National Anthem

The national Anthem of Bangladesh: Amar Shonar Bangla


The song Amar Shonar Bangla -- My Golden Bengal (আমার সোনার বাংলা) -- was written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore. The word shonar literally means made of gold, but in the song shonar Bangla may be interpreted to either express the preciousness of Bengal or a reference to the colour of paddy fields before harvest. The song was written in 1906 during the sad period of Bangabhanga (Bôngobhôngo - 1905 Partition of Bengal) - when Bengal was very unfortunately divided in two halves by the British government based on religion. This song, along with a host of others, was written to rekindle the unified spirit of Bengal. It is said that the music of this song was inspired by the Baul singer Gagan Harkara's song Kothay Pabo Tare. (কোথায় পাবো তারে) The first 10 lines of this song constitute the national anthem of Bangladesh. It was adopted in 1972 after the independence of Bangladesh.

History

The song was written in 1905 during the first partition of Bengal, when the ruling British Empire had an undivided India's province of Bengal split into two parts; the decision was announced on 19 July by the then-Viceroy of India Lord Curzon, taking effect on 16 October. This divide of Bengal, being along communal lines–East Bengal having a majority of Muslims and West Bengal having a majority of Hindus–is claimed to have undermined India's national movement against British imperialism and to have been politically motivated. Along with a host of others, songs such as this were meant to rekindle the unified spirit of Bengal, to raise public consciousness against the communal political divide.

The lyrics first appeared in the September issues of "Bongodorshon" and "Baul" simultaneously, in 1905. The song along with the musical notation (referred to as swaralipi in Bengali), first appeared in the periodical musical journal Shongeet Biggnan Probeshika in the same month and year. Indira Devi, Tagore's niece, Satyendranath Tagore's daughter, jotted down the musical notation hearing it from Tagore himself (this was the common norm, Tagore singing the song, and someone formally jotting down the musical notations). It is said that the music of this song was inspired by the Baul singer Gagan Harkara's song "Ami Kothay Pabo Tare". (কোথায় পাবো তারে)

The first ten (10) lines of this song constitute Bangladesh's national anthem, adopted in 1971 during its liberation war. Only those lines are given in the following section. The instrumental orchestra rendition was composed by Samar Das. The English translation below was done by Syed Ali Ahsan. Another Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Tagore (Jana Gana Mana) was selected as the national anthem of India.

 
Rabindranath Tagore, Composer of the song

Lyrics

Bengali script Transliteration Literal English translation

আমার সোনার বাংলা

আমার সোনার বাংলা,
আমি তোমায় ভালোবাসি।

চিরদিন তোমার আকাশ,
তোমার বাতাস
আমার প্রাণে বাজায় বাঁশি।

ও মা,
ফাগুনে তোর আমের বনে
ঘ্রাণে পাগল করে
মরি হায়, হায় রে
ও মা,
অঘ্রানে তোর ভরা ক্ষেতে,
আমি কী দেখেছি মধুর হাসি।।

কী শোভা, কী ছায়া গো,
কী স্নেহ, কী মায়া গো,
কী আঁচল বিছায়েছ
বটের মূলে,
নদীর কূলে কূলে।

মা, তোর মুখের বাণী
আমার কানে লাগে
সুধার মতো-

মা তোর বদন খানি মলিন হলে
আমি নয়ন
ও মা আমি নয়ন জলে ভাসি
সোনার বাংলা,
আমি তোমায় ভালবাসি।

Amar Sonar Bangla

Amar sonar Bangla
Ami tomay bhalôbashi

Chirôdin tomar akash,
Tomar batas,
Amar prane bajay bãshi.

O ma,
Phagune tor amer bône
Ghrane pagôl kôre,
Môri hay, hay re,
O ma,
Ôghrane tor bhôra khete
Ami ki dekhechhi môdhur hasi.

Ki shobha, ki chhaya go,
Ki snehô, ki maya go,
Ki ãchôl bichhayechhô
Bôter mule,
Nôdir kule kule.

Ma, tor mukher bani
Amar kane lage
Sudhar môto-

Ma tor bôdôn khani môlin hôle
ami nôyôn
o ma ami nôyôn jôle bhasi
sonar Bangla,
ami tomay bhalôbashi!

My Golden Bengal

My golden Bangla,
I love you.

Forever your skies,
Your air set my heart in tune
As if it were a flute.

In spring, O mother
The fragrance from your mango groves
Makes me wild with joy,
Ah, what a thrill!

In autumn, O mother
In the full blossomed paddy fields
I have seen spread all over sweet smiles.

What beauty, what shades,
What affection, what tenderness!
What a quilt have you spread
At the feet of banyan trees
And along the bank of every river

Oh mother mine, words from your lips
Are like nectar to my ears.
Ah, what a thrill!

If sadness, O mother
Casts a gloom on your face,
My eyes are filled with tears!

My golden Bengal,
I love you.