Top 30 Sad Hindi songs of all time : Bollywood Songs

A unique list of top 30 sad songs in Hindi films over the years. Some of these sad songs speak of a lost love, while some resonate deep within us as songs of despair, longing, nostalgia, philosophy and spirituality, which connect with us when we face similar situations or obstacles in our own lives.

1. Hum Bekhudi Mein Tumko Pukare

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What a classic. Probably one of the finest from the Dev Anand-Rafi-Navketan-S. D. Burman combination. This is what S. D. Burman wrote about this song in his autobiography, “In another Navketan production ‘Kala Pani’, I used the rhythm of Ghazal in the Mukhda and Geet in? the Antara. The first line was, ‘Hum bekhudi mein tum ko pukare chale gaye’. I used Mohd Rafi for this song. Rafi sang it extremely well, with the tone up to my satisfaction.”
  • Music Dir: S. D. Burman Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
  • Movie: Kala Pani (1958)
  • Singers: Mohammad Rafi

2. Tanhayee 

A cult, coming-of-age film, with a super cool soundtrack, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ had a fantastic number by Sonu Nigam. Sonu sang his heart out in this eclectic Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy composition, for Aamir when Aakash feels the twangs of loneliness envelop him for the first time in his happy go lucky life. Sonu won the Zee Cine Award for Best Male Playback Singer, for this song. Tanhayee is a popular choice for singing reality show contestants for its sheer range and emotional allure.

  • Music Dir: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy 
  • Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
  • Movie: Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
  • Singers: Sonu Nigam

3. Zindagi Ka Safar

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Hailed by critics as probably Kishore's greatest song ever, Safar's title song, "Zindagi Ka Safar" will not fail to touch you with its poignant philosophy. Indeevar's words are ironic and heart wrenching. A superb composition by Kalyanji-Anandji with a lovely use of the piano and violins. The depths of this song are probably such that despite repeated listenings, totally or completely ise "Koi samjha nahin koi jaana nahin"!
Music Dir: Kalyanji-AnandjiLyrics: Indeevar
Movie: Safar (1970)
Singers: Kishore Kumar

4. Din Dhal Jaaye Haaye

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This beautiful song from Guide speaks of a yearning for an emotion and time which is lost. Rafi sings this one so beautifully and silkily that one is tempted to close one's eyes and listen to it. The drunken haze and longing are conveyed so beautifuly and showcases Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman at their best. The S.D. Burman and Navketan combination again produces a superlative composition. The soundtrack for Guide was listed by Planet Bollywood as number 11 on their list of 100 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks.
  • Music Dir: S. D. BurmanLyrics: Shailendra
  • Movie: Guide (1965)
  • Singers: Mohammad Rafi

5. Woh Shaam Kuchh Ajeeb Thi

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Kishore's golden voice accentuates the charisma of Rajesh Khanna's handsome and wistful face in this memorably haunting Hemanta Mukherjee song from 'Khamoshi', a Hindi adaptation of the Bengali film 'Deep Jale Jaaye'. The film was considered to be one of Waheeda's best by many. The song was picturised in a boat with the famous Howrah Bridge as a backdrop.
Music Dir: Hemanta MukherjeeLyrics: Gulzar
Movie: Khamoshi (1969)
Singers: Kishore Kumar

6. Tu Hi Re

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This soulful song 'Tu Hi Re' from the evergreen Mani Ratnam - A.R. Rahman stable speaks of love, longing and hope. Sung beautifully by Hariharan who is joined by Kavita Krishnamurthy towards the end of the song. The song is from the film 'Bombay' and it was picturised beautifully at the scenic Bekal Fort (built by Tipu Sultan) by the sea, in Kerala. The Tamil version of this song is called 'Uyire' and is also sung by Hariharan, although the female voice is Chitra's.

  • Music Dir: A. R. RahmanLyrics: Mehboob
  • Movie: Bombay (1995)
  • Singers: Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy

7. O Duniya Ke Rakhwaale

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One of the trickiest songs sung by Rafi is considered by many to be his all-time best for the sheer range displayed in this one. This Naushad composition which is based on the king of raags, Darbari Kanada, builds from the absolute base notes to touch the highest notes eventually. The pathos, emotion and the high notes reached are nothing short of brilliance. Such is the power of the rendition that the cries of "Ab Tow Neer Baha Le" even has tears coming down from the stone idol's eyes in the picturisation and one feels it is for real. A song to the almighty sung with hearwrenching pain and anger, as the lover pines for his lost love.
  • Music Dir: NaushadLyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
  • Movie: Baiju Bawra (1952)
  • Singers: Mohammad Rafi

