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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Middle Eastern Song of the Day

I love Middle Eastern music.  It’s so beautiful, melodic, and somehow sounds ancient.  Although most of what I like is probably far from traditional and very modernized.
I’ve gotten to where that’s almost all I listen to.  Usually I hear a song I like in class and ask Miss K about it.  That’s how I discovered singers Wael Kfoury and Ragheb Alama, my favorites.  The songs I like best are the romantic ballads. 
Part of the appeal is the sound of the Arabic language.  Even if I can’t understand the words, the beauty of the language is enough.  I love languages.  When I went to Brazil, I fell in love with Portuguese.  Like Rio de Janeiro, it was exotic and lush and strange.  All the Romance languages are beautiful:  Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese.  I never thought of Arabic as being pleasant to listen to until I heard it sung.  It is as exotic and strange and beautiful in its own way as the Romance languages.  You don’t need to know the words to appreciate it. 
In fact, one of my favorite Arabic songs is entitled “Not With Words” (“Mosh bil Kalam”).  I couldn’t find this song on iTunes, but part of it is translated as follows: 
Not with words
Can you capture my eyes and heart.
Oh, if it were up to words…
There were too many words before your love.
Oh, not with words--
They cannot capture my eyes and my heart
And make me love you.

Sigh.  So romantic. 
I’m going to try to post a YouTube video of another song by Ragheb Alama, “Naseeny El Donia.”  The translation is just OK – it never seems possible to capture the meaning of a song (or book or poem, for that matter) from another language.  And the video is a bit cheesy.  What I like is the sound of the music and language.  Sometimes it’s better to just close your eyes and listen.
Here goes.  I think you click on the URL and it should bring up the video. 

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Sut7TTT1EvE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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