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My All Time Favourite International Songs (9): Kalimat (Words) by Majida el Roumi (Arabic)

Majida el Roumi (Arabic: ماجدة الرومي‎) is one of the most famous Arabic singers of the modern day. She was born in Kfarshima, Lebanon, on December 13, 1956. Her song Kalimat (words) is her trademark song. This song is sung so elegently and the meaning of the lyrics is also so romantic. Kalimat is written by the legendary Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani. Kalimat, which was reelased in 1991 was her first pan-Arab hit.


ماجدة الرومي – كلمات (Majida el-Roumi – Words)
يُسمعني.. حـينَ يراقصُني
Yosmi3oni 7ina yoraqisoni
He tells me,When he dances with me

كلماتٍ ليست كالكلمات
Kalimatin laisat kal-kalimat
Words that aren’t like words

يأخذني من تحـتِ ذراعي
Ya2khothoni min ta7ti thira3i
He takes me underneath my arm

يزرعني في إحدى الغيمات
Yazra3oni fi a7dal ghaimat
And plants me in a cloud

والمطـرُ الأسـودُ في عيني
Wal-matarol aswado fi 3aini
And the black rain in my eye

يتساقـطُ زخاتٍ.. زخات
Yatasaqato zakhatin zakhat
Pours down… pours

يحملـني معـهُ.. يحملـني
Ya7miloni ma3aho ya7miloni
He carries me with him… he carries me

لمسـاءٍ ورديِ الشُـرفـات
Li masa2in wardi shorofat
To a night on a rose-filled terrace

وأنا.. كالطفلـةِ في يـدهِ
Wa ana kal-tiflati fi yadihi
And I am like a child in his hand

كالريشةِ تحملها النسمـات
Kal-rishati ta7milohal nasamat
Like a feather carried on the breeze

يهديني شمسـاً.. يهـديني صيفاً
Yohdini shamsan ..yohdini saifan
He gives me a sun… he gives me a summer

وقطيـعَ سنونوَّات
Wa qate3a snownowat
and a flock of swallows

يخـبرني.. أني تحفتـهُ
Yokhbironi anni to7fatoho
He tells me… that I am his masterpiece

وأساوي آلافَ النجمات
Wa osawi alafa najmat
And I am equal to thousands of stars

Ùˆ بأنـي كنـزٌ… وبأني
Wa bi anni kanzon wa bi anni
And that I am a treasure… and that I am

أجملُ ما شاهدَ من لوحات
Ajmalo ma shahada min law7at
More beautiful than any painting he’d ever seen

كلمات كلمات كلمات
Kalimat kalimat kalimat
Words words words

يروي أشيـاءَ تدوخـني
Yarwi ashya2a todawikhoni
He tells me things that make me giddy

تنسيني المرقصَ والخطوات
Tonseni al-marqasa wal-khatawat
That make me forget the dance hall and the steps

كلماتٍ تقلـبُ تاريخي
Kalimatin taqlibo tarekhi
Words that upturn my history

تجعلني امرأةً في لحظـات
Taj3aloni imra2atan fi la7athat
That make me a woman in seconds

يبني لي قصـراً من وهـمٍ
Yabnili qasran min wahmin
He’s builds me a castle of illusion

لا أسكنُ فيهِ سوى لحظات
La askono fihi siwa la7athat
I don’t live in it except for a few moments

وأعودُ.. أعودُ لطـاولـتي
Wa a3oudo li tawilati
And I return, I return to my table

لا شيءَ معي.. إلا كلماتْ
La shai2a ma3i illa kalimat
With nothing with me… except words

كلماتٍ ليست كالكلمات
Kalimatin laisat kal-kalimat
Words that aren’t like words



My All Time Favourite International Songs (6): “Bitlomoni Leih” by Abdel Halim Hafiz (Arabic)

