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From The Arabic Top 10 – July 201: “Sett El Sabaya”

It’s time again to see what’s hot on the Arabic Top 10 music charts! This month my pick is by the Lebanese singer, Naji Osta. I really like this one! It starts out with beautiful strains of a solo violin followed by vocals.  The music ramps up in an almost classical Arabic way then the electric beat drops. It’s cool. I can’t wait for this one to become available for download for us in the west!

“Sett El Sabaya” means “Queen of the Ladies”.  My trusty translator described this as “so romantic.” I agree.  It’s not even “tortured soul” romantic as are so many Arab songs. It’s just sweet romance.

“Sett El Sabaya” (Queen of the Ladies)

How lucky my heart that it has you in it. You, the queen of the ladies.
You are the one that mirrors have never seen such beautiful eyes like yours.
You live in each corner of my heart.

You are the one I want. You are the one that my eyes have never seen such a beauty like yours.
You are the one I want to share only my happiness with and not my sadness.

Before I met you, my heart was lie a rock, but after I saw you it came back to life.

You are not just beautiful like the moon, you are the moon itself.

I am looking for a reliable and safe online source to download the newest Arabic hits. We don’t want to wait till they hit iTunes! If you know of any, please do share the information in the comments below. Thanks!

July 7, 2014 3 Comments

From the Arabic Top 10 – June 2014: “Kboush El Touti” by Hadi Daou

This month’s pick from the Arabic Top 10 is actually a remake by Hadi Daou of a popular song from over 20 years ago.  The original version of “Kboush El Touti” (also known as “La Thezzi Kboush El Touti”)  was recorded by Melhem Barakat, a Lebanese singer and songwriter.  This song is actually a funny and light song with a dabke-type feel.  According to my trusty native translator, the song is well-known and popular among Arabs, and since it’s dabke-friendly, would make a nice fun addition to a party playlist for getting the guest up to dance.

The title “Kboush El Touuti” translates to “Don’t Shake Your Leaves”. According to the DBQ’s translator, this is slang that could refer to breasts or butts – the singer has never explained himself on record.  My source referenced discussion on Arabic language sites for the slang meaning of the title. Although popular, this singer had a reputation for being a bit off-color sometimes. However, I’ve been assured that an Arab audience would not find the song offensive and would most likely enjoy it!


“Kboush El Touti”

I am a married family man and won’t love you even if you die.
Don’t seduce me to smell flowers and don’t warm me up because I love cold.
I am a tough peasant (farmer) and not from the city.
The girl who loves a man doesn’t stand and wait for him in the road.
You are still young, go home.
I am quite a happy man and am going home tomorrow.
I am used to eat very well and a little biscuit won’t make me full.*
(*This means: you are too modern a girl for a simple tough guy like me)

Watch the remake on this week’s Arabic Top 10 chart:


Watch the original by Melhem Barakat:


June 2, 2014 2 Comments

From the Arabic Top 10 – April 2014 “Ma Tegi Hena” by Nancy Ajram

It’s time to check out the Arabic Top 10 charts again!  This month Nancy Ajram is back on the charts with “Ma Tegi Hena” or “Come Over Here”. Even if you don’t recognize her name, I can almost guarantee you’ve heard some of Nancy Ajram’s other big hits, including Akasmak Ah, Lawn Eioynak and Ah Wa Noss!

“Ma Tegi Hena” is the #1 song this week. This one has a nice relaxed but fun tempo for dancing, especially for dancing with audience members, which is how I most often use Arabic pop in performance.  The video is fun and colorful, with a surprising little plot twist at the end.  Check it out here:

When my translation connection gave me the lyrics, I was surprised at how romantic they are. In light of the video, they seem to be kind of a tease and insincere, but without the video context, this song could be taken as just romantic. Decide for yourself.

Download the .mp3 file

“Ma Tegi Hena” (Come Over Here)

Come over here so I can love you and live around you
You are my world and I will die if someone else touches you

Come over here. Complete my soul. I am your other half and I am your future
Our love is great and I am not naive. It is clear that tomorrow I am the one who will care for you the most.
I have good intentions toward you and you must come over here
You can’t run away from me as I am a master in finding you.

I am just an ordinary girl and you must come over here. I am a girl and you can fool me with just nice words
Tell me your love me. I am just an ordinary girl.


How do you like it? Would you dance to it? Tell us in the comments below….

March 31, 2014 3 Comments

From the Arabic Top 10 – March 2014: “Same3ni Sawtak”

For several months now, I have run a monthly feature of a danceable pick from the Arabic Top 10 chart on the Daily Bellydance Quickies. Often I am able to get a translation, or at least a rough paraphrasing of the lyrics, for these new songs from native Arabic speakers. It is very important to have at least a basic understanding of a song’s mood and general idea if you plan to perform to it – whether you think the audience can understand it or not.

This month’s Top Ten pick is “Same3ni Sawtak” by Nader El Atat. The title translates to “Let Me Hear Your Voice.” This is a sad love song. The singer is lamenting that the woman he loves pays no attention to him. You will find some of the lyrics below. The imagery here is very dramatic, almost grotesque and violent, but that is the way of Arabic poetry. As westerners, we don’t necessarily associate this kind of language and ideas with “love songs”, but an Arab will tell you that this is not unusual – so don’t be put off by the intensity of the lyrics.

Musically, this song offers a little more to chew on than most pop. It has more interesting phrasing and almost a Saidi-esque feeling in parts. Yeah, I’ll dance to that!

“Same3ni Sawtak” / “Let Me Hear Your Voice”

If people hurt you, do not care
I will give you 8 of my ribs and my blood
I will even join my veins to yours if you need it
Let me hear your voice
Scream at me and make me cry
Don’t stay quiet – your silence horrifies me
No need to act like you miss me, we live in a world where people screw each other
Tell me if you carry a knife so I can prepare myself for the stab
Get strong and slice. I am expecting that end anyway
I will kiss your hands even if you slice me

What do you think of this song? Tell us in the comments below…

March 2, 2014 1 Comment