Friday, July 31, 2009

Saria al-Sawas - Oh Sheikhسارية السواس - يا شيخYa Shaykh

Saria al-Sawas - Oh Sheikh

Oh Sheikh, cure me
I can't sleep
It's been more than two years that I've been in this state

My love is driving me crazy, leaving me and being cruel to me
He doesn't fear God and I am in this state

He went away and left me by myself everyone
He doesn't know what's happened to me while I've been in this state

Oh Sheikh, I've come to you
If only you would cure me
My love did not fear God
Please help me with my condition

I miss his voice, I miss him
Shame on him for leaving me in this state

سارية السواس - يا شيخ

يا شيخ عالجني النوم ما يجيني
لفوق عاميني وانا بهالحالة

خلي مجنني يهجر ويظلمني
ولا يخاف الله وانا بهالحاله

سافر وخلاني يا ناس وحداني
ما يدري ايش جاني وانا بهالحالة

يا شيخ انا جيتك ليتك تعالجني
خلي ما خاف الله يرضيك هالحالة

مشتاقة لصوته مشتاقة يا انا
حرام يتركني وانا بهالحالة

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fairuz - Take Me, My Darlingفيروز - خدني حبيبيKhedni Habibi

This song is from the Rahbani Brothers play entitled "Petra (بتراء)"

Fairouz - Take Me, My Darling

Take me, my darling, to a house with no doors
Take me, my darling, to a hidden moon
Help me for get as I sleep, in pure days
So that the nights return and our loved ones come back
My darling, my darling

Take me, joy is on the way
My love for you consumes me and you don't have a companion

Oh prince of the sword, where did you take the summer?
I can kind of see you, lost in the fog

There's a little princess who was betrothed early
They cast jealousy upon her, and she can't fly
The put her in a castle beyond seven seas
And the princess is little, and the gates are big

فيروز - خدني حبيبي

خدني ياحبيبي ع بيت مالو بواب
خدني ياحبيبي ع قمر الغياب
نساني بالغفا بأيام الصفا
تترجع الليالي ويرجعوا الأحباب
ياحبيبي .. ياحبيبي

خدني ولا تخدني الفرح عالطريق
حبك بيحصدني وماعندك رفيق

يا أمير السيف وين أخدت الصيف
بشوفك ومابشوفك ضايع بالضباب

في اميرة صغيرة نخطبت بكير
رميو عليها الغيرة ومابتعرف تطير

سكنوها قصور خلف سبع بحور
وصغيرة الأميرة وكبيرة البواب

Hakim - Nobody Blame Meحكيم - ما حدش يلومنيMa Hadesh Yiloumni

Sounds like a nice song, but it's about taking revenge on people who have hurt you.

المتصفح الذي لديك لايدعم مشغل الأغاني. دبر حالك و روح نزل البرنامج أو .<A HREF="">اضغط هنا</A> لسماع الأغنية.

Hakeem - Nobody Blame Me

Nobody blame me or criticize me
These guys inflicted a large wound in my heart (literally, "not small)
I gotta humiliate them and make them stay up all night in tears
And injure their hearts in return 100 times

Nobody tell me "nevermind, forgive them"
And nobody remind me of the past
I've been wronged so much and experienced so much cruelty

Oh night, tell them
They hurt me and left me in pain and misery
I've been hurt so much and experience so much cruelty

I gotta humiliate them and make them stay up all night in tears
And injure their hearts in return 100 times

Nobody blame me or criticize me
These guys inflicted a large wound in my heart

حكيم - ماحدش يلومني

محدش يلومني ولا يعتب عليا
دول جرحوني فى قلبي جرح مش شويه
لا زم اذلهم واسهر دمعهم

واجرح قلبهم بدال الجرح ميه
محدش يقولي معلش وسماح
ولا حد يفكرني بالماضي اللى راح
انا اتظلمت كتير وشوفت قسوة كتير

يا مسهر عيوني احكيلهم ياليل
جرحوني وسابوني بين عذاب وويل
انا اتجرحت كتير وشوفت قسوة كتير
لا زم اذلهم واسهر دمعهم
واجرح قلبهم بدال الجرح ميه

محدش يلومني ولا يعتب عليا
دول جرحوني فى قلبي جرح مش شويه

Lyrics transcription from here

Zeki Nasif - Butterfly and Flowerزكي ناصيف - فراشة وزهرةFarashe wa Zehra

The language is a bit abstract I hope it makes enough sense rendered in English

Zeki Nasif - Butterfly and Flower

Pick me out the prettiest flower, oh butterfly
A flower that would look good arranged in the blonde girl's hair

Pick one more wonderful than a child's laugh
And let the lily shout to her a mawwal (song) from its heart
While the sparrow sings it and translates what it said
And the break of the dawn strums to her on its strings

Pick one the color of marble and stories of fire (hell?)
And the dark, barren soil and the aged snow
And from the dream of the green valley and the bloom of the laurel
And if I could describe more to you, I wouldn't tell you to pick it for me

زكي ناصيف - فراشة وزهرة

نقي لي أحلى زهرة يا فراشة نقي لي
زهرة تلبق للشقرة على شعرها تشكيلي

نقيها حلوة أحلى من ضحكة أطفال
وخلي الزنبق يصرخ لها من قلبه موال
والعصفور يترغلها ويترجم شو قال
وشق الفجر ينغم لها عوتاره تهدي لي

نقيها بلون المرمر وحكايات النار
وتراب الجرد الأسمر والتلج الختيار
ومن حلم الوادي الأخضر وعنفوان الغار
ولو بعرف أوصف أكتر ما بقلك نقي لي

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mohamed Nour - A, B Boobayeمحمد نور - ألف بيه بوبايهAlif Be Bubaye

This song is included in our Syrian Debke Podcast as well

Mohamed Nour - A, B Boobaye
محمد نور - ألف باء بوبايه

This is a song that really requires explanation rather than translation since it doesn't make much sense.

