale – my instrumental re-interpretation

Woh Kaun Thi was an amazing film. Not just for being a terrifying horror film (for its time), but for the amazing music from Madan Mohan, who — it’s tough to believe this now —  somehow managed to retain the lilting Lag Ja Gale in the film, for which its maker Raj Khosla also agreed to use another haunting song that had been languishing in cold storage for some time.

What were these stories? Read on.

Lag Ja Gale almost didn’t get recorded

As I mentioned above, there’s an interesting story about this song that became a phenomenal hit and remains so to this day. Sadly, however, after it became such a massive hit,  Raj Khosla could never claim any credit for having selecting this song for Woh Kaun Thi. The reason? He had rejected it outright when he’d first heard the composition!  It was only when composer Madan Mohan insisted it would be liked and appreciated that Khosla reluctantly retained the song. Thank God for Madan Mohan’s persistence!

Another song that had languised: Naina Barse Rim Jhim

But there’s an even more interesting story about another very popular song in this film, Naina Barse Rim Jhim.  No, two interesting stories. One — that Madan Mohan had composed the song way back in 1952, but could not get it accepted for any film, perhaps because there wasn’t a situation fit. Then, Khosla was making Woh Kaun Th (one of the scariest films of its time) and was seeking an ominous, scary tune, he thought it would be a good fit for the situation in the film. And so it proved to be.

The second story about this song is rather amusing. Word is that the unit, filming in Kashmir, was warned of a bad-weather spell that would last for days on end, so the unit scrambled to film the song immediately. Only problem was, Lata ji was out of the country at the time, and the song hadn’t been recorded. So Madan Mohan decided to record a scratch for the shoot sync, and you can imagine how disgusted and disappointed the onlookers, who had gone in droves to watch the beautiful Sadhna in a song shoot, must have been to hear her lip-sync to a song sung by a man! But they shot the song, and finally when Lata ji returned to India, the song was recorded in her heavenly voice.

image-raja-mehdi-ali-khan-lag-ja-gale-lyricistLag Ja Gale was written by the inimitable poet Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, one of the most accomplished lyricists who wrote some of the most popular songs. But he deserves an other post, and I’ll share some of his great songs and a bit about his life story too, soon.

But let me finish this little post with this additional bit of interesting trivia: Way back, Lag Ja Gale was named among the top ten all-time favorite songs in film history to be “retired” from Zee TV’s Antakshari. Just because it was so popular, everyone wanted to sing it at least once every week!

OK, you heard my little take on Lag Ja Gale. What did you think? Let me know, please. Leave me a comment? Thanks for stopping by and listening to my music.

Your thoughts, please