There's dancing
Behind movie scenes
Behind the movie scenes
Sadi Rani

She's the one that keeps the dream alive
From the morning
Past the evening
To the end of the light

Brimful of Asha on the 45
Well it's a brimful of Asha on the 45
And dancing
Behind movie scenes

Behind those movie scenes
Asha Bhosle
She's the one that keeps the dream alive
From the morning

Past the evening
To the end of the light
Brimful of Asha on the 45
Well it's a brimful of Asha on the 45

And singing
Illuminate thee main streets
And the cinema aisles
We don't care bout no

Gov't warnings,
'bout their promotion of a simple life
And the dams they're building
Brimful of Asha on the 45

Well it's a brimful of Asha on the 45
Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow
Everybody needs a bosom
Mine's on the 45

Mohamed Rufhi-45
Lata Mangeshkar-45
Solid state radio-45
Fer-guh-son mono-45

Bonn publeek-45
Jacques Dutronc and the Bolan Boogie, the Heavy
Hitters and the Chichi music
All India Radio-45

Two in ones-45
Argo Records-45
Trojan Records-45
Brimful of Asha on the 45

Orchestra set
Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow
Mine's on the RPM!!

Lyrics submitted by ninjakkkk, edited by timmurphy1969

Brimful of Asha Lyrics as written by Tjinder Singh

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Brimful Of Asha song meanings
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  • +8
    Song Meaningneo979 posted a link to a story about this story. I am pasting the full text here for the sake of posterity. Small formating changes have been done.


    Brimful of Asha, Explained

    By splitpeasoup in Culture
    Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 07:54:20 AM EST
    Tags: Music (all tags)

    (Or, a Short Introduction (with a Long Subtitle) to the Hindi Film Music Experience for the Ignorant but Interested Westerner)

    Cornershop's "Brimful of Asha" is one of those songs that are simultaneously poppy and deeply meaningful. Unfortunately the wealth of meaning in the lyrics may not be readily apparent to most non-desis ((person of Indian roots)), or for that matter, to many desis either.

    At the risk of diminishing the enjoyment of those who do understand the somewhat esoteric message, this essay attempts to make it clear enough for anybody to appreciate. In the process we'll be touching on Indian culture in general and specifically on that great opiate of the Indian masses, the movie industry.

    Cornershop is an East-West fusion pop-rock group. The East part comes from Tjinder Singh, who grew up in England but is of Punjabi origin. Tjinder strongly identifies with his Indian heritage; the group's name itself derives from a play on the stereotype of the Indian/Pakistani street-corner grocery store clerk.

    "Brimful of Asha" came out in 1997. With its catchy refrain it became a hit on US radio, as well as in Cornershop's native UK.

    To understand the song, one must understand the Indian movie industry. Ever since cinema was introduced to India, most commercial movies have been heavy, sweet, musical productions. The song-and-dance interludes are not incidentals, but staples, and often are what make or break a movie. An American friend of mine was under the impression that singing was a necessary skill for Indian actors and actresses! Actually, the singing is almost always done by background singers. The background singers, of course, are not required to possess charisma or looks, and in fact in early times, care was taken to not expose them in the media, to preserve the romantic association with their voices in the minds of the moviegoing public.

    Why is all this so important? Right from the beginning, movies took over the hearts and lives of common Indians in a manner that nothing has done before or since. The happiness, the tragedy, the passionate and tender love, and the conflict are all designed to speak to the melodrama-loving Indian heart. As Hindi grew more popular, Hindi movies took over the whole country. The heart of the Hindi film industry in Bombay, whimsically nicknamed Bollywood, eventually became a force larger than the one it was named after. The songs are no exception, and over the last sixty years or so filmi music, as it is called, has become by far the most popular kind in India.

    Two female background singers perhaps distinguish themselves from the rest in sheer prolificness and popularity: Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar. The two, as it happens, are sisters, and recently there has been much focus on their professional and sibling rivalry. At any rate, their singing formed the emotional soundtrack of India, as it were, for many years.

    That, in essence, is what "Brimful of Asha" is all about.

    Here are the lyrics, with notes:

    There's dancing behind movie scenes,
    Behind those movie screens - saddi rani.

    >> Saddi rani - "our queen", in Punjabi.

    She's the one that keeps the dream alive,
    From the morning, past the evening, till the end of the light.

    Brimful of Asha on the forty-five.
    Well, it's a brimful of Asha on the forty-five. (x2)

    >> Asha' is a pun. It refers to Asha Bhonsle, but the word also means "hope".
    >> What does "hope" signify in this context? The movies and songs are in many ways
    >> a fantasy of something better than people's own lives. For instance,
    >> Indian youth whose overbearing parents would never permit them to marry those
    >> they fall in love with may yet indulge themselves in the romances they see onscreen
    >> and hear about in these ballads. The "45", for you of the CD player generation,
    >> is the 45 revolutions-per-minute record player.
    >> Incidentally, the word 'Asha' is normally pronounced with both 'a's long,
    >> as in 'father'. Tjinder, with his British accent, pronounces it like "Asher",
    >> touchingly making the song both more and less genuine at the same time.
    >> As a result the refrain often gets misheard, sometimes in quite hilarious ways.
    >> "Grim poodle basher" is my personal favorite.

    And singing
    Illuminate the main streets and the cinema aisles.
    We don't care about no government warning,
    About the promotion of the simple life and the dams they are building.

