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

Sababean el-Shay
(O Tea Pourers)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular song "Ya Sabbabean Elshaay", which was sung by the Lebanese singer Elaine Khalaf. Also included is a transliteration of the Arabic lyrics into the Roman alphabet so you can sing along if you like.

Other spellings for the song title include "Sababeen El Shay", and sometimes the singer's name is spelled "Eline Khalef".

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

Arabic Lyrics

English Translation

Al-low amaan ya doktoar. Jisme tiklait haraka-toe. He said "amaan" o’ doctor. My body is heavy to move around.
Al-low amaan ya doktoar. Jisme tiklait haraka-toe. He said "amaa"n o’ doctor. My body is heavy to move around.
   
A’andak dawa iytawail a’imri iw-aalbi tiaa-waa da-aatoa. Do you have medicine that will make my life long and strengthen my heart beats?
A’andak dawa iytawail a’imri iw-aalbi tiaa-waa da-aatoa. Do you have medicine that will make my life long and strengthen my heart beats?
   
Al-low ibtia’shaaa, al-low laaa. He asked him, “Do you fall in love?” He answered, “No.”
Al-low ibtis-har, al-low laaa. He asked him, “Do you stay awake all night?” He answered, “No.”
Al-low ibtia’shaaa, al-low laaa. He asked him, “Do you fall in love?” He answered, “No.”
Al-low ibtis-har, al-low laaa. He asked him, “Do you stay awake all night?” He answered, “No.”
   
Al-low il-ma ibyia’shaaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo ballah hayatow. He told him that he who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, in the name of god, why is he living?
Ya sabbabean elshaay, zeido halatoah, yalli ma ibyia’shaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo hayatow. O’ tea pourers, add more sweetener to it. He who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, why is he living?
Ya sabbabean elshaay, zeido halatoah, yalli ma ibyia’shaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo hayatow. O’ tea pourers, add more sweetener to it. He who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, why is he living?
Iw ya sabbabean elshaay, zeido halatoah, yalli ma ibyia’shaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo hayatow. And o’ tea pourers, add more sweetener to it. He who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, why is he living?
   
Ya ih-baabi iw-khillani, khalouni farhaani. Khallou boukra laboukra, wallah il-a’omr faani. O’ my dear ones and friends, leave me happy. Leave tomorrow to tomorrow. Life has an end to it.
Ya ih-baabi iw-khillani, khalouni farhaani. Khallou boukra laboukra, wallah il-a’omr faani. O’ my dear ones and friends, leave me happy. Leave tomorrow to tomorrow. Life has an end to it.
   
La ghanni a’alayli, wiss-har hatta layli. I will sing for my night and be awake all my night.
La ghanni a’alayli, wiss-har hatta layli. I will sing for my night and be awake all my night.
Iy-tearo ijnahaatow. His wings will fly away.
Iy-tearo ijnahaatow. His wings will fly away.
   
Ya sabbabean elshaay, zeido halatoah, yalli ma ibyia’shaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo hayatow. O’ tea pourers, add more sweetener to it. He who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, why is he living?
Ya sabbabean elshaay, zeido halatoah, yalli ma ibyia’shaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo hayatow. O’ tea pourers, add more sweetener to it. He who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, why is he living?
Ya, ya sabbabean elshaay, zeido halatoah, yalli ma ibyia’shaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo hayatow. Oh, o’ tea pourers, add more sweetener to it. He who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, why is he living?
   
Willi aalbo a’alayyi, iw-a’am beeyfakkair fiyyih, iw-beyhib iysaharni iw-beyreed iy-dhaharni. And he whose heart is concerned about me, and always thinks about me and loves to keep me awake all night; he wants to take me out.
Willi aalbo a’alayyi, iw-a’am beeyfakkair fiyyih, iw-beyhib iysaharni iw-beyreed iy-dhaharni. And he whose heart is concerned about me, and always thinks about me and loves to keep me awake all night; he wants to take me out.
Ow-yaakhidni, iw-iy-jeebni, iw-ilwahdi ma-iysibni. And he takes me out and brings me back and does not leave me alone.
Yaakhidni, iw-iy-jeebni, iw-ilwahdi ma-iysibni. He takes me out and brings me back and does not leave me alone.
Tislam diyyatow, tislam diyyatow. God save his hands, save his hands.
   
