I love putting together these folk music collections. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve done over the life of this and the previous blog but you can pretty much rest assured this won’t be the last one.
Upmahadesh is the Hindi word for ‘subcontinent’. Most of these songs come again from the northern half of the Indian upmahadesh though some of the singers such as Pt. Bhimsen Joshi originally hail from parts further afield. Like the lovely photo above (not mine) Punjab features highly. As always!
And of course, not everything here is purely folk music. Bhimsen Joshi’s and Manish Vyas’s contributions are classical. And Begum Akhtar could just as easily be included in the classical fold, so profoundly did she command the art of the ghazal. But all three fit quite nicely within the mood of this sampler. Most tracks are commercially (or were) available if you look hard enough but one track in particular is rare indeed. It is Track #7 and I’d like to thank my friend Hanif Haji for sharing this with me. It is a live recording made in Ginjee, Uganda presumably in the 1960s before Big Daddy Idi Amin expelled South Asians from the country. I’ve taken the liberty of giving a title to the track based upon the lyrics but admit this is not the true name of the song.
A final note. Track number 4 by Allan Faqir is the mysteriously named, Side A. That refers to the side of the cassette tape it was originally recorded on. As this spine-tingling track is in Seraiki/Sindhi I can’t make up a title! Just listen to it and give it whatever glorious name comes to you!
I hope you get as much pleasure from these songs as I do.
01 Changi Naeeyun Kiti [Reshma]
02 Tumko Dekha To [Jagjit Singh]
03 Khush Hoon Ki Mera Husn-E-Talab Kaam To Aaya [Begum Akhtar]
04 Side A [Allan Faqir]
05 Aesi Chal Main [Nisar Bazmi]
06 Karuna [Manish Vyas]
07 Bombay da naujawan [Ramta w Surinder and Prakash Kaur]
08 Mane na bhaye dasa bisa [Pt. Sanjeev Abhyanka]
09 Kal Chaudvi ki Raat Thi [Jagjit Singh]
10 Hik Hay Hik Hay (Baba Ghulam Farid) [Hamid Ali Bela]
11 Qissa Hirni [Alam Lohar]
12 Raga Gaur Sarang [Pt.Bhimsen Joshi]
13 Uth Bayth Re [Nargis Balolia]
14 Chhalla [Kashi Nath]
15 Traditional Pashtoun Song [Sultan MohammadChanne and Shah Wali]
16 Jajo Jajo Re [Dayaram Sarolia]
17 Goriya Mein Jana Pardes [Resham and Parvez Mehdi]
18 Bai Ja Tracter Te [Arif Lohar]