Must-Know Song for Belly Dance: “Taht Il Shibbak”

February 15, 2015 4 Comments

We are moving on to #10 from the “Must Know Songs for Bellydancers” list with “Taht Il Shibbak” – a real favorite of mine!

Who, What and When?

This song first appeared in the Egyptian movie “Laabet el Sitt” (The Lady’s Puppet) in 1946.  The music was composed by Asis Osman and they lyrics were written by Badeh Khairy.  Taheya Karioca dances to “Taht Il Shibbak” in the movie, accompanied by an ensemble that includes Osman singing and playing the oud. You can watch this performance in the video at the end of this post.

What is “Taht Il Shibbak” about?

“Taht Il Shibbak” means “Below My Window.” This song is from the point of view of a girl looking out her window, seeing a gorgeous man walking on the street. She is flirting with him – either in her imagination or in reality . Here’s a little taste of the lyrics from a very cheeky translation. You can find more of the lyrics here. Being a folksy song with a long history, different versions have different verses – some may not have even been in the original.

Below my window I caught sight of you, you (stud).
What’s up with you? Talk to me (hot stuff)

Your eyelashes kill me
Protect me from yourself (sweetcheeks)

About dancing to “Taht Il Shibbak”…

This is such a fun song to dance to! Now that you know what it’s about, you can really get your innocently flirty attitude on when you perform to it. An Arab audience would definitely enjoy and appreciate that! “Taht Il Shibbak” is one of Dina’s signature songs. This song is in a beladi style, meaning it has a laid back, casual feel, but is not strictly in the “beladi progression” musically in many recorded versions.

The recording is my favorite for performance.

The Original Version

Tahia Carioca in the 1946 movie, “Labaat el Sitt”

But this is my favorite performance ever to this great song!

Do you perform to this song? Do you love it? Do you think it’s overdone?  Tell us in the comments below…

Mahin (121 Posts)

Professional instructor and performer of Middle Eastern belly dance, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and author or the “Daily Bellydance Quickies”. Belly Dance Artrepreneur, Workshop instructor, performer, event producer, and bellydance writer.

  1. kathy claypool
    February 16, 2015 at 8:17 am

    It’s good to dance to. How could it be over done?

  2. Béatrice Curtis
    February 16, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Hi Mahin

    This is my translation! I put it together from a load of online resources, and put it into the sort of English my students could relate to. I didn’t think the whole internet would be interested in one of my lesson resources- I only put it there so my students could refer to it.

    I linked them to the “Best of Saidi” cd with Fatme Serhan, which is the cd that has the version you quoted above, because it’s the original cd rather than a compilation, and it’s full of Baladi classics (though no Saidi, despite the title!), so it’s worth buying as a whole.

    I also linked to a couple of Dina YT clips
    as well as the Tahia version you posted.

    Plus Reyhan of Germany
    and a dancer I don’t know, Yzza, whose interpretation I liked


  3. marion cerrato
    October 29, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Mahin: The dance was delightful. I didn’t particularly care for chair prop. it made her look as she was standing on stilts. Other than that I liked it.


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