It’s the 14th of August and the battle of the anthems is on! There’s an array of patriotic numbers being released left, right and centre, trying to ignite nationalism amongst us. Is it working? Maybe. Can they replace Jazba Junoon and Dil Dil Pakistan? Most certainly not! Can they create a niche for themselves? Let’s see!
I made people – ranging from my naani and husband to my house help – listen to the five patriotic songs released recently and here’s what they (and I) feel about each song.
Coke Studio: The National Anthem of Pakistan
Me: Something is off – can’t quite put a finger on it
The husband: Not so great.
Nani: Bohat umda! (Okay, so she’s more patriotic than all of us combined and can’t EVER criticise the national anthem)
The maid: Awaaz dil ko nahin choo rahi
P.s. It made the baby cry!
The Verdict: An interesting take on the national anthem, but both the video and audio feels a little forced. It is a good effort at doing something different, but perhaps not executed in the best possible way.
Vox Chord: The Pakistani National Anthem
The husband: Wow!
The maid: Ab yeh dil ko khush karta hai!
Nani: Haan yeh tou Coke Studio walay say kaafi behtar hai!
Aunt: Wow – this is amazing!
Uncle: Yeh tou phir se sunna hoga
P.s. Even the baby liked it!
The verdict: Everyone loved it. What a beautiful gift for us from the Indian band. This goes on to show that it doesn’t take an awful lot to give us goosebumps with the National Anthem; Just listening to the lyrics does the trick.
Haroon Rashid with Muniba Mazari, Javed Bashir & Farhan Bogra: Dil Say Pakistan
Me: The tune’s catchy!
The husband: I love it!
The cook: Acha hai baji
The maid: Larki ki awaaz achi lag rahi hai
Aunt: Great energy!
The verdict: A great revival of a song done earlier by Haroon Rashid. There’s definitely a fun vibe and energy in the song and it gets people up and moving. The video is also interesting and makes you want to use the proud Pakistani hashtag.
Strepsils Stereo: Khayal Rakhna
Me: Fun and different from the original song
Husband: Acapella is not something Pakistani musicians usually do so this is great in that sense
Nani: Original behtar hai
The gardener: Theek hai
P.s. The baby loved the colorful video.
The verdict: Definitely an interesting idea and cool concept – all sounds made by voice and mouth. The colourful video definitely had our attention and the old song done new had us sitting through it.
Me: I love the lyrics, very touching.
Husband: The music is catchy and I like how it has a message of unity.
The maid: Yeh mazay ka hai!
Nani: I like the video – sab Pakistani cheezain dekhai hain.
Uncle: It has a strong sense of what unites us!
The verdict: A great song that aims to unite all of us with the help of two things that we share: our heritage and the land we live on and love.
Asim Azhar: Sabz Safaid Rang
Me: It feels a little forced
The husband: Well it’s Cornetto Pop Rock – that explains the feel of it
The cook: Yeh dance song hai?
Aunt: It doesn’t sound very patriotic
Uncle: I feel like it requires too much effort to listen to it
The verdict: This one is perhaps too commercial, hence, it fails to give off the patriotic vibe. It’s not hitting the right spot even though it has a beat that makes you want to get up and move. Azhar may have tried a bit too hard with this one.
Ironic isn’t it, that the one song (anthem) that swept us off our feet is sung by our Indian neighbours?