Saturday, August 28, 2010

The beautiful sounds of Hari Raya

I do have many favourite Raya songs, typically songs from the 60s and 70s as they are timeless. Dendang Perantau, the PRamlee's classic is one; who would forget this song when we were away for the first time at the tender age of 13, with Fadhil (now Haji) strumming his guitar and humming this song. Memang mengalir airmata masa tu. I guess, at that time, it was Raya Haji, and we were down with chicken pox at Block G sickbay. Not sure if Haji Dhil was there too due to chicken pox. – most likely he was too. May be his parents dropped by on the Raya day, did they not, Haji? And didn't they give me some duit raya too? Oh boy, I can't remember much now. Only vaguely.

Mak had wanted to fly to KB to visit me that Raya, but I am sure she would not have the money to buy the plane ticket. Flying in the 70s is not in our vocab then.

But I survived that raya with Dendang Perantau.

But I remember abang Harry (now Datuk Dr Azhari, chief cardiologist IJN) had offered to sell back my bus ticket (to KL), upon knowing that I would not be able to travel due to chickenpox. He had been the one arranging the tickets for those who wished to return home (being the Block Captain with abg Zuflida??). Of course the journey would be up to KL only. I would have to figure out how to get back to Taiping, which I thought would not be a problem. But it was not meant to be. Now he saves lives; previously he had saved me money for a trip I can't – and did not, take.

MRSM then would not arrange for her students to return home for the raya. We had to make our own arrangement.

Being a perantau at the age of 13, we tried to console ourselves with Dendang Perantau. Nevermind that some of us would not have known what’s a tepian mandi.

Doa di Hari Mulia by Uji is another. I would go for the sentimental Raya song anytime; being a sentimental person myself. All those yearning and she sounds so fragile in this song. Aah, Uji, the angelic voice.

You can find the actual footage of Uji Rashid singing this song here. Unforunately they did not allow embedding.

Of course the MNasir's song Satu Hari dihari Raya is very different from other Raya song. It is a song about the spiritual aspect of Raya. I remember some people were calling for us to abandon those melancholic songs in favour of the spiritual ones. May be they are right. I am sure we need to move on as a society than looking back and yearn and long for the years gone by.

But with me being me, I can't help but feel nostalgic every time we are close to Hari Raya with those sad songs. Somehow I need that feeling of sadness so that I drown myself in happiness, huh? It is no fun with those happy songs, ironic isn't it? With the sad songs, come the reflection I guess, and we need to reflect on ourselves every now and then.

Oh, and I would be really sentimental about this song – any time, every time, all the time. Sanisah Huri sounds so sad, so melancholic in this song! I don't know why I was so much into this song every Hari Raya. May be because I heard this song in a shopping complex in the 70s in KB, while doing our fortnightly trip to KB and browsing buying cards, may be in Taiping; who knows. It doesn't matter now.

And I can't, for the life of me, figure out what this song is all about. What is that tuduh-menuduh thingy?
But in any case, here they are. New raya song; would they ever make to my list? I believe it is difficult, but it is not impossible. When I first heard the new Ahmad Nawab raya songs in the 70s, they were new obviously. But the many songs by Sharifah Aini, Uji, Hail Amir, DJ Dave would get constant airtime as melodically they are quality songs. If the lyrics were not of raya origin, they would have made it to the chart. For example the raya song by Sudirman  -  Dari Jauh ku pohon Maaf, was perhaps released in 1981 and yes, we love it then as we would today.

Aljawaher’s KuPohon Restu Ayah Bonda is another song from the 80s that made it to my list. I consider this as a new song, in the same category as Sudir's and I remember listening to these two songs over the airwaves in Perth Australia during my matric days. We of course had to listen through the shortwaves (SW - do you guys know what this is? ;-) and only during late night and in the wee hours of the morning it would be clear enough to listen to Malaysian radio.
But new song of the 90s and of the new millennium pale in comparison, and hence I would not be bothered to listen to them at all. It is now a crowded place, with many songs competing for our attention within a very short space of time. Only the best will be remembered; the rests are best consigned to the bin of history.

What's your favourite Raya song?

Don't get me wrong. There are many nice jovial songs for Raya. "Minta mak kuih sepotong" is one (Selamat Hari Raya - Saloma). "Marilah adikku, marilah bersama ku, kutukar baju mu yang baru" is another (Suasana Rinang dihari Raya - Junainah M Amin). I do enjoy them for sure.

Another remake of the song Dendang Perantau by one 70s singer is also excellent. It sounds so different from the PRamlee's version, but it was done tastefully. This is the version by A Razak. But I can't find it over the net - only once I hard it over Klasik Nasional. One of the rare occasion when a remake is a good as the original version. Typically they are thrash and should be consigned to the dustbin of history.

But this version by A Razak is a treasure. It was beautifully done.

Tuesday October 9, 2007 - 07:04pm (SGT) Edit | Delete | Permanent Link | 0 Comments

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