Ya sabbabean elshaay, zeido halatoah, yalli ma ibyia’shaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo hayatow. O’ tea pourers, add more sweetener to it. He who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, why is he living?
Iw ya sabbabean elshaay, zeido halatoah, yalli ma ibyia’shaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo hayatow. And o’ tea pourers, add more sweetener to it. He who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, why is he living?
Yaaa sabbabean elshaay, zeido halatoah, yalli ma ibyia’shaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo hayatow. Ohhh tea pourers, add more sweetener to it. He who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, why is he living?
   
Al-low amaan ya doktoar. Jisme tiklait haraka-toe. He said "amaan" o’ doctor. My body is heavy to move around.
Al-low amaan ya doktoar. Jisme tiklait haraka-toe. He said "amaa"n o’ doctor. My body is heavy to move around.
   
A’andak dawa iytawail a’imri iw-aalbi tiaa-waa da-aatoa. Do you have medicine that will make my life long and strengthen my heart beats?
A’andak dawa iytawail a’imri iw-aalbi tiaa-waa da-aatoa. Do you have medicine that will make my life long and strengthen my heart beats?
   
Al-low ibtia’shaaa, al-low laaa. He asked him, “Do you fall in love?” He answered, “No.”
Al-low ibtis-har, al-low laaa. He asked him, “Do you stay awake all night?” He answered, “No.”
Al-low ibtia’shaaa, al-low laaa. He asked him, “Do you fall in love?” He answered, “No.”
Al-low ibtis-har, al-low laaa. He asked him, “Do you stay awake all night?” He answered, “No.”
   
Al-low il-ma ibyia’shaaa wi-ibyis-har, la shoo ballah hayatow. He told him that he who does not fall in love and stay awake all night long, in the name of god, why is he living?
La shoo balla hayatoe, la shoo  hayatoeeeeh. In the name of God, why is he living? What is he living for?

 

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About the Translator

More than 100 song translations that appear on this web site, including this one, were created by Dr. Tahseen Alkoudsi. Together with his wife Kathe, Tahseen owned an import business in Lawrence, Kansas known as Cartouche.

Dr. Alkoudsi's imports business was his second career. His first career was in the service of the United Nations. Born in Damascus, Syria, he came to the U.S. for his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics, and worked in San Francisco. He joined the United Nations in Yemen, and worked in Saudi Arabia. He then joined the UNESCO Regonal Office for Arab States. He visited most of the Arab States in the course of his work, responsible for introducing computer sciences into educational facilities. For a time, he was stationed in Cairo, Egypt. He retired from that work in 1995.

Sadly, Tahseen died on Sunday, October 15, 2006. See this link for his obituary.

To me, Tahseen was so much more than a contributor to my web site. Even though we lived far apart, I saw Tahseen and Kathe several times over the years. I always appreciated their warmth and generosity. I first "met" Tahseen online back in 1997 on the med-dance list on the Internet, where he periodically posted messages. I knew he was in Lawrence, Kansas, so when a business trip arose requiring me to travel to the Kansas City area, I emailed him to say I'd be in the neighborhood. He and Kathe came to Kansas City for an evening get-together at Tasso's restaurant, and they invited several local dancers to join us. I saw them on follow-up visits to Kansas City. They vended at Rakkasah for several years, and it was always a pleasure to greet them there in the anteroom off to the left of the main stage. I also enjoyed encountering them in Egypt at the Ahlan wa Sahlan festival.

Tahseen will be missed by many.

Tahseen Alkoudsi

 

 

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