I got this request from Nat_03 today and I was thinking, “oh I will just post it in a jiffy, it’s just four lines really. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a lesser-known song. It is, in fact quite an evergreen disco number from Bollywood, composed by the unmatched Bappi Lahiri. The Bollywood version itself was inspired by “T’es OK (1980) from French Euro disco group Ottawan.

So, I started translating and once I was done, I decided to do some research for a short introduction. Turns out, it took me several hours of reading and watching videos to realize what a phenomenon this song has been in Southern and Central Asia, Eastern and Western Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, Turkey and former Soviet Union. The film, Disco Dancer was a huge hit in former USSR and people know the songs from that film by heart. Although, nothing comes close to ‘Jimmy’. It’s a real cult! People perform it in concerts, talent shows, propose marriages with this song and perform the song when they do get married. They perform in full Indian costumes and Bollywood choreography. Many singers have also made it their own with new words and interludes. Just check out these links to enter the world of Jimmy!

British artist M.I.A has also done a fairly political-personal version of Jimmy for her album Kala. Apparently she had heard the song since childhood and when she decided to ‘Jimmy,’ she based it on her date and subsequent relationship with British conflict journalist Ben Anderson as he covered genocides across nations in Africa. The opening words are quite clear on her intent.

When you go Rwanda, Congo
Take me on your genocide tour
Take me on a truck to Darfur
Take me where you would go

Here is the video of the song that reminded me more of the dance of Thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara (Buddha) from Malaysia and Thailand.

My favorite story is about Baimurat Allaberiyev aka Tajik Jimmy, a Uzbekistan-born, Tajikistan-based former construction worker whose video singing ‘Goro Ki Na Kaalo Ki’ and  ‘Jimmy Jimmy’  went viral in June 2008. This talented young man would sing both male and female parts with expertise and won many hearts with his performance.

I faintly remember seeing it back then and being thoroughly entertained, albeit a bit amused at his pronunciations. It seems like Allaberiyev’s talent has been well- recognized and now performs all over Russia, at concerts and clubs. Here is Tajik Jimmy going ‘I am a disco dancer’ in a concert. It makes me so joyous!

Coming back to the translation, it’s really only a few lines but Parvati Khan’s rendition of the song makes it very catchy and danceable. In the film, actress Kim Yashpal, is trying to motivate Jimmy (Mithun Chakraborty in his career-best role in Disco Dancer) to leave his sorrow of losing his mother in a freak accident aside. She wants him to sing again and calls out his name again and again, that’s basically half the song, not leaving much to translate. The video, on the other hand, certainly calls one out to dance immidiately. Thanks to Nat_03 for opening the world of ‘Jimmy’ for me! Please keep sending in more of such requests, I learnt so much from this!

Song Credits
Lyrics: Anjaan
Singers: Parvati Khan
Music: Bappi Lahiri

Movie Credits
Directed by: Babbar Subhash
Starring: Mithun Chakraborty, Kim Yashpal, Rajesh Khanna
Produced by: Babbar Subhash, Tilotima Babbar Subhash
Release: 10 December 1982

Original Lyrics-Jimmy Jimmy

Jimmy jimmy jimmy aaja aaja aaja
Jimmiy jimmy jimmy aaja aaja aaja
Aajare mere saath, yeh jagi jagi raath
Pukare thuje sun, sunade wohi dhun
Jimmy jimmy jimmy aaja aaja aaja
Jimmiy jimmy jimmy aaja aaja aaja
Aajare mere saath, yeh jagi jagi raath
Pukare thuje sun, sunade wohi dhun
Jimmy jimmy jimmy aaja aaja aaja
Jimmy jimmy jimmy aaja aaja aaja

Ayise gum sum tu hai kyun khamoshi thod de
Jeena kya dil haarke paagalpan choodh de
Ayise gum sum tu hai kyun khamoshi thod de
Jeena kya dil haarke paagalpan choodh de

Aajare mere saath, yeh jagi jagi raath
Pukare thuje sun, sunade wohi dhun
Jimmy jimmy jimmy aaja aaja aaja
Jimmiy jimmy jimmy aaja aaja aaja

Translation of Jimmy Jimmy by bollywoodtarjuma

Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy, come on, come back
Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy, come on, come back

Join me and jive,
for the night is alive,
the music is calling you, hear
sing that tune you hold dear.
Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy, come on, come back
Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy, come on, come back

Why are you so quiet,
break the silence that’s inside.
Why live so hopeless ,
Leave this insanity aside.
Join me and jive,
for the night is alive,
the music is calling you, hear
sing that tune you hold dear.
Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy, come on, come back
Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy, come on, come back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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