Monday, July 25, 2011

Soapkills - Corn on the Cob
الصابون يقتل - عرانيس

Soapkills (Soap Kills) is a band from Lebanon. They are heavily influenced by electronic and trip-hop styles. This song is made up of different sounds one encounters in Beirut. The words don't make so much sense except when explained in that context (the title is عرانيس after all), so I'll explain line by line for this one as best as I can, though I should say there's not total agreement on the correct lyrics for this song.

بويا ؟؟؟؟تيريله

These are examples of "sale calls" one might here along the Corniche in Beirut. "Aranis (عرانيس)" are corn cobs, and they are sold in baked or boiled form. "Boya (بويا)" is shoe polish, and she is imitating the call of a shoeshiner, though I must say I can't figure out what she says immediately after "boyaaaa."

تعا نركب اوتوبيس
دورة, متحف, كرنيش

"Let's get on a bus from Dawra/Dora to Museum-Corniche." Dora is a neighborhood in the suburbs north of Beirut and a huge hub for buses. The Museum is a landmark in the center, the corniche being the long stretch along the water. So she's describing getting on a bus and going downtown.

قرب عالطيب قرب
لمسات شفافة جرب

"Come to this nice smell," maybe the call of somebody selling purfume. If anyone understands what the other line here refers to please tell me. She says something like "try transparent/clear/innocent touches" I don't think I've understood correctly.

عالسكين يا بطيخ
ترمس, ترمس عرانيس

"On the knife, watermelon," the call of a guy selling watermelon. "Termos, termos, aranis." Termos is a kind of bean that you can buy as a snack, called Lupin in English. Aranis again is corn on the cob.

كله نظيف, كله نحيف
كله مهفهف, كله لطيف

"It's all clean, it's all slick, it's all cool, it's all fine." You can translate these words for describing something that's "cool" in a number of ways I guess.

اه يا لطيف, تطلطف بالصبايا, يا لطيف, يا لطيف

"ya latif (يا لطيف)" basically means "daaamn." I guess this might be something like "daaamn, look at all the girls."

هرج ومرج, سوق الفرنج

"harj wa marj (هرج ومرج)" is like "hustle and bustle." "Souq el-frenj" is a market

تاكسيات بتكرج كرج

"taxis parking"

كله نظيف, كله خلنج

"it's all clean, it's all brand new"

والاسواق زي الشطرنج

"and the markets are like chess"

نظيفة ظريفة زي الثلج

"clean and cool as ice"

فيها الشبان بتتمايل

"there's guys leaning/swaying," maybe this refers to walking with swagger. normally I would think "tamayul (تمايل)" describes the way girls walk but from the context it could be referring to the way guys walk to get attention, since the following line is:

والبنات بتغنج غنج

"and the girls are flirting/making eyes." "ghanj (غنج)" refers to the actions associated with being flirtatious.


Bekah said...

This song sounds unique, and it is very easy to sing along. Even though the lyrics aren't 100% logical to a non-native speaker, I woulds still listen to more!

12a81e62-ceaf-11e0-8a1b-000bcdca4d7a said...


Rain_Drops said...

Indeed it's a unique song, a soundtrack of an Egyptian movie "bel alwan et-tabi3eyya" (in natural colors)
Ghanaj means dalaal or re22a, "flirting" isn't an exact translation

GRosa said...

The video you included in your post is no longer available. I'm taking the liberty to suggest this one: