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The theme of nature in Fairouz’s songs (1) Posted by on Oct 4, 2017 in Arabic Language, art, Culture, Language, Literature, Vocabulary

The first part of this blog post explores some of the nature-related words and phrases that appear in one of Fairouz’s most popular songs. We’re going to study one in this post (below: lyrics & video clip) and another in the next post. This one is in Lebanese colloquial Arabic.

winter time

Fairouz is one of the very well-known and most celebrated singers in the Arab world. Her songs are either in Lebanese Arabic or Standard Arabic. Most of her songs are of classic nature, very poetic and eloquent, usually based on or adaptations of Arabic poetry. In addition to addressing love and relationships issues in her songs, village life, different times of the day and nature الطبيعة (tabeeʕa) are also one of the main topics in her songs, which is why we’re looking at this song below, called: (biktub  ‘ism-ak) > (I’m writing your name).

*A link to the lyrics translation.

بكتب اسمك

I’m Writing Your Name 

 

بكتب اسمك ياحبيبي ع الحور العتيق

I’m writing your name my darling, on the old poplar

بتكتب اسمي يا حبيبي ع رمل الطريق

You’re writing my name my darling, in the sand on the path

وبكرا بتشتّي الدني عالقصص المجرحه

And tomorrow it will rain (winter arrives), on the wounded stories

بيبقى اسمك يا حبيبي واسمي بينمحى

Your name will remain my darling, and my name will be erased

===================

بحكي عنك يا حبيبي لأهالي الحي

I talk about you my darling, to the people in the neighbourhood

بتحكي عني يا حبيبي لنبعة المي

You talk about me my darling, to a spring of water

ولما بيدور السهر تحت قناديل المسا

And when they burn the midnight oil, Beneath the lamps of the evening

بيحكوا عنك يا حبيبي وانا بنتسى

They talk about you my darling, and I am forgotten

===========================

وهديتني وردة

And you gave me a flower

فرجيتا لصحابي، خبيتا بكتابي

I showed it to my friends, I put it in my book

زرعتا عالمخدى

I planted it on my pillow

هديتك مزهرية

I gave you a vase

لا كنت تداريها، ولا تعتني فيها

You didn’t take care of it, and you weren’t concerned with it

تا ضاعت الهديه

And so the gift went to waste

وبتقلي بتحبني ما بتعرف قديش

And you tell me you love me, you don’t know how much

مازالك بتحبني ليش دخلك ليش

That you still love me, why are you doing this to me, why?!

 

***Key words:

Here’s a list of the above bolded words, which are specifically nature-related.

  • Sand on the path   رمل الطريق
  • it will rain (winter arrives)  بتشتّي الدني
  • spring of water  نبعة المي
  • lamps of the evening  قناديل المسا
  • flower  وردة
  • planted it on my pillow  زرعتا عالمخدى
  • vase  مزهرية
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About the Author:Hanan Ben Nafa

I am a 3rd year, PhD candidate in Sociolinguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), under the supervision of Dr. Rob Drummond. I have been in the UK since 2009 when she moved for the purpose of pursuing her studies. The title of her PhD project is: ‘Code-Switching & Social identity construction among Arabic-English bilinguals’. Apart from my main interest in Sociolinguistics, I work as a part-time translator and interpreter (social and legal) and teach Arabic, occasionally. Passionate about languages, ethnography and everyday language use by bilinguals.