On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Panjabi MC – Mundian to bach ke (2002)
” Mundian To Bach Ke” ( Punjabi: ਮੁੰਡਿਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਬੱਚ ਕੇ, IPA: [mʊɳɖɪãː tõː bətːʃ keː]), also titled ” Beware of the Boys (Mundian To Bach Ke)” or ” Beware”, is a bhangra song produced by British musician Panjabi MC, with vocals and lyrics by Punjabi artist Labh Janjua.
We’re continuing in the UK, dear reader, but leaving London behind and making our way north to Birmingham. Panjabi MC began his career in 1993 and looked to fuse hip hop with bhangra, a variant of music pioneered by Punjabi in the UK. When we join Panjabi MC in 2002 it is with the re-release of a single from 1998 entitled – Mundian to bach ke – and that has made our list today.
Mundian to bach ke translates as “Beware of the boys” and in the song the narrator is clearly addressing teenage girls who are now maturing into young women. They admonish these young women about the dangers to be found with “boys.” Now matured these women are drawing stares from the boys because of their beauty. They are looking at them in a different way to what they have before, these women are the talk of the town because of their appearance. The narrator reiterates their warnings throughout, insisting these women are still young, there is plenty of time and they should proceed carefully with all these boys around.
Mundian to bach ke is performed in Punjabi so a translation was necessary for your linguistic noob, dear reader. I did enjoy this one. There sounds like a catchy guitar piece throughout while the lyrics seem to come from a more traditional Indian setting with women told to remain largely covered. This re-release of the track proved to be a big hit across the globe and even a remix appeared at one stage which featured Jay-Z. Panjabi MC continues to perform and win acclaim but this was his finest hour.
Favourite songs so far: