Arabic Song Translations
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"Iliana"
Translations
by other translators


Translations on this page
include

1. Sirtil Hobb
2. Wahdani
3. Yaho
4. Bint el Shalabiiya
5. Ghanilii Shwaaye Shwaaye
6. Lamma Badaa Yetathaana
7. 3alli Gara
8. 3ala Dala3uuna


1. Sirtil Hobb
The Talk of Love

Recorded by Oum Kolthoum

The following translation and transliteration have been copyrighted by Hala Dance; all rights reserved.

Tule omry bakhaf mel hob we sirtil hob, we zolm el hob lkol asehabo
All my life I've been afraid of love, the talk of love, and the betrayal of love to its friends
Waraf hekayat malyana ahat we demoo we aneen, wel ash'een dabo ma labo
I know stories full of pain, tears and cries of agony. Lovers have been worn out but not quit
Tule omry ba'ool lana add el shoo we layali el shoo, wala abbi adde a zabo
All my life I've been saying I'm not up to desire, and the nights of desire and my heart is not up to its torture
We abeltak enta, la'eetak betghayar kol hayati
I met you, I found you changing all my life
Maarafsh ezay ana habeitak maarafsh ezay ya hayati
I don't know how I loved you, I don't know how, my life*
Men hamset hob la'etni baheb
From a whisper of love I found myself in love
La'etni bahab, wadoob fel hob
I found myself in love, melting in love
Wadoob fel hob we sobh we leil
Melting in love day and night,
We leil ala babo
Day and night at its doorstep

Fat men omry sneen we sneen
Many years and years have passed from my life
Shoft keteer we aleel ash'een
I've seen many and a few lovers
Elli byeshki halol hal
Those complaining to themselves about their condition
Welli b'yebki ala mawalo
And those crying over their ballad
Ahlel hob saheeh makaseen
Lovers are truly pitiful
Yamal hob nadah ala albi ma radesh
Many times love has called my heart, my heart didn't respond
Ya mal shoo hawel yahayelni wa a'olo
Many times desire tried to tempt me and I told it
"Rooh ya azab"
Go away torture
Yama oyoon shaghlooni, laken wala shaghalooni
Many eyes flirted with me, but never got me busy
Ella ayounak inta, bas dole elli khaduni
Except your eyes, only those took me
Web hobak amarouni
And captured me with your love
Amarouni aheb la'etni baheb
They ordered me to love, I found myself in love
La'etni baheb wadoob fel hob
I found myself in love, melting in love
Wadoob fel hob, we sobh we leil
Melting in love, day and night,
We leil ala babo
Day and night at its doorstep

Yalli zalamtol hob, we olto we edto aleh, we olto aleh mosh aref eh
] You who misrepresented love, and badmouthed it over and over and said I don't know what
El abe feekom yaf habayebkom
The defect is in you or in your lovers
Amal hob, ya rohy ya rohy
But love, oh my soul, oh my soul
Ya rohy aleh
Oh my soul
Feddonia mafeesh abdan abdan ahla mnel hob
In all the world there is nothing ever ever better than love
Net'ab, neghlab, neshteki, menno laken benhib
We get tired, we get defeated, we complain about it, but we love
Ya salaam al alb we tanhudo fi wesal we foraak
How nice when the heart sighs in getting together and in separating
We shemoo el shoo lama ye'eedo leil el moshtak
And the candles of desire when they light the night of the anticipating
Ya salaam a donia we halaweteha
How nice the world is
Fi ein el oshaak
In the eyes of lovers
Wana khadnil hob la'etni
Love took me, I found myself in love
La'etni baheb, wadoob fel hob
I found myself in love, melting in love
Wadoob fel hob, we sobh we leil
Melting in love, day and night
We leil ala babo
Day and night at its doorstep

Yalli malate bel hob hayati, ahdi hayati ellik
You who filled my life with love, I give my life as a gift to you
Rohi, alb, aali, hobbi, kolli melk edake
My soul, my heart, my mind, my love, all of me belong to your hands
Sotak, nazartak, hamastak, shai mish mool
Your voice, your looks, your whispers, something incredible
Shai khallal donia zohoor ala tule
Something made the world flowers all the way
We shemoo ala tule
And candles all the way
Allah ya habibi ala hobak we hanaya maa
How sweet your love is, my love, and my happiness with it
Walla dam'et ein garahet albi
No tear from an eye hurt my heart
Wala olet ah
And no saying "Ah"
Mabah olsh fi hobak ghere Allah Allah Allah
I say nothing about your love but "How wonderful, how wonderful, how wonderful"
Men kotrel hob, la'etni baheb
From all the love I found myself in love
La'etni baheb, wadoob fel hob
I found myself in love, melting in love
Wadoob fel hob, we sobh we leil
Melting in love, day and night
We leil ala babo
Day and night at its doorstep

(* Editor's note: in Arabic, as in Spanish, the term "my life" is an endearment.)

