Zajal Lyrics

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With the exception of The Stars of Country Music Greet the Spring, and Bima which is a gazhal in Farsi I read in Sufi bookstore, the lyrics are from medieval Andalusia that I encountered in old Diwan collections in libraries in Spain and New York.

Krav  (Battle) קְרָב
(by Samuel ha Nagid)

Krav Dome Berosho Leyefeyfiya
Asher Kol Eesh Lesachek Ba Ye-ave
Vesofo Kazkena Hameusa
Asher Kol Shochara Yivke Veyidve

Translated by Ana Nimouz:

At the start, a battle is like a very beautiful girl
with whom every man longs to play
And when the battle is over it is like a repulsive old hag
And all her suitors mourn cry and ache.

Rendered in modern Hebrew:

Beethila Krav Dome Le-eesha Yafa
Shkol Ehad Haya Rotze Ba Ve-eeta Lesahek
Vekol Mee Shetamach Ba Mitabel Veboche.

Water and Fire  ماء ونار
(by Al-A Ma At Tutili)
Arabic transcribed by Sigal Trattner and Ray Scheindlin

Bi’sa la-‘mri ma arada l-‘adh ul
‘Umrun qairun wa-‘ina’ un tawil
Ya zafaratin nataqat ‘an ‘alil
Waya dumu’ an qad asabat masil

Dam-un safuhun wa-dulu’ un hirar
Ma’un wa-nar
Ma-ajtam a illa li-amrin kubar

Ya Ka’batan hajjat ilay ha l-qulab
Bayama hawn da’in wa shawqin munib
Da’wata awuqhin ilay ha munib
Lubbayka! La’alwi li-qawl l-raqib

“Meu l-habib enfermo de meu amar
Que no ha d’estar?
Non ves a mibe que s’ha de no llegar?”

(translated from Arabic by Ana Nimouz)

Stanza 2 and 3
In my life, it's hard to hear their (censorious) words
for life is short and love’s labors are long
(I sing) to the cries that betray the one who loves
and for the tears that flow like a stream.

Stanza 1
Flowing tears and a burning chest
water and fire
if you can't be together,
live for those moments you can

Stanza 5 and 6
All hearts are wandering to Kaba.
I am torn by the passion that calls to all who believe in love

you called the sinner to come back to you.
Here I am! Pay attention to me!! Not to the spy’s words

my lover is sick for loving me
and why wouldn’t he be?
can you see he can’t be near me?”

Beautiful Boy  אֱהִי כֹפֶר לְעֹפֶר קָם בְּלַיִל
(by Shmuel Hanagid)
translated by Ray Scheindlin and Sigal Trattner
Ehi Kofer Tzvi Hefer Briti
Veahavato Betoch Libi Shmura
Asher Amar Lasahar Bealoto
"Hatireh Et Meor Panay Vatera"
Umareh Halevana Baafela
Kevareket Bechaf Alma Shchora

I will offer my life to the gazelle who woke at night,
to the sound of viols and melodious harps.
who saw a cup in my hand and said
“Drink from between my lips grapes’ blood!”
And the moon like a C was inscribed on
Dawn robes in golden water

Ehee Kofer Laofer Kam Balayil
Lekol Kinor Veugavim Meytivim
Asher Ra-ah Beyadi Kos Veamar
"Shte meebeyn Sfatay Dam Anavim"
Veyareach Kmo Yod Nichteva Al
Ksut Sachar Bemeymey Hazehavim

I will offer my life to the gazelle who violated my alliance,
And I guard his love in my heart,
he said to the rising moon
"When you see my radiant face- will you be afraid?"
and in the dark, the sight of the moon
was like an emerald stone in the palm of a black girl.

Haldara thabyu el-Hema (If)  هل درى ظبيُ الحمى أن قد حمى 
(by Ibn Sahl)

Haldara thabyu elhema, An Kad Hama
Kalba Sabin Chalahu, An Maknisi

Fahawa Fee Haren, Wachafkin Mitlama
Laebath Reeyachu, Alsabaa Bilkabsi

Ma Likalbi Filhawa, Thambin Seewa
Minkum Elchusnu, Wamin Awnee Elnathar.

