Away from home, I celebrated this Independence day listening to a long playlist of national songs and it turned out to be quite an experience nostalgia and blast from the past. It gave me a chance to sit back ,relax and think about this tradition of national songs in Pakistan.
Thankfully, despite the growing intolerance, frustration, despair, depression and radicalisation of society in Pakistan, music is one thing where Pakistanis continue to be impressive. And, at the centre of this have always been national songs. (Pakistani musicians have been very political as well in their music, but this deserves a separate blog post)Until recently, no pop singer, or any singer for that matter, could rise to glory without a few national songs to their credit. Pick up a music album from any popular pop star and you will find at least one national song, no matter whats the mood and genre of the album. That says a lot about the people of Pakistan they are extremely patriotic and nationalist people.
We have all grown up listening to a new stream of national songs being aired every Independence day. I can still recall how after telecasting Azaan-e-Maghrib, FM radio and TV channels first aired a Naat followed by a national song and then reverted to their regular business. It was the same this year, an endless stream of national songs followed the Iftar announcement on TV channels and I wondered what are Pakistans most favourite national songs? Tough question, I know as there are so many of them and many of them really good but I wanted to find out the most popular Pakistani national songs. Based on a quick survey conducted on social networks, some online discussion forums and monitoring the hits for many songs online, I came up with the following list. Remember, in Pakistani sense a good national song is supposed to give you goosebumps – so that was also a deciding factor to form the list.
Top 10 Pakistani National Songs of all-time
I have not considered foji songs here, may be for another post.
1. Dil Dil Pakistan (1987) by Vital Signs [Link]
Writer and Composer: Shoaib Mansoor
2. Ye Watan Tumhara Hay by Mehdi Hasan Khan [Link]
Composer: Nisar Bazmi, Writer: Abbas Faiz
3. Watan Ki Mitti (1992) by Nayyara Noor [Link]
Writer: Khalil Ahmed, Composer: Arshad Mehmood
4. Sohni Dharti by Shehnaz Begum [Link]
Writer: Masroor Anwar, Composer: Sohail Rana
5. Mera Inaam Pakistan by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan [Link]
Writer: Jamiludin Aali, Composer: Niaz Ahmed
6. Jeeway Jeeway Pakistan by Shehnaz Begum [Link]
Writer: Jamiludin Aali, Composer: Sohail Rana
7. Khayal Rakhna by Alamgir & Benjamin Sisters [Link]
Composer: Nisar Bazmi, Writer: Tahir Pervaiz
8. Ae Watan Paak Watan by Amanat Ali Khan [Link]
Writer: Khalil Ahmed, Compser: Nisar Bazmi
9. Chand Meri Zameen (1965) by Amanat Ali Khan [Link]
Writer: Masroor Anwar, Composer: Khalil Ahmed
10. Dil Se Mene Dekha Pakistan by Haroon [Link]
Writer: Nader Naser, Composer: Farhad Darya
Notable Mentions (Classics)
- Jug Jug Jiye Mera Pyara Watan by Naheed Akhtar (Composer: Khalil Ahmed)
- Zameen Ki God by Muhammad Efrahim (Composer: Sohail Rana)
- Aye Watan Paak Watan (1965) by Amanat Ali Khan (Composer: Khalil Ahmed)
- Maoun Ki Dua by Alamgir (Writer: Muhammad Nasir)
- Roshan-o-Rakshan by Habib Wali Muhammad
- Mey Bhi Pakistan Hon by Muhammad Ali Shayhki (Composer: Sohail Rana)
- Teri Wadi Wadi Ghomoon by Anwar Ibrahim
- Aao Bachon Sair Karain Tum Ko Pakistan Ki by Alamgir
- Hum Zinda Qoum hain by Tehseen Javed/ Amjad Hussain (Composer: Nisar Bazmi)
- Itnay Baray Jeewan by Allan Fakir
- Hamara Parchum by Naheed Akhtar (Composer: Khalil Ahmed)
- Tera Pakistan Hay Ye Mera Pakistan by Amjad Hussain (Writer: Sehba Akhter)
- Is Parcham Kay Saye Talay by Nayyara Noor
- Lub Pay Ati Hay Dua by Various Artists (Writer: Allama Muhammad Iqbal)
Notable Mentions Modern
- Jazba Junoon by Junoon
- Mola by Vital Signs
- Aye Jawan by Fakhir
- Hum Azaad Hain by Akash
- National Anthem Instrumental byJunoon
Overly nationalist or state-fed propaganda but one can be sure that every citizen of this country has this deep sense of affection for their motherland; this respect is second only to religion. The positive energy and feeling is there, it only need to be exploited in the right direction were not bad people inherently.
For many years, I have agreed with Faiz every Independece day that ye woh subha to nahee there isnt much to celebrate really. But, this land is home to so many people and many of them genuinely good people who struggle day and night to make ends meet and keep things going, that we simply can not afford to lose hope. This isnt an easy struggle for all those people with so much pain and agony and sadness around, happy moments are rare in this country perhaps, there is no harm in having a day to rejoice, to enjoy if nothing else, to serve as a morale booster.
Happy Independence day!