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Sanateen Wana Hayyil

This lilting song is from the wonderful CD "Ma B'tisaloosh Leh" produced in Cairo by California dancer and instructor Leyla Lanty and featuring the wonderful voice of Khalil Abboud. More info about the CD is included on Leyla's website; for a review by the editor of this website, click here.

Two years have passed
And I have tried to restore our love
The tears in my eyes are calling you
You are the cause of my pain
Yet still I call you my love
I have endured one year and two
In this lonely struggle
Where has your passion and your love gone?
How have you forgotten the old days
If you could leave your anger for one day
Sleep would return and lead me to dreams
Two years have passed and my tears still call you
You have forgotten the promise of our hearts
And denied the existence of our love
Your beauty is beyond my sight
But I find you wherever I go

Wana Wana Aamil Eih

This lively pop song, recorded by Hisham Abbas, features a gorgeous acapella lead-in which grabbed me the first time I heard it. And the clean bright sound of Hisham Abbas voice always makes me happy!

What can I do?
It is out of my hands
There is love inside me singing with yearning and desire
I live only in my dream
A wish to see you
A hope to find you
To draw my name around your heart
And dream you will search for me
What can I do?
In the long dark night
when you alone are the moon?
What can I do amidst such confusion?
When the fire of love burns
And I desire a journey to you
Alone on the sea of love
I long to sail upon your shore
What can I do?
Each night has sung its song for me
With visions of you
When my heart was seething with pain
I dream to see you draw my name around you
And you will search for me
What can I do?
What can I do?


Ya Tayyeb El Galb

This song, from the wonderful CD "Ma B'tisaloosh Leh" produced in Cairo by California dancer and instructor Leyla Lanty and featuring vocalist Khalil Abboud, has a haunting emotional quality which grabbed me the first time I heard it. For more information on the CD, check out Leyla Lanty's website.

Kind and tender heart
Where are you now
It's forbidden to leave the one who loves you
I miss you, my life*
Can your desire return you to me?
Kind and tender heart, where are you?
I imagine you in the mirror and all around me
And all around me near
What will become of me without the gift of your face?
Kind and tender heart?
Where are you?
I fear my flowers will perish
The stalk is dwindling
I need you here
I want to kiss your hand
God is the witness of my love
I will live
And will die
In love with you
Don't you know my eyes miss your eyes?

(*As in Spanish, "my life" is used as an endearment) 1


Osaad Ainee
In Front of My Eyes

Artist: Amr Diab

Wi Bainna maa'd law ehna iba'ad
Akeid rajaia' wi laou bayni baynu iblaad
We have rendevous even though we are far away
For sure I am coming back even though there are many countries between me and him

Osaad a'ainee fi kulli makaan
Osaad a'ainee fi kulli makaan
In front of my eyes in every place

Wi min Taany akeid raja'een ana daayeb
Wi Kulli haneen, wana a'omri abeiya laouny osad a'ainee
And again we will return, I am melting and full of compassion and I sell my color in front of my eyes.

Wi mosh aadra'ala ilayaam wala yousif
Howaya kalaam
Wi tool layli wi lamma banam osaad a'ainee
and I cannot cope with the days and my compassion cannot be described by talk
And all my nights and even when I sleep you are in front of me

Osaad Ainee...... (repeat Chorus)

Fi Youm hana'ood da bayna i wa'ood
Wi fi ighyaboo akeid lissa ilamal mawjood
In a day we will return
We have promises between us
And in his absense for sure the hope still exists

Fi Youm hana'ood da bayna i wa'ood
Wi fi ighyaboo akeid lissa ilamal majood
In a day we will return
We have promises between us
and in his absense for sure the hope still exists

Osaad Ainee.....(repeat Chorus)

Wi Lisaany akeid raja'een
Ana daybe we kulli haneen
Wana a'omri abeia's launy, osaad ainee
And again we will return
I am melting and full of compassion
And I sell my color in front of my eyes

Osaad Ainee....(repeat Chorus)

Wi Lisaany akeid raja'een
Ana daybe wi kulli haneen
Wana a'omri abeia' lawny, osaad ainee
In a day we will return
We have promises between us
And in his absence for sure the hope still exists

Wi mosh aadra'ala ilayoum wala yousif
Howaya kalaam
Wi tool leyli wi lamma banam osaad a'ainee
And I cannot cope with the days
and my compassion canot be described by talk
And all my nights and even when I sleep you are in front of me

Osaad Ainee......(repeat Chorus)


Bint el Arabia
Arabian Daughter

Here Dr. Al-koudsi gives a short summary of the meaning of this song, which he tells us has meanings in the Damascene style (Damascus, Syria).

This evening is covered with happiness because it is an Arabian evening
Drum, O' Issam, on the most beautiful Oriantal drum
Our love is like mint growing in a water stream
(Mint loves water and grows wild in a stream).

Alli Garra
About the Past

Artists: Asalah and Saber

(Editor's note: I have misplaced the half translation of this song which was done for me by Samia. For the time being I print this summary from memory. Later I shall replace it with a more complete translation/transliteration. I only got a translation of the first verse from Samia. At a later time I hope to obtain a more complete translation of this beautiful song.)

About the past, about the past
I kiss your hand about the past
What is to come, it is out of our hands
I speak to you about the past
I have the tears (caused by you) about the past
What is to come it is out of our hands
I have the tears (caused by you) about the past
I speak to you about the past

Safir Ya Habibi
Travel, My Love

Samia says that she is not sure who recorded the song, but that it is an old Lebanese folk song.



Safiir ya habiibii wiirjaa
Ma ttawil b'Allah l'gheba
Wedar baaduu atulum
Allah aatalk l'heba

Literal translation:
Travel my beloved and return
Do not prolongue with God absence
The yard is still sad
God give you pride/dignity.