(translated from Arabic by Ana Nimouz)

stanza 1
Does the little fawn from Al-Hima know that
he kindled his lover’s heart where he dwelled?

stanza 2
So that is why his love is burning and pounding
like the flame teased by the east wind.

stanza 4
Was my heart a sinner because I was in love?
all of the beauty comes from you, and the sparkle comes from my eyes.

B-Abi (My Father)   بأبي ءلق 
(By Al-Qazzaz)

B-abi Ee-lku
Bil-nafsi Aliku

Hawaytu Hilalan Fil-husni Farida
A-aara El-razala Al-hadan waggida

Zanahu Rashku
Wa-ilkadu Rashiku

Badrun Yatharalab Bilsachri Almubini.
Etharun Muakrab Ala Yasmini

Falahu Mashku
Wa-ilkalbu Mashuku

Wataha Gamalan Lam Yanbor Mazida
Badrun Yatallala Fi-chusni Aatidali.
(translated from Farsi by Ana Nimouz

II would pay a ransom with my father the most precious property my soul holds

I loved a new moon so special and unique in its beauty
He loaned his sparkle and thin neck from the deer

blessing adorn him
his figure was graceful

a full moon that is captivating with his recognized charm.
His cheeks directed towards the ground, curving on the jasmine

his figure is tall and attractive
from now on my heart is enslaved to passion

He asks (the moon) not to grow old
a full moon that appears with is fullness glory, proud of his beauty.

Raqib (The Spy)   ראקיב
(by Moshe ibn Ezra, also known as Abu Harun Musa, 1060-1139, Granada)
Ke adame filiolo alieno del amibe,
Ke adame filiolo alieno del amibe,
keredlo de mi betare su a raqibe!

Lo eshkach yemey cheldee
Leyl shachvo eley tzeedee
Al arsee u-marvadee
Ad boker neshakanee ve-asses peev heneekanee

(translated from Romance (early Spanish) by James DenBoer, from Hebrew by Ray Scheindlin and Sigal Trattner)

I loved a sweet boy from another clan, and he loved me
but his chaperone (spy) wants to keep us apart!
Lo eshkach yemey cheldee
Never will I forget the night
The night he lay beside me
Upon my bed and carpet -
Until morning’s light he kissed me,
With his mouth’s nectar suckled me

Rendered in modern Spanish:
Amé a un hijito ajeno y él a mi
lo quiere apartar de mi su espía!

Bi-Moa (Without Myself)  بي ما
by Jalal Ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273)

Mora safari fitad bi-moa
Onje delema goshad bi-moa
Onma-ch-ke zema nehan hami shud.

Ru-ch-ber ru-che-ma nehad bi-moa.
Chun-dar rameduuz Jan bedawdim
Mora kame-ouh bizad bi-moa.

Mow-eem hami shemas bi-moa
Mow-eem hami she-shad bi-moa.

Mora makonid yad hargezz
Ma-chod hastym yad bi-moa.

Bi-moa shode eem shad gu-yim
Eyma kehami-shehbad bi-moa.

darha hame baste bud barma
Bokshud churah-tab bi-moa.

Mow-eem zenidu bad rehide
Az-ta-aatu az fassad bi-moa.

(Translated from Farsi by AnnaT)

Devoid of self I traveled to a place
There, in the absence of I, joy filled my heart.

Without I, his obscured face, like the moon
Came forth and kissed my cheek.

In longing for my love I perished
And from that longing, birth was given to me.

I am eternally drunk, without wine.
My joy is endless, without I.

Do not remember me, ever.
For I am memory itself, without I.

I am ecstatic without myself, so I say
O me, may you always be without I.

All the doors were shut to me, and
All opened when he let me in, without I.

Me, I am the one, free of good and evil,
Free from obedience and corruption, without I.

For bookings and so on, contact Dave Soldier