It is virtually impossible to pick out just 10 songs from the entire history of Hindi cinema and put them together in a list. So, to begin with, this is a personal selection, albeit based on certain broad parameters. In the context of Hindi cinema, songs don't just need to be good melodies, but must also augment the narrative and express feelings and thoughts that perhaps cannot be conveyed through dialogue. Hence, the effectiveness of a song and its ultimate value to the film its in, depends not just on the lyric, melody and rendition, but also the situation itself, the performance of the actors involved and the director's vision in terms of picturisation and placement of the song in such a manner that it helps enhance the story and take it forward. Many classic compositions of Hindi cinema, when seen on screen, look like mere 'embellishments' if weighed against these parameters.
I have listed the songs in chronological order to avoid giving them numbers. And it would be futile to write descriptions when you can watch them instead!
Jalte Hain Jiske Liye (SUJATA, Bimal Roy, 1959) / Talat Mahmood / Majrooh Sultanpuri / S D Burman / Sunil Dutt & Nutan
Waqt Ne Kiya (KAAGAZ KE PHOOL, Guru Dutt, 1959) / Geeta Dutt / Kaifi Azmi / S D Burman / Waheeda Rehman & Guru Dutt
Abhi Na Jaao Chhod Kar (HUM DONO, Amarjeet, 1961) / Mohammad Rafi & Asha Bhosle / Sahir Ludhianvi / Jaidev / Dev Anand & Sadhana
Tere Mere Sapne (GUIDE, Vijay Anand, 1965) / Mohammad Rafi / Shailendra / S D Burman / Waheeda Rehman & Dev Anand
Tum Pukar Lo (KHAMOSHI, Asit Sen, 1967) / Hemant Kumar / Gulzar / Hemant Kumar / Waheeda Rehman & Dharmendra
Meri Jaan Mujhe Jaa Na Kaho (ANUBHAV, Basu Bhattacharya, 1971) / Geeta Dutt / Gulzar / Kanu Roy / Tanuja and Sanjeev Kumar
Tere Bina Zindagi Se (AANDHI, Gulzar, 1975) Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar / Gulzar / R D Burman / Suchitra Sen & Sanjeev Kumar
Aap ki Aankhon Mein Kuch (GHAR, Manik Chatterjee, 1978) / Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar / Gulzar / R D Burman / Rekha & Vinod Mehra
Ye Kahan Aa Gaye Hum (SILSILA, Yash Chopra, 1981) / Lata Mangeshkar & Amitabh Bachchan / Javed Akhtar / Shiv-Hari / Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan
Katra Katra Milti Hai (IJAAZAT, Gulzar, 1987) / Asha Bhosle / Gulzar / R D Burman / Rekha & Naseeruddin Shah