الف باء وبوبايه قلم رصاص ومحاية
انا بغني على المايك واسعد بيعزف ورايا

This is the crux of the song, which is kind of like a little game. The form usually employed is as follows:

الف باء وبوبايه قلم رصاص ومحاية
انا بكتب على اللوح وبتكتبوا ورايا

In the standard version, the line is something like "A, B, pencil and eraser, I write on the board and you write after me," as if to be a classroom type game. But the singer instead sings "I sing on the mic and Asaed plays after me," indicating that they are playing this kind of game with music, in this case debke songs. In the song when you hear "Asaed (أسعد)" or "Abu Suoud (أبو سعود)" he's referring to his accompanying musician.

So what they proceed to do in this framework is choose a letter, then a word that starts with that letter that refers to a particular line from a debke song, then they sing that line putting whatever embellishments they may choose. I'll explain each section best I can though it's not important for enjoying the song.

حرف التاء .. تع بورد
تع بورد تع بورد تع بورد تع

The letter "ta," "ta3 bourid"

"ta3 bourid (تع بورد)" means "come cool off" and is like the kind of thing a vendor of cold juice might be calling out in the street on a hot summer day.

حرف الواو

ويلي من العشق يا ويله عزبتني بنت الليل
كل يوم اسهر بمقصف كتر السهر هد الحيل

The letter "waw," "weeli"

He says "weeli (woe is me) from love, the girl of the night tormented me" then he says that he has stayed up every night thinking of her to the point that he doesn't have the energy to work or do anything.

حرف الواو .. وردة

وردة وردة على القطن تعالي واريد اشوفك بالنوح الشمالي

The letter "waw" (again), "warda"

"warda (وردة)" means a flower or rose, and he compares the girl to a flower and says he wants to see her.

حرف الهاء .. هاجر

هاجر فوق الرعوشي حوشي جدياتك حوشي
بكرا يعلم حب الديس وان شاش الهوى شوشي

The letter "he," "hajer"

Hajer is a name, like Hagar from the Torah. This line is hard to crack, he's courting Hajer but the lines are really weird, they are just for rhyme mostly I guess.

حرف الواو .. وعدتينا

وعدتينا تحت التينا وما جيتينا
وطلبنا بوسة من خدك ما عطيتينا

The letter "waw" (again), "wa3edtina"

"wa3edtina" means something like "you promised to meet us," and he's saying basically that they had a date, to meet under a tree and she didn't come. Then he says "I asked to kiss your cheek and you didn't let me."

حرف العين

عاشق لبنت البيتي وانا ابن الفلاحي
لا تخليني روح ليكي هيي قليبها مرتاحة
مليتيلي قلبي جراح
يا جميل رد ما برد يا هنا ردي ما بدي

The letter "3ayn", "3ashiq"

"3ashiq" means in love and he says that he is in love with a girl from a well-off family and that he is the son of a farmer. Then something that is hard to understand. Then he says "you filled my heart with wounds."

حرف الغاء .. غسل وشك

غسل وشك يا قمر بالصابون وبالحجر وينك يا أسعد
مشط شعرك يا أسعد والمشط الحلو انسكر وينك يا وينك يا أصلع

The letter "gha (ie ghayn)", "ghassel wishak"

This one especially is meant to be humorous and he inserts his own variation. He says "wash your fash, you moon (meaning pretty face), with soap and stone" then he says "where you at Asaed" meaning that the line is intended for his buddy Asaed. Then he says "comb your hair, Asaed, and the comb would break, where you at baldy." Normally in place of "baldy" he would say something like "moon" again, but he is using this line to make fun of his buddy I guess.

حرف الدال

ده ده دونك على ام البرقع ودونك
الله الله يا الله تحمي حسن نصر الله

The letter "dal," "dahdunek"

"dahdounek" doesn't have a clear meaning, it's the name of a debke song. He is addressing a woman referring to "the one in the burkah." In the following line he says "God, oh God, please protect Hassan Nasrallah," who is the political leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ozeina al-Ali - If Onlyأذينة العلي - يا ريتكYa Reitek

Yemmi (يمي) means Jembi (جمبي) in this case, ie "next to me." In no way is he singing to his mother.

Ozeina al-Ali - If Only You Would Come to Me

If only you would come to me
So I could tell you all my problems and worries
I planted you as a rose in my veins
But it turns out you're already part of my blood

Never have you felt for me
Nor have you loved me or cared about me
I've been fooling myself for so long
And it looks like I've sacrificed with my own blood

I used to cry at night in your absence
I wouldn't calm down until I smelled your clothes
I've been waiting for you for so long (literally, by your door)
And I've suffered while missing you, waiting

Oh world, gather up my wounds
You will never be happy in my absence
When you come back and knock on my door
I swear on my life, upon what I've suffered
I won't forgive you as long as I live

Turns out you've left me
Put out your fire oh world
I thought you were my true love
But it turns out your promises were all a mirage

أذينة العلي - يا ريتك لو تيجي يمي

يا ريتك لو تجي يمي
واسمعك كل صدى همي
زرعتك وردة بعروقي
وأتاري انت من دمي

بعمرك ما حسيت بحالي
ولاحبيت ولاعندك غالي
صارلي زمان عم اخدع حالي
وتاري ضحيت بدمي

كنت الليل ابكي على غيابك
ما ارتاح تاشم تيابك
صارلي زمان والله عبوابك
والشوق دايب على بوابك

يادنيا جراحي لمي
ماراح يوم تهنى بغيابي
وراح ترجع وتدق بوابي
وحياتك وحياة عذابي
ما بصامح الا على دمي

وتاري وتاري ياهاجر قليبي وتاريه
طفي نارك يادنيا وتاريه
كنت مفكرك وفي ياولفي
خاين وعودك كلها سراب

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saria al-Sawas - Just Listen What I Sayسارية السواس - بس اسمع منيBas Esma Menni

This is part of our Syrian Debke Podcast

This is modern Syrian debke of a Bedouin variety, that managed to surpass professional manufactured Arab pop in Syria and the Gulf during 2008-09.

Saria al-Sawas - Just Listen What I Say

Just listen what I say, you who's driving me mad
I'm suffering and you're happy with it

Listen, just listen, you whose eyes are crying
It's as if you aren't listening
God give me patience

Layla oh Layla oh Omm Guthayla (Omm Guthayla might be a specific nickname for a girl with a particular physical feature but I can't figure it out)
How can I reach your heart?
What is the means?

We don't take our lovers from among our relatives anymore (this is a feature of the current generation of rural Syrian society that would differentiate them from previous generations, and refers to the fact that it has become less common for marriages between cousins to be arranged by their families)
We don't take anyone except the ones we like
And there couldn't be anything better

سارية السواس - بس اسمع مني

بس اسمع مني ياللي مجنني
أنا المتعذب وانت المتهني
اسمع بس اسمع ياللي عينك تدمع
كانك ما تسمع الله يصبرني

ليلى وياليلى اه يا أم قديلة
شلون اوصل قلبك
شنو هالوسيلة

ياحبايبنا وياحبايبنا
بطلنا ناخد من قرايبنا
واحنا ما ناخد الا اللي يعجبنا
وأروع ما يكونا

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Samira Said - We're Throughسميرة سعيد - ما خلاصMa Khalas

Updated media and translation

Samira Said - It's Over

We're through, what do you want from me?
Get away from me
Try to understand the past is over
Forget it

We're through, what brought you here again?
Put your mind at ease and forget me
I don't want you anymore

You say "you were once in love with me"
Quite frankly, I don't remember you anymore (meaning she no longer loves him)
So what are you talking about?

We're through, you've missed you chance
Go ahead and dream if you want
What do you want me to do for you?

Oh god, you're begging me
And you're dreaming of me
No, calm down a little
This is your imagination running wild

Don't let it even cross your mind that I might be returning to you
Look at yourself
Your talk will do no good

You are the one who started this separation
So it's normal that I am being cruel to you now
It's all nothing to me
My eyes see you and don't miss you

سميرة سعيد - ما خلاص

ما خلاص عايز ايه منى ايه
ابعد بقى عنى ايه
حاول تفهمنى الماضى خلاص انساه

ما خلاص ايه جابك تانى ايه
ارتاح وانسانى ايه
واللى هييجى منك والله مانيش عايزاه

بتقول انا كنت زمان بهواك
بصراحه انا مش فاكراك
وبتتكلم عن ايه

ماخلاص راحت يا حبيبى عليك
عايز تحلم خليك
وعايزنى اعملك ايه

يا سلام بتحايل في ايه
وبتحلم بي ليه
لا اهدى شويه
ده خيالك راح لبعيد

وبلاش يخطر على بالك لا
ان انا راجعالك لا
ما تشوف بقى حالك
ده كلامك مش هيفيد

انت اللى بالبعد بادى
ودلوقتى عادى انى اقسى عليك
كل اللى هاين علي تشوفك عيني ولا تحن ليك

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Best of Azar Habib Podcast

Azar Habib Podcast
عازار حبيب

Click play to hear the podcast

For translations of Azar Habib on the site click here

The most-repeated of the Azar Habib (عازار حبيب) truisms is that he was the first Arab musician to blend a "light western style" with "eastern rhythm." To me, this is a pretty banal way to describe Habib's music which combines some of the most innovative and catchy beats to ever come from a synth. Testament to the Lebanese singer's popularity is how his songs are in constant rotation on Damascus and Beirut radio stations, but there were missteps along the way.

Much like one wonders what Elvis was thinking in his Vegas days, one wonders what Habib was thinking recording songs that harken a carnival or, even odder, some type of vampire shakedown. Yet much to his credit, even when his songs teeter on kitsch, redeemable loops abound and he's never uninteresting.

This podcast is a sample of my favorite Azar Habib songs, between tracks that I instantly loved -- and tracks that on first-listen sounded campy, but then developed into undeniable classics.

Track List

1. The Pearl Drop on Your Cheek (translation available)
على خدك حبة لولو
2. Cheeky Cheeky Baba (translation available)
شيكي شيكي بابا عيني عيني يأبا

This song is actually performed by the Lebanese one-hit wonder Adonis Aqel

3. Going round to the "Dayer-dayer" (translation available)
عالداير داير مندار
4. It's Hard For Me to Sleep (translation available)
عازز عليّ النوم
5. When My Beloved Left Me (lyrics available)
انا والحبيب لما هجرني
6. Not Important (translation available)
مش مهم
7. I Love You
8. Pharmacist (translation available)
9. Tell Me (translation available)
10. I Love Her Eyes (translation available)
بحب عيونها
11. Everything That's Happening (translation available)
كل اللي صاير
12. I'm Gathering My Affection (translation available)
عم لملم حناني
13. Since You're Going to Our Village (translation available)
يا رايح عضيعتنا

Azar Habib - I'm Gathering My Affectionعازار حبيب - عم لملم حنانيAm Lamlem Hanani

Azar Habib - I'm Gathering My Affection

I'm gathering my affection and writing you songs with the most beautiful of meanings, my life
And my eyes are dreaming of two letters from this alphabet, my life (those two letters probably spell "love")

On the dew drops
On my voice
On its echo
I won't tell anyone
I'm drawing your eyes (on all those things)

From the sun of the morning
From the darkness of the night
I'm making you a bouquet to adorn your eyes (because those things could be used as makeup, that's the idea anyway)

عازار حبيب - عم لملم حناني

عم لملم حناني واكتب لك اغاني بأحلى المعاني يا حياتي
وعم تحلم عينيي بحرفين هدية من هالابجدية يا حياتي

ع حبات الندى ع صوتي عـالصدى
ما رح احكي لحدا عم برسم عينيكي

من شمس الصبحية من عتم العشية
زارع مزهرية تتكحل عينيكي

Azar Habib - Everything That's Happeningعازار حبيب - كل اللي صايرKol Elly Sayer

Azar Habib - Everything That's Happening

Everything that's happening
Happening in my heart
Is cuz of you
You who lives in my heart

And if my heart didn't love your eyes
It wouldn't be carrying any love at all

Everything that is happening in my heart
Is from you who lives in my heart

How could I not stay up singing while the light of your eyes is missing
Oh you who keeps me up
Come back to me and my heart will be strong again