Idiomatic translation:
Travel, my beloved, but return!
With God's help, do not prolongue your absence.
The courtyard* is still sad without your presence.
God give you the strength to keep your pride and dignity.

*most of the family life takes place in the courtyard, which the house is built around.



Ahlee wrabaaee ya habiibii
Aala hubak aaduunii
Wlouyiskuunii min hadak
Aanak ma yibaaduunii


My-family and-my-tribe O my-love
From your-love they've-cut-me-off
They make me live away from you
But they can't distance us.

(Editor's note: In this verse, the literal translation and idiomatic translation are similar.

This folk song has a melody that is easy to sing and performs well when accompanied only by a drum. If you would like the melody of this song,in simple sheet music, send an e-mail with your request and your address, and I will mail it to you).


1. Sirtil Hobb
The Talk of Love

Recorded by Oum Kolthoum

The following translation and transliteration have been copyrighted by Hala Dance; all rights reserved.

Tule omry bakhaf mel hob we sirtil hob, we zolm el hob lkol asehabo
All my life I've been afraid of love, the talk of love, and the betrayal of love to its friends
Waraf hekayat malyana ahat we demoo we aneen, wel ash'een dabo ma labo
I know stories full of pain, tears and cries of agony. Lovers have been worn out but not quit
Tule omry ba'ool lana add el shoo we layali el shoo, wala abbi adde a zabo
All my life I've been saying I'm not up to desire, and the nights of desire and my heart is not up to its torture
We abeltak enta, la'eetak betghayar kol hayati
I met you, I found you changing all my life
Maarafsh ezay ana habeitak maarafsh ezay ya hayati
I don't know how I loved you, I don't know how, my life*
Men hamset hob la'etni baheb
From a whisper of love I found myself in love
La'etni bahab, wadoob fel hob
I found myself in love, melting in love
Wadoob fel hob we sobh we leil
Melting in love day and night,
We leil ala babo
Day and night at its doorstep

Fat men omry sneen we sneen
Many years and years have passed from my life
Shoft keteer we aleel ash'een
I've seen many and a few lovers
Elli byeshki halol hal
Those complaining to themselves about their condition
Welli b'yebki ala mawalo
And those crying over their ballad
Ahlel hob saheeh makaseen
Lovers are truly pitiful
Yamal hob nadah ala albi ma radesh
Many times love has called my heart, my heart didn't respond
Ya mal shoo hawel yahayelni wa a'olo
Many times desire tried to tempt me and I told it
"Rooh ya azab"
Go away torture
Yama oyoon shaghlooni, laken wala shaghalooni
Many eyes flirted with me, but never got me busy
Ella ayounak inta, bas dole elli khaduni
Except your eyes, only those took me
Web hobak amarouni
And captured me with your love
Amarouni aheb la'etni baheb
They ordered me to love, I found myself in love
La'etni baheb wadoob fel hob
I found myself in love, melting in love
Wadoob fel hob, we sobh we leil
Melting in love, day and night,
We leil ala babo
Day and night at its doorstep

Yalli zalamtol hob, we olto we edto aleh, we olto aleh mosh aref eh
] You who misrepresented love, and badmouthed it over and over and said I don't know what
El abe feekom yaf habayebkom
The defect is in you or in your lovers
Amal hob, ya rohy ya rohy
But love, oh my soul, oh my soul
Ya rohy aleh
Oh my soul
Feddonia mafeesh abdan abdan ahla mnel hob
In all the world there is nothing ever ever better than love
Net'ab, neghlab, neshteki, menno laken benhib
We get tired, we get defeated, we complain about it, but we love
Ya salaam al alb we tanhudo fi wesal we foraak
How nice when the heart sighs in getting together and in separating
We shemoo el shoo lama ye'eedo leil el moshtak
And the candles of desire when they light the night of the anticipating
Ya salaam a donia we halaweteha
How nice the world is
Fi ein el oshaak
In the eyes of lovers
Wana khadnil hob la'etni
Love took me, I found myself in love
La'etni baheb, wadoob fel hob
I found myself in love, melting in love
Wadoob fel hob, we sobh we leil
Melting in love, day and night
We leil ala babo
Day and night at its doorstep

Yalli malate bel hob hayati, ahdi hayati ellik
You who filled my life with love, I give my life as a gift to you
Rohi, alb, aali, hobbi, kolli melk edake
My soul, my heart, my mind, my love, all of me belong to your hands
Sotak, nazartak, hamastak, shai mish mool
Your voice, your looks, your whispers, something incredible
Shai khallal donia zohoor ala tule
Something made the world flowers all the way
We shemoo ala tule
And candles all the way
Allah ya habibi ala hobak we hanaya maa
How sweet your love is, my love, and my happiness with it
Walla dam'et ein garahet albi
No tear from an eye hurt my heart
Wala olet ah
And no saying "Ah"
Mabah olsh fi hobak ghere Allah Allah Allah
I say nothing about your love but "How wonderful, how wonderful, how wonderful"
Men kotrel hob, la'etni baheb
From all the love I found myself in love
La'etni baheb, wadoob fel hob
I found myself in love, melting in love
Wadoob fel hob, we sobh we leil
Melting in love, day and night
We leil ala babo
Day and night at its doorstep

(* Editor's note: in Arabic, as in Spanish, the term "my life" is an endearment.)


2. Wahdanii
My Loneliness

Khalid Agag, also spelled Khalid Ajaj

Hope of my life, why are you sad?
You, the one who owns me, the one who commands me,
Why are you running away?
My heart, my love, it's hard on it.
You are missing to me, O beloved, why?
My loneliness, my heart alone
My loneliness, my heart alone

3. Yaho


This translation was sent in a "post" to the Middle East Dance List on-line forum by Tarik Sultan, and he has given his permission for it to be printed on this website.

Him* again
I'm just
I mean
It's just
He tormented me easily
Sold me and if he lost me what am I to do?
Are we going to repeat it again?
With his hands into wounds, he tossed me
And when he called me, what am I to say to him
We are spoiling him, oh Ya ho
And pleasing him oh Ya ho
And no one but us could please his eye oh ya ho
He makes mistakes and I make up for him oh yaho
And I'm tired of forgiving him, oh Yaho
From the bitterness of his wound I said
Yo Yoh Yaho
Although he made me mad at him
But my soul is for him
Oh Yaho
And I'm tired of forgiving him, Oh Yaho
From the bitterness of his wounds I said
Yoh Yoh Yaho
Yaho Yaho Yaho
Although he made me mad at him
But my soul is for him
It's that my eyes missed him and are dying for him
It's that my eyes missed him and are dying for him

If he came to you you'll tell without saying
In front of his eyes desire is in a state
And I seriously ask with a hundred telephone calls

We're spoiling him Oh Yaho
And pleasing him Oh Yaho
And no one but us can fill his eye Oh Yaho
The brain went nuts while he's away and I never lived up to his suspicions and betrayed him
The brain went nuts while he's away and I never lived up to his suspicions and betrayed him

Me love anyone else---impossible
The desire that drives you crazy
His heart is like a ghazala
His heart is like a ghazala
I'm near screaming
I'm just---I mean---it's just that he tormented me so easily
Sold me and if he lost me
What am I to do

(*Tarik writes that in Arabic culture because it is considered improper to make a direct reference to a woman publicly, the singers will often say "he" instead of "she". It is understood that the subject of the song is female.)


4. Bint el Shalabiya

Recorded by Fairouz and others.

(There is an alternate translation of this song on the Adel Abdallah page.)

Bint el Shalabiya
The girl from Shalabiyah
Ayounah 3asaliyah*
Her honey-colored eyes
Ibhebbik min 'albii ya 'albii
I love you from my heart, O my heart
Intii aynaya
You are my eyes
Ibhebbik min 'albii ya 'albii
Intii aynaya

Taht el qanaster
Under the arch
Mabuubi naater
My lover is waiting
Kasser il khawaater ya wilfii**
Breaking my thoughts, O loved one
Ma haan alaya
It is hard on me
Kasser il khawaater ya wilfii
Ma haan alaya

_________________, ___________***
'albii maghrou
wounded heart
Ayyam aal baal bita3iid itrouh
Days on the mind they come and go

Taht er rumaanii
Under the pomogranate tree
Hebbii haakaanii
My love talks with me
Samanii ghanaya ya ayounii
Sing songs to me O my eye****
Witghazal***** biiyah
And flirting with me
Samaanii ghanaya ya 3ayounii
Witghazal biiyah

*the sound represented by 3a is made like aa, but opening more the back of the throat.

**breaking my thoughts means breaking my concentration, "wilfii" is a loved one but like a dear friend or family member, not necessarily a girlfriend/boyfriend.

***Didn't get this part

****"Oh my eye" is an endearment

***** "itghazal" means flirting with an approved person; it does not have a negative connotation


5. Ghanili Shwaaye Shwaaye
An old song recorded by Oum Kolthoum, according to percussionist Ghaleb "Gaby" Tawil it was her first song hit

song begins with the CHORUS:

Ghanili Shwaaye Shwaaye, Ghanili wa khutha ainaya
Sing to me softly you take my eyes (meaning: you enchant me)

Ghanili Shwaaye Shwaaye, Ghanili wa khutha ainaya

khaliinii--il khuul ilhaan, tetmaayel laha--asmaa3iin
sing to me softly you capture my eyes, people swaying as they are listening
wa rafraf, laha laghsoune, wa-an-narghis, wal yasmiin
waving for her the branches, and gardenia, and jasmine
wasafir, laha rukbaan, taawiin-il bawaadii dday
travel with her the traveler, the bedoin folding their blankets*
shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye ghanili ghanii khud 3aynaya.
softly, softly, softly softly sing to me softly you take my eyes**

*an idiomatic expression meaning someone leaving, i.e. the bedoin would fold their blankets in preparation for departing

**an idiomatic expression meaning you capture my attention, or something like that


melody changes
il maghna hayat il rough, esma3ha-il a3liil isfaayn
the song the life of my soul, the song can cure the ill
wid-dow-wii kabid maghruuh, ilaTib a faayn to treat the injured liver, confused the doctors
wat kalii Talaam il-laaiil, fii 3ayuun-ill habaayyib Daii
and leave the darkness, night in lovers'eyes light
shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye ghaniilii ghanii khud 3ynaya
softly, softly softly softly sing to me my song you capture my eyes.**


melody changes again

la ghanii, wa quul id-diir, min badrii sabaah al khayr (two times)
I will sing I say for the birds, from early morning, good morning
wal qimrii, m3a khuudiir, wa yaa yaa! yaruudaw 3alaaya
and the moon and the (green bird?) and O, O! They repeat with me
shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye ghanili ghanii wa khud 3aynaaya.
Softly, softly, softly softly sing to me my song you capture my eyes**.


ahhliflik biraab il baayt, ya-msaadiq biraab il baayt (two times)
I swear to you on the house of the Lord, O believers of the house of the Lord (refers to the Kaaba in Mecca)
las-hiirkum id-da ghaniit (two times) wa raaqus banaat il hhaayeh,
the fantastic glory -the people attracted to my singing, the girls of the neighborhood dancing
shwaaye, shwaaye, shwaaye shwaaye ghanilii ghanii khud 3aynaaya


melody changes
la ghanii, wa ghanii wa ghanii, wa wirrii-il khalaayiq fan-ni
the song, my song, my song and show them the audience my art
wal insii yequul il jan-nii wa raayah, yequul il jaay...

