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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?

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