The Power of a Song

This post is updated.

The song, Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint, was in the Spike Lee movie, Inside Man (a well done caper movie). This music raises the tempo of my heart, tickles my legs to start dancing, and makes my soul feel light and happy. I could listen to it every day as a substitute for my morning cup of coffee. Before I saw the video I had an image of a train — no wonder! It’s been too long since I danced, or since I heard a song that physically pulled me, like an eager man grabbing my hand pulling me to the dance floor. (That did happen, by the way, when I went to a Moroccan restaurant a few months ago. They had belly dancers, and one was a male and female pair. The man pulled me and my friend up to dance along with other women in the center of the room. I felt such joy!) I need to explore other Bollywood music; if the songs are similarly energizing, a CD or two is in order!

If the embedded video isn’t working you can see it here.

Update: The English translation lyrics are available below (click below).

He whose head is in the shadow of love
will have heaven beneath his feet.
Whose head is in the shadow of love…
Walk in the shadow.
Walk in heaven, walk in the shadow.

There’s a friend who is like a sweet fragrance,
whose words are like poetry (lit. Urdu, the language of poetry),
who is my evening, my night, my existence.
That friend is my beloved!


Sometimes (my beloved) flirts like a flower,
so fragrantly that you may see her scent.
Having made it into an charm, I will wear it.
She shall be obtained as a miracle is obtained.
She is my song, my declaration of faith
(kalama: the Muslim confession of faith, as in, “la ilaaha il allaah” – “there is no God but Allah”).
(My friend is like a priest to me.)
My song… my declaration of faith…
She moves like the dew.
She walks with the garden of heaven beneath her feet,
sometimes through the branches, sometimes amidst the leaves.
I shall search the wind for her trail!


trade in her beauty.
Fickle, she flits shamelessly from sun to shade.
She changes her bright colors;
I negotiate that as well.


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3 Comments on “The Power of a Song”

  1. gerry rosser Says:

    I watched it.

  2. acm Says:

    that was great fun! thanks for sharing. not every Bollywood movie is a big winner, but there is lots of good music to be had. of course, most movie scores will include upbeat songs like this, plus slower songs (say, as mother laments her fading youth) and other moods — most such movies are epic in scope. but if you can’t find just the right score, any kind of Indian-pop (or Indian-based world beat) album might fit the bill…

  3. Jen Says:

    I love this song – I have it on my iTunes.