National Song: A True Portrait of Revolution [Archives:2001/41/Culture]

October 8 2001

Saleh Abdulbaqi
Cultural Editor
Yemen Times
In this article , I will discuss the significance of the Yemeni singers who have sung for the Yemeni revolutions and shared the joy of different national events since the revolution’s first day. Those creative singers have been very successful in depicting the zealous emotions of people who were extremely happy with the their new freedoms. The words of their songs were so strong and expressive, tackling all aspects related to the nation, the revolution’s goals, and the removal of tyranny.
Singers like Abdullah Hadi Sait, the famous poets Ali Sabrah and Lutfi Jafar Aman and many others, played a significant role in what one can call the revolutionary artistic literature, as they produced a number of poems and songs celebrating the revolution. Indeed, the songs of these artists are still sung by people up to this very day, you can even hear the young children enthusiastically singing these songs, showing the extent to which these songs are lively and energetic.
In this occasion, one has to remember what these songs are for. The very morning of September 26th, 1962, the Yemeni people came to find that the tyrannical rule had been removed and that a new life had been established for Yemen. At that time, Sana’a Radio Station used to air some songs celebrating the new-born revolution by some Yemeni and Egyptian singers. Ahmed Al-Sunidar, a famous Yemeni singer said: While I was studying in Cairo along with some Yemeni singers like Ahmed bin Ahmed Qasem, Mohammed Mohssen Atrush and Fursan Khalifah in 1962, we could not receive the broadcast of Radio Sana’a so I tuned in to the Cairo-based Voice of Arabs Radio and verified that there indeed was a revolution in Yemen. I told all my friends about this happy news and went to the Voice of Arabs to register a national song. In fact, Al- Sunidar is the most productive singer in terms of national songs, songs that were recorded in Egypt. In addition, singer Ali al-Anesi recorded many songs marking the 26th of September revolution, songs that had a great effect on the period afterwards. Al-Abssi, one of the most popular Yemeni singers said: At that time, I was in my twenties, studying at the Islamic Education Institute in Aden, an institute that used to be run by Mohammed Salem al-Baihani. The time I heard the news from the radio with some of my friends in Aden, I was overwhelmed by an indescribable happiness. In the second year of revolution I had been in Taiz, where martial Abdullah al-Salal delivered a zealous speech to mark the special occasion.
I remember that in the beginning of 1967, some artists in Aden were invited to raise funds for the army taking part in liberating South Yemen. Singers like Mohammed Sa’ad Abdullah, Mohammed bin Shamakh, Yousef bin Ahmed Salem, Taha Fare’a, Ahmed Ali Qasem, Raja Basudan and many others performed musical parties in Taiz, Hudaidah, and Sana’a, coinciding with the 5th anniversary of the revolution. Ultimately, the national revolutionary song has voiced the rejection of the tyrannical rule in Yemen that existed in the pre-revolution period. It also celebrates the new achievement of the Yemeni people represented by the 26 September and 14 October revolutions, the most precious achievement of our nation. These songs have succeeded in depicting the joyful sentiment of the Yemeni people concerning their national revolution.