Georgina Huq is the first female drummer of Bangladesh. In 1972, at the age of 16 she had her debut performance. It was the celebration of the first anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh held at TSC in the University of Dhaka where she performed in front of thousands of people. As she said, it was her first and last public performance with the band ‘Spondon’ and at TSC as well.

When she was asked from Team MuSophia to share her Quarantine Playlist, what she came up with was a list of beloved memories she had preserved through songs. The songs in this playlist are the memories of different chapters of her struggling life. Take a walk though this musical nostalgia. Click on the song titles or check out the whole playlist given at the end, to listen to the tracks.

Georgina Huq, the first female drummer of Bangladesh
Georgina Huq, the first female drummer of Bangladesh © Rafiz Imtiaz

Georgina Huq was born on 19 September 1956 in Dhaka. She was one of the eleven sons and daughters of Farmajul Huq, then one of the prominent politicians in Dhaka. At the age of only 12 she was so moved by the drumming of Sabbir Kadir that she decided to be a drummer. Sabbir Kadir was the drummer of the band ‘Windy Side of Care’ which was led by her elder brother Alamgir. Georgina Huq was so passionate about drumming that she used to practice with household utensils and sometimes even with those ladies who used to break bricks in the road-side for construction. But after her marriage she started to live abroad with her husband and kids. However, she continued to practice there and she still plays like a teen drummer.

Check out the songs from her Quarantine Playlist below.

Georgina Huq's Quarantine Playlist- I
Georgina Huq’s Quarantine Playlist- I; Design & Compilation: Tanvir Ahmed Abir

1. Mamma Mia (ABBA)

Mamma Mia is one of the most popular songs performed by the legendary Swedish pop band ABBA. The lyrics of the song are about the demise of a romantic relationship and the pain of having no other option than to let one’s significant other go despite the fact that one still has strong feelings for them.The song was released in September 1975 as one of the 7 singles from the band’s third studio album titled ABBA.

I personally loved it because they were pretty girls with powerful voice – and I also had a band with my sisters “Three Huq Sisters” so it gave us strength.

2. Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)

This was originally called “Brown Skinned Girl,” and was about an interracial relationship. Morrison changed it to “Brown Eyed Girl” to make it more palatable for radio stations.

The female backing vocals were performed by The Sweet Inspirations, who were a gospel-influenced group that performed on many hits for other artists in addition to their own material. You can also hear them on “Chain Of Fools” by Aretha Franklin and “I Say a Little Prayer” by Dionne Warwick. The Sweet Inspirations became Elvis Presley’s female backing singers in 1969, touring and recording with him until his death.

I personally fell in love with this song again when I was an aerobics instructor (late 80’s) abroad and found this extremely empowering making the aerobics dance effortless!

3. Black or White (Michael Jackson)

It is a single by American singer Michael Jackson. It stayed there for a total of seven weeks. Jackson became the first artist to have number one hits in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with the song. The song is a fusion of Rap rock, dance and hip hop. Epic Records described the song as “a rock ‘n’ roll dance song about racial harmony”.

I personally loved it because I am all for ‘equality’ and I also related this ‘black or white’ to ‘with husband or without husband’ … DOES NOT MATTER! (kind of sentiment) also I love Michael Jackson since he was a kid (Jackson 5).

4. Black Magic Woman (Santana)

Original Santana keyboardist Gregg Rolie brought the song to the band, and came up with that iconic Hammond organ riff that kicks things off. Carlos Santana then added his influences from his musical home base of jazz and blues.

I personally fell in love especially since my brother Late Noyon Munshi used to love it and play it so nicely back then when Noyon was about 14 years old – no youtube no teacher … also when my eldest son was born, before my father-in-law could give Azaan in his ears as the first sound from this world to go into his ears, Noyon jumped into the labor room and played a piece of Black Magic Woman beautifully ….

