Above the Palmtree

Fog' Nahel

Mawal (intro): sung by Saydoon Al Bayati (Iraqi singer)

Lamma anakhu qubayl as-SubaH
When they awoke (the camels knelt down for loading), a little before morning (with the camels kneeling down as the reference to a caravan awaking and loading)

لمّا  -  when                   اناخوا  -  they knelt down (spec. loading camels)
قُبَيلَ  -  shortly before                           الصُبَح  -  the morning

'Aysahumu faHammalouha wasaarat bil-hawaa al-ibilu
They and their caravan leader then loaded the camels and went into the air
" 'Ays" is short for "Hadii il-'ays" or caravan leader (who sings to the camels) of the camels of good stock (breeding camels or " 'ays ").

عَيسَهُمُ  -  their Caravan Leader       فَحَمّلُواها  -  then they loaded them
وَسارَت  -  and she set out                       بالهوى  -  into the air
الإبلُ  -  the camels

Ya Haadi il-'aysa 'arraja`u kay awada'ahum Ya Haadi il-'aysa fi tarHaalik al-ajilu
Oh caravan leader, stop, so I may say goodbye to them.  Oh caravan leader, postpone your departure.

يا حادي العيسَ  -  oh caravan leader      عَرّجَ  -  (to cause) to stop
كَي  -  so that, in order that                                   أَوَدَعهم  -  I say farewell to them
في  -  oh caravan leader                  تَرحالِك  -  your departure, your setting out
الأجل  -  delay                             

Iniy 'ala al-'aHidi lam anqudh mawadatahum. ya layta sha'arii biTouli il-b'uadi ma fa'alou
Indeed, on the Bible, I do not deny love for them.  If only I knew the size of the distance what have they effected

إني  -  Indeed I   ("Inna" in the first person)               علىَ  -  upon, on
العهد  -  the Bible                                         لم انقض  -  I do not deny, not refute
مودتهم  -  love for them                              يا  -  oh
ليت  -  if only                                شعري  -  I knew
بطول  -  size, length (prep. bi attached)         البعدَ  -  the distance
ما   -  what                                                   فعلواَ  -  they have effected

Lamma 'alimtu bi`an al-qawm qad raHalou wa rahib ad-dayr bin-naaqousi munshaghilu
When I knew the people had already left and a monk of the monastery was ringing the bell.

لما  -  When                                                        علمتَ  -  I knew
بأن  -  had already                                                   القوم  -  the people, tribe
قد رحلوا  -  they have departed          وراهب  -  and a monk
الدير  -  the monastery               بالناقوس  -  at the bell
منشغل  -  busy, working at, e.g. ringing

shabaktu 'asharii 'ala ra`asii wa qaltu lahu ya rahib ad-dayr hal marrat bika al-ibilu
I wove my ten (fingers) atop my head and I said to him, "oh monk of the monastery, did the camels pass by you?"

شبكت  -  I wove                                            عشريَ  -  my ten (fingers)
على  -  upon                                                           رأسي  -  my head
وقلت  -  and I said                                           له  -  him
يا راهب الدير  -  oh monk of the monastery         هل  -  question particle (in this case "did")
مرت  -  she (they) pass                       بكَ  -  by you
الإبل   -  the camels

ya rahib ad-dayr bil-injiil khaburanii 'an al-budouri il-lawaatii fii Haykum nazalou
oh monk of the monastery, on the gospel,  tell me about the beautiful girls, which are in your quarter, are they here?

يا راهب الدير  -  oh monk of the monastery بالإنجيلَ  -  on the Gospel
خبرني  -  tell me, inform me                                               عن  -  about
البدور  -  the beautiful girls (lit. the moon)          اللواتي  -  which (f.pl. diminutive)
في  -  oh monk of the monastery                                     حيكم  -  your quarter
نزلوا  -  (are) they stay, they lodge, put up

faHanna lii washakaa wa`anna lii wa bakaa     wa qaala lii ya fataa dhaaqat bika al-Hiyalu
then he felt compassion for me and sighed (expressed grief) and cried for me and burst into tears, and he said to me, "oh young man, it is a bad time (situation) for your possibilities.

فحن  -  then he felt compassion                                            ليَ  -  for me
وشكا  -  and he expressed pain, grief                                    وان  -  and lamented, cried
لي  -  for me                                                       وبكى  -  and he wept, was moved to tears
وقال  -  and he said                                                                لي  -  to me
يا  -  oh                                                       فتىَ  -  young man
ضاقت   -  it is a bad time                         بكَ  -  for you
الحيل  -  the possibilities, dynamics

In al-budouri il-lawaatii ji`t taTalibuhaa bil-`amsi kaanou hunaa wil-yaum qad raHalou
even though the beautiful girls, which you search for came, as of yesterday, they were here, but today they have left.

إن  -  even though                                                            البدورَ  -  the beautiful girls
اللواتي  -  which (f.pl. diminutive)                                          جئت  -  came
تطلبها  -  you search the                               بالأمس  -  as of yesterday
كانوا  -  they were                                                                  هنا  -  here
واليوم  -  but today                                قد رحلواَ  -  they have left, set out (completed task, via "qad")

I woke up crazy crazy art (rhymes)

sahat majnun maknuun mafnun

down disappointed (syllable) my heart

khayab asayeb layeb ya qalbi

(syllable) forever

dalem daimun


above the palm

fogi nahel fogi yaba fogi nahel fog

I don’t know if the brilliance is from your cheek

madri lama” khadek yaba

I don’t know if it’s from above the moon

madri el gumar fog

god I don’t want it don’t want it

wallah marida marida

I’m addicted with this addiction

belani belwa

Song Verse 1:

your cheek shines toward me, my eyes

khadek iliayma” yalHway aini

light over bagdad

wa idthwa la bagdad

light over bagdad

idthwa la bagdad

from your face shines ray of light

min wajinitek shanur yaba

& the way you look when you came out

wibkhinkitek jat

oh god she’s distracting me distracting me

wallah shadilni shadilni

with eyes of beauty

bayun el helwa


Song Verse 2:

I let myself know the light

khaliit baraf wala” yaba

the eyes he lost

layuni vaya”

the eyes he lost

layuni vaya”

from your face shines ray of light

min wajinitek shanur yaba

coming from the east towards me

washruk alaya alaya

god I don’t want it don’t want it

wallah marida marida

I’m addicted with this addiction

belani belwa


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