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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

From the Site

Arab Song Translations

By Lennie Clark



From Lennie Clark's Web Site:

Digi, Digi, Ya Rebaba
(Play, Play Oh Rebaba)


This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to "Dige Dige Ya Rebaba", which was recorded by Nabiha Yazbek. Also included is a transliteration of the Arabic lyrics into the Roman alphabet so you can sing along if you like.

Other ways of spelling this song title include "Diggy Diggy Ya Rababa", "Diki Diki Ya Rebaba", "Dikki Dikki Ya Rebaba", "Diqqi Diqqi Ya Rebaba", "Degi Ya Rababa", "Deq iRababa", and "Digi Ya Rebaba".

The singer's name could also be spelled "Nabih Yazbik" or "Nabiha Yabeck".




Arabic Lyrics

English Translation

Dige, dige ya rababa Play, play oh rababa
Dige afrah el hababa Play for happiness of my loved ones,
Badimaraho we ghabo After they left they did not return
Warathoo be gelbe azaba They broke my heart when they left
Dige dige dige dige ya rababa Play, play, play, play oh rababa
Gadaralh ya habaib God sent this misfortune for me, my friends
Thgorone raba el assiel You left by beloved place
Gelbe ysall aleghib My heart is inquiring
Materdoona el gawaba Of those who left
Dige dige dige dige ya rababa Play, play, play, play oh rababa



Where to Get Recordings of this Song

Renaissance of Arabic Classics CD Cover


Artist: Various
CD Title: The Renaissance of Arabic Classics for Clubbers

La Danse Oriental CD Cover


Artist: John Bilezikjian
CD Title: La Danse Orientale

Dantz Records - John Bilezikjian
P.O. Box 2434
Laguna Hills, CA 92654-2434

Telephone: (+1) (949) 581-5664

Web Site:




About the Person Who Provided the Translation

Linda Grondahl's background is that of a devoted lover of Arabic music and dance. She danced with Amina and the Aswan Dancers for many years. She took Arabic percussion with Mary Ellen Donald, Su Su Pampanin, George Dubai, Vince Deldado, and Tony Lammam. She took Arabic singing from Nicole Ibrahim, Mimi Spencer, Georges Lammam. On the oud, she studied under Nazir Latouf, Mimi Spencer, Abdullah Kdough. She was a member of the Aswat Arab-American Choir under the direction of Elias Lammam. She is now a member of the El Ashaab dance troupe, and Tahneen, the all-girl, all-American Middle eastern music ensemble. They have played for Arab and American events, and for many years at the Rakassah festival.

"I just saved whatever I could get my hands on, for years", writes Linda, "and really don't know why. It was always so dificult to get music, so I just kept on saving."

Linda lives in San Francisco, California. Her favorite color is any shade of purple.

About the Source

This article originally appeared on Lennie Clark's web site, "Arabic Song Translations." Lennie created this web site in 2002 as a response to discussion on the Internet regarding incidents of dancers who performed inappropriate sensual dances to religious music. Lennie's web site resided on a free web hosting service known as Geocities.

When the planned October 2009 closure of the Geocities web hosting service was announced, Lennie and Shira agreed to move the contents of Lennie's site to To explore all the articles and song translations that once appeared on Lennie's Geocities site, visit Lennie's portal page here on

Lennie Clark



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