VERSE THAT WAS SUNG AFTER SECOND CHORUS (the one that began with "il maghna...."



6. Lamma Badaa Yatathana
Author: Zbaab

Editor's note: My tutor says that the Arabic in this song is so old (it was written around 800 she believes) that it was hard for her to determine the meaning from the written Arabic (and I did not have a recording with me when I had her translate for me). The following is what she came up with, but she says that the inflections of the singer would make the meaning more clear.

She told me some fascinating information about the author. She said that he was a student of a famous court musician in the royal court of Iraq, but that his prowess made him so famous that his teacher told him to leave the royal court of Iraq as there was not room for both of them! So he traveled to Cordoba in Muslim Spain, and both he and his son gained fame and fortune there as musicians and composers of both melody and lyrics.

More editor's notes: (please bear in mind that the editor is but a one year student of Arabic!) a polite tradition in Arabic song is to refer to a female love object with the male pronoun, so the love object could be either male or female.
The "3" signifies the letter "aiyn" pronounced more like the "o" in hot, but with the back of the mouth more open.As in the "ayn" in the popular well-known song, "Habibii Nur el ayn".

The "a" signifies the short vowel fat-ha, it's not pronounced like the Spanish a, more like our a in "hat". The double "aa" signifies the letter "alif" which is pronounced more like a drawn out version of the "a" in the English word "hat". If you pronounce the "a"s in this song like the Spanish ones, the hearer might think you were saying the sound for the letter "ayn" when you are not, and it could be taken for a different word than you mean.

I have used "i" to signify the short vowel "kassra" pronounced like the "i" in the English word "it". I have used "ii" for the long vowel "yaa" which is pronounced like the English sound of "ee". For the long vowel "waaw" I have used "uu" it is similar to the sound "oo" in the English word "boo". Where I have used "u" it refers to the short vowel sound "damme" which is rather like the "oo" in the English word "hook".

Lamma badaa yetathaana
Hobbii jamaluu fataana
My love---the beautiful---attracts us
Amara ma bilahdatin assarna
he commands us*--with---for a while we look at him* always
Ghahsoun thaana heyna mala
branches---swaying---when he* sway
w3adii wayah hiratii
man li rahiimuu shekwatii
who to me---merciful---complaint (meaning will he/she respond mercifully to my complaint)
Fil hobbi min lay3atii
In my love from __________
Illa maliik il gamal
Except the king* of beauty.

*could be refering to either male or female, see editor's note above


7. Alli Garra
(3ali garra)
My Story (telling you what happened to me)

This transliteration translation was made using the duet recording by Saber and Asalah. Originally the song was recorded by Alia la Tunisiya in the 1950's or 60's

First there is an instrumental section baladi rhythm. Then it goes into wahda kebeer when the singing starts. I have put the syllables in bold where the beginning of each measure of the rhythm hits. In additon, if the first beat of a measure falls outside the lyrics, I have added the word beat in bold type.

Baladi:/ D * D * T A D * D * T A D * T * / D * D * T A D * D * T A D * T * /

For clarity I have written each measure with sixteen counts, the asterisk is a 1/16th rest. (The slash is used to connotate dividing line between measures, two measures being depicted.) Actually the rhythm has much more of a 4/4 feel.

Wahda Kebeer ("one is big" meaning the first beat of the measure is the only heavy beat)

/ D * T A T A T * T A T A T * T * / D * T A T A T * T A T A T * T * /

Again, for clarity I have written each measure with sixteen counts, each asterisk is a 1/16th rest. (the Slash is used to connotate dividing line between measures, two measures being depicted.) actually the rhythm has much more of a 4/4 feel.

The first line starts after the beat.

beat 3alii garrah min marrasiilak 3alii garrah(another measure,beat)
what happened to me, through a letter (or message) what happened to me

bass lamma tiigii wa ana aHkiilak 3ali garrah (another measure beat)
When you come to me I tell you what happened to me

repeat those two lines. The second time through, that last "beat" of the second line is the beginning of your switch into the baladi rhythm.


wimsa de mu-u-w3aii fi mandiilak 3alii gara beat - - - beat I wipe my tears in your handkerchief (I tell you) what happened to me

bass lamma tiigii w ana aH-kiilak 3alii gara beat - - - beat When you come to me I tell you what happened to me

Repeat these lines twice, on the last beat of the last line change to "wahda kebeer" rhythm.

3a-----------lii-----------ga - - - - - ------

Aa------------------------aaaa *stop* on last beat of line of song, which will also be the "one" count of a "wahda kebeer" rhythm.

Instrumental section again in baladi, similar to the instrumental section at the beginning of the song but a bit shorter.


beat mitgarra biiiiin eH-namitgarrabiiiiin a - - - -ah
we are far away from eachother

garrah saneeeen waH-nah, garrah saneeeee eeeeeen
hurt years (years of hurt) we are one (together)



It is repeated twice, (the second time through, the last "beat" is the first count of baladii for the section which follows)

La hadi 'aa--aa--aal ana khabbar yafar-Haa-naa beat
no one tells to me news happy (good news)

wa ha hadii gaaaaaaab minnaa kalima yaraH-na, ya raH nah beat
no one gives to us one word to give us comfort


bass lamma tiigii w-ana aH-kiilak alli garra

wamsaa demou3aii fii mandiilak alli garra


alli gaaaaara, aa-aaa aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-ah!beat STOP


The following section is repeated either two or four times

beat ya leilii aaaaa- - - aaaaaaaaaah
O night, aaaaah!

beat ya gar-Hii aaaaa- - -aaaaaaaaaah
O my pain (wound) aaaah!

beat Ya hob-bii aaaaa- - -aaaaaaaaaah
O love, aaaah!


Il-hob-bii dawibnah beat
the love melted us together, absorbed us

tubnah tawih-nah
We repented (as to God) and separated

THAT SECTION IS REPEATED TWICE, then on my recording Saber does a section of improvisation on "ya leiliii ah"


(for the rest of the song, the rhythm accents will not be given (with some exceptions), as I have not learned to play it yet)


wa tahit al marrasiil- - - -
and the letters/messages are lost

between day and night

ma fi-it-tersh ghiir damu3aii
even in a crowd there is nothing but tears

marrsuu ma fi mandiil
a sign in the handkerchief (maybe meaning that the tears in the handkerchief are a sign)


(the rest of the song repeats some of the sections already given.)


8. 3ala Dal3auna
Help Us (Palestinian Folk Song)

Translated by Gaby Tawil
Alternate version translated by Hakima S.

There are many, many versions of this song. The following version was taught me by Gaby Tawil. Translation is rather vague; he explained it to me when I was first learning to sing the song, going back I realize that I don't remember everything he told me about the meaning. he blank spaces. I will try to complete the translation soon.

The second version, which will appear on this page soon, was found on the internet by my Arabic 202 instructor at Mesa Community College, Ustaathe AbuHannoud, at my request. It was carefully translated by my tutor Hakiima, but I have not learned to sing that version. It's pretty obvious that the lyrics are full of idiom and don't always literally make sense---although Hakiima is Palestinian(originally from Al Quds Jerusalem), she is not, as she protested, "of the village". She wasn't even sure that she remembered the melody, but as soon as we started working on the translation, her mother began humming the tune.

My friend Leyla Lanty tells me that in Arab night clubs and restaurants in California, the playing of this song will usually cause most Palestinians present to jump up and dance the debke. The rhythm Gaby taught me to play for this song is malfouf, three measures to each line.

Robert, thanks for your original query about the song which led me to the following versions! I think it was you who sent me an English translation of the song which said that Dala3auuna was a girl's name. Both Gaby and Hakima emphatically deny this.

3la dala3una, 3la dala3una, saluu 3an nabi la tahsiiduuna
Help us, Help us, pray to my prophet against the evil eye
3la dala3uuna, leish dal3atiini
Help us, Why did you help me
Lakaytiinii shayib leish akhatiini
You found me an old man, why did you take me
Laktuubik tabik 3la waraktiini
I write you, you write messages on paper (in other words, messages that don't mean anything)
Waaga3al talaal'iq ahsan maykuuna
In conclusion, your coming on the scene did not make things better
3la dala3una, 3ala dala3una
saluu 3an nabii laa tahsiiduuna

Talaat al jaabal, uu jaabal mahduud
She climbed the mountain, and the mountain no good (meaning she married the rich old man but he wasn't any good)
Halfat ma takhuud jayrak ya mahmoud
(I think this was something about don't change, Mahmoud, or I will always be faithful, Mahmoud).

3ala dala3uuna, 3ala dala3uuna, saluu 3an nabii laa tahsiiduuna
3ala dala3uuna, 3ala dala3uuna, saluu 3an nabii la tahsiiduuna
3ala dala3uuna, 3ala dala3uuna, saluu 3an nabii laa tahsiiduuna
3ala dala3uuna, 3ala dala3uuna saluu 3an nabii laa tahsiiduuna


Ala Heisbi Weidad Galbee Ya Bouya
It All Depends Where My Heart takes Me, Oh Father

Linda does not remember where she got this song. She said that it would be played by the old-time Arabic musicians, and is still played at Amira restaurant in San Francisco, especially when older people are in the audience.

(Editor's note: There is a piece by this name on Hossam Ramzy's CD "Best of Baladi and Saaidi", but I do not know if it is the same song. I hope to find out soon.)

Ala heisbi weidad galby ya bouya
It all depends where my heart takes me, oh father
Re-hagoul laizim salamat
It will welcome the beautiful
Dayaat alei ei omr ya bouya
I've wasted all my life on him (her)
Dana leiya ma-a heikayaat
I've got with him (her) many stories

Mawal*, mawal el saabr ahou daab
Mawal, mawal of being patient has melted
Mein yom el hob ma ghaab
Since love has disappeared
Wala omr ya ein, ya leil
And never again, my eye, my night**
Mat-arab leina ahbab
Let any beloved pass us by
Wana saber al mahboub
And I'm waiting for the beloved
Yeimkin yeirgaalee fee yom
Maybe he'll (she'll) come back to me
Weit konlee ma-a tanee ya bouya
And I'll be with him (her) again, oh my father
Ayaam heilwa, wei heikayaat
Beautiful days and stories

Ala heisbi ei reeh, ma yei wadee ei reeh
Depends on the wind, where it takes it to
Waya ana mashee, mashee walla myadee
With it I'm walking, walking without hesitation
Ma-arafsh einkont mrawah
I don't know when I'm going back home
Walla emtal hawa hai hadee
Or when the wind will calm down
Mahei donya bteil ab beina
As it's a life that is playing with us (me)
Yimkin teirqa-a ghanaweena
Maybe our songs will come back

La basalim leil maktoub
I will not give up to the unknown
Walla hargaa abaat maghloub
And I won't come back defeated
Wei haoul lei-donia ya donia
And I'll tell to life, "Oh life"
Ana ragela leil mahboub
I'm coming back to the beloved

Wein ghanee ganawee geideeda
And we will sing new songs
Malyana hakawee saeeda
Full of happy stories

Wei hanein zeil tob el farha ya bouya
And we will draw down the curtain of happiness
Wei haoul ya habibi salamat
And will welcome my beloved

*a mawal is non-rhythmic, very emotional singing, usually at the beginning of a song

** "my eye", and "my night" are endearments


Bahlem Beek
I Saw You in my Dream

Abdel Halim Hafez

Translated by Nabil Gheith

Bahlem beek ana bahlem beek
I see you in my dream I see you in my dream
We beashwaee mistaneek
And with my passion, I'm waiting for you
We in masaaltish fiya
And if you are not care
Yabae kefaya alya
It will be enough
Asht layali Hania
I lived happy days
Bahlem beek, ana bahlem beek

