MUMBAI HIGH – THE MUSICAL (aka CITY OF DREAMS-A MUSICAL)

Century Films / BBC / Dir: Brian Hill, Sam Benstead

Music, Songs and Lyrics : Nainita Desai

Winner: Best Documentary at 4th Cine Indian Film Festival

Nomination: Popular Features Award at One World MediaAwards 2016

Official Selection IDFA, New York Film Festival

CLICK HERE TO READ AN INTERVIEW WITH ASIAN CULTURE VULTURE

Mumbai High: The Musical is a made by Brian Hill and Century Films, the makers of groundbreaking documentary musicals such as Feltham Sings, Songbirds and Drinking For England.

It is a dizzying and unique musical extravaganza. Set in a school in Dharavi, Mumbai, the biggest slum in Asia, it combines observational footage of the children’s daily lives, with songs reflecting their hopes and dreams.

Fourteen year old Mary lives with her parents and two sisters on the pavement of a busy road.  They have a rudimentary shelter and they all sleep on the floor, sometimes with rats running over them. Mary and the other characters have their dreams and ambitions and believe they can achieve them through education.  They are clever, bright, motivated and they sing!

This is no ordinary documentary, this is the very first Bollywood style documentary musical.  Mixed in with the traditional observational footage of the school are specially composed and choreographed song and dance numbers which the children (and teachers!) perform with incredible skill and charm.  No film has ever been made like this, it’s a perfect way to capture the unbreakable optimism and exuberance of youth. But this is not a depressing examination of extreme poverty, it’s an uplifting celebration of human spirit and endeavour, and it sets out to tell a wider tale of India.

It’s been quite a journey and the film was premiered on BBC4 in September as part of their Indian Summer Season. The musical journey has taken me from India, where I had the joy of working with the children and teachers in the film as well as musicians based in Mumbai, to Sofia, Bulgaria recording a 28 piece string section as well as holding various recording sessions in London with some of the UK’s top Indian musicians.

PRESS EXCERPTS

The Observer- “Uniquely, this wonderful programme is really a ‘musical documentary’ about the life of children..in Dharavi..Charming, uplifting, with great songs and dancing…A joy.”

The Times- “This was the life-affirming surprise of the week”

Sunday Times- “…the songs are seamlessly integrated and well performed…”

The Telegraph- “…clever mix of documentary and musical offers not only a portrait of the street children at a school in Mumbai, but also a snapshot of…the film moves seamlessly from dance scenes and songs reflecting the hopes and dreams of the people, to intimate footage of the street children talking about their lives and ambitions

MUSIC CREDITS

Musicians (UK):

Tabla: Alok Verma

Carnatik Violin: Jyotsna Srikanth

Bansuri Flute: Alex Teymour Housego

Sitar: Mehboob Nadeem

Musicians (India):

Sarangi: Sabir Khan

Saxophone: Amar Sukhi

Additional Lyrics: Alex Frost

Hindi | English | Marathi translations: Arun Kumar

Vocal Coach: Agnel Roman

Strings recorded by the Sofia Session Orchestra, Bulgaria

Mumbai strings recorded at ENZY Studios, Mumbai,

Vocals recorded at EM2 Studios, Mumbai

Engineers: Aamir Shaikh

Recording Assistant: Srikar Mn

Music Assistant: Oscar Garvin

Additional string orchestration: Javier Blanco

VERSE 1:  

PLEASE TAKE A SEAT INSIDE THE CLASS,

WE’RE HERE TO SERVE YOU,

FROM LITTLE SEEDS TO GIANT TREES,

WE’LL HELP YOU STAND TALL

SCIENCE, MATHS AND LANGUAGES,

THE CORE OF WHAT WE TEACH,

WILL SET YOU UP FOR EVERYTHING,

FOR ALL YOU HOPE TO REACH,

BRIDGE:  

FOREVER WE’LL MOTHER,

TAKE CARE NOT TO SMOTHER

WHEN THERE’S NO RESPITE

WE’RE HERE DAY AND NIGHT

TO SHOW YOU THE LIGHT

CHORUS: (ALL TEACHERS)

OPEN YOUR MIND

OPEN YOUR MIND

VERSE 2: (ENGLISH)

WITH SOME PARENTS DENIAL

DECIDING YOUR FATE

YOU MAY NOT HAVE MUCH TO EAT

OR SPACE TO REST YOUR FEET

UNABLE TO SAY A PEEP

WE WON’T LET YOU BE A SHEEP

BUT WE’LL LOVE AND CARE

TO HEAL EVERY TEAR

BRIDGE:  

