Must-Know Belly Dance Songs: “Ya Msafer Wahdek”
Who, What and When?
“Ya Msafer Wahdak” was written for the 1942 Egyptian movie, “Love is Banned”. This beautiful classic was written by Mohammed Abdel Wahab with lyrics by Hussein Sayed. Abdel Wahab is also the person that first sang it in the movie, although many singers have recorded versions since then. The song’s opening has a strong flamenco-esque flair. Many dancers have taken a flamenco fusion approach to this standard- some quite nicely! You may recall from previous posts on Abdel Wahab’s work, that he was very fond of incorporating western influences and instruments into eastern music – this song is a perfect example. One might consider Abdel Wahab a fusion musician of his time!
What is this song about?
“Ya Msafer Wahdak” means “Oh, Lone Traveller”. This melancholy song is about someone in love with one who is just passing through his life. He swears not to forget her.
You who travel along passing me
Why do you depart, leaving me troubled….
…beside the flames of longing I will wait
forcing my heart to be patient with hope
Here’s a clip of the original song from “Love is Banned” sung by Abdel Wahab with English subtitles.
If you prefer to just read the lyrics, you do that here:
Looking for a version for a performance? Here’s one of my favorites.