Bahlem beek, ya habibi ana
I see you in my dresm, my love
Yali maleat aayamee hana
You fill my days happiness
Bahlem beek aref men imta
You know since when I saw you in my dream
Men awwalma areft ahebb
Since first time I know how to love
Bahlem beek we bahebbik winta
I saw you in my dream and love you
Awwel hob we akher hob
and you are the first and last love
We inta hayti we ebtisamati
You are my life and my smiling
We enta el nur we li ein we alb
And you are the light, eye, heart
We in masaaltish fiya*
Yabae kefaya alya*
Asht layli hania*
Bahlem beek, ana bahlem beek*

Bahlem belgana illi ghayali
I dream of heaven, which my imagination
Able el hob makansh ytolha
Cannot reach to it before love
Bahlem beek we bethayaili enk ganbi layali betolha
I saw you in my dream and I think you are near me all nights
Wafidel ahbik wahkelak ya habib albi
And I love you and I speak to you, my dear love

We be-aghmel esm anadelk ya habib albi
With the best name I call you my sweetheart
Wein masaltish fiya*
Yabae kefaya alya*
Asht layali hania* Bahlem beek, ana bahlem beek*

Ad ma aomree ytol ya habibi
As long as I lived, my love
Ad ma aomeree ytol
As long as I lived
Hastanak ala tol ya habibi
I wait for you my love
Hastanak ala tol
I wait for you
Layli nahari ba ool ya habibi
Day and nights, my love
Layli nahai ba ool
Day and nights

Ya eli mahadesh aal lik
Nobody told you
Aa el shoq el ana feh
How much I miss you
Boukhra el shoq yewsalak we tegarab/layaleh
Tomorrow you may feel in love and you may try the hard nights
Wein masaaltish fiya*
Yabae kefaya alya*
Asht layali hania*
Bahlem beek, ana bahlem beek*

*same as last four lines of first verse


Gameel Gamal
Beautiful Dancer

Farid El Atrash

Linda has had this transliteration and translation for so long that she cannot remember who gave it to her....

Gameel Gamal
Beauty dancer
Meloosh meesel
Nothing looks like you
Walah fee'l kayal
Not even a dream
Sadah ilee aahl
I believe those who said
Zay el Ghazel
She is like a deer
Gameel Gamal
Meloosh meesel, etc....

Leh dunia gameela wa helwa
Why is the world pretty and sweet
W'enta maaya?
When you are with me?
Leh Bitkally il ilb benashwa
Why do you make the heart joyful
Wansa Asaya?
Forgetting my problems.

Inselnee leh? Marafshe.
You ask me why? I do not know.
We serey aay? Mefhemshe.
What is the secret? I do not understand.

Atfee w'hanan min izzaman
Generosity and protection from the lifetime
Gameel Gamal, zay el ghazel (etc.)

Leh lemma bashufak (be anayah)rouhee tiganee?
Why, when I see you (in my eyes) my spirit sings?
Witgahny il ahhlaam hawaleyah w'ttamennee
And the dream sings around me and revives me
Nazrit anneyk tishernay
Your looks entice me
Weshow ilaek Hayarney
Longing for you makes me choose

Leh kul el azhar bit hebek?
Why do all the flowers love you?
Wa dtar wa nass?
And the birds and the people
Alashaan arayalee fee elbek walah el ahhsas.
Because of kindness in your heart or feelings


Habiytak bel Sayif

Recorded by Fairuz

Transliterated by Nabil Gheith

Translation and lyric in Arabic alphabet may be found at http://almashriq/lebanon/fairuz

Be Ayam el bard, be ayam el sheti
We el raseef bohayra, we el sharea gharee'a
Teegi hak el bent, men bita el aateek
We yekola intareeni, we tontor aa el tareek
We yeroh we yensaha, we tedbel be el sheti
Habiytak bel sayif, natartal bel sheti
We aoyonak bel sayif, we aoyoni bel sheti
We maleana ya habibi, khalf el sayif we khalf el sheti
Mara'et el ghariba, aatatini resala
Katabiha habibi, be el damea el hazeen
Fatahit el resala, horofan Dhayeen
We mara'et eyam, we gharabitina seneen
We Horof el resala, mahaha el sheti

Habibi Ya Einee

Recorded by Maya Yazbek and the Sultans, among others.

Habibi ya einee
Love, oh my eyes
Ya einee ya leilee
Oh my eyes, my nights
Yam sahar einee
You who's making my eyes not sleep
Bein haree wei leilee
During my day and nights

Walla shta' na
I missed
Wahyatei einak
I missed your eyes
You who's separating yourself
Shta'na lei einounak
From me, I missed you

Beiou-joudak yabou samra
In your presence, you who has the title of dark one
Yehla sahar bei leil
The night becomes more enjoyable
(While we're sitting together it's more fun)
Weil heilou bei yetwal omra'
And the beautiful one prolongs it's life
Wein ghanee ya eine ya leil
And we sing "ya einee ya leil"

El maghna hayateil rouh
Singing is the life of the soul
Yeishfeil albeil majrouh
Heals the wounded heart

Yalla neir-ou's wein ghanee
Let's dance and sing
Weinesh bei ahla janee
And let's live in the most beautiful paradise

Yalla Yalla Yalla
Yalla Yalla Yalla
Yalla, ya Baseim
Tabeilee shawaya
Beat the drums for me
Wenta ya Yasbee
And you, oh Yasbee
Aseimlee showaya
Improvise a little for me
Wentee ya mazika
And you oh music*
Do-eele showaya
Play yourself for me a little
La la la la la la la
Btaatee btaatou
Ra-asnee ya ho
Habibi Ya Eine
Yam sahar eine

