Age of Artistic Creation [Archives:2001/30/Culture]

July 23 2001

Saleh Abdulbaki
Cultural Editor
Yemen Times
There was one main goal out of writing this article. That is the deteriorating situation of the Yemeni song which is lacking today the least amount of elements of creation. Its aim is to enlighten our readers of the glorious artistic age that has passed for good and bring to the attention of the concerned authorities of the importance of reviving this important section of our culture and heritage. Unfortunately, the Yemeni song is currently living in a vicious circle with regard to its artistic content. Amidst this situation, a picture flashes in my mind and makes me remember the heydays of the Yemeni musical and artistic prosperity. The days when the masterpieces of Yemeni songs were produced. They are, indeed, songs worth listening to as they bring calmness to our soul. I would like to clearly state that those Yemeni artists, singers and the creative writers who were pioneers in the Yemeni song are currently striving to gain their breads amid this hard economic condition. But we still remember that sweet days in our lives when the Yemeni song was living its most beautiful season of all.
In the mid-fifties and at the end of the sixties -nearly forty years ago- great lyric poets and singers had revolutionized the Yemeni song and brought it to a high level among all other Arabic song. Meanwhile, we find that some other creative Yemeni singers have settled outside Yemen where a more favorable climate for creativity is available. Some names to be remembered in lyric-writing are Lutfi Jafar Amman, Mohammed Abu Ghana, Mohammed Saeed, al-Shebang and so many others. The lyrics of these poets had been turned into spectacular songs sung by singers like Mohammed Murshed Najee, Mohammed Abduh Zaidi, Mohammed Sa’ed Abdulah and so many others.
If we try to recognize the reasons behind the success of the Yemeni song at that period, we would notice that the love of art and support of the society and authorities were the main causes behind this success.
The city of Aden was the home for this creative revolution as several singers used the facilities available to record songs in Aden so as to enhance and add creativity to their lyrics and melodies. Aden was the only Yemeni city by then to have those facilities and its authorities were encouraging art in all manners.
Most of the songs produced at that period used to be judged by a committee composed of a group of the best poets at that time like Lutfi Jafar Aman, Iskandar Thabet and, of course, the audience. Iskandar Thabet was such a good singer and he had many overseas participation at that time as he had been the first Yemeni singer whose works were broadcasted by the famous Cairo-based radio station “Voice of Arabs”.
An important thing to remember here is that the Yemeni singers, nowadays, have to make sure they improve the situation of the Yemeni song through earnest and sincere efforts aiming at getting it out of its current miserable situation.