The first gay love song of the Arab pop?

مشروع ليلى Mashrou Leila (Night Project or Leila’s Project, if Leila is a girl-name) is a pop band formed in Beirut in 2008  that has been able to surprise us by their good songs and for the fact they exercice without any kind of complex, their right to sing about what they want at any time.

One of the issues that touch on their first album is the love story between two men. The song in question is called شم الياسمين Smell the Jasmine and plays with the ambiguity of the traditional Arabic poetry, in which the authors make use of male pronouns to refer to their beloved women. That, until the main character of the story says he would like to be the other man’s woman.

In addition, the singer of the group, Hamed Sinno, probably is the first Lebanese singer who has publicly declared himself a gay. He says that “someone had to do it.” Hamed had no problem in displaying with great ostentation the flag of the rainbow during their first big concert at the Byblos International Festival 2010. It is rumored that the then Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, attended, but left after half an hour not too happy with the lyrics of the band.

Next, there is the link to listen to this song and another of their hits: Fasateen.

Translation of the lyrics: شم الياسمين Smell the Jasmine
 شم الياسمين و ذق الدبس بطحينه
Smell the jasmine and taste the molasses
و تذكر,تذكر, تذكر, تذكرني لك
Remember, remember, remember to mention me
يا اخي اوعه تنساني
Brother, just don’t forget me
يا حبيبي, يا نصيبي
My lover, my prize
كان بودي خليك بقربي
I would have liked to keep you beside me
عرفك عاأهلي تتوجلي قلبي
Introduce you to my parents, have you crown my heart
طبخ اكلاتك, اشطف لك بيتك
Cook your food, clean your house
دلع ولادك, اعمل ست بيتك
Pamper your children, be your housewife
بس انت ببيتك و انا بشي بيت لك و الله يا ريتك ما بعمرك فليت
But you’re in your house, and I’m in another I wish you never left
هل ياسمين
This jasmine
نساني
Forgets me
الياسمين
The jasmine
و شم الياسمين و تذكر تنساني
Smell the jasmine and remember to forget me

 

Translation of the lyrics: Fasateen

بتتذكري لما قلتيلي إنك رح تتزوجيني بلا فلوس و بلا بيت
Remember when you told me you’ll marry me, without money or a house
بتتذكري كنتي تحبي مع اني مش داخل دينك تزكري كيف كنا هيك
Remember when you used to love me, despite me not being part of your religion
بتتذكري لما إمك شافتني بتختك قالتلي إنسى عنك
Remember when your mother saw me sleeping in your bed, she told me to forget you
واتفقنا نضلنا هيك بلا أدوار وطنطنات بلا كرافات وصبحيات
And we agreed to stay like that, without roles or rhetoric/ persuasion Without neckties and morning visits
بلا ملايين بلا فساتين
Without millions or dresses
مسكتيلي ايدي ووعدتيني بشي ثورة كيف نسيتي كيف نسيتيني
You held my hand. Promised me a revolution. How did you forget me? How?
ومشطتيلي شعري وبعتتيني عالدوام كيف بتمشطي مشطيني
And you combed my hair and sent me off on time. Comb me the way you comb yourself
مسكتيلي ايدي ووعدتيني بشي ثورة كيف نسيتي كيف نسيتيني
You held my hand. Promised me a revolution. How did you forget me? How?
بتتذكري لما قلتيني إنك نويك تتركيني بلا فلوس بلا بيت
Remember when you told me you plan to leave me, because I had no money or a house

Author: Jordi Llaonart

(source: http://blocs.mesvilaweb.cat/arabislam)

15 thoughts on “The first gay love song of the Arab pop?

  1. I love the layout of your blog. Obviously you have a very valid point, however I can’t get over how great the site design is.

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  2. one correction : “the ambiguity of the traditional Arabic poetry,in which the authors make use of male pronouns to refer to their beloved women”. These authors never referred to women with male pronouns. In fact, the desire for teenage boys was never a shame in arab societies until the encounter with the european one, which, in the 19th century, were intent on disguising this desire as it was taboo and shameful in western society at the time, by translating the male pronouns to female ones when translating poetry of the time. I recommend a book called “desiring arabs” by Joseph Massad on the matter 😉

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  3. Només coneixia alguns poetes medievals com ara Ibn-Khafadja, Ar-Russafí, Ibn-az-zaqqaq, Omar Khayyan, Ibn-Aixa…Sort que n’hi ha de nous. Només faltava! Gràcies per mostrar-mos-els

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  4. Pingback: La “movida” en Orietne Medio

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