Your name is sacred, your light is precious
While your image in this light is before me
I make myself happy and forget my situation
Whenever my heart is hurting me

عازار حبيب - كل اللي صاير

كل اللي صاير .. صاير بقلبي
منّك يا ساكن .. ساكن بقلبي
ولوما قلبي .. يحبّ عيونك
ماكان بيحمل .. بيحمل محبّة
كل اللي صاير بقلبي
منّك يا ساكن بقلبي

كيف ما بدّي أسهر غنّي .. ونور عيونك غايب عنّي
ندر عليّي يا مسهّرني .. ارجع لي بيرجع يقوى قلبي

ولوما قلبي .. بيحب عيونك
ماكان بيحمل .. بيحمل محبّة
كل اللي صاير بقلبي .. منك ياساكن بقلبي

أسمك عالي ونورك غالي .. وطيفك بهالنور قبالي
بهنّي حالي وبانسى حالي .. كل ما عميوجعني قلبي

ولوما قلبي .. بيحب عيونك
ماكان بيحمل .. بيحمل محبّة
كل اللي صاير بقلبي .. منك ياساكن بقلبي

Azar Habib - I Love Her Eyesعازار حبيب - بحب عيونهاBaheb Oyouna

Azar Habib - I Love Her Eyes

I love her eyes and I can't hide it
Cuz my eyes are giving me away
My love is bigger than my heart
Bigger than my name
And bigger than me

I want everyone to know that I love her
If someone has feelings he shouldn't hide it
I've given her a home in my eyes
Her eyes mean so much to me
They are what made me sing

I want a love song to sing and make her happy
I want the voice of my heart to rise and call out to her
I gave her all my secrets and all my thoughts
And I'll let my journey tell her about me

عازار حبيب - بحب عيونها

حب بحب عيونها وما بقدرخبي عبيحكو عينوني عبيحكو عني
حبي أكبر أكبر أكبر من قلبي اكبر من اسمي من اسمي ومن اسمي ومني

بدي كل الناس تعرف اني بحبها اللي عنده احساس لازم ما يتخبى
سكنتها بعيوني عيونها بهموني وهنن اللي خلوني خلوني غني

بحب بحب عيونها وما بقدرخبي عبيحكو عينوني عبيحكو عني
حبي أكبر أكبر أكبر من قلبي اكبر من اسمي من اسمي ومن اسمي ومني

بدي لحن الحب غني تاهنيها بدي صوت القلب يعلى ويناديها
سلمتها اسراري وهديتها افكاري ورح خلي مشواري يخبرها عني

بحب بحب عيونها وما بقدرخبي عبيحكو عينوني عبيحكو عني
حبي أكبر أكبر أكبر من قلبي اكبر من اسمي من اسمي ومن اسمي ومني

Azar Habib - Say What You Wantعازار حبيب - قولي شو بدك قوليOulli Shou Badiek

Azar Habib - Say What You Want

Say what you want, say it
Say it, cmon really?
Say "I'm jealous and my heart is on fire"
And don't you dare say "I don't love you"

The girls are jealous of you
They returned all the gifts
They left my heart to finish the road
And they knew all of my intentions

Say "I love you" don't be scared
Your name is like a song on my lips
Enjoy our love
And let it wake up this guy who's heart is sleeping (ie him)

عازار حبيب - قولي

قولي شو بدك قولي قولي اخوت معقولة
قولي بغار وقلبي نار وما بحبك اوعى تقولي

ويلي نار نار ما بحبك اوعى تقولي

منك غاروا الصبايا ردوا كل الهدايا
تركوا القلب يكفي الدرب وعرفوا كل النوايا

ويلي نار نار ما بحبك اوعى تقولي

قولي بحبك لا تخافي اسمك نغمة عشفافي
هني الحب وخلي الحب يوعي اللي قلبه غافي

ويلي نار نار ما بحبك اوعى تقولي

Azar Habib - It's Not Importantعازار حبيب - مش مهم تكوني حديMish Muhim

Azar Habib - It's Not Important

It's not important for you to be beside me for me to sing
It's not important for the sound to carry and speak about me

I don't write, my dear
Nor do I play a line of music
Nor do I compose or sing
Except for my art, except for my art
And you are my art

No matter how far you are from me
You're still the light of my candle
You're my joy

I wanna love you however you are
I wanna love you no matter what you say
I wanna love you wherever you are
Even if you stay far away

عازار حبيب - مش مهم تكوني حدي

مش مهم تكوني حدي حتى غني
مش مهم الصوت يودي ويحكي عني

انا ما بكتب يا رفيقة
ولا بعزف جملة موسيقى
انا ما بلحن ما بغني
إلا لفني ..إلا لفني
وانتي فني

مهما كنتي عني بعيدة..عني بعيدة
إنتيي نور الشمعة ..إنتي عيدي

بدي حبك كيف ما كنتي
بدي حبك شو ما قلتي
بدي حبك وين ما كنتي
حتى لو ضليتي بعيدي

Azar Habib - It's Hard to Sleepعازار حبيب - عازز عليا النومAziz Alay al Noum

Azar Habib - It's Hard to Sleep

It's hard for me to sleep
Your image is in my mind
Only praying and fasting can give me patience

I swear I wouldn't have loved you if not for my heart
My tears over your absence lament my situation

I'm in love, longing for your beauty and passion
Being separated form your love is so hard my precious

I never said an "ah" (in pain) before I met you
Your image took me away and made forget my song

عازار حبيب - عازز علي النوم

عازز علي النوم طيفك على بالي غير الصلاة والصوم ما يصبر حوالي
غير الصلاة والصوم ما يصبر حوالي
حالف ما كنت أهواك لو ما القلب بهواك دمعي على فرقاك يبكي على حاله
عازز علي النوم طيفك على بالي غير الصلاة والصوم ما يصبر حوالي
غير الصلاة والصوم ما يصبر حوالي
هايم أنا مشتاق للحسن والاشواق الفراق ما اصعب الفراق عن حبك يا غالي
عازز علي النوم طيفك على بالي غير الصلاة والصوم ما يصبر حوالي
غير الصلاة والصوم ما يصبر حوالي
عمري ما قلت الآه من قبل ما القاك طيفك أخدني معاه نساني موالي
عازز علي النوم طيفك على بالي غير الصلاة والصوم ما يصبر حوالي
غير الصلاة والصوم ما يصبر حوالي

Monday, July 13, 2009

Azar Habib - Going Round to the "Dayer-dayer"عازار حبيب - عالداير داير مندارA Dayer Dayer Mindar

So the context of the song is they are dancing around to a debke song, ie folk music, called the "dayer-dayer". This form of dance you dance in a big circle holding hands. In this case, they are distributed in a boy-girl configuration, and he finds himself surrounded by two beautiful girl, and now he has to choose, although he seems to be contemplating the idea of just taking both of them in the last verse.

Azar Habib - Going round to the "dayer-dayer"

We're going round to the "dayer-dayer"
And there's too many pretty girls around me
This brunette has beautiful eyes
And the blonde is getting jealous
Who should I pick? I can't decide

The way the blonde moves is gonna drive me out of my mind
If I'm gone for a minute she misses me no matter how long the trip
Damn she's nice, she's so jealous
Who should I pick? I can't decide

This brunette with such dark beautiful lashes
Where did this magic come from (cuz she's encanting him)
I gave her my heart by the well when we were little kids
And now that we've grown up who should I pick?
I can't decide

Oh Lord, give me two hearts and two worlds and let me go back and forth between them
I can't choose on my own
My whole youth is going to go by (literally, "the flowers of my life will wilt" and he says this because he is spending so long confused and undecided)
Who should I pick? I can't decide

عازار حبيب - عالداير داير مندار

عالداير داير مندار حوالي الحلوين كتار
هالسمرا عيونها حلوين والشقرا علي بتغار مين بدي نقي محتار

شقرا نقلتها نقلة رح بتطير لي عقلي غبت دقيقة بتشتاق لي كيف ما نطولت المشوار
يخرب ذوقها شو بتغار ومين بدي نقي محتار

عالداير داير مندار حوالي الحلوين كتار
هالسمرا عيونها حلوين والشقرا علي بتغار مين بدي نقي محتار

سمرا بكحلة ريف العين من جابت هالسحر مين
سلمت لها قلبي عالعين كنا يومها ولاد صغار وهلق لما صرنا كبار مين بدي نقي محتار

عالداير داير مندار حوالي الحلوين كتار
هالسمرا عيونها حلوين والشقرا علي بتغار مين بدي نقي محتار

يا رب عطيني قلبين ت في ارضي التنتين وقضيها مابين وبين مش قادر وحدي اختار
رح تدبل وردات العمر مين بدي نقي محتار

عالداير داير مندار حوالي الحلوين كتار
هالسمرا عيونها حلوين والشقرا علي بتغار مين بدي نقي محتار

Azar Habib - Mr. Pharmacistعازار حبيب - صيدلي يا صيدليSaydali Ya Saydali

This hasn't been uncommon theme in the folk music of the Middle East, that is, songs about asking a doctor or in this case a pharmacist for a cure from the disease of love. Popular culture says that in Arabic, unlike other languages as it is claimed, love is a sickness. Thus, this motif has appeared many a time in Arabic poetry and song, as well as in songs of other languages such as this song performed by Turkish singer Candan Erçetin.

This song was also mentioned by Syrian author Mohamed al-Maghout in his satirical play "I Will Betray My Country (سأخون وطني)" when an Arab citizen goes to a doctor complaining of various ailments, which are metaphors for political and social problems, and says the only thing he can hear out of his ear is "Saydali ya saydali," a clever reference to this song which was immensely popular at that time. As a side note, the song is also featured in al-Maghout's film starring Durayd Lahham entited "The Borders (الحدود)"

Azar Habib - Mr. Pharmacist

Mr. Pharmacist, oh pharmacist
Oh pharmacist
I need a cure for her and I need a cure for me

Her heart is becoming a flame
And my heart is boiling
It's boiling, it's boiling
Hurry Mr. Pharmacist
It's boiling, it's boiling
My heart, Mr. Pharmacist

We came so you could heal us
They directed us to you, be kind to us

I want you to give me a pill
That brings my heart and hers together
And will light my path for me and solve my problem

Everyone who sees us doesn't even recognize us
They think we are specters passing by

We'd like you to help us
Bring us together and don't split us apart
It's enough what we've been through and the pain (literally, "boiling") we've endured

عازار حبيب - صيدلي يا صيدلي

صيدلي ياصيدلي ياصيدلي
بدي دوا الها وبدي دوا الي

قلبها صاير صاير صاير شعلة نار
وقلبي قلبي قلبي عم يغلي غلي

عم يغلي عم يغلي عجل ياصيدلي
عم يغلي عم يغلي قلبي ياصيدلي

نحن جينا جينا لتداوينا
دلونا لعندك توصى فينا

بدي منك حبه
تجمع قلبا وقلبي
وتنورلي دربي وتحل المسألة

عم يغلي عم يغلي عجل ياصيدلي
عم يغلي عم يغلي قلبي ياصيدلي

كل اللي شافونا ماعرفونا
خيالات و عمتمرق فكرونا

ساعدنا بتسعدنا
اجمعنا ولاتشرِّدنا
بيكفي شو نوَعَدْنَا وشو حمِلنا غلي

عم يغلي عم يغلي عجل ياصيدلي
عم يغلي عم يغلي قلبي ياصيدلي

صيدلي ياصيدلي ياصيدلي
بدي دوا الها وبدي دوا الي

قلبها صاير صاير صاير شعلة نار
وقلبي قلبي قلبي عم يغلي غلي

عم يغلي عم يغلي عجل ياصيدلي
عم يغلي عم يغلي قلبي ياصيدلي

Azar Habib - The Pearl Drop on Your Cheekعازار حبيب - عخدك حبة لولوAkhaddik Habbat Lulu

Here pearl drop is code word for a teardrop I would think.