2. Wahdanii
My Loneliness

Khalid Agag, also spelled Khalid Ajaj

Hope of my life, why are you sad?
You, the one who owns me, the one who commands me,
Why are you running away?
My heart, my love, it's hard on it.
You are missing to me, O beloved, why?
My loneliness, my heart alone
My loneliness, my heart alone

3. Yaho

Hakim

This translation was sent in a "post" to the Middle East Dance List on-line forum by Tarik Sultan, and he has given his permission for it to be printed on this website.

What
Why
Who
Yes
Him* again
I'm just
I mean
It's just
He tormented me easily
Sold me and if he lost me what am I to do?
Are we going to repeat it again?
With his hands into wounds, he tossed me
And when he called me, what am I to say to him
We are spoiling him, oh Ya ho
And pleasing him oh Ya ho
And no one but us could please his eye oh ya ho
He makes mistakes and I make up for him oh yaho
And I'm tired of forgiving him, oh Yaho
From the bitterness of his wound I said
Yo Yoh Yaho
Although he made me mad at him
But my soul is for him
Oh Yaho
And I'm tired of forgiving him, Oh Yaho
From the bitterness of his wounds I said
Yoh Yoh Yaho
Yaho Yaho Yaho
Although he made me mad at him
But my soul is for him
It's that my eyes missed him and are dying for him
It's that my eyes missed him and are dying for him

If he came to you you'll tell without saying
In front of his eyes desire is in a state
And I seriously ask with a hundred telephone calls

We're spoiling him Oh Yaho
And pleasing him Oh Yaho
And no one but us can fill his eye Oh Yaho
The brain went nuts while he's away and I never lived up to his suspicions and betrayed him
The brain went nuts while he's away and I never lived up to his suspicions and betrayed him

Me love anyone else---impossible
The desire that drives you crazy
His heart is like a ghazala
His heart is like a ghazala
I'm near screaming
I'm just---I mean---it's just that he tormented me so easily
Sold me and if he lost me
What am I to do

(*Tarik writes that in Arabic culture because it is considered improper to make a direct reference to a woman publicly, the singers will often say "he" instead of "she". It is understood that the subject of the song is female.)

4. Bint el Shalabiya

Recorded by Fairouz and others.

(There is an alternate translation of this song on the Adel Abdallah page.)

Bint el Shalabiya
The girl from Shalabiyah
Ayounah 3asaliyah*
Her honey-colored eyes
Ibhebbik min 'albii ya 'albii
I love you from my heart, O my heart
Intii aynaya
You are my eyes
Ibhebbik min 'albii ya 'albii
Intii aynaya

Taht el qanaster
Under the arch
Mabuubi naater
My lover is waiting
Kasser il khawaater ya wilfii**
Breaking my thoughts, O loved one
Ma haan alaya
It is hard on me
Kasser il khawaater ya wilfii
Ma haan alaya

_________________, ___________***
'albii maghrou
wounded heart
Ayyam aal baal bita3iid itrouh
Days on the mind they come and go

Taht er rumaanii
Under the pomogranate tree
Hebbii haakaanii
My love talks with me
Samanii ghanaya ya ayounii
Sing songs to me O my eye****
Witghazal***** biiyah
And flirting with me
Samaanii ghanaya ya 3ayounii
Witghazal biiyah

*the sound represented by 3a is made like aa, but opening more the back of the throat.

**breaking my thoughts means breaking my concentration, "wilfii" is a loved one but like a dear friend or family member, not necessarily a girlfriend/boyfriend.