*instrumental music


El Helwa Dee
The Beautiful One

Performed by Fairouz and others,composed by Sheik Sayed Darwish

Translated by Nicole Ibrahim

El helwa dee amit teagin fel badreya
The beautiful one went to knead in the early morning
We deek beyedan Kou Kou Kou Kou fel fagreya
And the cock cries Kou Kou Kou Kou in the dawn
Yalla bina ala babala, ya sanaye-eya
Let's go with the Grace of God, oh workers
Yeg-al sabahak, sabaheli gher yasta Ateya
Hope your morning will be beautiful, oh master Ateya

Sabahe, sabah, fatah ya aleem
Our morning is lovely, God permits it
Wel geeb, mafihshee wala maleem
And our pocket doesn't have one penny
Basil mazaag ra-ye we saleem
But our mood is peaceful and serene
Babel amal babak ya raheem
We are putting all our hope in the hands of God

(Sung by chorus)
Da-sabre tayeb al
If we'll be patient
Waie-gha-ya-rel ahwal
All will change for the better

(Sung by vocalist)
Yale ma-ak el ma-al
Oh you, who have the wealth
Bardol fair loh rabi kariim
Also the poor man has a generous God

(Sung by chorus)
El helwa dee amit teagin fel badreya*
We deek bayedan Kou Kou Kou Kou fel fagreya*
Yalla bina ala babala, ya sanaye-eya*
Yeg-al sabahak, sabaheli gher yasta Ateya*

Edee fee edak yabou salah
My hand is in yours, oh Salah's father
Madam ma-allah te-ish mertah
Since you're with God you'll live comfortable
Ghalite-kalak al fatah
Leave it all to the powerful One
Yalla bina, yalal waAehahou rah!
Let's go, cause the time is running out

Eshams tell-et
The sun has come out!
Wel molke il-Allah, wel molke lil-Allah
The fortune is all God's
Egree lerz-ak
Run to work
Ghaleeha al-Allah, ghaleeha al-Allah
Let God give you luck
Mat-sheel adoumak
Pick up your axe
Wel edaw yalla!
And all your tools and let's go!

(Vocalist)Kou Kou Kou Kou fil fagreya*
(Chorus) Yalla bina ala bab'Allah ya sanaye-eya*
(Vocalist) Ah, yeg-al sabahak, sabel gher yeta Ateya*
(Chorus) Yasta Ateya, Ah yasta Ateya*

*translation is the same as first verse


Linda Ya Linda

Linda writes that this is an old transliteration/transliteration and is spotty in places. She believes that in the last line, "They are so sweet" is a polite way of saying "You are so sweet".

Linda ya Linda ya hayatii
Linda O Linda oh my life
Ana bahebbik essali albik
Huwa biaulik ya linda
I am in love with you, ask your heart and he will tell you
Esmaay minne auli labuukii
Listen to me and tell your father
winma ridesh auli laghuukii
To give me your hand, tell your brother
win allulik had maghanni
If he refuses if they told you
cebeki minnuo wi bedi aanu
Leave him alone and stay away from him
shuu baaullon shu baamilluun
What can I say to them, what can I do
killoon hilween ya Linda
They are so sweet O Linda
Bas fi essa nnass allha
There is a rumor on you
anny annik ya ma hakulha
They talk too much
Min i Sham fa Halab
From Syria to Halab (Halab is a city in Syria)
illa Lubnaan yaba yaba
to Lebanon yaba yaba (yaba is just a musical expression)
Shu baalon shu baamilluun
What can I say to them, what can I do
Killoon hilween ya Linda
they are so sweet O Linda

Noora Ya Noora

Linda got this translation/transliteration from an old friend.

Ya warda nadeya fi banoora
Esmek ala rasmek sora
Mal-amaraya ya amorah
Noora Noora ya Noora

Noora ya esm ala mosama
El layl be yabe's nahar
Aesht inti weaash min sama
Ya amirah ala el nowar
Ya naseem rafaf
Ya sheaber shafaf
Wala feesh awsaf
Tewfeeki el ha'e ya Noora
Ya helwu ya ely el hava hafhef ala topek

Agheer alek min elhawa
We ahsed alek topek
Magroh we malik dawa ya alb mak tobek
Esmek ala rasmek laya'e sobehan
men abedaa rasmek
Ya nada el sobehya lel ray'a
Esm Alah ya nNoora ala esmek
Ya layli el aead-men gheer naweed-abo haz saaed
Eli tehen aleh Noora Noora Noora ya Noora

Noora Noora oh Noora
You are pretty flower in a vase
Your name is great meaning and picture
From the moon you are a moon
Noora Noora oh Noora

Noora your name is typical perfect
The night with your name became day
Long life for you and long life for who gives you the name
You are princess of light
You are breeze of air
You are the best
Nobody better than you
No words can describe you enough
You sweet-- the wind now your dress
I get jealous from your dress
I'm wounded and no medicine to cure me
Your name suits you
The great God made you
Early morning mist
For somebody who has a good mood
Oh feast days with no time
You will be lucky
If Noora likes him


Salamit-ha Oum Hassan

Translation from Nicole Ibrahim, from whom Linda took Arabic singing classes for about eight years during the 1980's.

