Saturday, May 30, 2009

• • • Junoon's Sociopolitical Music!

Pakistan has had a rich history of alternative sociopolitical music. Right from the it's inception, Pakistan got into a whirlpool of instability, and it saw its very first military rule as soon as eleven years after its birth. Sociopolitical poetry was already being done by the likes of Faiz Ahmad Faiz and other communist poets, but marshal law gave birth to activist music as well. That tradition has been kept alive still because Pakistan, unfortunately, hasn't stabilized yet.

Junoon, arguably Pakistan's biggest pop band to date has done its bit in keeping the tradition alive. I have been a big Junoon fan from very early days, with a special liking for their activist or sociopolitical music, which has more than once lead them to a country wide ban as well. Here I'll list down all such Junoon songs, with a two line description;

1. Ghaflat
Album : Talash

Not a very catchy tune, but with reasonably well written lyrics. The song basically is kind of a 'wake up' call for a nation that they thing is carelessly asleep.

2. Talash
Album : Talash

The title song, with a catchy tune and powerful lyrics. The song talks about the Nation's search for the 'homeland' that they had set out to make. It is among my favorite numbers.

3. Jazba-e-Junoon
Album : Inquilab

Jazba-e-Junoon is a motivational song and was released around the 1996 cricket world cup. It became an unofficial anthem for the whole Pakistani cricket loving nation. It still remains one of the most famous Junoon number.

4. Ehtasab
Album : Kashmakash

The song which led to Junoon's nation wide ban by the Nawaz Sharif government, Ehtasab, literally meaning 'accountability.' It was a very hard hitting song, with Junoon's activist music at its best. This is by far my most favorite Junoon song in this category. It has an awesome tune and even very direct, hard hitting lyrics dealing with a need of accountability of politicians of the country. Its message is actually directed more to the general public who vote the politicians in, rather than an institutional accountability.

5. Mujhey Azad Karo
Album : Kashmakash

Another anti establishment, anti government song with a beautiful tune and amazing lyrics. The name of the song is quite self explanatory, the songs is the nation's lament on being enslaved by a bunch of people, and now want freedom. Ironically, they were banned after the release of the album.

6. Dil Nahin Lag Raha
Album : Azadi

This was Junoon's first album after they were banned, so the name of the Album is quite fitting too - Azadi - Freedom. Dil nahin lag raha is a slow number, with a reasonably catchy tune and apt lyrics. The song explains how 'they' have been disenchanted under the increased oppression. One of my favorite numbers.

7. Kis Ne Suna
Album : Azadi

Another 'Azadi' number, and one of my favorites. It is an 'attack' on the government that how the were going about doing 'wrong' with any apprehension and 'we' were being punished for no reason. Beautiful song, talking about how our governments had no direction or goal and were were living in a fool's paradise, happily obeying 'others.'

8. Kyun Pareshan Hai Tu
Album : Azadi

Third entry from 'Azadi,' a song detesting despair and reassuring that there would be good and better times in future.

8. Khudi
Album : Azadi

A very famous poem by Allama Iqbal sung by Junoon. 'Khudi' or self is the core philosophy of Iqbal's thought, and in this poem Iqbal talks about keeping the self and conscience clean, and that is what Junoon is trying to convey through the song, that their conscience was clearly and they didn't regret what they were doing.

9. Abb Tou Jaag
Album : Parvaz

A Bulleh Shah poem sung beautifully by Junoon. Again a motivational song, asking the sleepy nation to wake up and welcome the dawn. It might be an indirect signal to Nawaz Sharif's ouster by Musharraf. Parvaz was probably the last 'great' album by Junoon.

10. Tara Jala
Album : Deewar

A decent tune, with good lyrics, Tara Jala is a song talking about 'efforts' of a common man for a better future, and hope that the day would soon arrive. Deewar, after Junoon's debut album, was their second completely commercial album and didn't have an impact synonymous with Junoon.

11. No more
Album : Deewar

An anti terrorism song, sung in the backdrop of the incidents of September the eleventh. It was also Junoon's first English solo, which was later included in the second edition of Deewar with a subtitle of 'The best of Junoon.'

12. Zamanay Kay Andaz
Album : Deewar

Again an Iqbal poem, an advice to the youth of changing with the changed times and ridding themselves of the 'bondage.' It was a well sung song.

(Photo Courtesy:


  1. Kia baat hai Junoon ki!! all the the way u again missed ''junoon se aur ishq se milti hai azaadi'' :X

  2. I haven't heard many of the songs. Jazba-e-Junoon is the most famous for me in the list! I so wish that we had someone like Junoon in India, I am sick and tired of the perennial Love songs..! I yearn to listen to some stuff on these lines..!
    Maybe, I'll just download some of the ones you mentioned!

  3. Well you don't really have to have someone like Junoon in India, you can just listen to the Junoon of Pakistan ;)

    But do try n listen these songs.. I'm sure you'll like some. Try and find their album 'Azadi.' It's a complete package.