Asha Bhosle: Dum Maro Dum (1971)

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Asha Bhosle: Dum Maro Dum (1971)

The great Indian singer Asha Bhosle (89 at the time of this writing) has recorded more than 12,000 songs in her long career as a playback singer for films across many genres.

Her sister Lata Mangeshkar (d 2022) was also an enormously prolific playback singer who recorded even more songs, and Bhosle's second husband was the famous songwriter/composer RD Burman (d 1994) who wrote the scores for more than 300 films.

Among them this odd but appropriately psychedelic piece from the film Hare Rama Hare Krishna, the title of which means “drag, take a drag" or "puff, take a puff”.

It's a hippie-era piece obviously – and the inevitable consequences of a tripped-out lifestyle in Kathmandu – but in the movie the song was edited to fewer than two minutes because the director Dev Anand felt the complete song (during which the lead woman takes a drag on a chillum and then does some weirdly ecstatic “interpretive” dance) would overwhelm the moment.

But here is the complete song with lyrics by Anand Bakshi and music by RD Burman.

You can find this track on the 2015 compilation The Rough Guide to Psychedelic India

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For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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