1. Salamit-ha Oum Hassan
Meil ein weil meil Hassad (bis)
Wei Salamtak ya Hassan
Meil reim sheilee Hassad
Salameit-ha Salamit-ha
Salamit-ha Salamit-ha Oum Hassan

Chorus (same as Vs. 1)

2. Galha Toureilei mashee
Weil toor ma nay eimhashee (Bis)
Weil ein ma saybahashee
Mahsouda Oum Hassan
Salameint-ha Oum Hassan
Meil ein wei meil Hassad


Malbouja leh malbouj
Meil feikr galha doja
Hare-eit shaba wei fasouja
Ma raeitsh Oum Hassan
Salamit-ha Oum Hassan
Meil ein wei meil Hassad


Amaloulha zar latash-ha
We kaino eiyar da washa
(Bis 2 times)
Yareit kan had hash-ha
Ma-zoura Oum Hassan
Salamit-ha Oum Hassan
Meil ein we meil Hassan


5. Gara-eh yam Hassan Laimeeha weig ghalee (Bis)
La tour wala zar beiyenfa-a
Salmit-ha Oum Hassan
Meil ein we meil Hassad


God bless her Hassan's mother
From the eye and from envy
And God bless you oh Hassan
From the lash that envied you

2. The passing bull came to her
And the bull didn't put her to sleep
And the eye not leaving her alone
Someone envied Hassan's mother

3. Why is she so preoccupied
From so much thinning she got sick
She burned incense and a pickle fish
She didn't recover, Hassan's mother

4. They made a zar too powerful for her
It seemed like too strong for her
Too bad no one rescued her
She has got her excuse, Hassan's mother,br>

5. What's happening Hassan's mother
Behave and get your act together
Not a bull nor a zar is working out
Wake up and be wise
God Bless her Hassan's mother


Samra Ya Samra
Karim Mamoud

"The translation is by George Dabai, who used to be one of the musicians at the Arabic clubs in San Francisco," Linda writes. "I took singing and percussion classes from him for several years. You can find the song on many, many old tapes."

Samra ya Samra marra fee marra
Shaghalny hawaku
Shaghalny hawaku
Damek gheffa our tag el effa
Shabakny maakee shabaknee maakee
Samra ya Samra helwa ya samra
Ya Samra ya Samra

Samra ya helwa ya lahne ya ghen
Wa ya ahla raneen
Wa ya ahla raneen
Seher el hageb dabeyet aageb alhelween
Shoftoh ba ateh min nary ya Samra
Shoftoh ba ateh min nary ya Samra
Tayeh ked mosh dary ya Samra
Wente el kass we shafayfek khamra
Ya Samra ya Samra ya helwa ya Samra
Ya Samra ya Samra

Wared khedoudek gah aala oudek zadoh gamal
Khala el sho'ore ye shoofoo el somur ye batoo fe hal
Eirfoo el nar wel gheira ya Samra
Aashoo fe zouil ou heira ya Samra
Wente el kass el shafayfek khamsa
Ya Samra ya Samra ya helwa ya Samra

Batlob widek alan foli radek
Maana el aafaa
Afra beike wa oul-le-aayheke
Ya ramz el kheffa
Radek fee el aazaya Samra
Aeayef albee maaza ya Samra
Winta el Kass we shafeyek khamra
Samra ya Samra ya helwa ya Samra
Ya Samra ya Samra

(Editor's note: what follows is a "very rough translation", according to Linda.)

Samra (black comlexion)
Time after time I see you
Your love disturbs the hell out of me
Your light blood", she's cute.

("Light blood" is a compliment in Arabic, has something to do with a person's mood.)

By looking at her, you can tell she's honest
That's the reason I fell in love with
It has a beautiful tune to the ear
(Comparing her to a beautiful song)
This eyebrow of yours makes the one next to you un-beautiful

I saw her I became
By all the fire in my heart
I don't know where I am
You are the glass of love and your lips are the booze
Your cheeks make your body more beautiful.
(He is comparing her to a rose on a stem)
You make blondes look at brunettes and get jealous
Every time I ask you to come close to me I get the answer:
The meaning of purity
I am so happy looking at you and I tell your eyes
Your answer is a big meaning to me
You have added much love to my heart



"This is translated by Nabil Gheith, who translated songs for me for about three years," writes Linda. "He taught Arabic at the Defense Language School. The spelling is edited by Amina of the Aswan Dancers."

(Editor's note: A viewer has noted that an alternate translation of the title "Sawah" would be "together")

Sawah, wei maashee feil beilaad, saway
Vagabond, and walking between countries, vagabond.
Weil khatwa beinee wei bein habibee barah
And the step between me and my bveloved is "big"
Meish war bei-led, wana feeh hareib
A long journey, and I'm wounded in it
Weil leil yei-arab, weil nahar rawah
And the night approaches and the day goes


Wein laakom habibee, saleimulee alei
And if you see my beloved, say "hello" to him
Tameinuneel asmaranee, amla eil el ghorba fee
Reassure me how is my brown-looking girl doing so far away

Sawah, wana maashee layalee
Vagabond, I'm walking nights (sleepwalking)
Saway, wall daree bhalee
Vagabond, not knowing what I'm doing
Saway meil for-a ya ghalee
Vagabond, and the separation o my dear
Sawah, eih elee garalee
Vagabond, what has happened to me

We-saneen we-sneen wana dayeb bsho' wei haneen
And years and years and I'm melting in loginess and tenderness
Ayiz a-araf bass taree-o meineen
I want to know just where is his road


Ya eounee ah ha eounee
My eyes oh my eyes
Eih garalak fein inta wei bi meil eih
What has happened to you and what are you doing?
Ya znounee a ya znounee mat seibounee
My worries oh my worries, leave me alone
Meish naaeis ana hier aleil
I'm worried enough about him
Lala areif ar-taah wana la-yeih sawaah
Neither can I rest and I am lost like a vagabond


Ya amar ya naseenee
Oh moon, who's forgetting me
Raseenee alee ghayeib
Take me to the absent one
Nawarlee wareenee seikeit el habayeib
Enlighten me, show me the road to the beloved
Waseitak weseiya ya shaheid alay
I've made you primise, you who witnessed
Teikeelu alei beiya
To tell him of my state
Weilee aseitoo blayaleija
And what I've suffered during my nights

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