10 Holi Songs With Lyrics Ranging From Weird To Wholesome

It’s the festival of colours and in Bollywood, it’s celebrated with, well, ‘colourful’ lyrics. Here’s the playlist in which the lyrics go from weird to weirder
10 Holi Songs With Lyrics Ranging From Weird To Wholesome

Wet clothes, wild colours, songs rich with innuendos — it’s easy to see why Holi has been a favourite for Hindi cinema. It’s not just the visual spectacle though. In theory, the festival is all about uninhibited joy. In practice, Holi can go from being one of the few spaces where you’re allowed (even encouraged) to be intoxicated, to one that’s laced with danger. This strange range is something that is reflected in the songs that accompany Holi scenes in Hindi cinema. From bringing lovers together to providing cover to stalkers and setting up situations in which uncomfortable revelations are made, anything can happen in Holi. And invariably, there are lyrics that will make you do a double take — provided you’re sober enough to register them. 

Here’s our Holi playlist, featuring lyrics (and scenes) we can’t forget or fathom. 

‘Rang Barse’ from Silsila (1981)

“Sone ki thaali main jyona parosa, 

Khaaye gori ka yaar balam tarse, rang barse” 

(Food was served on a golden plate, 

Her lover ate it all while her husband pined, and the colours rained down)

Written by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, “Rang Barse” remains one of the most popular Holi party anthems even today. It also features one of the baddest and most unnecessary digs in history. The scene from Silsila shows Amit (Amitabh Bachchan) using Holi as an excuse to boast to Dr. Anand (Sanjeev Kumar), about having an affair with the man’s wife Chandni, (Rekha) – while his own wife (Jaya Bachchan) watches. How’s that for awkward? Kids, let this song be a lesson in moderation when it comes to bhang.  

Ang se ang lagana from Darr (1993)

“Upar upar rang lagaiyo

Na kario kuch niche

Muh se kuch na bol, khadi re

Chupse akhiyan miche


Julmi ne aise baazu maroda

Kajara na gajara, 

Kuch bhi na chhoda

Rapat likhado,

Rapat likhado thane mein 

Hum bhardengay jurmaana.”

(Colour me only on top, 

Don’t do anything below, 

Don’t say a word, 

Stand still with your eyes closed.

He twisted my arm,

Ruined my kohl and the flowers in my hair. 

Report me, 

Report me to the police, 

I’ll pay the fine.)

You think the creepiest thing in “Ang Se Ang Lagana” was Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) breaking and entering K-K-Kiran’s (Juhi Chawla) house under the guise of Holi? Think again. Those lyrics are enough to give anybody nightmares — thanks Anand Bakshi — especially when picturised on the seemingly sweet love shared by Anupam Kher and Tanvi Azmi’s characters in the film. It’s also more of a celebration of blatantly disregarding the law than it is a festival of colour. Sorry for being a killjoy.  

Soni Soni from Mohabbatein (2000)

“Jaa Kudiye, Jo Kar Le,

Gora Badan Tera Rang Diya.”

(Go on, babe, do what you can, 

I’ve painted your body with colour.) 

This is a song that begins with a ghost playing holi. Then along comes a moment when out of nowhere Uday Chopra (as Vicky) appears in a ganji, hauls Shamita Shetty (as Ishika) up on his shoulders, spins her around and then smears colour on her face. While singing that line. Anand Bakshi’s lyrics continue a long tradition of pretending that it’s okay to harass a woman during Holi and ignore her complete lack of consent. To his credit, he does let Ishika respond with “I’m going to hang you for this.”   

Do Me A Favour (Let's Play Holi) from Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005)

Do Me A Favour (Let's Play Holi) from Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005)

“Hold on a second hold on a bell

Put the Holi colour on me, love 

Holi’s got a lot of sign lot of passion 

It should always be in fashion.”

If you can actually tear your eyes away from the train wreck (in pink) that is Akshay Kumar attempting to dance, then Sameer’s lyrics are a thing of wonder. The lines have all the inventiveness of a primary school student doing their homework at the last minute, complete with the brainwave of rhyming “passion” with “fashion”. Composer Anu Malik did his best to distract people from the lyrics with his liberal use of auto-tune. If you find yourself humming ‘Uf ye Holi, hai ye Holi’ to yourself, you have our sympathies. 

 Chhan Ke Mohalla from Action Replayy (2010)

“Ram Ji rog mita do, vaid ka pata bata do

Ram Ji rog mita do, vaid ka pata bata do

Chhan ke mohalla sara dekh liya."

(God, tell me where to find the cure to my ailment

I’ve looked everywhere.)

Yes, dear reader, the “rog” (ailment) is desire and the “vaid” (doctor”) that she’s looking for is (naturally) a man, but Irshad Kamil’s lyrics and Pritam Chakraborty’s tune make ‘Chhan Ke Mohalla’ one of those rare Holi songs that are genuinely playful and features the woman as the one having fun, rather than being the target of someone’s attention. It helps that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looks fabulous and the choreography shows off the sass in the lyrics.   

Balam Pichkari from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)

“Kyun ‘no-vacancy’ ki, hothon pe gaali hai

Jabki tere dil ka kamra toh khaali hai (kamra toh khaali hai…)” 

(Why do your lips declare ‘no vacancy’

When the room in your heart is empty?)

Of course, a song that has “balam” (lover) and “pichkari” (water gun) in the title was going to be a little bit sleazy. If you can’t toss a little phallic imagery around on Holi, what is the point even of this festival of (allegedly) non-toxic lechery? Like all good innuendo, lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya makes sure there’s an air of innocence to the song — what’s to complain about “dil ka kamra” after all? — but “Balam Pichkari” will be forever enmeshed with the sight of Ranbir Kapoor’s Bunny rubbing his hands together and peeking down the blouse of the woman he’s supposedly falling in love with. Shudder.  

Go Pagal from Jolly LLB 2 (2017)

“Tera rang udaoon

Pump chalaoon tujhe bhigaun

Tere gaal ko laal banaoon

Kyun ki aaj baby holi hai.”

(I’ll rob the colour off you, 

Pump it up, make you wet, 

Make your cheeks go red, 

Cause today’s Holi, baby) 

There’s sanskaar (tradition), and then there’s sanskaar on Holi. This is the day when all the sexual innuendos come out to play and the net result is rarely pretty. Penned by Manj Musik and Raftaar, “Go Pagal” is filled with lines that want to be cheeky and occasionally achieve that aim, but then there’s “pump chalaoon” and that’s an image we could have done without. The song stars Akshay Kumar – how many Holi songs has he appeared in? – and he channels the appropriate amount of unhinged energy one might expect from a song named "Go Pagal". He also wears a bucket on his head for much of the song, which is one way to deal with Holi.

Badri Ki Dulhania from Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017)

“Haye main mar gayi

Sooli pe chadh gayi

Na na na kehna tha

Lekin haan kar gayi

Dil tujhko send main to kar gayi re

Main Badri ki dulhania."

(Saying yes to you 

Might be the death of me,

I’ve given my heart to you

And become Badri’s bride.)

Should we be worried that according to  Shabbir Ahmed’s lyrics, getting hitched is the same as tying a noose around one’s neck? The video for this song from the Varun Dhawan-Alia Bhatt song attempts to distract by flashing at us the sight of Dhawan’s torso and Bhatt’s infectious grin, but if there was ever a song whose lyrics emphasise how patriarchal institutions like matrimony can feel like a trap for a woman, this is it. It’s — by which we mean the song, not patriarchal institutions — also great fun, thanks to the extravagant set and choreography.

Badri Ki Dulhania from Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017)

Jai Jai Shivshankar from War (2019)

“Ho do-do round laga ke

Sau-sau pound uda ke

Ho vilaiyti bhang chadha ke

Nachange hero ban kar."

(We’ll have two rounds

Worth a hundred pounds

Of imported bhang

And dance like heroes.)

Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff’s chemistry is one of the reasons War is such fun to watch and director Siddharth Anand used it to great effect in ‘Jai Jai Shivshankar’. Yet, even with two of Hindi cinema’s finest and fittest dancers doing their thing, Kumaar’s lyrics are what steal the show. Who knew that to be a hero, you had to consume two pegs of imported bhang valued at a hundred pounds? If you want to overthink this, then it’s actually quite a smart and ironic take on what kind of performances one has to do to denote virility and masculinity. Then again, if you can still pronounce (or read) words like “virility” and “masculinity”, it’s probably time to imbibe more of that Holi spirit. 

Khadke Glassy from Jabariya Jodi (2019)

“He is back again

From all the way

Make you crunk again

Any another day

We can spin your brain

Into another brain.”

One moment’s silence for all neurologists who heard these opening lines while trying to get drunk at a Holi party. 

No one should ever overthink a Yo Yo Honey Singh song and you should definitely not attempt any such intellectual exercise with one that’s supposed to be a Holi anthem. Of course ‘Khadke Glassy’ doesn’t make much sense and mostly exists as an excuse to do a chaste wet-shirt scenario with Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra, but you’ve got to appreciate the lyrical acrobatics of “We can spin your brain, into another brain” (how does one do that?). Is that a threat or a promise? 

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