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My All Time Favourite International Songs (7): “Didi” by Khaled (Arabic)

“Didi” is one of the most famous songs of the Algerian singer Khalid. Khaled Hadj Ibrahim (Arabic: خالد حاج ابراهيم, born 29 February 1960), better known as Khaled, is a raï singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born in Sidi El Houari in Oran Province of Algeria. He began recording in his early teens under the name Cheb Khaled (Arabic for “Young man Khaled”) and has become the most internationally famous Algerian singer in the Arab Worldand across many continents. His popularity has earned him the unofficial title “King of Raï”.

Did is his signature song and became extremely popular in the Arabic-speaking countries and also in several other countries, including Indiaand Pakistan. The song was used also used in a Bollywoodfilm titled Shreeman Aashiq. He also performed the song “Didi” at the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World cup.

Translation of the lyrics of Didi

ena bhar aaliya ou entia la
(I’m burning in the fire of love but you’re not)
ma ndeerik ba’eeda ma nebki aalik
(I will not make you away from me so I don’t cry later i.e. he wants to be always close from her)
la zhar la memoon la aargoob zine
(but I just have a bad luck and destiny)
CHORUS:
didi, didi, didi, didi, zin di wah
(take take, take take, take take, take take the beautiful girl away)
didi wah, didi, didi di hazzine daaayyeeeah
(take take, take take, take take take this beautiful girl away)
ma ndeerik ba’eeda ma nebki aalik
(I will not make you away from me so I don’t cry later)
ma ndeerik ba’eeda ma nsaksi aalik
(I will not make you away from me so I don’t ask about you later i.e. because she’ll always be close from him he’ll know everything about her and won’t need to ask people about her)
la zhar la memoon la aargoob zine
(but I just have bad luck and destiny)
[CHORUS]
la baadouk aali l’jbal l’ghamqa
(even if they take you to the top of the highest mountain…)
derna l’melqa fil’jbal l’ghamqa
(I will still come to see you)
hzamt l’meryoula aala men darga?
(This literally means “who doesn’t know her belt?”. It’s a metaphor that means “everybody knows her” or possibly means that she’s known well by other men because she always hangs in bars, or maybe he’s just saying “just like a woman that hangs in bars is known very well to other men, it’s also very clear how I feel towards you (e.g. I love you)”. This last one makes more sense to me and it’s probably what Khaled is trying to say)
[CHORUS]
la zhar la memoon la aargoob zain
(I have a bad luck and destiny)
la zhar la memoon la qassam zain
(I have a bad luck and destiny)
qees el-shebka fil’bhar ou ebki aal’zhar
(drop the fishing net in the sea and cry on the bad luck — this is another metaphor, he’s describing his bad luck just like a fisherman who drops his fishing net in the sea and gets no fish)
[CHORUS]
hzamt l’meryoula aala men darga?
(who doesn’t knokw her belt? (explained above)
rofd ahta ya moul el-taxi
(he’s talking to the taxi driver but I’m not sure what he means by “rofd ahta”)
hzamt l’meryoula khait spylo
(her belt is made of “spylo”)

[CHORUS]

la zhar la memoon la aargoob zain
(I have a bad luck and destiny)
la zhar la memoon la qassam zine
(I have a bad luck and destiny)
qees el-shebka fil’bhar ou ebki aal’zhar
(drop the fishing net in the sea and cry on the bad luck)

[CHORUS]

aynik ki ayni aynik naymeen
(your eyes are sleepy — he’s describing her eyes, he says that they’re not wide open, they’re opened a little bit only. This is a sign of beauty (for him at least)
aynik ki ayni aynik mbalgeen
(your eyes are nice)
aynik ki ayni aynik shabbeen
(your eyes are beautiful)
[CHORUS]
derna el-melqa fil’jbal l’ghamqa
(I’ll come to see even if you’re on the top of the highest mountain)
derna el-melqa aand el-soosi jarha
(or I’ll come to see you in the neighborhood (i.e. wherever she is, he’ll do anything to see her)
rofd ahta aa moul el-taxi
(he’s talking to the taxi driver, but again, I don’t know what he means by “rofd ahta”)

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