Azar Habib - There's a Pearl Drop on Your Cheek

There's a pearl drop on your cheek that made me search throughout the night
For the secrets of love so that I may know what it's effect is

The color of love in your eyes draws me closer to you
My love is yours, don't be afraid of what they say

Cruel, love is so cruel
It's always the same
It is in command of us
That's what those who love say

عازار حبيب - على خدك حبة لولو

عخدك حبة لولو خلتني الليل بطوله
فتش عن اسرار الحب تاعرف شو مفعوله

لون الحب بعينيكي... بيقربني ليكي...
حبي حبي وما عليكي وما تخافي شو ما يقولوا

عخدك حبة لولو خلتني الليل بطوله
فتش عن اسرار الحب تاعرف شو مفعوله

قاسي قاسي الحب كتير
ما عنده لا كبير ولا صغير
امير بيبقى امير اللي بيحبوا هيك بيقولوا

عخدك حبة لولو خلتني الليل بطوله
فتش عن اسرار الحب تاعرف شو مفعوله

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ali El Aisawi - Forgive Meعلي العيساوي - سامحينيSamheeni

Sorry I don't have words for the mumbling poetry interspersed in this song.

Ali El Aisawi - Forgive Me

Forgive me
Accept my apology
Time wants us to be apart
It's not my decision

Time wants us to be apart
It's not my decision
Your tears rained on me
But the rain did not put out my fire

Your tears rained on me
But the rain did not put out my fire
If only you would become for a me a candle to light up my home

But the days order that we separate
And the order is in effect
Time called me and said "today I want my revenge"

It's not easy for me to hate you
And when I left you it wasn't my choice
I can't believe I've found you after waiting so long

علي العيساوي - سامحيني

سامحيني اتقبلي مني اعتذاري
الزمن رايد نبتعد لا مو قراري

الزمن رايد نبتعد لا موقراري
ادري بدموعك مطر
بس المطر ماطفا ناري

ادري بدموعك مطر
بس المطر ما طفى ناري
ريتك تصيرين اليا شمعة وتنورين داري

لكن الأيام حكمت نفترق والحكم جاري
ثاري يطلبني الزمان وقال اريد ليوم ثاري

انتي مو سهل اعوفك وابعدت مو باختياري
انا ما مصدق لقيتك بعد ما طال انتظاري

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Natacha Atlas - A Knightنتاشا أطلس - فارسFeres

I got thse lyrics from a Russian lyrics site but I'm not sure they are all correct. I did my best to correct them, but Natacha's accent is absoultely impenetrable sometimes.

Natacha Atlas - A Knight

A handsome knight snatched me up onto his horse
And took me with him to an island with ferocious monsters

And quickly he drew his sword with knightly courage
I found the beasts of the city torn to shreds all over the place
You me forever
A handsome knight

He came to me
He approached me, carrying pile of wood

I told him, "in the city there are many unhappy people. The monsters in our city are hidden in our clothing." (???)
"Come back with me and see
Kill the people's fears"

But he was just quiet, until the sun went down
Then he said to me, "tomorrow I will try. And everything is written (meaning everything is up to fate)"
Everything is written

نتاشا أطلس - فارس

فارس جميل الملامح خطفني فوق الحصان
وأخذني ويّاه جزيرة فيها الوحوش القوّى
فارس جميل الملامح خطفني فوق الحصان
وأخذني ويّاه جزيرة فيها الوحوش القوّى

وبسرعة اتسلّ سيفه بشجاعة الفرسان
وبسرعة اتسلّ سيفه بشجاعة الفرسان
لقيت وحوش المدينة أشلاء في كلّ مكان
أنا وإنت ولا زمان..
فارس جميل الملامح..

جاءني أكثر قرّب وفي يده كومة خشب
جاءني أكثر قرّب وفي يده كومة خشب
جاءني، جاءني، جاءني أكثر قرّب وفي يده كومة خشب
جاءني أكثر قرّب وفي يده كومة خشب
جاءني، جاءني، جاءني أكثر قرّب وفي يده كومة خشب

وأنهى منها البيت وحفر الشوق بالذهب
جاءني أكثر قرّب وفي يده كومة خشب
جاءني أكثر قرّب وفي يده كومة خشب
وأنهى منها البيت وحفر الشوق بالذهب

حسّيت براشد قاله - وقلت له:
في المدينة فيه ناس كثيرة حزينة
وحوش مدينتنا متستّرة بزينا
وحوش مدينتنا متستّرة بزينا
ارجع معايا وشوف، اقتل في ناس الخوف!
ارجع معايا وشوف، اقتل في ناس الخوف!

لكنّه بس اتسكن للشمس وقت الغروب..
لكنّه بس اتسكن للشمس وقت الغروب..
وقال لي: بكره أحاوّل.. وكلّ شيء مكتوب..
وكلّ شيء مكتوب.. كلّ شيء مكتوب
كلّ شيء مكتوب.. وكلّ شيء مكتوب

Lyrics transcription from here

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fouad Ghazi - You Are My First Loveفؤاد غازي - على حبك فيقتينيAla Hobak Fayye'tini

Fouad Ghazi - You Are My First Love

You are my first love
And you've lit up my dark years

We met by chance in the neighborhood
I told you I was a little thirsty
You gave me water to drink with your hand
And you made me more thirsty
And you made me more thirsty (with love)

If I hadn't known you my heart would have been lost on a road to nowhere
I loved you and asked for the address and you led me to your heart

فؤاد غازي - على حبك فيقتيني

على حبك فيقتيني
و ضوّيتي عَتم السنين
تلاقينا صدفة بالحي قلتلك عطشان شوي
سقيتيني بيديك المي, و بزيادة عطشتيني
لو ما عرفتك قلبي كان
تايه على دروب النسيان
عشقتك و تطلبت العنوان و على قلبك دلّيتيني

Monday, July 6, 2009

Azar Habib - When My Beloved Left Meعازار حبيب - الحبيب لما هجرنيEl Habib Lamma Hajarni

Azar Habib - When My Beloved Left Me

Translation coming soon

عازار حبيب - الحبيب لما هجرني

أنا والحبيب لما هجرني هجرني خلى للعادل ملام
وانا قلت إله يا حلو واصل واصلني
قالي دوق نار الغرام
نار الغرام نار الغرام ولله

وانا كلما نامت عيوني يحسبوا العاشق ينام
والعاشق مغرم صبابه ما على العاشق ملام

من زمان يا حلو غايب يا غايب عن عيوني لك زمان
واخذوك البيض عني اه يا عيني وحرمو عيني المنام

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Omar Souleyman - A Proposalعمر سليمان - خطابةKhataba

Linguistically this song is pretty simple but it might need a lot of cultural explanation for the Western audience. Watching the video will also help you to arrive at the meaning.

