Songwriters and producers Peter Udell and Gary Geld’s song, “Sealed With A Kiss” was first released as a single in 1960, sung by the band The Four Voices.

The Four Voices was a 1950s vocal harmony quartet based in Tennessee, consisting of Allan Chase (tenor), Sal Mayo (tenor), Bill McBride (baritone) and Frank Fosta (bass baritone). The song was a failure, commercially.

Digression: Noticed how the line, “Though we’ve got to say goodbye” sounds a lot like “Hello darkness, my old friend” from “The Sound of Silence”, by Simon & Garfunkel! The songs go in different directions post that, of course. End of digression.

“Sealed With A Kiss” went on to become a monster hit 2 years later, in 1962, when singer Brian Hyland covered the song. To this day, the song is remembered as Bryan Hyland’s!

Hold on to that song!

“Djobi Djoba” was one of the many hit songs by the Gipsy Kings, a French-Calé Rumba Flamenca band, from their 1982 debut album called Allegria (meaning ‘Joy’, in Italian). The song was very popular in Europe and the US, in the late 80s after it was featured in another international album named after the band.

Why am I writing about two seemingly disparate songs, one from the early 60s and another from the late 80s? Because the creative mind of a Hindi film composer thought it’d be cool to mix them together, to create a film song!

That Hindi film composer is Anu Malik. His “Hai Mera Dil” from director Mansoor Khan’s Josh (2000) is a clever and intriguing mix of “Sealed With A Kiss” and “Djobi Djoba!”

Anu opens his Hindi song with Udit Narayan singing the uncredited, unofficial Hindi equivalent of “Sealed With A Kiss”. The composer makes adequate masala changes to the melody (despite the obvious resemblance that you simply cannot miss) by adopting a different second line. When Alka Yagnik starts singing ‘Hai Mera Dil’, Anu repeats the trick, by using the first line of Gipsy Kings’ “Djobi Djoba” and imagining a different direction as it progresses.

This is an unusually clever mix that’s made ignominious only by the fact that the use of the 2 original songs was uncredited and without permission.

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