Did You Know That the First Raya Song Was Recorded in 1936?

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Selamat Aidilfitri, kepada saudara serta saudari,

Setahun hanya sekali, merayakan hari yang mulia ini.

When you listen to those lyrics, you can almost hear the late Puan Sri Saloma’s warm voice welcoming the wonderful Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

The song mentioned above was simply named ‘Hari Raya Aidilfitri‘ and was recorded by the icon in 1973.

But did you know that the first Hari Raya song was released four decades before Saloma’s hit single?

According to The Star, some Malaysian record collectors and music history buffs claimed that the first Hari Raya song was released in 1936, also titled ‘Selamat Hari Raya‘.

The track featured vocals by popular bangsawan singer Miss Aminah and was written by Tengku Alibasha (also known as Che Ara Bangsawan) and released by the HMV record label.

Miss Aminah (right) with her best friend, Normadiah. (source: BuzzKini)

In case you’re unfamiliar, bangsawan is a type of performing arts that consists of several elements, including music, theatre, and dance.

This performance mixes both Western and traditional Malay music and was extremely popular in the 20th century. Performers would often travel from one state to another in a troupe to perform their repertoires.

Bangsawan performance. (source: BiblioAsia – National Library Board)

In the 1930s and early 1940s, HMV dominated the recording scene, leading to the setting up of sister companies Chap Kuching, Chap Anjing, and Chap Singa.

The label would also organise events with a lineup of all the famous singers and bands in Malaya to sell their records.

The lyrics to Aminah’s ‘Selamat Hari Raya’ are also simple and direct. They highlight Aidilfitri as the pinnacle and closure to Ramadan, a time for prayer, forgiveness, and mindfulness of the afterlife.

Here are the lyrics to Miss Aminah’s ‘Selamat Hari Raya’:

Selamat hari raya, sayalah ucapkan,

Kepada ibu bapa saudara sekalian,

Kaumlah kerabat hai handai dan taulan,

Tualah dan muda laki-laki perempuan.

Permulaan syawal, hai hari yang mulia,

Aidilfitri, penutup bulan puasa,

Pintu terbuka untuk menebuskan doa,

Paling utama bagi sesama manusia.

Umpat puji yang sudah terbanyak ampun dan maaf,

Sekarang diminta supayalah azab kubur hai jangan lah menyesak,

Selamatlah kita di akhiratNyalah kelak.

Wahai muslimin segala hai wangi,

Wahai muslimin segala hai wangi,

Mendoalah kita kepada Rabbal Illahi,

Mendoalah kita kepada Rabbal Illahi.

Dipanjangkan umur dimurah rezeki,

Dipanjangkan umur dimurah rezeki,

Tahunlah dimuka boleh berjumpalah lagi,

Tahunlah dimuka boleh berjumpalah lagi.

Listen to the song here:

Meanwhile, Saloma’s song was previously banned in Malaysia for its lyrics. Find out why here.