TERA YAAR BOLDA

Surjit Bindrakhia

Tera Yaar Bolda is a song most people have heard at any given Punjabi celebration. It’s one of the most popular Punjabi songs and still holds a special place in the hearts of many listeners.

Lyrics Overview

Tera Yaar Bolda is about a girl and her new relationship with a powerful gangster. Bindrakhia sings about the gangster’s political power and the extravagant romantic gestures that money and fame afford him. Through the entire song, and even in its name, Bindhrakia describes how the new relationship has given the girl more confidence and swagger. The song ends with a twist by introducing the lyricist, Shamsher Sandhu, as the jealous ex-boyfriend.

Lyrics Translated

Verse 1

Jihdey heth gohra modey te donali nee, pagg bandah Jeone Morh wali nee.
He rides his horse with a shotgun on his shoulder, ties his turban like Jeone Morh

Jihdey heth gohra modey te donali nee, pagg bandah Jeone Morh wali nee.
He rides his horse with a shotgun on his shoulder, ties his turban like Jeone Morh

Jihdi pachiyaan pindaan ch' sardari nee, lali eho jahey velli naal yaari (1) nee.
He runs 25 villages, you should be the girlfriend of such a gangster.

Kehndey D.C. vi salute ohnu marda,
They say even the Deputy Commissioner even salutes him.

Kehndey D.C. vi salute ohnu marda,
They say even the Deputy Commissioner even salutes him.

Paeran ch' thaney dar rollda.
The police inspector falls at his feet.

Chorus

Tu nahi boldi rakaney tu nahi boldi, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
Girl, it’s not you talking, it’s him talking through you.

Tu nahi boldi rakaney tu nahi boldi, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
Girl, it’s not you talking, it’s him talking through you.

Verse 2

Tenu teejey din film dikhaunda nee, hathi pun ke badaam khawaunda nee.
Every three days he takes you to the movies, he hand-roasts the almonds to feed you.

Tenu teejey din film dikhaunda nee, hathi shill ke badaam khawaunda nee.
Every three days he takes you to the movies, he hand-peels the almonds to feed you.

Dubba gehneyaan da pa ke tu rakh di, chootey jeep utey lendi na tu thakdi
You wear a full box-worth of jewlery, and enjoy endless rides on his jeep.

Odey ishqe da para hai bholiye,
He has so much love for you, girl

Odey ishqe da para hai bholiye,
He has so much love for you, girl

Ni teri naad-naad bolda.
It speaks from every vein in your body

Chorus

Tu nahi boldi rakaney tu nahi boldi, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
Girl, it’s not you talking, it’s him talking through you.

Tu nahi boldi rakaney tu nahi boldi, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
Girl, it’s not you talking, it’s him talking through you.

Interlude

Yaar bolda, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
It’s him talking through you.

Yaar bolda, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
It’s him talking through you.

Yaar bolda, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
It’s him talking through you.

Verse 3

Ohdey paisey ne hai jadoo jiha paa liya, tere dil te deemag utey shaa geya.
His money cast spell on you, and won over your heart and mind.

Ohdey paisey ne hai jadoo jiha paa liya, tere dil te deemag utey shaa geya
His money cast spell on you, and won over your heart and mind.

Nit navey tenu suit pawaanda ni, janey khaney kol phir da dikhaunda nee.
He always gets you new suits and takes you out to see entertainers.

Ohdey zor nu ta sara jag janda,
The whole world knows of his power

Ohdey zor nu ta sara jag janda,
The whole world knows of his power.

Ni baha te pahaar tolda.
He lifts mountains on his arms

Chorus

Tu nahi boldi rakaney tu nahi boldi, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
Girl, it’s not you talking, it’s him talking through you.

Tu nahi boldi rakaney tu nahi boldi, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
Girl, it’s not you talking, it’s him talking through you.

Verse 4

Sada chalna ki zor nee gareeban da, fal poghna ey painda nee naseeban da.
What power does a poor guy like me have? You have to take whatever destiny gives you.

Sada chalna ki zor nee gareeban da, fal poghna ey painda nee naseeban da.
What power does a poor guy like me have? You have to take whatever destiny gives you.

Par bhulangi kiven tu pehla pyaar nee, Sandhu yaad tenu aau baar-baar nee.
But, how will you forget your first love? You’ll remember Sandhu repeatedly.

Deja-deja ne peyala ohnu zeher da
Give him a vial of poison.

Deja-deja ne peyala ohnu zeher da
Give him a vial of poison.

Jo khoon de hai hanju dolda
Who cries of tears of blood

Chorus

Tu nahi boldi rakaney tu nahi boldi, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
Girl, it’s not you talking, it’s him talking through you.

Tu nahi boldi rakaney tu nahi boldi, tere ch' tera yaar bolda
Girl, it’s not you talking, it’s him talking through you.

Vocab
  1. ਯਾਰੀ, yaari (noun, feminine): friendship; love affair
  2. ਨਾੜ, naad (noun, feminine): tendon, nerve, vein
  3. ਨਸੀਬ, nseeb (noun, masculine): luck, destiny, or fate
No items found.

Song Breakdown

The Musical Breakdown

Despite the simple song composition, these elements combine to form a high energy, folk Punjabi banger perfect for any celebration. The energy is infectious and gets everyone onto the dancefloor.

Here are the main musical elements to Tera Yaar Bolda.

1. Dhol 🥁

This barrel-shaped drum provides heavy bass and creates a syncopated beat. Syncopation refers to the use of offbeat notes to inject more excitement into the song and is frequently used in dance music.

2. Synthesizer 🎹

There are two sets of patterns played by the synthesizer in this song.

  • The higher pitched pattern replicates the sound of a tumbi, a Punjabi folk string instrument. This is used in a “call and response” fashion after the first line of every verse. This structure makes the track sound catchy.
  • The lower-pitched pattern is used for riffs during the interludes. The synthesizer provides a modern touch to the folk instruments.

3. Lalkaare 🗣

Lalkaare include the “Brrruuaaah” and “Hoy” vocalizations you hear in the background of the song. These are commonly used during bhangra boliyan and contribute to the high energy of the track, and function similarly to the ad-libs used in modern pop and hip hop music.

What’s Love without Tragedy

What’s love without tragedy? The lyricist Shamsher Sandhu laments that being a powerful man was not in his destiny. Just like every ex, Sandhu reminds the girl no one will love her like he did, and claims she’ll always remember him as her first love. Sandhu realizes he is feeble compared to the gangster and has no chance, so he asks for poison to end his pain.

In Verse 3, it’s hinted that the girl is only interested in the gangster because of what he can offer, and our lyricist is not a fan. 

Ohdey paisey ne hai jadoo jiha paa liya, tere dil te deemag utey shaa geya.
His money cast spell on you, and won over your heart and mind.

The song seems to highlight Sandhu’s inadequacies. He is envious of the gangster’s political power and physical prowess, but seeing the new swagger his ex has hurts him the most. He knows he can’t offer this girl boxes of jewelry, entertainment, etc., but he did offer her genuine love. In the end, does love win or the promise of abundance and excess?

Everything is Dramatized

Despite its ending, Tera Yaar Bolda is not a heartbreaking song; it is an entertaining story of a common man saying goodbye to his lover.

In a very Punjabi fashion, everything is dramatized. Punjabi celebrations are a dazzling spectacle from the dancing and singing to the elaborate suits, and copious amounts of food. Tera Yaar Bolda embodies this spirit, from Sandhu’s desire to take poison, to the over-the-top descriptions of romance, to the larger than life descriptions of this gangster. The song’s exaggerated nature reflects the grandeur of Punjabi celebration itself.

Opulence, abundance, and excess are not only material themes but cultural themes that are echoed in songs like Tera Yaar Bolda.

Bindrakhia’s Legacy

Surjit Bindrakhia is one of the most dominant Punjabi singers whose powerful voice never fails to astound and demands dancing. Despite singing for live teams at the start of his career, Bindrakhia expanded bhangra music from its rustic origins to the modern form we appreciate today.

The early 2000s marked the rise of “remix Bhangra.” Producers took traditional folk bhangra lyrics and combined them with hip-hop and pop sounds. Bindhrakia’s songs became a favorite among UK producers, and modern bhangra production developed from these initial remixes. An example is Tera Yaar Bolda (2002). You can clearly hear the introduction of Western pop blended with key folk elements.

Bindrakhia’s influence is undeniable. Many artists have attempted to recreate his hit songs. One of the most moving tributes is from his son, Gitaz Bindrakhia. In his Yaar Bolda (2019), he dedicates the first few minutes to his father, who tragically passed away from a heart attack. He compares his father to an ocean and himself as the waves, illustrating that he is simply an extension of his father’s legacy. This touching eulogy is a statement that rings true for the entire Punjabi music industry. Punjabi music would not be what it is today without Surjit Bindrakhia.


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