`Mehendis are the most vibrant and enjoyable part of Pakistani weddings. But a memorable mehendi event needs more than the run-of-the-mill Bollywood songs. So, an all-Pakistani mehendi playlist is a surefire way to make a mehendi stand out from others. This is the second part of our two-part effort to compile Pakistani mehendi songs.
1- Rabbi Ralli (Karachi se Lahore)
Sung by Zarish and Ali Hamza, Rabbi Ralli is a fun song with a strong harmonious base.
2- Lahoriya (Karachi se Lahore)
One more track from Karachi se Lahore, this one features Shiraz Uppal and the lads from Noori on vocals. The tune is a Punjabi folk tune with new lyrics. All in all, a really dance-able track indeed.
3- Kalabaaz Dil ( Lahore se Aagey)
Lahore se Agey is the sequel to Karachi se Lahore and stars Yasir Hussain and Saba Qamar as the lead pair. Aima Baig and Jabar Abbas sing this sort-of item number… and do a good job. A great song for a mixed dance performance!
4- Balu Mahi (Balu Mahi)
The title track of Balu Mahi features Osman Khalid Butt and Annie Jafri as the main pair. It has a fun, funky beat and random lyrics. Good for a hip hop/ modern / freestyle dance performance.
5- Lar Gaiyan (Dobara Phir Se)
Why is it that every third wedding song nowadays has Adeel Hussain in it?!
Anyway, this song has the perfect blend of peppy beat, traditional sound and dance steps that even your 6 year old cousins can copy. Overall, a win!
Folk / Regional
Folk and regional songs contain the real essence of any country’s culture. There are many folk wedding songs in all local languages of Pakistan. The majority of us are quite familiar with these songs.
1- Laung Gawacha
It is an undeniable fact that no one can beat Musarrat Nazir in nakhras. This video features the singer lip-syncing with her characteristic mischievous expressions. But that doesn’t detract from the sheer sing-ability (no, that’s not a word) of the traditional Punjabi song.
2- Daana pe Daana – Shazia Khushk/ Akhtar Chanal Zehri
This Balochi folk song has been sung by many pop and folk artists. The most famous renditions those by Shazia Khushk and the Coke Studio version sung by Akhtar Chanal Zehri and Komal Rizvi. This one is sure to get the crowd at every mehndi grooving and dancing to its beat.
3- Ho Jamalo – Various artists
Sindhi folk music has a rich heritage. This song is one of many which are still being played, owing to their evergreen appeal.
4- Desan Da Raja/ Sohni Kuri (Cornetto Pop Rock Season 1) – Komal Rizvi Ft. Qurram Hussain
The recent trend of remixing and rearranging folk songs has brought old gems to the limelight once again. Desan Da Raja is a traditional Punjabi wedding song. It has been sung by many vocalists. In this version, Qurram Hussain and Komal Rizvi combine forces to give a modern twist to this old classic.
5- Aaya Laariye (Coke Studio Season 9) — Meesha Shafi & Naeem Abbas Rufi
Meesha Shafi and Naeem Abbas Rufi lend their voices to the rearranged version of this folk Punjabi song. This is the perfect song choice for when the groom makes his entry.
6- Mor Tho Tilley – Various Artists
A Sindhi classic that is still a firm favorite in many households. The lyrics literally compare the walk of the Raana (prince/ groom) to a peacock’s strut!
7- Washmallay (Coke Studio Season 7) — Akhtar Chanal, Komal Rizvi & Momin Durrani
Like all classics, this Balochi song has been ingrained into our national consciousness. One simply cannot imagine a Balochi wedding without singing or dancing to Washmallay.
8- Balley Balley Torr Punjaban Di
As the title suggests, the song praises the Punjaban’s walk. It is a lively song, perfect for singing with the dholak and also sung as part of Punjabi tappas.
9- Mama De (Rahim Shah)
Pashto songs are known for their catchy tunes that make you want to get up and start doing the attan/khattak dance. Mama De is a particularly lively song. It would make even people who don’t understand the language, want to dance.
10- Janaan (Hadiqa Kiyani and Irfan Khan)
This collaboration has Hadiqa and Irfan singing in Pashto. It has a combination of modern sound with traditional Pashto romantic lyrics.
11- Gul Janan (Rahim Shah & Fariha Parvez)
The unlikely pairing of Rahim Shah and Fariha Pervez results in a catchy Pashto song. The video features a typical wedding situation.
This song is a soft and melodious one. It is usually sung at the time of rukhsati as the lyrics talk about all the things and people the bride is leaving behind. Play with caution: playing this might set off tears at the bride’s side.
13- Sarota Kahan Bhool Aye
An upbeat song with cheeky lyrics. Nevertheless, it is one of the most commonly sung songs at weddings.
14- Bibi Shirini (Zeek Afridi)
Zeek Afridi’s most popular song till date. Bibi Shirini’s popularity transcended the language barrier and instantly made it one of the most recognizable tunes in recent Pakistani music.
15- Dama Dam Mast Qalandar
Runa Laila’s vocals have made this traditional Punjabi dhamaal even more effective. It is always sung at Mehendis to the beat of the dholak. The artists who have performed this song are many. The list includes Noor Jehan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen, the Sabri Brothers, Reshma, Komal Rizvi and Junoon. Additionally, it has Indian artists like Hans Raj Hans, the Wadali brothers and Mika Singh have also.
16- Sasu Maange Kukri
This is a traditional Marwari wedding song. Marwari is the language of Thar and Gujrat region. In the Coke Studio version, Naseebo Laal and Umair Jaswal give a rock edge to this typical Thari track.
17- Alif Allah/ Jugni
Jugni is arguably the most famous Punjabi folk track. It brings forth the image of Alam Lohar (Arif Lohar’s father) rhythmically beating his metal chimta/tongs in our minds. Additionally, the Coke Studio collaboration between Meesha Shafi and Arif Lohar is still one of the most-watched songs of all Coke Studio songs.
18- Laila o Laila
The earliest video recording of this Balochi folk song features Faiz Muhammad Baloch. But many artists had been singing it even before that.
This song has been remixed many times. Yet its happy tune and lilting melody make it a mass favorite.
19- Dilruba na Razi
One more Pashto song that has been remixed. The original song was limited to Pashto-speaking listeners only. However, the Coke Studio version is much more modern and easy to listen to despite the language barrier.
20- Sammi meri Waar
This song is credited to the Potohar region. It is a mix of Punjabi and Potohari language. The traditional version has a typical musical arrangement, though. Nonetheless, the Coke Studio version has a modern fusion musical set up.
But the new version has an edgier feel and a rock sound.
21- Bismillah Karan – Nadeem Abbas Lonaywala
A song with a typical Punjabi bravado and a fast beat. Bismillah Karan remains very popular mehendi in both Punjabi and non-Punjabi speaking regions. In essence, it can safely be called Nadeem’s most famous song.