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

From the Site

Arab Song Translations

By Lennie Clark

Lennie

From Lennie Clark's Web Site:

El Helwa Di
(The Sweet One)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to "El Helwa Di", which was recorded by Sheik Sayed Darwish, Dania, and others. Also included is a transliteration of the Arabic lyrics into the Roman alphabet so you can sing along if you like.

An alternate spelling for the song title is "Il Hilwa Dee". On the CD titled The Best of Dania, there are two different arrangements of this song. One is titled "Cou Cou (Beirut Biloma Chillout Version)" and the other is titled "El Hilwa Di (Cou Cou)".

Another way of spelling the composer's name is "Cheikh Sayed Darwiche".

Music: Sheik Sayed Darwish

 

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Listen to MP3 Clips of this Song

Note Instrumental version performed by Salatin al Tarab Orchestra
Note Sung by Dania, the version titled "El Hilwa Di (Cou Cou)"
Note Sung by Dania, the version titled "Cou Cou (Beirut Biloma Chillout Version)"

 

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Lyrics

Arabic Lyrics

English Translation

El helwa dee amit teagin fel badreya The beautiful one went to knead in the early morning
We deek beyedan "Kou Kou Kou Kou" fel fagreya And the rooster cries "Kou Kou Kou Kou" in the dawn
Yalla bina ala babala, ya sanaye-eya Let's go with the Grace of God, oh workers
Yeg-al sabahak, sabaheli gher yasta Ateya Hope your morning will be beautiful, oh master Ateya
   
Sabahe, sabah, fatah ya aleem Our morning is lovely, God permits it
Wel geeb, mafihshee wala maleem And our pocket doesn't have one penny
Basil mazaag ra-ye we saleem But our mood is peaceful and serene
Babel amal babak ya raheem We are putting all our hope in the hands of God
   

Sung by Chorus

Sung by Chorus

Da-sabre tayeb al If we'll be patient
Waie-gha-ya-rel ahwal All will change for the better
   

Sung by Soloist

Sung by Soloist

Yale ma-ak el ma-al Oh you, who have the wealth
Bardol fair loh rabi kariim Also the poor man has a generous God
   

Sung by Chorus

Sung by Chorus

El helwa dee amit teagin fel badreya The beautiful one went to knead in the early morning
We deek beyedan Kou Kou Kou Kou fel fagreya And the cock cries Kou Kou Kou Kou in the dawn
Yalla bina ala babala, ya sanaye-eya Let's go with the Grace of God, oh workers
Yeg-al sabahak, sabaheli gher yasta Ateya Hope your morning will be beautiful, oh master Ateya
   
Edee fee edak yabou salah My hand is in yours, oh Salah's father
Madam ma-allah te-ish mertah Since you're with God you'll live comfortably
Ghalite-kalak al fatah Leave it all to the powerful One
Yalla bina, yalal wa Aehahou rah! Let's go, because the time is running out
   

Soloist

Soloist

Eshams tell-et The sun has come out!

Chorus

Chorus

Wel molke il-Allah, wel molke lil-Allah The fortune is all God's

Soloist

Soloist

Egree lerz-ak Run to work

Chorus

Chorus

Ghaleeha al-Allah, ghaleeha al-Allah Let God give you luck

Soloist

Soloist

Mat-sheel adoumak Pick up your axe

Chorus

Chorus

Wel edaw yalla! And all your tools and let's go!
   

Soloist

Soloist

Kou Kou Kou Kou fel fagreya And the cock cries Kou Kou Kou Kou

Chorus

Chorus

Yalla bina ala babala, ya sanaye-eya Let's go with the Grace of God, oh workers

Soloist

Soloist

Ah, Yeg-al sabahak, sabaheli gher yasta Ateya Hope your morning will be beautiful, oh master Ateya

Chorus

Chorus

Yasta Ateya, Ah yasta Ateya Oh master Ateya, oh master Ateya

 

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Where to Get Recordings of this Song

Cairo Plus CD Cover

 

Artist: Samir Srour & Soheir Zaki
CD Title: Cairo Plus

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada U.K.

Best of Dania CD Cover

Note

Listen to Clip of Track 2

Note

Listen to Clip of Track 5

 

Artist: Dania
CD Title: The Best of Dania

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada U.K.

The song appears twice on this CD, once under the title "Cou Cou (Beirut Biloma Chillout Version)" which has sound effects of a rooster crowing, and once under the title "El Hilwa Di (Cou Cou)".

Hend Zouari CD Cover

 

Artist: Hend Zouari
CD Title: L'Envol

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada U.K.

Under the Olive Tree CD Cover

 

Artist: Ron Yuval Ensemble Featuring Najwa Gibran
CD Title: Under the Olive Tree

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada U.K.

Passage CD Cover

 

Artist: Middle Earth Ensemble
CD Title: Passage

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada U.K.

Casbah Bellydance

Note

Listen to Clip

Artist: Salatin El Tarab Orchestra
CD Title: Casbah Bellydance

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada U.K.

Cafe Hookah CD Cover

 

Artist: Salatin El Tarab Orchestra
CD Title: Cafe Hookah - Exotic Flavours from the Orient

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada

Arabian Nigihts CD Cover  

Artist: Various
CD Title: Arabian Nights

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada U.K.

Renaissance of Arabic Classics CD Cover

 

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

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada U.K.

This CD contains Dania's version, and the song title is listed as "Cou Cou".

Music for the Hips CD Cover

 

Artist: DJ Nader
CD Title: Music for the Hips

Amazon Store: U.S. Canada U.K.

 

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Acknowledgements

About the Translator

This translation was made by Nicole Ibrahim.

About the Person Who Provided the Translation

This translation was provided for use on this web site by Linda Grondahl.

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 Shira.net. To explore all the articles and song translations that once appeared on Lennie's Geocities site, visit Lennie's portal page here on Shira.net.

Lennie Clark

 

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