Friday, July 3, 2009

Fairuz - I Beg You Bee Eater
فيروز - دخلك يا طير الوروار
Tayr 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


Anonymous said...

bee eater bird !? that sounds so crazy to sing it. Thanks for sharing this... it really made me laugh as well. It sure sounds better in Arabic. By the way, the wirwaar is an amazingly beautiful bird. Thanks for doing these translations as well.

Anonymous said...

it is not "wait for here a little"
it is "we fly and soar little by little"
in arabic it would be نطير ونعلا شوي شوي
thankyou for he lyrics

Chris said...

lol makes so much more sense thank you

misticjoe said...

can you put the arabic part in abc, like A'tini naya waghani... please, it is more easier to learn how to pronounced, sorry for my english, thanks.

Anonymous said...

oh my god ..

its remarkable,brilliant,gorgeous thing ..

its a legendry song ..

poor those who cannot understand Arabic ..

they are missing a huge art ..

the real art ..

Fairouz's art ..

Anonymous said...

the video is no longer available to watch :(

Anonymous said...

the video is no longer available to watch :(

Anonymous said...

In the song lyrics, she is afraid her parents will 'wake up' and not 'wail'. Yoo3u, in Lebanese dialect, means 'wake up'. Beautifully done, otherwise!

semi-expert said...

The wirwar just arrived in Beirut today, so it is now officially spring.

Which is why I am thinking of this song and how I got myself back to this site.

Now, some comments,
it is طيروا عنّا

So it is a command to the birds,

Fly from us little by little (or if you like, slowly)

I think in the last stanza 'amriyyi is analogous to '3asriyyi' which means 'the afternoon' so here it must mean something like by the 'light of the moon',

It's not turtle dove, which would be qumriyya, if it were female.

But il-layla il-'amriyya

Oh, and by the way, usually in love songs 'layli' is an epithet for the beloved.

shi marra means 'at some time'

ahli in Lebanese means 'my parents'

yi3wu in Lebanese Arabic does indeed mean 'to wake up' but it also means 'to come to ones senses', so here it mean 'my parents will find out'

For you Lebanese speakers, think of the command 'uw3a' 'watch out' (or for Egyptian speakers, 'iw3a')

and at3ab asraar is an idiom that means - among other things - 'to trouble, harass'.

tiḥzin asrar is just repeating the idiom with different words for effect


I fear that at some point, my parents will find out and give us a really hard time.

My humble attempt:

I beg of you O Wirwár
On your long journey toward them
Greet my loved ones for me
And tell me of their news

O’er forgotten sun-drenched hills
O’er yellow canopies of sycamore
Soar above us higher and higher
While the world below grows smaller

From orchards of figs, October calls, my darling

Oft in moonlit silence I hear your voice calling to me,
My darling,

And I fear, Darling,
Some fine day my parents will know of us
And then there will be Hell to pay
My Darling

And here is a transliteration without any special phonetic symbols

a dakhlak ya tayr il-wirwar
a rah lak min sawbun mishwar
w sallim li al habayib
w khabir ni bi-halun shu sar


a tlal ish-shams il-mansiyyi
ala wara id-dilb il-asfar
tiyrou anna shwayyi shwayyi
w itseer id-dini tizghar

w bi-krum it-teen yindah tishreen, ya habibi


yama bi-skut il-amriyyi, basma sawtak yindahli
layli w khawfi
layli yuwu shi mara ahli
w titab asrar tihzan asrar
ya habibi

semi-expert said...

Thinking more about the song, and especially the way the elements do not seems to follow in any sort of logical sequence, it occurs to me that this very short tune embodies the themes of the classical Arabic poem, the qaṣīda, sometimes translated as ‘ode’, although, here, the elements are not in the classical sequence.

Using the most famous of these odes, qifaa nabki ‘stop, you two, let us weep’ as a model, we can outline the sequence of the classical ode as this: 1) the poet laments a beloved who is far away (in qifaa nabki, he and his two companions have come across the traces of a campsite of her family, giving him reason to think of her, now, obviously moved along); 2) the poet recalls his amorous trysts with the beloved (in qifaa nabki, he sneaks around under the nose of her kinsmen, who are waiting to capture him and kill him for his association with her); 3) the poet describes the beauty of nature (in qifaa nabki, it is a description of a spectacular storm in the desert and the rearranged features of the landscape on the morning of its aftermath).

So, our tune begins as does the classical ode: she first laments the beloved, who is far away (her use of the plural does not necessarily mean that she is missing all of her loved ones – in Arabic the plural is used – among other reasons - to deflect attention from the individual – and by the end of the song we find out who it is that she is trying to deflect attention from!). After that, the order of elements 2 and 3 are reversed, she first describes the beauty of the natural surroundings, and then she goes on to talk about her amorous exploits (it seems that she meets her beloved in the fig orchards!).

So, here we have in modern popular song, the elements of classical Arabic poetry preserved. This is not nearly the only song to display references to classicisms. For example, even when a man is singing about the beloved, he usually uses masculine reference (in the new wave of Arab music, the reference can now sometimes be in the feminine). This goes all the way back to the classical ode, when the reference was either masculine or feminine as the metre and rhyme required. By the time the classical ode became embodied as a form of high culture in the Abbasid era, the reference had become solely masculine. There may also have been other cultural imperatives involved, like the wish to shield women from public view – that imperative certainly continues to operate in modern conversations between young men about their girl friends: when in public, they speak of them in the masculine!

Aint that cool?