    >> What is he talking about? The movies and songs are an escape:
    >> they are what allow people to forget important concerns, at least for a while.
    >> The reference to dams might need a bit of explanation.
    >> In India, these often are unnecessarily huge and costly projects
    >> that are designed that way with the aim of being points of prestige, and besides,
    >> for lining the pockets of politicians and contractors. They displace thousands
    >> of people and impact the environment in massive ways. The project currently approved
    >> on the Narmada is one present-day example. So these are issues that
    >> people should be worried about.
    >> But this escapism is not presented as being bad.
    >> The spirit of the song is that movie fantasy is a lovely and comfortable thing.

    Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, everybody needs a bosom, (x3)

    >> Isn't that a beautiful line? But the last one's even better:

    Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, mine's on the forty-five.

    >> To me, at least, that's poetry.

    Mohammed Rafi - forty-five. Lata Mangeshkar - forty-five.
    Solid state radio - forty-five. Ferguson Mono - forty-five.
    Non public - forty-five.
    Jacques Dutronc and the Bolan Boogies ...
    The Heavy Hitters and the chi-chi music ...
    All Indian radio - forty-five. Two in ones - forty-five.
    Ovvo records - forty-five. Trojan records - forty-five.

    >> These are historic icons of filmi and pop music.
    >> Rafi and Mangeshkar are other background singers.
    >> Solid state radio is self-explanatory.
    >> All-India Radio is the one, public radio station that existed all the decades
    >> before privatized radio stations and FM came to India.
    >> Two-in-ones are radio-cum-casette players.
    >> I confess the other references are strange to me.

    7-7,000 piece orchestra set,

    >> Huge orchestras are intrinsic to filmi music. Of course 7000 is a little hyperbolic.

    Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow; mine's on the RPM...

    >> Why do I find this song so remarkable? Most people, when talking of Indian culture,
    >> tend to make statements which fall in two categories. The first consists of
    >> glorifications of classical Indian culture, philosophy, tradition, and so forth.
    >> The second consists of lamentations about the corruption, poverty, dirt,
    >> and how the whole country is going to the dogs.
    >> It is relatively unusual for someone to touch on the spirit of the ornery hard-bitten
    >> yet cheerful street-corner Indian, the one who always has to worry about the expenses
    >> for next month but yet decides on an impulse to splurge on hot samosas.
    >> Cornershop manages to celebrate and showcase this joie de vivre,
    >> and to do so with skill and sensitivity, and for this, they deserve to be congratulated.

    cabanastyleson February 18, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentCheck out… . Other explanations of this song pale in comparison.
    neo979on March 06, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentin short:

    Asha Bhonsle: Incredibly famous playback singer in Bollywood movies. She\'s been singing since the 40\'s along with her sister Lata Mangeshkar, who is also mentioned in the song. Mohammed Rafi is another increidibly famous playback singer.

    In Bollywood movies the actors lip synch and the playback singers provide the actual voices. But-- playback singers are famous on their own, and sell lots of records.

    FWIW, Asha was one of the singers in \"Lagaan\" which was a x-over hit here in the US.
    Mojave66on April 23, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentalfiebaby if your talking about 'sadi rani' it means 'our queen'.

    this song is great- and asha deserves it!
    raheelon December 06, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOkay-- I've done a bit of research on this song because I absolutely love it I think it has a great rhythm, and did I mention that my name is also Asha? I figured if there was going to be a song about me I might as well know what it was saying!
    First a few essential facts: the name Asha means "hope", so the title and chorus are also saying "brimful of hope". The song mentions a lot famous Indian singers and actors, most specifically Asha herself who as already mentioned is a bit of a legend over there. The media and entertainment industries are huge in India, people are really into that kind of thing a lot more than they are over here. Bollywood produces a lot of really good films and music is also huge. Thats what all the references and names are from. So basically the song is about discovering hope though the media, and a kind of release from the poverty, troubles, and drudgery of every day life. So the title is a play on words, talking both about hope and about the popular artists being a huge part of life. They are really singing then about the political problems of India and the ability to find hope and comfort through music-- hence the "everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, mines on the 45", which I think is sort of similar tp people needing a shoulder to cry on, and being able to find that through music because a 45 is an old record player. Its a much more beautiful song when you actually know what it all means and refers to!
    amoweron January 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOh, and I forgot to add that Fatboy Slim does a good job covering this... Well I think so anyway.
    anna118kon October 17, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song certainly takes on new meaning for me now that I know wtf they are talking about, lol.

    Seriously though, this is an amazing song and getting some background on it adds a whole new level to it. It also helps that I have been reading some Thomas L. Friedman recently. The lines "We don't care about no Gov't warnings, / about their promotion of a simple life / And the dams they're building" makes a lot of sense, comparing the traditional values being promoted by the gov't to the new capitalistic principals that have led to the creation of a middle class in India, similar to that of the United States.

    And frankly, everybody does need a bosom for a pillow.
    cabanastyleson February 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThank you for the full interpretation neo979, that's great!

    As a French girl I'd like to add my feelings about something that was "strange" to him ;)
    Jacques Dutronc is a famous french singer. And I remember reading once in an interview of the Cornershop singer that he was "imitating Dutronc" at the end of the song. So I'm pretty sure the line just before he mentions Dutronc is "Mon public", meaning "my audience", pronounced with a pretty bad french accent ^^
    He's singing a line in french = imitating french singer Dutronc (I don't know that much about Dutronc's work, so maybe the way he sings this whole part is also a reference to his songs, I don't know)
    Ptiluon June 07, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcornershp is probably one of THE coolest bands. yes it'd be even better if they toured to asslanta (atlanta). yes, well, CORNERSHOP ROCKS!
    Nimbus the Kittenon June 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have no clue what this song means. check out ogulate
    ryboon August 20, 2002   Link

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