Dum Maro Dum: psychedelic Hindi lyrics in Western arrangement that influenced generations
Dum Maro Dum is a popular Hindi song written by Anand Bakshi and composed by Rahul Dev Burman for the 1971 Bollywood film Hare Rama Hare Krishna. In stark contrast to the standard melodramas of the time, the film is based on a true story personally unearthed by director Dev Anand during his visit to a hippie commune in Kathmandu.
Performed by famed playback singer Asha Bhosle, the song appears at the climax of the film when the main character dances rather frivolously surrounded by her hippie friends who defiantly smoke hashish chillum and marijuana joints and exhale thick fumes into the frame.
Featuring electric guitar and organ parts, Dum Maro Dum showcases one of the first Western rock arrangements in Bollywood, and the overall sound design of the song closely resembles the psychedelic sounds of 1970s California bands. The song's meaning is reduced to the popular paradigm of the time and encourages the viewer to take another toke and sing “Hare Krishna Hare Ram” from dusk till dawn to will the problems away.
Listen to Dum Maro Dum by Asha Bhosle:
Dum Maro Dum became a major hit in India and had a huge impact on youth culture in the following decades. Curiously, the film shows the song in a negative connotation which is immediately followed by a response song from the character played by Dev Anand himself who urges against defiling the name of Rama.