Teen Georgina Huq singing in a competition
Teen Georgina Huq singing in a competition; Source: Georgina Huq (Facebook)

5. Yesterday (The Beatles)

In 1980, Paul explained why ‘Yesterday’ could be described as his best song. “I like it not only because it was a big success, but because it was one of the most instinctive songs I’ve ever written.” It holds the record as the most recorded song in history, with over 2500 versions, and has been broadcast on American radio over seven million times.

I personally love this because I was in my prime age to understand the core taste of different music and the lyrics … it touched me like thousand arrows … specially when I had to leave my home (76 Shantinagar – the musical world) and lived with the in-laws in a dry dead place where music was forbidden!

6. Leaving on a Jet Plane (John Denver)

It is a song written by John Denver in 1966 and most famously recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary. The original title of the song was “Babe, I Hate to Go”.

I personally got attached to it because that is the time our brother Jamal Munshi who left for Canada in 1965 – first sibling to leave the family of 11 siblings … came back to visit us in 1967 or so with a LP (record) of Denver and he kept playing this song over and over again …

7. Too Much Heaven (Bee Gees)

‘Too Much Heaven’ is a song by the Bee Gees, which was the band’s contribution to the ‘Music for UNICEF’ fund. They performed it at the Music for UNICEF Concert on 9 January 1979. The recording process was the longest of all the tracks on Spirits Having Flown as there are nine layers of three-part harmony, creating 27 voices, though the high falsetto voices are the most pronounced in the final mix.

I love this because Noyon was so young and when he sang this song, he sounded like that— thin voice …

8. Rivers of Babylon (Boney M.)

At the end of 2007 Boney M. were the only act to have two singles in the UK all-time Top 10 best sellers list. Some of the lyrics came from Psalm 137 of The Bible. The original Psalm was written during the Jews exile in Babylon in around 600 BC.

I love it because of the beat and rhythm and such emotional feelings this song provokes …

eorgina Huq's Quarantine Playlist- II
Georgina Huq’s Quarantine Playlist- II; Design & Compilation: Tanvir Ahmed Abir

9. Natural Woman (Aretha Franklin)

The song was co-written by legendary songwriting partners Carole King and Gerry Goffin, with input from Atlantic producer Jerry Wexler. Written specifically for Aretha Franklin, the song was released in 1967 and later included on her 1968 album Lady Soul.

I was a FAN of Aretha Franklin since I matured enough to understand music … I was in grade 7 or 8 and it was I think it was 1968 or so …. and STILL SHE IS MY QUEEN … the women power I grew up with, NOT KNOWING HOW MUCH I WOULD NEED IT IN MY LIFE.

The first time in my life I started doing what my elder siblings were doing – listening to cassette and pricking with fingers to rewind the tangled tape … I was listening to this song … and I was learning this song … until then I was only a drummer!

10. Killing me Softly (Roberta Flack)

a song composed by Charles Fox with lyrics by Norman Gimbel. The lyrics were written in collaboration with Lori Lieberman after she was inspired by a Don McLean performance in late 1971. Lieberman released her version of the song in 1972, but it did not chart. In 1973 it became a number-one hit in the United States and Canada for Roberta Flack, also reaching number six in the UK Singles Chart. The song has been covered by many artists.

It became personally attached to me when I realized I could sing this song effortlessly and I was appreciated in every place I sang it. I guess I also started to feel what love was all about (lol).

11. Fire and Rain (James Taylor)

It’s a folk-rock song written and performed by James Taylor. Released on Warner Bros. Records as a single from his second album, Sweet Baby James, in February 1970, the song follows Taylor’s reaction to the suicide of Suzanne Schnerr, a childhood friend, and his experiences with drug addiction and fame. After its release, “Fire and Rain” peaked at number two on RPM’s Canada Top Singles chart and at number three on the Billboard Hot 100.

I started singing this song (cover) during the time when I was rising up with just my inner strength …

I was struggling with my Married life and being the victim … And a mother of 3 … while I myself was not that matured. My brother said he cried when he heard me singing this song … during the mid-70s …

12. House of the Rising Sun (The Animals)

The phrase “House of the Rising Sun” is often understood as a euphemism for a brothel, but it is not known whether the house described in the lyrics was an actual or a fictitious place. One theory is that the song is about a woman who killed her father, an alcoholic gambler who had beaten his wife.

