Song Of Bangladesh

Album: Come from the Shadows (1972)


  • "Song Of Bangladesh" is described in the 1977 Peter Swan publication Joan Baez: a voice for peace and freedom as "a hauntingly beautiful lament over the mindless slaughter of war". Objectively, it is quite weak lyrically, and like Saxon's "Red Alert" sounds more like a news report set to music than a song, but sadly, although far more moving songs about the futility and horror of wars past and present have been written, the message still goes largely unheeded.
    Bangladesh was created in 1947, and the war Baez laments for began in 1971, followed shortly by a well publicised famine, and further political turbulence. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

Comments: 1

  • Mesbah Ul Haq from Dhaka, BangladeshBangladesh was NOT created in 1947. In that year the British colonials dissected the Indian sub-continent at their wish helping emerge two countries; India and Pakistan. Pakistan was born a defective state, consisting of two provinces apart, East Pakistan and West Pakistan, with about 1100 miles of Indian land in between. Though majority in population, East Pakistan had to face disparity in all respect, especially in terms of wealth distribution, employment, economic development, etc. from the very beginning. Civil unrest started to condense and in 1970 General Election Pakistan Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (from East Pakistan) won with absolute majority, the result been accepted and declared by the government of Pakistan. But Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (from West Pakistan), leader of Pakistan Peoples Party, being defeated did not accept the election result and conspired with the Pakistan military junta, controlled by the interest groups of West Pakistan, not to hand over power to the leader of the majority party. People started being organised to resist the move at the call of the winner leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But in the darkness of the night of 25 March 1971 Pakistan military junta suddenly attacked civilians in East Pakistan resulting in massive atrocity and killing of about 200,000 people in a day. As per declaration of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, people were asked to resist the occupation military force and declared independence of East Pakistan naming her Bangladesh. That was 26 March 1971, Independence Day of Bangladesh. Bangladesh was created on that day, not in 1947, as Alexander Baron commented. The British Parliament also took a resolution that time about the issue. And after a bloody war for 9 months, Pakistan forces surrendered at Dhaka to the Joint Forces of Bangladesh and India on 16 December 1971, the Victory Day of Bangladesh.
    Besides its weaknesses, `Song of Bangladesh' by Joan Baez was no doubt a source of inspiration and strength to the 75 million people of Bangladesh in those days of turmoil, uncertainty, pains, courage and innumerable deaths that brought independent Bangladesh.
    Joan Baez, as usual, stood rightly beside the peoples of Bangladesh, to uphold their constitutional option and justice for an oppressed nation.

    Mesbah Ul Haq
    Freedom Fighter
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