This song comes from Eastern Syria around Deir Ezzor, a rural region near the Iraq border through which the Euphrates River flows. For many in this region and the Arab world as a whole, marriage is arranged in a different fashion than is common in the West. Typically the groom asks for a girl's hand from her family, not directly from her, and often in the end an engagement is negotiated between two families on behalf of the children who may or may not know each other. The premise of the song is that some people have come to ask for a girl Nora's hand in marriage. Typically at this occasion there is some agreement made about what the bride will receive in terms of independent money, gifts, various conditions etc, and these conditions are usually set by the father and negotiated. These are an extremely part of a marriage agreement in Shari3a, Muslim law, because she will likely have no other way to obtain her own property and in the event of divorce this is especially bad because the law does not guarantee that she will receive money from her husband. Anyway, Nora's father agrees to the engagement, on four conditions for the wedding as stated: a ride in a Mercedes that has never been ridden in on their wedding day, 1 kilo earrings made of gold, a honeymoon in Damascus and Paris, and a wedding dress made in London. Of course these are outlandish requests, especially between people of this region who live a rural life generally on a few hundred dollars a year. Therefore, we can say that the song is a facetious, light-hearted song intended for dancing at parties such as engagement parties etc.

"Khattaba (خطابة)" was a huge phenomenon in Syria and the Arab world and launched Omar Souleiman to fame in this region, which has in the past few decades developed a sort of indie Debke music scene (debke is the "traditional" dance music of the region, however now they are making it with drum machines and keyboards). Since then, he has developed a cult following in the Europe and the United States, appreciated for the energy and originality of his songs which are unlike anything ever heard in the West. He is a favorite of prominent musicians such a Blur and Gorillaz' Damon Albarn as well as Bjork.

Omar Souleiman - A Proposal

This chorus and the first verse are sung from the perspective of the groom's party:

A marriage proposal, a proposal, we've come to make a marriage proposal
We want to become related to you in accordance with God's law and book (ie Shari3a and the Qur'an, which means going through the traditional formalities of negotiating conditions of the marriage between the two families etc.)

We've drank your coffee and have been honored by your hospitality (this is a loose translation of the second half, but this is something you have to say to show respect to your host in Arab hospitality, who is likewise obliged to serve you coffee to express hospitality)
We have a request from you, we've come to ask for Nora's hand

The rest of the song is sung from the point of view of the father of the prospective bride:

Nora is yours without paying a tribute (sometimes when a girl is to be married is on a condition that the family of a groom pay a sizable sum of money. this is designed as a way to make sure the groom has enough money to provide for the girl, but also is often a manifestation of greed on the part of the parents who want to marry up)
However I have four conditions on behalf of the girl

The first is a Mercedes taxi that has never been ridden in before (i.e. on the wedding night, the word here for the Mercedes is "shabah شبح" which literally means a "phantom car," the term used by some European car companies to market their high end luxury cars in the Arab world. From what I've read, the word has come to refer specifically to the S Class Mercedes Benz which is very popular in the Gulf. In east Syria this word could mean a Mercedes or just a really fancy car, the point is it is a ridiculous request for people of that social class)
(We also want) a kilo of gold in her ear at the engagement party (ie 1 kilo gold earrings)

We want a honeymoon in Damascus and Paris (in east Syria, Damascus is a pretty expensive and luxurious place)
(We also want) a wedding dress made in London provided by the groom

عمر سليمان - خطابة

خطابة خطابة جيناكم خطابة
نريد القرب منكم بشرع الله وكتابه

قهوتكم مشروبة بالعز مديورة
النا طلب عندكم جينا نخاطب نورا

خذ نورا عطية ما الها جزية
عندي اربع شروط من حق النبة

الشرط الاول تكسي شبح مي مركوبة
كيلو ذهب باذنها بيوم الخطوبة

بدنا شهر عسل بالشام وباريس
اللبس من لندن مطلوب من العريس

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cheb Khaled - Oran, oh Oranشاب خالد - وهران وهرانWahrane, Wahrane

Updated media and translation

Wahrane is the Arabic name for the city known in English of Oran on the coast of Algeria. It was the birthplace of Rai, however, when an Islamist party took power in Algeria during the mid 90s many of the musicians left the country because the government became hostile towards them. This song was recorded by Khaled after he left, and reflects the nostalgia and longing that many emigrants to France and other countries from North Africa experience, living in what is known in Arabic as el-Ghorba (الغربة) that should be understood as "estrangement," "homesicknees," or "being far away from home and out of place."

There are extra verses in the live performance, which is much more recent than the album version upon which these lyrics are based. However, I don't have the lyrics for these extra verse nor do I understand them.