***Didn't get this part

****"Oh my eye" is an endearment

***** "itghazal" means flirting with an approved person; it does not have a negative connotation

5. Ghanili Shwaaye Shwaaye
An old song recorded by Oum Kolthoum, according to percussionist Ghaleb "Gaby" Tawil it was her first song hit

song begins with the CHORUS:

Ghanili Shwaaye Shwaaye, Ghanili wa khutha ainaya
Sing to me softly you take my eyes (meaning: you enchant me)

Ghanili Shwaaye Shwaaye, Ghanili wa khutha ainaya

khaliinii--il khuul ilhaan, tetmaayel laha--asmaa3iin
sing to me softly you capture my eyes, people swaying as they are listening
wa rafraf, laha laghsoune, wa-an-narghis, wal yasmiin
waving for her the branches, and gardenia, and jasmine
wasafir, laha rukbaan, taawiin-il bawaadii dday
travel with her the traveler, the bedoin folding their blankets*
shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye ghanili ghanii khud 3aynaya.
softly, softly, softly softly sing to me softly you take my eyes**

*an idiomatic expression meaning someone leaving, i.e. the bedoin would fold their blankets in preparation for departing

**an idiomatic expression meaning you capture my attention, or something like that

CHORUS

melody changes
il maghna hayat il rough, esma3ha-il a3liil isfaayn
the song the life of my soul, the song can cure the ill
wid-dow-wii kabid maghruuh, ilaTib a faayn to treat the injured liver, confused the doctors
wat kalii Talaam il-laaiil, fii 3ayuun-ill habaayyib Daii
and leave the darkness, night in lovers'eyes light
shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye ghaniilii ghanii khud 3ynaya
softly, softly softly softly sing to me my song you capture my eyes.**

CHORUS

melody changes again

la ghanii, wa quul id-diir, min badrii sabaah al khayr (two times)
I will sing I say for the birds, from early morning, good morning
wal qimrii, m3a khuudiir, wa yaa yaa! yaruudaw 3alaaya
and the moon and the (green bird?) and O, O! They repeat with me
shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye shwaaye ghanili ghanii wa khud 3aynaaya.
Softly, softly, softly softly sing to me my song you capture my eyes**.

CHORUS

ahhliflik biraab il baayt, ya-msaadiq biraab il baayt (two times)
I swear to you on the house of the Lord, O believers of the house of the Lord (refers to the Kaaba in Mecca)
las-hiirkum id-da ghaniit (two times) wa raaqus banaat il hhaayeh,
the fantastic glory -the people attracted to my singing, the girls of the neighborhood dancing
shwaaye, shwaaye, shwaaye shwaaye ghanilii ghanii khud 3aynaaya

CHORUS

melody changes
la ghanii, wa ghanii wa ghanii, wa wirrii-il khalaayiq fan-ni
the song, my song, my song and show them the audience my art
wal insii yequul il jan-nii wa raayah, yequul il jaay...

VERSE THAT WAS SUNG AFTER SECOND CHORUS (the one that began with "il maghna...."

CHORUS

6. Lamma Badaa Yatathana
Author: Zbaab

Editor's note: My tutor says that the Arabic in this song is so old (it was written around 800 she believes) that it was hard for her to determine the meaning from the written Arabic (and I did not have a recording with me when I had her translate for me). The following is what she came up with, but she says that the inflections of the singer would make the meaning more clear.

She told me some fascinating information about the author. She said that he was a student of a famous court musician in the royal court of Iraq, but that his prowess made him so famous that his teacher told him to leave the royal court of Iraq as there was not room for both of them! So he traveled to Cordoba in Muslim Spain, and both he and his son gained fame and fortune there as musicians and composers of both melody and lyrics.

More editor's notes: (please bear in mind that the editor is but a one year student of Arabic!) a polite tradition in Arabic song is to refer to a female love object with the male pronoun, so the love object could be either male or female.
The "3" signifies the letter "aiyn" pronounced more like the "o" in hot, but with the back of the mouth more open.As in the "ayn" in the popular well-known song, "Habibii Nur el ayn".

The "a" signifies the short vowel fat-ha, it's not pronounced like the Spanish a, more like our a in "hat". The double "aa" signifies the letter "alif" which is pronounced more like a drawn out version of the "a" in the English word "hat". If you pronounce the "a"s in this song like the Spanish ones, the hearer might think you were saying the sound for the letter "ayn" when you are not, and it could be taken for a different word than you mean.

