Arabic Language Blog

Winter in Fairuz’s Love Songs (1) Posted by on Feb 10, 2020 in Arabic Language, Culture, Vocabulary

In this post, we’re going to learn about a common theme in Arabic music and that is the association between winter الشتاء and love الحب. In this post, I’m focusing on two works by the Lebanese singer – Fairuz – and look at the words/phrases used to address this theme. In the first part of the post, we’re learning about a song titled: قدّيش كان في ناس  “oh how many people were there”.

Girl alone on a rainy day

Image by Sora Sagano on

In sad love Arabic songs, there is a tendency to refer to winter, especially if it’s a song about a breakup انفصال or longing انتظار. In this song, Fairuz sings about a girl who feels very lonely and is waiting for her lover.

Let’s listen!

قديش كان في ناس

Oh how many people were there

 عالمفرق تنطر ناس

on the crossroads, waiting for other people

 وتشتي الدنيى

And it rains

ويحملو شمسيه

And they carry an umbrella

وأنا بـ أيام الصحو ما حدا نطرني

And me, even on fine days, no one waited for me


صار لي شي مية سنه

I’ve been for like a hundred years

 مشلوحه بهالدكان

Thrown/trapped in this shop

 ضجرت مني الحيطان

The walls grew tired of me

 ومستحيّه تقول

And they are shy to tell me

وأنا عيني عالحلى

And my eye in fixed on the beauty

 والحلى عالطرقات

The beauty is on the roads

 غنّيلو غنيات

I sing songs for him

 وهو بحالو مشغول

And he is busy with himself

نطرت مواعيد الأرض

I waited all for the world’s dates

 وما حدا نطرني

And no one waited for me


صار لي شي مية سنه

I’ve been for like a hundred years

 عم ألّف عناوين

making up addresses

 مش معروفه لمين

Not known for whom

 ووديلن أخبار

And I send them news

بكرا لا بد السما

Tomorrow, the sky must

 ما تشتيلي عالباب

send rain to my door

 شمسيّات وأحباب

With umbrellas and beloved ones

 يخدوني بشي نهار

They take me out one day

واللي ذكر كل الناس

And that who thought of all people

 بالأخر ذكرني

And, at the end, he thought of me


***Key words (A): Winter-related

  • It rains تشتّي الدني

In the Levantine dialect in particular, the word for (winter) “šitaa2” is turned into a verb “t-šatti” to say that (it’s raining).

  • Umbrella شمسيّه

An umbrella in the Levantine dialect is شمسيه . But, it has nothing to do with the sun شمس

– Clear/fine days أيام الصحو

The noun “SaHu” refers to clear weather/ days when it’s not raining.


***Key words (B): Related to sense of longing and abandonment.

  • Busy مشغول

The adjective “Mašgool” in “B-Haal-u Mašghool” menas> busy with himself.

  • No one waited for me ما حدا نطرني

“maa Hada naTarni”. The verb “naTar” or “yu-nTur” > to wait.

  • He at the end thought of me بالآخر ذكرني

“bi-l   2aaxer  zakarn-i”. “zakar” means (to think of).


See you in the send part 🙂

أراكم في الجزء الثاني 🙂
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About the Author: Hanan Ben Nafa

Hi, this is Hanan :) I'm an Arabic linguist. I completed my PhD in Linguistics - 2018. My PhD thesis was entitled Code-switching as an evaluative strategy: identity construction among Arabic-English bilinguals. I'm also a qualified public service translator & interpreter.