FOREVER WE’LL MOTHER,

(BUT) TAKE CARE NOT TO SMOTHER

WHEN THERE’S NO RESPITE

WE’RE HERE DAY AND NIGHT

TO SHOW YOU THE LIGHT

CHORUS: 

OPEN YOUR MIND

OPEN YOUR MIND

MIDDLE 8: 

BOYS ARE ALREADY EXPECTED TO GROW

BUT GIRLS ARE EQUALLY ALL IN THE KNOW

SO WE MUST ENCOURAGE THEM TO BE BRAVE AND SHOW

THAT GIRLS CAN EQUALLY FLOURISH AND GLOW

SOLO: 

OPEN YOUR MIND

DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND

THE WORLD WILL BE KIND

SO OPEN YOUR MIND

INTRO:

 Pawus Pawus x4  (Rain , Rain)

CHORUS 1:  (Mary)

Water Water, The Giver of Life

Sometimes she takes away our home

We laugh and we dance, in the streets before Monsoon

With my sisters in the light of the moon

VERSE 1: (Mary)

Medals and Trophies, they cover our walls,

They will help to build my fame,

I hope one day I’ll play with Mr Beckham

And maybe win the game  (Mother: OUR HOPE LIVES)

CHORUS 2: (Mother)

Mary Mary, The blossom of my life

I hope that she has no strife

Silhouettes dancing in the drawings that she makes

It brightens up her beautiful gaze

VERSE 2: (Mother)

All those years of toil to help my little pearls,

My future is through their eyes

Between us there can be no compromise

It’s all just for my girls   (Mary: OUR HOPE LIVES)

MIDDLE 8:               

Pawus Pawus x4  (Rain , Rain)

VERSE 3: (Both)

We yearn for a home that stays in one zone

A shelter for a place on the map

Where we can wash away our fears and daily grind

To keep us from despair (Both: OUR HOPE LIVES)

CHORUS 3: (Both)

Water Water, The giver of life

Sometimes she takes away our home

We laugh and we dance, in the streets before Monsoon

With our sisters in the light of the moon

VERSE 4:  

(Mother)

Sometimes my tears are mixed with joy and woe,

It’s a mother’s protective throw,

(Mary)

Oh mama you’ll see the strength I have inside,

Don’t worry I will provide     (Both: OUR HOPE LIVES)

OUTRO

Pawus Pawus x4  (Rain , Rain)

VERSE 1:

We’re brother and sister,

who have each other

both ready to face a brand new day

With each passing hour

we’re getting stronger

I know that we will come through somehow

CHORUS:

Oh Brother, don’t you fret,

Just hold my hand

I’ll be your closest friend

No need to feel alone

BRIDGE:

Just One More Day

Is all we ask

To see your face

VERSE 2:

But we won’t forget

the time that we shared,

we miss your hands caress our cheeks

A new life in store,

is lying ahead

New brothers and sisters to share times with

CHORUS 2:

Oh Daddy, don’t forget,

We’re here when you come back,

Sometimes we get upset

We know that life’s a test,

BRIDGE:

Just One More Day

Is all we ask

To see your face

VERSE 1: 

We’re brother and sister,

who have each other

both ready to face a brand new day

With each passing hour

we’re getting stronger

I know that we will come through somehow

CHORUS 3:

Oh Mama we have wept,

One day we will accept,

We won’t forget the past

The times we used to share

BRIDGE

Just One More Day

Is all we ask

To see your face

VERSE 2: 

But we won’t forget

the time that we shared,

we miss your hands caress our cheeks

A new life in store,

is lying ahead,

New brothers and sisters to share our lives

CHORUS 4:

Oh Mama, please come back,

We promise you won‘t regret

In our dreams that we share

We hope that you still care

BRIDGE

Just One More Day

Is all we ask

To see your face

INTRO:

I’m a cheeky, chirpy chappy who’s looking for more,

I’m a cheeky chirpy chappy, gonna kick down the door.

Verse 1

So I’m the keeper of my destiny,

and people like to see the best in me,

my parents taught me everything you see,

                         confidence and love will make us free.

Bridge 1

I don’t need to be spoiled to win this race,

I know no bounds, I’ll keep up the chase,

My smile fills the room with joy and grace,

                                                             it brightens the day.

Chorus

         TEACHER: He’ll be a doctor just you wait and see,

TEACHER: He’s spent half his life in Dharavi.