I have used "i" to signify the short vowel "kassra" pronounced like the "i" in the English word "it". I have used "ii" for the long vowel "yaa" which is pronounced like the English sound of "ee". For the long vowel "waaw" I have used "uu" it is similar to the sound "oo" in the English word "boo". Where I have used "u" it refers to the short vowel sound "damme" which is rather like the "oo" in the English word "hook".

Lamma badaa yetathaana
When--starts---swaying
Hobbii jamaluu fataana
My love---the beautiful---attracts us
Amara ma bilahdatin assarna
he commands us*--with---for a while we look at him* always
Ghahsoun thaana heyna mala
branches---swaying---when he* sway
w3adii wayah hiratii
promise---confuse---me
man li rahiimuu shekwatii
who to me---merciful---complaint (meaning will he/she respond mercifully to my complaint)
Fil hobbi min lay3atii
In my love from __________
Illa maliik il gamal
Except the king* of beauty.

*could be refering to either male or female, see editor's note above

7. Alli Garra
(3ali garra)
My Story (telling you what happened to me)

This transliteration translation was made using the duet recording by Saber and Asalah. Originally the song was recorded by Alia la Tunisiya in the 1950's or 60's

First there is an instrumental section baladi rhythm. Then it goes into wahda kebeer when the singing starts. I have put the syllables in bold where the beginning of each measure of the rhythm hits. In additon, if the first beat of a measure falls outside the lyrics, I have added the word beat in bold type.

Baladi:/ D * D * T A D * D * T A D * T * / D * D * T A D * D * T A D * T * /

For clarity I have written each measure with sixteen counts, the asterisk is a 1/16th rest. (The slash is used to connotate dividing line between measures, two measures being depicted.) Actually the rhythm has much more of a 4/4 feel.

Wahda Kebeer ("one is big" meaning the first beat of the measure is the only heavy beat)

/ D * T A T A T * T A T A T * T * / D * T A T A T * T A T A T * T * /

Again, for clarity I have written each measure with sixteen counts, each asterisk is a 1/16th rest. (the Slash is used to connotate dividing line between measures, two measures being depicted.) actually the rhythm has much more of a 4/4 feel.

The first line starts after the beat.

beat 3alii garrah min marrasiilak 3alii garrah(another measure,beat)
what happened to me, through a letter (or message) what happened to me

bass lamma tiigii wa ana aHkiilak 3ali garrah (another measure beat)
When you come to me I tell you what happened to me

repeat those two lines. The second time through, that last "beat" of the second line is the beginning of your switch into the baladi rhythm.

NOW YOU ARE IN 'BALADI' RHYTHM, WHICH STARTED ON THE LAST "BEAT" GIVEN ABOVE. SO, THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST LINE OF THE FOLLOWING VERSE BEGINS WITHIN THAT FIRST MEASURE WHICH WAS STARTED WITH SAID "BEAT".

wimsa de mu-u-w3aii fi mandiilak 3alii gara beat - - - beat I wipe my tears in your handkerchief (I tell you) what happened to me

bass lamma tiigii w ana aH-kiilak 3alii gara beat - - - beat When you come to me I tell you what happened to me

Repeat these lines twice, on the last beat of the last line change to "wahda kebeer" rhythm.

3a-----------lii-----------ga - - - - - ------

Aa------------------------aaaa *stop* on last beat of line of song, which will also be the "one" count of a "wahda kebeer" rhythm.

Instrumental section again in baladi, similar to the instrumental section at the beginning of the song but a bit shorter.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

THERE IS A STRESSED TONE AT THE END OF THE INSTRUMENTAL, THAT TONE IS THE FIRST COUNT OF THE FOLLOWING SECTION WHICH IS IN "WAHDA KEBEER". THE SECTION CAN BE REPEATED FROM TWO TO FOUR TIMES.
beat mitgarra biiiiin eH-namitgarrabiiiiin a - - - -ah
we are far away from eachother

garrah saneeeen waH-nah, garrah saneeeee eeeeeen
hurt years (years of hurt) we are one (together)

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

THIS NEXT SECTION IS ALSO IN "WAHDA KEBEER"

It is repeated twice, (the second time through, the last "beat" is the first count of baladii for the section which follows)

