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From the Site

Arab Song Translations

By Lennie Clark

Lennie

Haad Yensa Alboo (First Part)
(Could Someone Forget His Own Heart?)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the song "Haad Yensa Alboo", which was sung by George Wassouf. Also included is a transliteration of the Arabic lyrics into the Roman alphabet so you can sing along if you like.

This song originally appeared on a CD titled Laile El Ashkin Laile El Ashkin. Although George Wassouf is a Lebanese singer, this song was written using the Egyptian dialect of Arabic. Wassouf is famously known in the Arab world as the "Sultan Al Tarab" which means "Emperor of Tarab" and is one of the most successful and famous singers in the Middle Eastern region. [The word tarab refers to the ecstasy a singer can achieve, the spell he can cast over his audience.] He started singing very early when he was around 12 years old, and reached this highest stage by his devotion, dedication, and love for his fans and his music. His style is the romantic song style.

In this song, the singer is supposed to be talking to his love. It seems that she has accused him of forgetting about her or not caring for her any more. The singer doesn't explicitly say that in the song, but it's clearly implied, because the singer is trying to tell her that he can't forget her or stop thinking about her, and that it is really she who has the full control of his heart. So in this song, the singer is reassuring his girlfriend that he loves her as deeply as ever.

 

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Lyrics

Arabic Lyrics

English Translation

Haad YENsa Alboo, haad YENsa OMroo? Could someone forget his own heart, could someone forget his own life?
Meen RHAY-rak a HABoo? W'aBaa taaht AMroo? Who else but you could I love? And stay under her command?
   
SHAree W'mish ha'Khabee d'Ana BAYT W'ALbee I want you and I will not hide it. I have always loved you from my heart.
D'Ana ha BAYT W'ALbee m'abeeENsash a BAYboo I have always loved you from my heart, and my heart will never forget its lover.

The singer is asking his lover this as a rhetorical question, "Could someone forget his own heart?" Because the heart is so important, it is used to represent romance in both English and Arabic. Here, it is a metaphor for his girlfriend; she is his heart. Another rhetorical question is, "Could someone forget his age?" His "age" is literally a number that represents his whole life span, so metaphorically he is calling her his life by asking, "Could anyone forget his own life?"

When the singer asks, "And stay under her command?" he means, "Who else but you could have control of my heart?"

 

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Acknowledgements

About the Translation

This wonderful translation first appeared in a message which Osama el-Gohary posted to the Middle East Dance listserv, a now-defunct e-mail based forum on the Internet for dancers, musicians, and others interested in Middle Eastern cultural arts. It is reprinted here with Osama's gracious permission.

About the Translator

Mr.Osama el-Gohary is an Egyptian musician and composer who lives in the Houston, Texas area. He plays piano, keyboards, and accordion. He plays traditional Middle Eastern music in a modern style.

Other articles on this web site by Osama el-Gohary include:

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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