“The House of the Rising Sun” is a traditional folk song, sometimes called “Rising Sun Blues”. It tells of a life gone wrong in New Orleans; many versions also urge a sibling or parents and children to avoid the same fate.

I personally (actually my heart) got attached when 76, Shantinagar was falling …. In every which way … Not only the physical house but our famous/talented siblings ….. going into the dark slowly … first our dad died then the family moved to Edmonton, Canada … except few of us …

Georgina Huq at TSC Playing Guitar
Georgina Huq, the first female drummer of Bangladesh playing guitar in TSC on 16 December 2016, after 44 years. © Rafiz Imtiaz

13. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)

It is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1968 double album The Beatles. It was written by George Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist.

Harrison wrote “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” as an exercise in randomness inspired by the Chinese I Ching. The song conveys his dismay at the world’s unrealized potential for universal love, which he refers to as “the love there that’s sleeping”.

A song from the ‘Concert for Bangladesh’. George Harrison was my Brother Jamal Munshi’s friend. My brother Jamal Munshi initiated the first Concert to fund Bangladesh with the help Khan Shaheb (Ali Akbar Khan) who was also Jamal’s friend. It took place at Barkley in May, 1971 before the second concert at Madison Square Garden in August, 1971 which became catastrophic!

At a time like then and now this “covid dam thing”
This song pricks into my soul … with the way the music goes …

14. Black is Black (Los Bravos)

This colorful song finds the singer utterly flummoxed by a girl who has left him. He wants her back, then reconsiders, since she’ll only leave him again, putting him in even greater misery. Upon further reflection, he thinks maybe it would work out after all if she returned. She’s not coming back, of course, but he seems to feel better believing he has a choice.

“Black Is Black” is a song by the Spanish rock band Los Bravos, released in 1966 as the group’s debut single for Decca Records. Produced by Ivor Raymonde, the song reached number two in the UK, number four in the U.S. and number one in Canada. With the song’s success, Los Bravos became the first Spanish rock band to have an international hit single. A dance remix of the song was released as a single in 1986.

This is the song my brother Alamgir sang in the band competition during Late 60s … and his band ‘Windy Side of Care’ Came first! Second was an American band (forgot the name … ) And third was a band from Chittagong called the Lightening’s …

I was very young but I could feel the effect of his voice, singing this song … going right through my heart and soul. And felt the ‘power of music’ …

15. Cotton Fields (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)

Creedence Clearwater Revival, also referred to as Creedence and CCR, was an American rock band which recorded and performed from 1968 to 1972.

“Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song)” is a song written by American blues musician Huddie … Creedence Clearwater Revival included their cover of Cotton Fields as the third track on their 1969 album Willy and the Poor Boys. … In order to keep the words sounding similar, the meaning of the song was completely changed.

I loved it because when one of brother would start singing. We could all join in due to its easy tune and lyrics. And also, because we could harmonize …. Noyon was the best among us …

16. Oh Yoko! (John Lennon)

It’s a 1971 song, written and performed by John Lennon, that was first released on Imagine. I can still hear Noyon’s voice “in the middle of the night I called your name …….” playing his guitar …
The song was written about his wife Yoko Ono. Noyon Munshi would sing it so sweetly … and in our very old single storied house. In Shantinagar … his voice would not disturb our sleep …

Featured Image: Tanvir Ahmed Abir
This write-up is based on the Quarantine Playlist and the memories of the first female drummer of Bangladesh, George Huq.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Wow I am touched and thrilled – the writer of this made it into such a delightful and tasteful dish! But I had no idea that my photo(s) and my history would be carved in such a beautiful and loving way. Thanks to Sakib Whizart! You are a genius:) Lots of love and blessings, Georgina

    • Thanks a lot !
      Everyone, in the team did the work with much enthusiasm and care, especially our designer Tanvir Ahmed Abir. So, the whole team deserves this appreciation.

      Much love from Team MuSophia for your support 🙂

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