Winter’s here, which means it’s Wedding Season! Band, baaja, baaraat time *woot, woot!* Indian weddings are synonymous with music; Mehendi, Sangeet, Shaadi, Reception – and the other innumerable rasam and rivaaz in between – are incomplete without it.
A wedding is a colossal affair where everyone, from relatives to the mohalle-waale, is involved; even when it comes to music. We’ve heard it all:
- Ladies of the house and the neighbourhood aunties – particularly the zealous aunties – singing their hearts out,
- The live orchestra at Sangeet functions playing classics like Mere angne mein tumhara kya kaam hai
- Band-wallahs announcing your yaar’s shaadi to the entire city,
- And the DJ belting out one Yo Yo Honey Singh number after another.
Speaking of which, Punjabi songs deserve a special mention. No wedding is complete without a Gal Mitthi Mitthi Bol or Main Toh Ainvayi, Ainvayi. Admit it! So, if you’re out hunting for the best contemporary Punjabi songs to brighten up your friend’s, sibling’s, or heck, even your own wedding ceremonies, you’re at the right place.
I’ve been pondering over this list since quite some time now so be rest assured a lot of thought and research has gone into it. If only college research work could be this fun. *Ahem*
I’ve done away with Bollywood Punjabi songs, because they’re basically inescapable, and stuck to those from latest Punjabi movies and albums. (To maintain recency, all listed songs are 2013-2015 releases). It’s pretty much got something for everyone. You’ll love these if you’re a Punjabi music fan, or a Punjabi, or both!
- Godday Godday Chaa – Malkit Singh
The happiest song I’ve heard in a long time. Anyone with a large family who loves their food, drink and dance will instantly connect with and love it. It address every possible member of one’s family from Mummy-Daddy, Chacha-Chachi, Maasi-Maasar, brothers, sisters, jija, friends, relatives and the entire gathering; with ‘Kaala Doriya’ thrown in for good measure. You won’t feel left out with this one no matter how you’re related (or not) to the groom!
- Sithneyan – Jaz Dhami
Sithneyan refers to light banter that ensues between the maternal (Naanke) and paternal (Daadke) sides of the family. The song has run into a controversy-of-sorts where some consider the lyrics to be offensive (with reference to the YouTube comments). However, for those who can take it with a pinch of salt, this is one enjoyable song.
- Goreyan Nu Daffa Karo – Title Song
Punjabi folk music with a twist of modernity! Sung by Amrinder Gill and Shipra Goyal, this song is naturally beautiful and captures the essence of traditional Punjabi songs; the only twist being the silver di taar.
- Glassi – Mr. & Mrs. 420
The people who stand strong through the entire wedding rigmarole deserve a song in their honour, right? No, not the bride and groom; I’m talking about their friends. These guys (and girls) put their heart and soul into performing their BFF duties, which of course earns them the right to enjoy to the fullest! After all, if it wasn’t for your buddies, who would breathe life into your Sangeet and Mehendi? And who would dance in your baaraat as if his life depends on it, haan?
Speaking from personal experience, I’ve seen people take these lines a tad seriously – ‘ajj nachna ae sir te glassi rakhke’ and ‘muh vich rumaal paake hath naal ghumaavangey’; even when the song doesn’t call for it. Such is the level of enthusiasm and energy. Believe me you definitely want this on your list. Plus, it has Jassi Gill, Yuvraj Hans and Binnu Dhillon for God’s sake. Need more reasons?
- Ghagre Di Lauwn – Dildariyaan
It calls for only 3 things: dance, dance and dance. The beats of the song and voices of Jassi Gill and Kaur B make you forget the world and do the Bhangra, shoulder chak chak ke!
- Saa Charju – PNB
Wedding playlist without the quintessential Girls Vs. Boys Bhangra song? Whaaa? Nuh-uh! This one by hit-machine PBN is absolutely fun and will linger in your mind all day. It indulges in a healthy battle of the sexes and has some amazing beats fit for the bhangre de rajas and giddeyaan di ranis! Bring together the men and women of the family and let the dance war begin. Don’t forget the Grey Goose. Just saying. It is after all a wedding, no?
- Shagna Di Tyari – Happy Raikoti (7 Knaalan)
‘Every girl dreams of her wedding day’; har ladki ka sapna and all that. I was reminded of these cringe-worthy statements we’ve heard a million times over and pleasantly surprised to see how the cliché has been taken and turned on its head in the most adorable way. Ha! So, it isn’t only the girls who dream of their big day! Shanga Di Tyari is a song from the boy’s point-of-view (finally!) and a masterpiece by young gun, Happy Raikoti.
- Dil Da Plot – Mundeyan Ton Bachke Rahin
This one by Jassi Gill & Roshan Prince, the immensely talented duo that has taken the Punjabi music scene by storm, is a must-have on your wedding playlist. (Come to think of it, I’ve unintentionally listed quite a few Jassi Gill songs; seems like he’s ruling the roost. Good for him!)
Baaki kudiyaan da 22, 23, 24, 25, 26… The play on the word ‘boycott’, ‘bai’cott (in the Punjabi accent) and ‘22’ (the number 22 is pronounced in Punjabi as bāī) is epic and terribly cute. That was just FYI because you mustn’t miss out on it.
- Aaja Bhangra Pa Laiye – Saadi Love Story
Diljit Dosanjh and Amrinder Gill. What? Isn’t that reason enough for a song to be absolutely phenomenal? You have Navraj Hans’ vocals to boot. Okay, Surveen Chawla is the leading lady. Happy now? Yay! *ting*
- Nanke Dadke (Boliyan) – Raj Ghuman
One solely for the Punjabi weddings! Think the list is incomplete without Boliyaan? Me too. So here you go! In her distinct voice, Raj Ghuman sings this beautiful number, which gets feet tapping and the entire family dancing! Burrraahh!
I can’t help adding one more to my initial list ‘cuz 10 is just not enough! Here’s a bonus:
- Singh Naal Jodi – Sukhshinder Shinda & Diljit Dosanjh
One simply can’t put together a Punjabi playlist and give the most effervescent and lively jodi a miss. Go traditional with this beautiful Singh-Kaur track sung by the remarkable duo of Diljit Dosanjh and Sukhshinder Shinda. O chakkle dholiye!
There! You’re now ready to impress the family with your knowledge of fantastic songs! You’re welcome 😀