Cheb Khaled - Wahrane, Wahrane

Wahrane, Wahrane you went to hell
Those who were smart ran away from you
They remain confused in their exile
And that exile is hard and traitorous

My happiness is with the children of el Hamri (a district of Oran)
Children of the city and Sidi el Houari (a neighborhood in Oran where Khaled was from)
I spent my youth with them
My art is for them as long as I live

How beautiful are the nights my country
The flutes and drums echo
Oh those who are going to her
Ask them to take care of my country

I'll never forget my countr
My land and the land of my ancestors
I asked my family about the people
Seems they've left their religion and turned to the bottle (litearlly, followed the cup)

A dozen cups on the table
Drank ten of them with no effect
Sorry for the the empty space
Her beauty was a wondrous beauty

Sadness entered in my heart
And so I cry and call out

خالد - وهران وهران

وهران وهران رحتي خساره
هجروا منك ناس شطارى
قعدوا في الغربه حيارى
و الغربه صعيبه و غداره

يا فرحي على اولاد الحمري
اولاد مدينه و سيدي الهواري
عديت معاهم صغري
لهم فني طول عمري

ما احلى صهريات بلادي
القصبه و القلالي صادي
يا اللي ماشين ليها غادي
وصوا يتهلوا في بلادي

عمري ما ننسى بلادي
أرضي و أرض اجدادي
وصيت اهلي على الناس
تركوا دينهم و تبعوا الكاس

يا الزينه بالكاس و المايده
راه عشره بلا فايده
وعدي على الطحطحه وعدي
كان زينها زين الودادي
رجعت غمه في فؤادي
وليت نبكي و ننادي

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fairuz - I Beg You Bee Eaterفيروز - دخلك يا طير الوروارTayr al Werwar

Updated music and translation

Ok so I learned something new from this song. "Tayr al-warwaar" is a bird that in English we call a "bee eater." They don't live in America so I had no idea about them. Here's the wikipedia link. Needless to say the title sounds a bit more natural and beautiful in Arabic, especially because the word rhymes with other words in the song.

Fairuz - I Beg You Bee Eater

I beg you oh bee eater bird
You are journeying in their direction
Say hi to my loved ones for me
And tell me how they are and what happened

On the hills of the forgoteen sun
On the leaf of the yellow sycamore
We fly and soar higher little by little
While the world becomes smaller
And with the fig orchards October calls, my darling
So often with the silence of the turtle doves I hear your voice call me
My night and my fear is that some night my family will wail
Secrets tire me and secrets sadden me, my darling

فيروز - دخلك يا طير الوروار

دخلك يا طير الوروار
رحلك من صوبن مشوار
و سلملي عالحبايب
و خبرني بحالن شو صار
عاتلال الشمس المنسيي
على ورق الدلب الأصفر
نطير ونعلا شوي شوي
و تصير الدنيي تزغر
و بكروم التين ينده تشرين يا حبيبي
ياما بسكوت الأمريي بسمع صوتك يندهلي
ليليي و خوفي
ليليي يعوا شي مرا أهلي
و تتعب أسرار تحزن أسرار يا حبيبي

Nawal al-Zoghbi - All My Lifeنوال الزغبي - طول عمريToul Omry

Updated media and translation

This song was obviously made during the Latin music craze that brought us Ricky Martin. Nawal's videos tend to emulate whatever is en vogue in pop like that.

Nawal al-Zoghbi - All My Life

All my life I dream, my precious
You are the dream of my nights
From a glance I changed myself
And my heart and my soul are with you I swear to God
My life... So long as I'm with you my heart will be full of joy
And my eyes...Even if you're far will see you
I swear to God I loved you at first sight

Reassure me, be with me
You are the most beautiful story
Our love is without end
Cmon, let's forget that which has past together

نوال الزغبي - طول عمري

طول عمري بحلم ياغالي

إن انت حلم الليالي
من نظرة غيرت حالي
و قلبي و روحي معاك و الله
حياتي.. طول مانا وياك
ليلاتي.. فرح قلبي معاك
و عيني.. لو بعيد شايفاك
عشقتك والله من طلة

طمني خليك معايا
يالي انت أجمل حكاية
ده هوانا من غير نهاية
ويلا تعالا ننسى اللي فات يلا

Kazem al-Saher - It Burned my Soulكاظم الساهر - حرقت الروحHaragt al Rooh

To see the original version of this song performed by Afifa Iskender click here.

Kazem al-Saher - It Burned my Soul

It burned my soul when we parted
I cried and drowned them in my tears
What did my heart say when we parted
It burned my soul when we parted

I bid them farwell as I say how can I forget them
My heart, for God's sake go with them
I would rather die than us be apart

I want those who left me to come back from the journey
I want to give them my affection as a keepsake
I've experienced every kind of affliction

كاظم الساهر - حرقت الروح

حرقت الروح لمن فارقتهم
بكيت ومن دموعي غرقتهم
إيش قال القلب لمن ودعتهم
حرقت الروح لمن فارقتهم
اْودعهم واْقول إشلون اْنساهم
ياقلبي لخاطر الله روح وياهم
اْريد الموت اْنا وماريد فرقاهم
اْريد اللي فارقوني بعد مشوار
اْريد اْنطيهم الدلال تذكار
واْنا بكل المصايب جربتهم

George Al Rassy - My Heart is Deadجورج الراسي - قلبي ماتAlbi Mat

George Al Rassy - My Heart is Dead

My darling, my heart is dead
And the separation has made me crazy
What is the value of this life when you are not here before my eyes
It's starting to seem like my heart is missing
You made it forget how to feel and tortured it to death

From the day you took your love away from me the world is dark
It would destroy my heart if this separation went on

I still have hope though that my heart has not been killed
My darling, my life, I want you

I've lost my passion
And the abandonment has wasted my time
My heart has also been true to you
I haven't stopped caring for you for a moment
My darling I want to see you
I want you to come back right away
Even if your conditions have become harsh
Don't lose this love

جورج الراسي - قلبي مات

يا حبيبي قلبي مات
و البعد سبّب جنوني
شو قيمة هالحياة
وانت غايب عن عيوني
أنا قلبي بحضوره
صاير متل الغياب
نسّيته شعوره
دوّبته من العذاب

من يوم هواك عنّي غاب
صارت الدّنيي سواد
يا هلاك يا عذاب
قلبي لو طال البعاد

باقي في عندي أمل
إنّو قلبي ما انقتل
يا حبيبي ... يا حياتي ... بدّي ياك

غرامي منّي ضاع
والهجر ضيّغ زماني
ما بعمره قلبي باع
لحظة ما تغيّر حناني
يا حبيبي بدّي شوفك
بدّي ترجع قوام
لو قسيت ظروفك
لا تخسر هالغرام