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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

From the Site

Arab Song Translations

By Lennie Clark

Lennie

From Lennie Clark's Web Site:

Alli Garra
(What Happened to Me)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the song "Alli Garra". It was originally recorded in the 1950's or 1960's by Oulaya al-Tunisiya, whose name is sometimes spelled as Alia la Tunisiya. This translation is based on the version recorded by Asalah Nasri and Saber el Reba. Others who have recorded it include Wael Jassar and Adam.

Another spelling for the song title is "3ali Garra".

Song lyrics are provided for educational purposes. If you like the song, please purchase either the album or a download from an authorized source.

 

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Lyrics

Notes by Lennie Clark:

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.

 

In the transliteration below, a # is used to signify where a beat in the music occurs.

Arabic Lyrics

English Translation

# 3alii garrah min marrasiilak 3alii garrah (another measure, #) What happened to me, through a letter (or message) what happened to me
Bass lamma tiigii wa ana aHkiilak 3ali garrah (another measure #) When you come to me I tell you what happened to me.
# 3alii garrah min marrasiilak 3alii garrah (another measure, #) What happened to me, through a letter (or message) what happened to me
Bass lamma tiigii wa ana aHkiilak 3ali garrah (another measure #) When you come to me I tell you what happened to me.
   

Baladi Rhythm Section

Baladi Rhythm Section

Wimsa de mu-u-w3aii fi mandiilak 3alii gara # - - - # I wipe my tears in your handkerchief (I tell you) what happened to me.
bass lamma tiigii w ana aH-kiilak 3alii gara # - - - # When you come to me I tell you what happened to me
Wimsa de mu-u-w3aii fi mandiilak 3alii gara # - - - # I wipe my tears in your handkerchief (I tell you) what happened to me.
bass lamma tiigii w ana aH-kiilak 3alii gara # - - - # When you come to me I tell you what happened to me
Wimsa de mu-u-w3aii fi mandiilak 3alii gara # - - - # I wipe my tears in your handkerchief (I tell you) what happened to me.
bass lamma tiigii w ana aH-kiilak 3alii gara # - - - # When you come to me I tell you what happened to me
   

Wahda Kebeer Rhythm Section

Wahda Kebeer Rhythm Section

3a-----------lii-----------ga - - - - - ------ Aa------------------------aaaa What happened to me
   

Instrumental Section in Baladi Rhythm

Instrumental Section in Baladi Rhythm

   

Wahda Kebeer Rhythm Section

Wahda Kebeer Rhythm Section

(This section can be repeated anywhere from 2 to 4 times.) (This section can be repeated anywhere from 2 to 4 times.)
# mitgarra biiiiin eH-namitgarrabiiiiin a - - - -ah We are far away from each other.
Garrah saneeeen waH-nah, garrah saneeeee eeeeeen Years of hurt, we are together
   
La hadi 'aa--aa--aal ana khabbar yafar-Haa-naa # No one tells me good news
Wa ha hadii gaaaaaaab minnaa kalima yaraH-na, ya raH nah # And no one gives us even a word of comfort
   

Baladi Rhythm Section

Baladi Rhythm Section

bass lamma tiigii w ana aH-kiilak 3alii gara # - - - # When you come to me I tell you what happened to me
Wimsa de mu-u-w3aii fi mandiilak 3alii gara # - - - # I wipe my tears in your handkerchief (I tell you) what happened to me.
   

Wahda Kebeer Rhythm Section

Wahda Kebeer Rhythm Section

alli gaaaaara, aa-aaa aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-ah! # What happened to me
   
(This section can be repeated anywhere from 2 to 4 times.) (This section can be repeated anywhere from 2 to 4 times.)
# Ya leilii aaaaa- - - aaaaaaaaaah O night, aaaaa - - - aaaaaaaaaah
# Ya gar-Hii aaaaa- - -aaaaaaaaaah Oh my pain [wound], aaaaaaaaaah
   
Il-hob-bii dawibnah # Love melted us together, absorbed us
tubnah tawih-nah # We repented [as if to God] and separated
Il-hob-bii dawibnah # Love melted us together, absorbed us
tubnah tawih-nah # We repented [as if to God] and separated
   
Ya leili ahhhhhh O my night, ahhhhhh
   

Baladi Rhythm Section

Baladi Rhythm Section

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 The tears in the handkerchief are a sign

 

The rest of the song repeats some of the sections given above.

 

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Where to Get Recordings of this Song

Alli Garra CD Cover

 

Artist: Asala and Saber
CD Title: Alli Garra

 

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Translations of
Asala Nasri's Songs on This Site

Other translations of songs performed by Asala Nasri on this web site include:

 

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Acknowledgements

About the Source

This article originally appeared on Lennie Clark's web site, "Arabic Song Translations." Lennie created this web site in 2002 as a response to discussion on the Internet regarding incidents of dancers who performed inappropriate sensual dances to religious music. Lennie's web site resided on a free web hosting service known as Geocities.

When the planned October 2009 closure of the Geocities web hosting service was announced, Lennie and Shira agreed to move the contents of Lennie's site to Shira.net. To explore all the articles and song translations that once appeared on Lennie's Geocities site, visit Lennie's portal page here on Shira.net.

Lennie Clark

 

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