La hadi 'aa--aa--aal ana khabbar yafar-Haa-naa beat
no one tells to me news happy (good news)

wa ha hadii gaaaaaaab minnaa kalima yaraH-na, ya raH nah beat
no one gives to us one word to give us comfort

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

bass lamma tiigii w-ana aH-kiilak alli garra

wamsaa demou3aii fii mandiilak alli garra

CHANGE BACK INTO "WAHDA KEBEER"

alli gaaaaara, aa-aaa aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-ah!beat STOP

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The following section is repeated either two or four times

beat ya leilii aaaaa- - - aaaaaaaaaah
O night, aaaaah!

beat ya gar-Hii aaaaa- - -aaaaaaaaaah
O my pain (wound) aaaah!

beat Ya hob-bii aaaaa- - -aaaaaaaaaah
O love, aaaah!

THAT SECTION IS REPEATED TWO TO FOUR TIMES

Il-hob-bii dawibnah beat
the love melted us together, absorbed us

tubnah tawih-nah
beat
We repented (as to God) and separated

THAT SECTION IS REPEATED TWICE, then on my recording Saber does a section of improvisation on "ya leiliii ah"

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

(for the rest of the song, the rhythm accents will not be given (with some exceptions), as I have not learned to play it yet)

THIS SECTION GOES BACK INTO BALADI RHYTHM

wa tahit al marrasiil- - - -
and the letters/messages are lost

between day and night

ma fi-it-tersh ghiir damu3aii
even in a crowd there is nothing but tears

marrsuu ma fi mandiil
a sign in the handkerchief (maybe meaning that the tears in the handkerchief are a sign)

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

(the rest of the song repeats some of the sections already given.)

8. 3ala Dal3auna
Help Us (Palestinian Folk Song)

Translated by Gaby Tawil
Alternate version translated by Hakima S.

There are many, many versions of this song. The following version was taught me by Gaby Tawil. Translation is rather vague; he explained it to me when I was first learning to sing the song, going back I realize that I don't remember everything he told me about the meaning. he blank spaces. I will try to complete the translation soon.

The second version, which will appear on this page soon, was found on the internet by my Arabic 202 instructor at Mesa Community College, Ustaathe AbuHannoud, at my request. It was carefully translated by my tutor Hakiima, but I have not learned to sing that version. It's pretty obvious that the lyrics are full of idiom and don't always literally make sense---although Hakiima is Palestinian(originally from Al Quds Jerusalem), she is not, as she protested, "of the village". She wasn't even sure that she remembered the melody, but as soon as we started working on the translation, her mother began humming the tune.

My friend Leyla Lanty tells me that in Arab night clubs and restaurants in California, the playing of this song will usually cause most Palestinians present to jump up and dance the debke. The rhythm Gaby taught me to play for this song is malfouf, three measures to each line.

Robert, thanks for your original query about the song which led me to the following versions! I think it was you who sent me an English translation of the song which said that Dala3auuna was a girl's name. Both Gaby and Hakima emphatically deny this.

3la dala3una, 3la dala3una, saluu 3an nabi la tahsiiduuna
Help us, Help us, pray to my prophet against the evil eye
3la dala3uuna, leish dal3atiini
Help us, Why did you help me
Lakaytiinii shayib leish akhatiini
You found me an old man, why did you take me
Laktuubik tabik 3la waraktiini
I write you, you write messages on paper (in other words, messages that don't mean anything)
Waaga3al talaal'iq ahsan maykuuna
In conclusion, your coming on the scene did not make things better
3la dala3una, 3ala dala3una
saluu 3an nabii laa tahsiiduuna

Talaat al jaabal, uu jaabal mahduud
She climbed the mountain, and the mountain no good (meaning she married the rich old man but he wasn't any good)
Halfat ma takhuud jayrak ya mahmoud
(I think this was something about don't change, Mahmoud, or I will always be faithful, Mahmoud).

3ala dala3uuna, 3ala dala3uuna, saluu 3an nabii laa tahsiiduuna
3ala dala3uuna, 3ala dala3uuna, saluu 3an nabii la tahsiiduuna
3ala dala3uuna, 3ala dala3uuna, saluu 3an nabii laa tahsiiduuna
3ala dala3uuna, 3ala dala3uuna saluu 3an nabii laa tahsiiduuna

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