8. Mera Kuchh Saamaan

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An unusual song which is written as a blank verse, set to music. It is understood that when Gulzar presented R.D. Burman with this song the music director thought that he was reading out a scene from a movie. Gulzar remembers that "Usne dhakel di apni copy aur kaha ki kal Times of India leke aaoge aur kaho ge ki iski bhi tune banaa do to kya main banaunga". However, the genius that R.D. Burman was, he did set this piece to music and sung exquisitely by Asha Bhonsle, it became one of the most memorable and mesmerising songs on nostalgia ever since.
  • Music Dir: R. D. BurmanLyrics: Gulzar
  • Movie: Ijaazat (1988)
  • Singers: Asha Bhosle

Yeh Mahalon Yeh Takhto Yeh

The ultimate philosophy by the rebel poet Sahir Ludhianvi. The lines "Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye Tow Kya Hai" say it all. The lines penned in 1957 ring so true, even several decades later whenever the mind gets numbed by the relentless pursuit of materialism. Picturised on Guru Dutt in Calcutta as it was then, the song has a poignant feel to it. Rafi and S.D. Burman come together once again to give this immortal classic.
Music Dir: S. D. BurmanLyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
Movie: Pyaasa (1957)
Singers: Mohammad Rafi

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Koi Yeh Kaise Bataye

A ghazal sung by and composed by the maestro of ghazals, Jagjit Singh himself. The lyrics penned by the legendary Kaifi Azmi resonate in every heart that has loved and lost. The song is set to the strumming of the accoustic guitar and that is what sets it apart. A soft eyed Raj Kiran singing this in a party scene from Mahesh Bhatt's iconic 'Arth' in which Shabana gets drunk seeing the other woman, Smita Patil, on her husband's arm, just bring this song to life.

Music Dir: Jagjit SinghLyrics: Kaifi Azmi
Movie: Arth (1983)
Singers: Jagjit Singh

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Jaane Kahan Gaye Woh Din

Raj Kapoor's magnum opus, 'Mera Naam Joker' was perhaps the film closest to this legendary filmmaker's heart, but it failed to do well commercially. Raj Kapoor's voice, Mukesh, sings this beautiful number with such pathos that even the stone hearted would be moved. Hasrat Jaipuri's words "Kehte They Teri Raah Main Nazron Ko Hum Bichhayenge", tell a story of unkept promises and bygone days. Melifluous and exquisite!

Music Dir: Shankar-JaikishanLyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri

Movie: Mera Naam Joker (1970)

Singers: Mukesh

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Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi

What can one say about this R.D. Burman - Kishore - Lata classic. Words fail to describe the beauty of Gulzar's words set to such exquisite melody and brought to life by two legendary voices. Picturised on a middle aged Sanjeev Kumar who says "Yeh Jo Chand Hai Na Use Raat Main Dekhna, Yeh Din Main Nahin Nikalta" with such flair and the Bengali beauty Suchitra Sen, the song speaks of unrequited wishes and unsaid longings. "Jee Main Aata Hai Tere Daaman Main Sar Chhupa Kar Hum Rote Rahein Rote Rahein"

Music Dir: R. D. BurmanLyrics: Gulzar

Movie: Aandhi (1975)

Singers: Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar

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Koi Hota Jisko Apna

A superhit Kishore number picturised on Vinod Khanna from the film 'Mere Apne'. A man's cry for having at least some own or loved one, close to his heart. Sung so beautifully by the Kishore, this is one simple yet touching song which has been composed by the inimitable Salil Chowdhury who was known for his tricky and intricate compositions.
Music Dir: Salil ChowdhuryLyrics: Gulzar
Movie: Mere Apne (1971)
Singers: Kishore Kumar

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Tadap Tadap Ke

Absolutely touching to the soul and heart. Love is something that seems so perfect at first and when a misunderstanding ruins the love, the pain stays with you forever. Aishwarya and Salman, a couple when the movie was made, did a really great job in bringing out the pain on screen.

Music Dir: Ismail DarbarLyrics: Mehboob

Movie: Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

Singers: K. K., Dominique Cerejo

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Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Hansi Sitam

Visual, lyrical and instrumental poetry on screen. Many argue that it's probably the greatest song? ever picturised. The legendary V.K. Murthy who won the Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award for the movie, created the shot of the sun breaking through studio roof by using a pair of ordinary mirrors and sambarani to get a parallel beam, as seen in the song. Composed by S. D. Burman, this song was brought to fruition by the pain-lashed voice of Geeta Dutt to make it the perfect theme song for a lost season of grace. This song is truely Timeless. 'Kagaz Ke Phool' was a commercial disaster at the time of its release, but upon its re-release in the 80s, it came to be hailed as a path breaking film.

Music Dir: S. D. BurmanLyrics: Kaifi Azmi

Movie: Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)

Singers: Geeta Dutt

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Main Shayar Badnaam

An absolute gem. And yet another legendary combination of Rajesh Khanna - Kishore Kumar - RD Burman. This is one of the most unforgettable Hindi sad songs of all time sung by Kishore for Rajesh Khanna.

Music Dir: R. D. BurmanLyrics: Anand Bakshi

Movie: Namak Haraam (1973)

Singers: Kishore Kumar

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Justjoo Jiski Thi Usko

No simple words can probably explain the greatness of this song. Khayyam, who composed some of his best ever songs for this film alone, went on to win Filmfare Best Music Director Award. Written by Akhlaq Mohammed Khan 'Shahryar', the song captures the pain of a woman who had to sacrifice her love for no fault of hers. Rekha won the National Award for her riveting performance as Umrao Jaan.

Music Dir: KhayyamLyrics: Shahryar

Movie: Umrao Jaan (1981)

Singers: Asha Bhosle

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Hum Bewafa Hargiz Na Thay

Another wonderful song from the great combination of Kishore Kumar & RD Burman. Kishore won the Filmfare best Male Playback singer for this song. It's pretty amazing how Pancham da (aka R. D. Burman) set up such a beautiful sad? song on a lively tribal music background. However, many argue that the song would have been much better off with out this 'Jhinga La La' stuff in the background.

Music Dir: R. D. BurmanLyrics: Anand Bakshi

Movie: Shalimar (1978)

Singers: Kishore Kumar

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Do Pal

"Do Pal Ruka Khwabon Ka Karvaan, Aur? Phir Chal Diye, Tum Kahaan Hum Kahaan". The song (and the others in the film) is based on old and untouched compositions by the late Madan Mohan, as revived by his son Sanjeev Kohli. With the King of romance Shah Rukh Khan and the very beautiful Preity Zinta, the song captures the heart wrenching moments of a tearful farewell, as Veer convinces Zaara to marry the man her parents chose.

Music Dir: Madan MohanLyrics: Javed Akhtar

Movie: Veer-Zaara (2004)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Sonu Nigam

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Chingari Koi Bhadke

"Hum Se Mat Poochho Kaise, Mandir Toota Sapnon Ka, Auron Ki Baat Nahin Hai, Yeh Kissa Hai Apnon Ka". Many would swear that "Chingari Koi" is the best song out of a legendary Kishore Kumar - RD Burman - Rajesh Khanna combination. Made in raag Bhairavi, it gives one a feeling of absolute bliss, and nothing can beat that feeling. Everything about this song - the lyrics, the tune, the voice and the musical arrangement is just absolutely perfect. Can there be anything better than this? An immortal song in Indian Cinema.

Music Dir: R. D. BurmanLyrics: Anand Bakshi

Movie: Amar Prem (1971)

Singers: Kishore Kumar

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Toote Huye Khwabon Ne

A Mohammed Rafi masterpiece! The song is based on the raag Darbari Kanada. Armed with a very expressive Dilip Kumar on screen, composed by Salil Choudhuri, Mohammed Rafi with his powerful, emotive, and hauntingly sweet voice touches you so deep inside that makes you feel for the heartwrenching emotional state the actor is in. Dilip Kumar - Mohammed Rafi combination at its best!

Music Dir: Salil ChowdhuryLyrics: Shailendra

Movie: Madhumati (1958)

Singers: Mohammad Rafi

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Sach Keh Raha Hai Deewana

"Maine Har Lamha Jisse Chaha, Jise Pooja, Ussi Ne Yaaro Mera Dil Toda!" A heart touching, absolutely melodious song for the broken hearted. It brings out the pain of an young man whose lover has left him. The song has a strong Southern connection. The lead pair includes Tamil super star R Madhavan and Hyderabadi girl Diya Mirza, and the composition is by Harris Jeyraj, a very famous Tamil composer and a former Assistant to AR Rehman.

Music Dir: Harris JayarajLyrics: Sameer

Movie: Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein (2001)

Singers: K. K.

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Yun Hasraton Ke Daag

A timeless classic from the combination of melody queen Lata Mangeshkar & Pandit Madan Mohan. It moves even the heartless. Time stops and unknowingly a tear scrolls down the cheek. Eternal and ageless.