The song Bitlomoni Leih (Why do you blame me?) by Abdel Halim Hafiz is a breathtakingly romantic song. He is considered to be one of the Great Four of Arabic music (along with Umm Kuthum, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, and Farid Al Attrach). is known as el-Andaleeb el-Asmar (The Great Dark-Skinned Nightingale, Arabic: العندليب الأسمر‎). His music is still played daily throughout the Arab World.  His way of singing, the popularity of his songs and his behavior made him a role model for almost every modern Arab singer.Halim is still remembered in the hearts of many people, even years after his death. The two composers Mohamed Abdel Wahab and Mohamed Al-Mougy both said, “Halim is the smartest person I ever knew”. Mohammed Al-Mougy also added, “Halim is very original in all of his work”. Abdel Halim died of liver failure on March 30, 1977 (few months before his 48th birthday) while undergoing treatment for Bilharzia in King’s College Hospital, London. His death brought sadness and shock waves to the entire Arab world as a result, His funeral (in Cairo) was attended by millions of people – more than any funeral in Middle East history other than that of President Gamal Abdel Nasser. He had many more dreams and goals that he wanted to achieve and surpass and could have, but his early death stopped him.

Also some people committed suicide once they heard Halim has died. It is reported that at least four women has committed suicide by jumping off the balcony during his huge funeral march. He was buried in Al Rifa’i Mosque (مسجد الرفاعي) in Cairo. Abdel Halim Hafez’s song Khosara (خسارة) received notice in the Western world in 1999 when producer Timberland used elements from it for Jay Z’s recording ” Big Pimpin.” Two complete bars from “Khosara” were rerecorded, not sampled, and used without permission from the song’s producer and copyright holder, Magdi el-Amroussi. Jay-Z’s use of an interpolation, rather than an actual sample, may allow him to avoid paying royalties for the use of the song. Over 300 of his songs were recorded and he starred in sixteen classic films, including “Dalilah” (دليله), which was the Middle East’s first color motion picture.

Translation of this song:

Part 1
بتلوموني ليه .. بتلوموني ليه
Bitlimoni leih? Bitlimoni leih?
How can you blame me? How can you blame me?
لو شفتم عينيه .. حلوين قد إيه
Law shoftom eineih… hilween add eih.
If you saw her eyes, and how beautiful they are,
ح تقولوا إنشغالي وسهد الليالي
Hat qolo inshighali wa sohd el layali.
You would say my captivation and my restlessness,
مش كتير عليه… ليه بتلوموني
Mosh kiteer aleih… leih bitlimoni?
Are not too much for her… how can you blame me?
Part 2
أسير الحبايب يا قلبي يا دايب
Aseer el habayeb, ya albi ya dayib.
I am the captive of my beloved, oh my weak heart.
في موجة عبير من الشعر الحرير
Fi mogeit aabeer min shaar el hareer.
I am trapped within the aroma of her soft hair.
ع الخدود يهفهف ويرجع يطير
Aal khidood yehafhaf… we yerga yiteer.
Which brushes against her cheeks, and then flows in the wind.
والناس بيلوموني وأعمل إيه يا قلبي
Wel nas bey limoni we aamil eih ya albi?
And everyone blames me and what can I do, oh my heart?
عايزين يحرموني منه ليه يا قلبي
Ayzeen yehremoni mino leih ya albi?
They want to deprive me of her, but why oh my heart?
Part 3
من يوم حبه ما لمس قلبي
Min yom hobo ma lamas albi,
From the day her love touched my heart,
فتح الباب للشوق يلعب بي
Fatah el bab lel shoq yelaab be.
She opened the gates of passion to overcome me.
وهو حبيبي وهو نصيبي
We howa habibi. we howa nasibi,
And she is my darling, and she is my fate.
وهو النور لعينيه وقلبي
We howa el nour le einaya we albi.
And she is the light for my eyes and my heart.
وهو شبابي وهو صحابي
We howa shababi, we howa sahabi.
And she is my youth, and she is my friend.
وهو قرايبي وكل حبايبي
We howa qaribi wa kol habaybi.
And she is my family and everything that I love.
والناس بيلوموني وأعمل إيه يا قلبي
Wel nas bey limoni we aamil eih ya albi?
And everyone blames me and what can I do, oh my heart?
عايزين يحرموني منه ليه يا قلبي
Ayzeen yehremoni mino leih ya albi?
They want to deprive me of her, but why oh my heart?