Every Independence Day witnesses proud patriots dressed in green and white, frosting their cup cakes in the same two-toned icing and waving their flags from their cars/motorbikes with pride. But it is TV channels and their August 14 transmissions that get us emotionally-charged in the Independence Day spirit.
This year’s transmissions, however, were not as impressive as they usually are. Perhaps channel owners kept the festivities subdued due to the ongoing holy month of Ramazan and, as a result, the lack of patriotic music was deeply felt. Here is a list of songs that have been forgotten over time — songs whose melodies and lyrics are sure to give you goose bumps whenever they are played.
‘Aye Watan Pyaray Watan’ by Amanat Ali Khan
Some songs are truly golden. The more you listen to them, the more you admire their melodies. “Aye Watan Pyaray Watan” by Amanat Ali Khan can definitely be counted amongst those classics, but was unfortunately heard on PTV only a few times whereas other channels were busy playing half-hearted patriotic songs like “Teray Bina Dil Na Lagay” by Faakhir. While Khan’s song was played quite frequently on August 14 till last year, it was largely absent this time around.
‘Qasam Us Waqt Ki’ by Junaid Jamshed
“Qasam us Waqt Ki” is one of Junaid Jamshed’s earlier songs from his solo days, which was later also added to his album “Us Rah Per”. It is one of the well-written songs about the Pakistan Army that never received due air play after its release, despite the fact that it sounds fresh even if you listen to it today.
‘Tum Hee Sae Aae Mujahidon’ by Alamgir
This is one of the lost songs sung by Alamgir, the father of Pakistani pop music. The upbeat and catchy track was a tribute to the Pakistan Air Force and featured in “In Fizaon Sae Aagay”, an album solely dedicated to Air Force songs. The song has all the elements of a great patriotic number, from amazing lyrics to beautiful shots of fighter jets.
‘In Fizaon Mae’ by Najam Sheraz
Yet another song for the Pakistan Air Force, “In Fizaon Mae” is the title song in the album of the same name and is also featured in “Shahpar”, a drama filmed on the Pakistan Air Force. A versatile singer like Sheraz is rare to find and this song is simply him at his best. Although Sheraz has done a number of patriotic numbers after this, nothing beats his brilliance in “In Fizaon Mae”.
‘Jiyay’ by Aaroh
Aaroh was one band in the history of Pakistani music that came, saw, conquered but then vanished into thin air. “Jiyay” is one of Aaroh’s most rocking tracks by far, and the only patriotic rock song that made an impression after “Jazba Junoon” in 1996. With Nabeel Nihal Chishti’s killer guitar solo and Farooq’s powerful vocals, it is the perfect song for Independence Day.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012.