Music Dir: Madan MohanLyrics: Rajendra Krishan

Movie: Adalat (1958)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar

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Jiyein Kyun

It's claimed to be heavily inspired from Coldplay's "Fix You", and some other western songs like "The Blowers Daughter" by Damien rice. The song is give a heart warming rendition by singer Papon (Angaraag Mahanta), the son of veteran Assamese singer Khagen Mahanta.

Music Dir: Pritam ChakrabortyLyrics: Jaideep Sahni

Movie: Dum Maaro Dum (2011)

Singers: Papon

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Poochho Na Kaise Maine

"Don't ask me how I spent the night. Even morning could not bring any ray of hope." One of the finest composition by S.D? Burman in raag Ahir Bhairav, and superbly sung by Dada Saheb Phalke winner Manna Dey - Bollywood's voice of Indian Classical singing. 'Poocho Na' is indeed the the best combination of Ashok Kumar, Manna Dey and SD Burman. The melancholy squeezes one's heart and an unbearable pain chokes the throat. "Ek Pal Jaise Ek? Jug Beeta, Jug Beete Mohe Neend Na Ayee". A rare gem it is!

Music Dir: R. D. Burman, S. D. BurmanLyrics: Shailendra

Movie: Meri Surat Teri Aankhen (1963)

Singers: Manna Dey

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Mora Piya

Love brings along pain. when you love and the love is not reciprocal nothing can? be more hurtful. The lover is hurt as his lady love (Mora Piya) is not talking to him (Bolat Nahi). Sung by the composer himself (Aadesh Shrivastava), "Mora Piya" was one of the biggest hit songs of 2010. Many claim that the song is inspired from "Piya Banwari"by Abhijit Pohankar.

Music Dir: Aadesh ShrivastavLyrics: Sameer

Movie: Raajneeti (2010)

Singers: Aadesh Shrivastav, Shashi, Rosalie Nicholson

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Chithi Aai Hai

"Desh Paraya Chhod Ke Aaja, Panchhi Pinjara Tod Ke Aaja,Aaja Umar Bahut Hai Chhoti, Apne Ghar Main Bhi Hai Roti", featured in the 1986 movie Naam starring Kumar Gaurav, Sanjay Dutt, Amrita Singh and Poonam Dhillon, the song was a mega-hit. Pankaj Udhas was a well known Ghazal singer even then, but this song made him very popular. The song also touched a lot of NRIs, Tthe song is essentially a reminder of home, and the people who have been left behind and who just have memories now. Undoubtedly, this is a very inspiring,? meaningful, everlasting song, specially for the ones who are far away from home for long.

Music Dir: Laxmikant-PyarelalLyrics: Anand Bakshi

Movie: Naam (1986)

Singers: Pankaj Udhas

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Panthi Hoon Main Us Path Ka

"Jaane Kab? Tak Chalna Hain Mujhe Is Jeevan Ek Saath". A poignant melody that tells us a story about a perennial traveller on the road. This is a self composition of legendary singer Kishore Kumar, who had written, produced, directed and composed music by himself for the movie.

Music Dir: Kishore KumarLyrics: A. Irshad

Movie: Door Ka Raahi (1971)

Singers: Kishore Kumar

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Tujhe Bhula Diya

"Har Pal Har Lamha Main Khud Se Yeh? Kehta Rehta Hoon, Tujhe Bhula Diya, Tujhe Bhula Diya, Tujhe Bhula Diya". He is so much in love with her, lost, hurt and deeply confused. The immense pain pours into his voice as he asks himself "Tujhe Bhula Diyaaaa....Phir Kyun Teri Yaadon? Ne Mujhe Rula Diya?". With two of the most popular young Bollywood actors, Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra featuring in the movie, this song has become the latest 'break up anthem' for today's youth in the country. The strength of this song lies in its tune, crafted so beautifully, that could breach any language barriers. You don't have to know Hindi to enjoy this song, for any one who has ever gone through a broken relationship would be captivated by its charm.

Music Dir: Vishal-ShekharLyrics: Vishal Dadlani, Kumaar

Movie: Anjana Anjaani (2010)

Singers: Shekhar Ravjiani, Shruti Pathak, Mohit Chauhan

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Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehfil

The film is based on the autobiography of the Sufi poet Waris Shah, who fell in love with a lady from another faith. Those days, it was almost impossible to have marriage outside one's &own faith. Waris Shah put his heart? in composing this immortal fable and the story became folklore. Rafi's heart touching rendition make this song immortal and one of the best ever Hindi sad songs in Indian cinema. His voice touches your heart deep inside.

Music Dir: Madan MohanLyrics: Kaifi Azmi

Movie: Heer Ranjha (1970)

Singers: Mohammad Rafi

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Tell us which one(s) your favorite Bollywood sad song(s)?

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