”Let There Be Love and Peace” is a special composition by Dr. L Subramniam for Hope 2020 -An initiative by the North American Bengali Association (NABC) to raise funds for Cyclone Amphan and COVID-19 relief.
It is far more than just a collaboration among some of the biggest
names in Indian music for a good cause, it is an artistic triumph that transcends its ”official” nature. While the chorus “Let There Be Love and Peace Everywhere” might sound like a cheery pop carol in theory, with all the individual voices homogenised into a jingly sing along, in reality
the vocal solos of each artist have been masterfully interwoven to emphasise the individuality of each singer.
After the Leipzig Philharmonic Orchestra’s beautiful intro and the brief but bright piano piece by Svetlana Smolina, the song kicks off with Baulsamrat Pandit Purna Das Baul’s calm, almost ministerial singing, followed by Alka Yagnik’s memorable and soulful voice singing “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”. The Sanskrit verse simply means: “May all beings be happy and
free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all”. The verse is repeatedly sung by other Indian music legends like Kumar Sanu, Penaz Masani, Anup Jalota, Usha Uthup, Hariharan, Jolly Mukherjee and Shama Rahman before the legendary Kavita Krishnamurti pierces the air in a reverberating crescendo with her voice. The song breaks out into the first rendition of the chorus before Dr. L Subramaniam takes over with his beautiful violin solo.
The verse and chorus are repeated one more time before the song concludes in a glorious manner. The song in itself is a simple, eloquent ballad which is incredibly tuneful and catchy. Even though all the vocalists are singing the same lines, the voices are layered in a way so as to
create a sense of continuous surprise and emotional buildup. Brief but powerful instrumental fragments are provided by Øystein Baadsvik (Tuba), Ambi Subramaniam (Violin), and Tanmoy Bose (Tabla). The song is so beautifully written that it would sound outstanding even if it weren’t
sung by stars. However, the line “Hum To Basayenge Sapno Ka Aisa Jahan” assumes an extra emotional dimension when sung by people with superstar mystiques.
Let there be love and peace everywhere.