May 12, 2009

"City of Love" - A Love and War Song.

Ishtar, Inanna, the Goddess of Love and War. When combined, She gives birth to a painful beauty like in this song - Medinat Al-Hob,City of Love. Painfully beautiful and sad, in its lyrics, musical composition and rendition by the Iraqi singer Kazem Al-Saher.

You might have noticed already, I hardly post Iraqi music and songs, except on rare occasions. Two reasons for my silence on that front.

First Iraqi music and songs touch me so deeply, that it is so hard for me to listen to without breaking down in tears...so naturally I recoil from the pain.

Secondly, most of the new post-Occupation singers on the Iraqi scene, I find to be very tacky and mediocre. I keep wondering where did these specimen emerge from? We call them in Iraq - Efrazat al Ehteelal, meaning the Discharge from the Occupation.

Tonight I decided not to recoil from the raw pain, so I took the time to translate the lyrics. I found one translation online which I was not too happy with, but I did borrow some of the translated lines, changed some and added my own. I wanted the non-Arabic reader to get a glimpse into the Iraqi soul, through a song.




Oh, City of Love
I walk in your streets
and see Love carried in my palms and in shrouded coffins,
pour your pain on my body, as you will
there are no witnesses to the torture
of my jailers.

I returned home,
walking with the aches of fiery nostalgia
my steps crushed and guided by my deprivation

Is there anyone here ?
I am at the door waiting,
am not carrying a bouquet of flowers,
nothing but a necklace of my grief.

The reply came...
She's gone, gone, gone, gone.
She's gone with the wind
sober up, pampered lover
She's a cup now in someone else hands,
belonging to another lover...

She's gone.

My eyes,
my lips
my pulse
my imagination
my blood
all search for Her in my embrace...

They turned everything upside down
and clamored around Her picture,
protesting like a jailed nation
We want Her back today
She's our candle
and our Beloved.
No eating
No sleeping
nothing but constant rebellion
to get Her back.

Oh you raging nation
my flesh and emotions
Enough reproach
as the flagellating self
has bloodied me.
Enough reproach,
enough,
as the flagellating self
has bloodied me.

I slapped my face, wondering
I slapped my face, wondering
is that really me ?
Oh Time,
is it really me ?
is it me ?


The loss of my Beloved has humiliated me
muted and blinded me

After the Separation,
after the Separation
I see Patience attending my funeral
at the wake of dawn,
I stumble like a drunkard...

Night frightens me
and memories torment me
night frightens me
memories torment me
and sleeplessness overburdened
my mind and eyes.

I slapped my face, wondering
I slapped my face, wondering
Oh time is that really me
is it really me ?
is it me ?

The loss of my Beloved has humiliated me
muted and blinded me...


Singer : Kazem Al-Saher.
Music by : Fadhel Faleh
Lyrics : Kareem Al-Iraqi
Youtube: by Baghdadi 12