There’s no other place where I’d rather be,

                             My school means all the world to me.

Middle 8

FRIENDS: He’s a cheeky, chirpy chappy who’s looking for more

FRIENDS: He’s gonna push the limits, gonna kick down the door

FRIENDS: He’s a cheeky chirpy chappy with a heart of gold

FRIENDS: Nothing can stop him from achieving his goals

FRIENDS: He’s a cheeky, chirpy chappy, gonna kick down the door

FRIENDS: He’s a cheeky, chirpy chappy, he’s looking for more.

Verse 2

My future’s bright, I’ll work so hard to make it

day by day I’m working in the heat and grit,

if I slump in the slums I know it could really hurt me,

                    but if I open the lock I know it could make me free.

Bridge 1

I don’t need to be spoiled to win this race,

I know no bounds, I’ll keep up the chase,

My smile fills the room with joy and grace,

                                                              it brightens the day.

Chorus

I’ll be a doctor just you wait and see,

I’ve spent half my life in Dharavi,

There’s no other place where I’d rather be

               Cos my school means all the world to me.

Middle 8

          FRIENDS: He’s a cheeky, chirpy chappy who’s looking for more

        FRIENDS: He’s gonna push the limits, gonna kick down the door

FRIENDS: He’s a cheeky chirpy chappy with a heart of gold

FRIENDS: Nothing can stop him from achieving his goals

 FRIENDS: He’s a cheeky, chirpy chappy, gonna kick down the door

FRIENDS: He’s a cheeky, chirpy chappy, he’s looking for more.

Middle 8 :

I’m a cheeky, chirpy chappy with the brightest smile,

I’m oh so happy, be me for a while,

I’m a cheeky, chirpy chappy, I’m a really cool cat,

I like playing cricket, watch out HOWZAT!

  I’m a cheeky, chirpy chappy, with the brightest smile

          I’m a cheeky, chirpy chappy, I’m a really cool cat,

VERSE 1:

THE SPOKEN WORD IS A POWERFUL TOOL,

WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH SO I’M GOING TO TEACH

SO I’LL REACH YOU WITH A HEART THAT’S FUELLED

WE’LL ALL BE BETTER WHEN WE’VE BEEN SCHOOLED

COME AND SEE THE WORLD THROUGH MY EYES

 

CHORUS

BONJOUR CAVA BIEN, VERY JOLLY VERY GOOD

I’LL BE YOUR LITTLE JOLLY JALEBI

PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR IF YOU’RE FEELING VERY GOOD

WE’RE GONNA MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE

BONJOUR CAVA BIEN, VERY JOLLY VERY GOOD

I’LL BE YOUR LITTLE JOLLY JALEBI

PUT YOUR HANDS UP IN THE AIR IF YOU’RE FEELING JOLLY GOOD

WE’RE GONNA MAKE DHARAVI A BETTER PLACE

 

MIDDLE 8:  

Come and see the world through my eyes

Come and see the world through my eyes

VERSE 2:

 WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE WORLD DON’T BEHAVE LIKE A FOOL,

IT’S A SPLENDID HOME IT’S OUR ONLY JEWEL,

TO THE BEES AND THE TREES WE’VE BEEN SO CRUEL

BUT THEY’RE MORE THAN JUST MEAT AND FUEL

COME AND SEE THE WORLD THROUGH MY EYES

 

CHORUS

 BONJOUR CAVA BIEN, VERY JOLLY VERY GOOD

I’LL BE YOUR LITTLE JOLLY JALEBI

PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR, IF YOU’RE FEELING VERY GOOD

WE’RE GONNA MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE

BONJOUR CAVA BIEN, VERY JOLLY VERY GOOD

I’LL BE YOUR LITTLE JOLLY JALEBI

PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR IF YOU’RE FEELING VERY GOOD

WE’RE GONNA MAKE DHAREVI A BETTER PLACE

MIDDLE 8:  

 Come and see the world through my eyes

Come and see the world through my eyes

 

CHORUS 

BONJOUR CAVA BIEN, VERY JOLLY VERY GOOD

I’LL BE YOUR LITTLE JOLLY JALEBI

PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR, IF YOU’RE FEELING VERY GOOD

WE’RE GONNA MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE

BONJOUR CAVA BIEN, VERY JOLLY VERY GOOD

I’LL BE YOUR LITTLE JOLLY JALEBI

PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR IF YOU’RE FEELING VERY GOOD

WE’RE GONNA MAKE DHAREVI A BETTER PLACE

 

VERSE 3:

THE CREATURES WE LOVE THEY’RE FADING SO FAST,

THE SHADOWS WE CAST MEANS THEY WON’T LAST

BUT A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR AND A HELPFUL SMILE

WILL KEEP THIS EARTH SPINNING FOR A WHILE

INSTRUMENTAL SOLO

 

CHORUS

BONJOUR CAVA BIEN, VERY JOLLY VERY GOOD

I’LL BE YOUR LITTLE JOLLY JALEBI

PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR, IF YOU’RE FEELING JOLLY GOOD

WE’RE GONNA MAKE DHARAVI A BETTER PLACE

BONJOUR CAVA BIEN, VERY JOLLY VERY GOOD

I’LL BE YOUR LITTLE JOLLY JALEBI

PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR IF YOU’RE FEELING VERY GOOD

WE’RE GONNA MAKE DHAREVI A BETTER PLACE

INTRO – IFFAT singing acapella (ENGLISH)

THIS IS OUR SCHOOL, OUR HOME, OUR CITY

WE ARE ALL ONE COMMUNITY

THIS IS OUR SCHOOL, OUR HOME, OUR CITY

THIS IS THE PLACE WE’RE PROUD TO BE

VERSE 1: ENGLISH

SO YOU SEE,

WE ARE NOT ONLY US

WE ARE HIM, HER, YOU AND ME,

JUST LIKE YOU, WE ALL WORK TO BE FREE,

WE’LL ACHIEVE OUR GOAL, IT’S THE KEY.

VERSE 2:   HINDI

IN OUR SCHOOL, WE ALL LIVE BY A CREED,

AND WE VALUE TOLERANCE,

WITH OUR FRIENDS

AND A STRONG BELIEF,

WE ARE ONE COMMUNITY

CHORUS:   ENGLISH

LET’S SOAR INTO THE SKY, FROM OUR SCHOOL OF HOPE,

WHERE ANYTHING,

IS POSSIBLE,

WE’RE THE NEW GENERATION,

WE’RE PART OF A TEAM,

IN THIS CITY OF DREAMS,

 

CHORUS: HINDI 

LET’S RISE, FROM THIS MUMBAI HIGH,

IT’S THE HOME OF OUR LIVES,

WHERE I’M GOING TO THRIVE,

WE ARE ONE, ALL ON A JOURNEY,

WE’RE PART OF A TEAM,

IN THIS CITY OF DREAMS

VERSE 2:   HINDI

SO YOU SEE,

WE ARE NOT ONLY US

WE ARE HIM, HER, YOU AND ME,

JUST LIKE YOU, WE ALL WORK TO BE FREE,

WE’LL ACHIEVE OUR GOAL, IT’S THE KEY.

VERSE 2:   ENGLISH

IN OUR SCHOOL, WE ALL LIVE BY A CREED,

AND WE VALUE TOLERANCE,

WITH OUR FRIENDS

AND A STRONG BELIEF,

WE ARE ONE COMMUNITY

CHORUS:   HINDI

LET’S SOAR INTO THE SKY, FROM THIS PLACE OF HOPE,

WHERE ANYTHING,

IS POSSIBLE,

WE’RE THE NEW GENERATION,

WE’RE PART OF A TEAM,

IN THIS CITY OF DREAMS,

 

CHORUS: ENGLISH

LET’S RISE, FROM THIS MUMBAI HIGH,

IT’S THE HOME OF OUR LIVES,

WHERE I’M GOING TO THRIVE,

WE ARE ONE, ALL ON A JOURNEY,

WE’RE PART OF A TEAM,

IN THIS CITY OF DREAMS

 

RHYTHM DRUM BREAK

RHYTHM BREAK CHANT: (CHORUS)   HINDI and ENGLISH

THIS IS OUR SCHOOL, OUR HOME, OUR CITY

WE ARE ALL ONE COMMUNITY

THIS IS OUR SCHOOL, OUR HOME, OUR CITY

THIS IS THE PLACE WE’RE PROUD TO BE

CHORUS x 2

OUTRO – IFAT Singing solo

SO YOU SEE,

WE ARE NOT ONLY US

WE ARE HIM, HER, YOU AND ME,

JUST LIKE YOU, WE ALL WORK TO BE FREE,

WE’LL ACHIEVE OUR GOAL, IT’S THE KEY, FROM THE SCHOOL OF HOPE

VERSE 1:

Kasbe ka main ladka, har jagah main to paun

I’M A BOY ABOUT TOWN, YOU’LL SEE ME AROUND

     Mujh ko sab jaane, jahan bhi main jaun  

WITH MY COOL GOOD LOOKS I’M REALLY RE-KNOWNED

Mera chehra,mere kapde,meri ek pahchaan

SLICK HAIR, SHARP SUIT, I CAN WALK THE WALK  

Jhuk jhuk kahte mujhe sab bhai jaan

THEY’RE AT MY FEET WHEN I TALK THE TALK

CHORUS:

Cool dude Dharavi ka

I’M THE COOL DUDE OF DHARAVI  (English vox: DADA HE’S THE DUDE)

Rookna maine kabhi naa seekha

WATCH OUT BABES MAKE WAY FOR ME,  (English vox: DADA DADA)

FROM BROOKLYN, LONDON, PARIS, SPAIN,  (English vox: DADA HE’S THE DUDE)

Hum cool kids ka ek hi rasta

US COOL KIDS ARE ALL ONE AND THE SAME

  

VERSE 2:

Main to palun khoob kabootar

KEEPING PIGEONS IS MY RELIGION         

 Daana doon, paani doon,main hi care-taker

I FEED THEM, CLEAN THEM, EVEN BREED THEM,

 Wo laut aayen mud ke baar baar

THEY ALWAYS RETURN TO THEIR LOVING NEST,  

 Kyunki koi nahi mujh sa hoshiyaar

COS YOU MUST ADMIT THAT I’M THE BEST             

CHORUS

MIDDLE 8: (Rap)

The World’s at my fingertips, when my I wink my lids,

I’ve got a bag of magic tricks just watch me spin and mix,

I’ve learnt to do some special flips so watch my finger clicks,

Football, Dancer, Cheeky Chancer,

I’m poppin’ and rockin’ I’ll keep the party rockin’

Run rabbit run give me any athletics,

Dada the Dude of Dharavi That’s my name

VERSE 3:

Mere ishaare pe duniya meri

I HAVE THE WORLD AT MY FINGERTIPS,  

                                                      Shaatir khiladi main,jeet meri

COS THE MEDALS ARE FOR MY FLIPS AND TRICKS,  

 Jis pal main hoota hoon taiyyar     

THE SECOND I HEAR THE STARTING GUN,  

              Shuru hone se pahle maane sab haar                      

BEFORE THEY SHOUT “GO” I’VE ALREADY WON !

(English Backup Vox: 1,2,3 GO !)

CHORUS 

VERSE 4:

Jis party me jaun,uss ki main shaan

WHEN I’M AT A PARTY I KEEP THE FLOW,    

                     Aesa banjo bjaun,sab hote hairaan                        

BY SITTING ON STAGE PLAYING THE BANJO,

Jab karta masti me khul ke dance

I JUMP UP AND START TO DO MY BREAKDANCE,  

 Sab aankh faade dekhen jaise ho koi trance

      I’LL KEEP YOU ALL IN A MAGIC TRANCE      

                                CHORUS                            

VERSE 1:

I find light in the dark of my room,

Books brighten up the deepest gloom,

I’m embracing this wonderful ride,

No resistance,

 

        BRIDGE 1:           

I’m motivated, educated, most of all I’m dedicated,

Every day I learn some more about life,

My home may be humble, but you’ll rarely hear me grumble,

The science of life makes me want my….  

CHORUS 1:

PHD is all I want to read,

My PHD can change my world and my station

My PHD you will see what it means to me,

My PHD can change my life, it’s my vocation,

                                                                      VERSE 2:                                                                       

And when I study, I feel inside,

Comforting warmth as I take huge strides,

I’m embracing this wonderful ride,

                                                 No resistance,

I have a great dad, who’s radical and magical,

Believing men and women should be equally free

It’s helped me push myself, and made me feel fantastical,

I study life science, just to get my…

CHORUS 2:

PHD is all I want to read,

My PHD can change my world and my station

My PHD you will see what it means to me,

My PHD can change my life, it’s my vocation,

                                                                                VERSE 3:  

One bus, two buses, then three,

I’d climb mountains to get my degree,

I’m embracing this wonderful ride,

No resistance,

                                              BRIDGE 1: 

I’m eager and I’m zealous, always patient, never jealous,

Under no doubt that I’ll reach my goal

My home may be humble but you’ll rarely hear me grumble

The wondrous world makes me want my….

CHORUS:

PHD is all I want to read,

My PHD can change my world and my station

My PHD you will see what it means to me,

My PHD can change my life, it’s my vocation,