Monday, June 15, 2009

Abdel Halim Hafez - Reader of Fortunes
عبد الحليم حافظ - قارئة الفنجان

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Abdel Halim Hafez is a music legend in Egypt and aside from Om Kalthoum is probably the most prominent musician. This song is from a poem written by Nizar Qabbani. The title is literally translated as "cup reader," referring to the act of reading fortunes from the grains left in the bottom of a cup of Turkish coffee. These lyrics are the words to the poem itself and not word for word how they were performed by Abdel Halim.

This translation is by Natalie Smolenski.

Abdel Halim Hafez - Reader of Fortunes

She sat with fear in her eyes
Contemplating the overturned cup.

She said:
My son, do not be sad.
Love is written for you.
My son, he who dies for the religion of the beloved
Has died a martyr.

Your cup is a terrifying world.
You life: travels and wars.
You will love often, my son.
You will adore all the women of the world,
And return as the king who has been conquered.

In your life, my son, there is a woman.
Her eyes – Praise be to Him who is worshipped!
Her mouth is drawn as bunches of grapes;
Her laughter is music and roses.
But your sky is full of rain and your path blocked.
For your heart’s beloved, my son,
Sleeps in a haunted castle.
The castle is large, my son.
It is guarded by dogs… and soldiers.

Your heart’s princess is sleeping.
He who enters her chamber is lost.
He who asks for her hand,
He who descends the walls of her garden,
Is lost.
He who attempts to unbraid her hair,
My son,
Is lost . . . lost.

I have looked and read often,
But never have I read a cup like yours.
I have never known, my son,
Sadness like yours.
It is your destiny ever to walk
In love, upon the edge of a dagger.
To remain lonely as the oysters
Sad as the willow
It is your destiny ever to remain
In the sea of love, without rescue,
To love millions of times,
And to return as the deposed king.

عبد الحليم حافظ - قارئة الفنجان

جَلَسَت والخوفُ بعينيها
تتأمَّلُ فنجاني المقلوب

يا ولدي.. لا تَحزَن
فالحُبُّ عَليكَ هوَ المكتوب
يا ولدي،
قد ماتَ شهيداً
من ماتَ على دينِ المحبوب
فنجانك دنيا مرعبةٌ
وحياتُكَ أسفارٌ وحروب..
ستُحِبُّ كثيراً يا ولدي..
وتموتُ كثيراً يا ولدي
وستعشقُ كُلَّ نساءِ الأرض..
وتَرجِعُ كالملكِ المغلوب

بحياتك يا ولدي امرأةٌ
عيناها، سبحانَ المعبود
فمُها مرسومٌ كالعنقود
ضحكتُها موسيقى و ورود
لكنَّ سماءكَ ممطرةٌ..
وطريقكَ مسدودٌ.. مسدود
فحبيبةُ قلبكَ.. يا ولدي
نائمةٌ في قصرٍ مرصود
والقصرُ كبيرٌ يا ولدي
وكلابٌ تحرسُهُ.. وجنود
وأميرةُ قلبكَ نائمةٌ..
من يدخُلُ حُجرتها مفقود..
من يطلبُ يَدَها..
من يَدنو من سورِ حديقتها.. مفقود
من حاولَ فكَّ ضفائرها..
يا ولدي..
مفقودٌ.. مفقود

بصَّرتُ.. ونجَّمت كثيرا
لكنّي.. لم أقرأ أبداً
فنجاناً يشبهُ فنجانك
لم أعرف أبداً يا ولدي..
أحزاناً تشبهُ أحزانك
مقدُورُكَ.. أن تمشي أبداً
في الحُبِّ .. على حدِّ الخنجر
وتَظلَّ وحيداً كالأصداف
وتظلَّ حزيناً كالصفصاف
مقدوركَ أن تمضي أبداً..
في بحرِ الحُبِّ بغيرِ قُلوع
وتُحبُّ ملايينَ المَرَّاتِ...
وترجعُ كالملكِ المخلوع


Amr said...

hello chris,

I think :
"My son, he who dies for the religion of the beloved
Has died a martyr."

should be :
"My son, he who had sacrificed his soul for his beloved
Has died a martyr."

Amr said...

actually I think you have translated the original poem; the version sung by abdelhalim is a little different