Who doesn’t love retro Bollywood? That’s not even a question, right? The classic melodies and voices, near-perfect instrumentals and absolutely gorgeous lyrics make old Bollywood songs the Bible for any music lover. To add to that we get picturisations of the next level – all in all, a stellar combination. And there’s not even a better way to get in touch with your heritage than immerse yourself in some of the most beautiful compositions to have ever existed. So, here are some of the best old Bollywood romantic songs that will put you in a trance. Chances are, you might start missing that ex you never had!
1. Lag Ja Gale
This timeless melody sung by Lata Mangeshkar has a special place in all our hearts. There have been numerous renditions of the song, but nothing quite beats the original.
2. Jaane Kya Tune Kahi
A beautiful composition by S.D Burman, this playful song was part of the movie Pyaasa. Geeta Dutt shines through in this one, with her expressive voice that makes this song nothing short of a play in itself.
3. Kuchh To Log Kahenge
This sentimental song sung brilliantly by Kishore Kumar perfectly encapsulates the feeling of wanting to shove the world, with only that one special person by your side.
Another timeless classic, this song from the film Balika Badhu sure touches a chord. Amit Kumar’s voice lends a depth that perfectly fits the beautiful lyrics.
5. Naino Mein Badra Chhaaye
Composed by the brilliant Madan Mohan, this is one of the many Bollywood songs based on a Hindustani classical raga, in this case Bhimpalasi. It was sung by the very best, Lata Mangeshkar, and is a perfect combination of the intricacies of classical music and the simplicity of popular tunes.
6. Kora Kaagaz Tha
A song by the classic duo Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar, is from the movie Aradhana. Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Thakur make the soothing melody even more beautiful to visualize.
7. Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein
Sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh, this is one of my favorite old Bollywood romantic songs about that one love that makes you believe in the afterlife and beyond. A beautiful composition by Khayyam Sahab.
8. Baahon Mein Chale Aao
Flirty and playful in equal measure, this song is a perfect combination of deep lyrics and a fitting tune that meshes it all together in one classic piece. Sung, once again, by Lata Mangeshkar.
9. Ab To Hai Tumse
The first of the many songs from Abhimaan that are going to feature on this list, this is a moving song about complete submission to the one, a dangerously beautiful admission for someone to make.
10. Na Jiya Lage Na
A song from the movie Anand, this rendition by Lata Mangeshkar simply adds to the stunning composition by Salil Chowdhury who is known to play with melody.
11. Meri Jaan, Mujhe Jaan Na Kaho
A simple, minimalist yet touching song sung by Geeta Dutt and composed by Kanu Roy with lyrics penned by Gulzar. I personally urge you to give this song a listen. Thank me later.
12. Deewana Hua Baadal
What is a retro Bollywood playlist if Mohammad Rafi doesn’t feature there? His jovial humming and soulful voice add life to this soul-touching composition by O.P Nayyar.
13. Ishaaron Ishaaron Mein
A duet by Asha Bhonsle and Mohammad Rafi, this song is more of a conversation. Lively and romantic, this piece takes you through all the emotions of falling in love for the first time… all over again.
14. Abhi Na Jaao Chhodkar
Time flies when you’re with the person you love, doesn’t it? This song is all that you need to convince them to stay for just a bit longer. Rendered beautifully by Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle, this song is evergreen.
15. Teri Bindiya Re
Another song from Abhimaan, Teri Bindiya is another one by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi. Composed by none other than S.D Burman, it definitely deserves a place in your playlist.
16. Mere Saamne Waali Khidki Mein
A playful number from the movie Padosan, this song by Kishore Kumar is the perfect way to reminisce about letting your crush know. I mean, who knows…
17. Tere Bina Zindagi Se
A soulful rendition by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar, this song from Aandhi hits all the right chords. The emotions and the melody converge to make this a treat to listen to.
18. Tere Bina Jiya Jaaye Na
From the movie Ghar, this piece sung once again by Lata Mangeshkar, is all about missing that one person you’re so hopelessly in love with. A must for your playlist.
19. O Mere Dil Ke Chain
By the legendary Kishore Kumar, this composition by R. D Burman is a groovy number that manages to convey a lot with very little, as is the case with most great songs.
20. Na Jaane Kyun
Another amazing composition by Salil Chowdhury, this song captures beautifully the feeling of nostalgia. Adding to that is Nightingale’s stunningly emotive voice.
21. Aaiye Meherbaan
Another O.P Nayyar composition sung by Asha Bhonsle, this upbeat number is a favourite across generations.
22. Dhal Gaya Din
Ah, the classic badminton song. On a serious note, this song has remained iconic for that incorporation. And of course, the impeccable creation by Laxmikant-Pyarelal can’t really miss, can it?
23. Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya
The ultimate declaration of love is what this one of the best old Bollywood romantic songs stands for. From an equally iconic movie, Mughal-e-Azam, this song by Lata Mangeshkar also makes for a lovely track to choreograph, such is its beauty.
24. Pyaar Hua Iqraar Hua
The classic duo of Nargis and Raj Kapoor found their articulation through this song sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey. This piece composed by Shankar-Jaikishan doesn’t really need an introduction, does it?
25. Yeh Raatein Yeh Mausam
Picturised on Kishore Kumar and Nargis, and sung by the man and Asha Bhonsle, another timeless hit. The melody makes one want to sway without a care in the world, not to mention the lyrics. A must, must listen.
It is simply not possible to make an exhaustive list of all the best old Bollywood romantic songs that have our hearts. Still, we tried. Let us know which are your favourites in the comments!