Dupatta tera Sat Rang Da

by Shamsher Sandhu

Translated by Moninder Jheeta and Sumer Johal and Radhika Nagpal

© Copyright 2001 MIT Bhangra

A beautiful song, one of the better songs for dancing bhangra. The musical quality of this song, and the lyrics, makes it great to listen to. The lyrics contain many typical punjabi sayings. I've explained some of them below.
Modhe ton tilkda jave 
Sataraan wal khave 
Dupatta tera satrang da, 
Dupatta tera satrang da, 
Chobheraan nu barda tardpave 
Seene agh lave 
Dupatta tera satrang da 

Oh sakhiyan che rehaniyan 
tu rani ban ke 
Oh sadak wich lange patrani ban ke 
Meeh ambharaan de wich ehe pave 
Ni jadon leherave 
Dupatta tera satrang da 

Kehande he jawani hundi 
pukhi pyaar di 
Taang ehnu rahe sada dildar di 
Sajana noo piya eh bulave 
Na thorda sharmave 
Dupatta tera satrang da 

Danna, danna, danna 
Dupateyah sach das ve, 
Mein kehrde pind muklave jana? 

Hirna ne tor hey udhari 
tethon mangi 
Ma-piyan dee jaan ni toon 
sooli utte tangi 
Cheetey chan na koi nava hee chadave 
Kasoota jabh pave 
Dupatta tera satrang da 

Sandhu dekh hoya nee shudayee phirda 
Photo teri batuey che payee phirda 
Geet teri hee dupatte de oh gave 
Nee jind tardpave, 
Dupatta tera sat rang da 

It slips (tilkda) from your shoulder (modha) 
It makes seventeen (sataraan=17) waves (wal khave) 
Your chunni of seven colours 
Oh (beautiful) girl, 

It fills the young men with longing (tardap=suffer) 
Setting their hearts (seena=chest) on fire (agh) 
Your scarf (dupatta) of seven (sat) colours (rang) 

You live like a queen (rani) amongst (wich) 
your girlfriends (sakhiyan) 
And in the clear path you walk very flirtateously 
Putting rainbows (meeh=rain) in the sky (ambaraan) 
When (jadon) it waves (leherave) 
Your scarf of seven colours 

They say that youth is hungry for love 
It is forever (sada) tense (taang) in search of 
a lover (dildar) 
It calls the lover "piya" 
Without a bit of shame (sharam) 
Your scarf of seven colours 

Danna, danna, danna 
Oh dupatta, tell me (das) the truth (sach) 
Which village (kehrde pind) is the one of 
my future husband (mukhlava***) 

The deer have borrowed (udhari) their 
walk (tor) from you *** 
You've put your parents' (ma-piyan) life (jaan) 
on death-row (sooli=noose) (they're worried to death) 
I hope you don't create some new (nava) problem 
when that dupatta is whirled into a knot (kasoota), 
Your scarf of seven colours 

Sandhu (the song writer) has gone crazy (shudayee) for you 
He walks (phirda) around with your photo in his 
wallet (batua) *** 
He only sings songs (geet) about your dupatta 
That dupatta which troubles (tardpave) his life, 
Your dupatta of seven colours. 

Mukhlava = When girl's side goes to visit to boys's side. The word mukh=face, so literally mukhlava means showing face. This is in preparation for marriage. The woman in this verse is asking her dupatta, as if it could tell the future, where she lover will be. Which points to another intersting fact about punjabi songs in general --- the singer switches between the voice of some observer, the woman herself, and later on his own self (Sandhu). This is common in punjabi songs.

Hirni = The deer is considered a very graceful animal and is often used as a comparison for the graceful woman. Common compliments are to the big eyes (Hirni di Akh) and the graceful walk (Hirni di Tor). Here, he compliments her by saying that the deer are so graceful only because they borrowed their graceful style from her.

Sandhu = Here the singer refers to himself, as being crazy about this woman. This is very typical in the last verse to bring in your own name and end on a very personal note (also see Aj Bhangra Paun nu Ji Karda, by Malkit). For those who love ghazals, they will recognize this --- in ghazals too the poet often ends with a verse that uses their own name.

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