How Muhammad Ali Inspired ‘Sachi Yeh Kahani Hai’ From Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa

In the series Carbon Copy, we give you trivia on the connecting dots between many countries’ music. This week, we look at how Jatin-Lalit lifted the tune of Sachi Yeh Kahani Hai from Johnny Wakelin's In Zaire
How Muhammad Ali Inspired ‘Sachi Yeh Kahani Hai’ From Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa

Johnny Wakelin, the British singer, has 2 songs about boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The first was in 1974, called 'Black Superman', about Muhammad Ali's boxing match in Kinshasa, Zaire, against George Foreman in a matchup known as The Rumble in the Jungle, on the 30th of October, 1974. Ali won in the eighth round.

The other song by Johnny Wakelin on the same boxing match is called 'In Zaire'. This was released in 1976. The lyrics of the song go,

Once there was a battle there in Zaire
In Zaire. In Zaire.
Hundred thousand people there in Zaire
In Zaire. In Zaire.
All those people gathered there in Zaire
In Zaire. In Zaire.
To see the rumble in the jungle there in Zaire
In Zaire. Listen to In Zaire.

Does that sound familiar? Of course, it would! Let me refresh your memory.

Sachi yeh kahani hai
Sunlo Meri Jaan
Kahin ek Seher Mein
Tha ek nau jawan
Scchaa seedha sa
Pyara insaan
Kya kahoon woh bana
Kaise don.

Yes! Jatin-Lalit famous song from Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa was a hodge-podge of 2 songs – Boney M's 'Rasputin' and Johnny Wakelin's 'In Zaire'. The Rasputin inspiration is blatant in the prelude and background music, and even in the mid-way talk by Shah Rukh Khan in the Hindi song:

Jis din se woh don ban gaya
Darne lage log
Aisa toofan ban gaya
Aur kya kahoon mein
Sara jahaan tha uske kadmo mein


But when his drinking and lusting and his hunger
For power became known to more and more people
The demands to do something about this outrageous
Man became louder and louder

But the main tune of Sachi Yeh Kahani Hai is a direct lift from Johnny Wakelin's 'In Zaire'.

Listen to 'Sachi Yeh Kahani Hai' (Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, 1994):

Listen to 'Rasputin', by Boney M (1978):

Jatin-Lalit are not the only composers to have lifted 'In Zaire'. Telugu film director S.V.Krishna Reddy, who also composed music for many of his own films used 'In Zaire' to compose 'Minsare Minsare' for his 1997 Telugu film, Aahvanam. The song was a blatant copy of 'In Zaire'.

Listen to 'Minsare Minsare' (Aahvanam, 1997):

Bollywood viewers may be familiar with S.V.Krishna Reddy's body of work through the Hindi remakes of his Telugu originals – Judaai and Taqdeerwala. An interesting tidbit is that he remade Aahvanam as a Hollywood film titled Divorce Invitation, in 2012!

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