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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:

Gamil, Gamal
(Beautiful Dancer)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the classic song "Gamil, Gamal", which was sung by Farid al-Atrache. Also included is a transliteration of the Arabic lyrics into the Roman alphabet so you can sing along if you like.

In the 1940's, Egypt's thriving movie industry made Farid, a native of Syria, a major star throughout the Arabic-speaking world. Aficionados of raqs sharqi (the Egyptian name for belly dance) particularly think of Farid al-Atrache in connection with the six movies he made which co-starred Samia Gamal from 1947 through 1952. Many of his songs remain popular today, and continue to be used by many raqs sharqi performers throughout the world.

 

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Lyrics

Note from Lennie Clark: Linda has had this transliteration and translation for so long that she cannot remember who gave it to her....

Arabic Lyrics

English Translation

Gameel Gamal Beautiful dancer
Meloosh meesel Nothing looks like you
Walah fee'l kayal Not even in a dream
Sadah ilee aahl I believe those who said
Zay el Ghazel She is like a deer
Gameel Gamal Beautiful dancer
Meloosh meesel Nothing looks like you
   
Leh dunia gameela wa helwa Why is the world pretty and sweet?
W'enta maaya? When you are with me?
Leh Bitkally il ilb benashwa Why do you make the heart joyful?
Wansa Asaya? Forgetting my problems
   
Inselnee leh? Marafshe. You ask me why? I don't know.
We serey aay? Mefhemshe. What is the secret? I don't understand.
   
Atfee w'hanan min izzaman Generosity and protection from the lifetime.
Gameel Gamal Beautiful dancer
Meloosh meesel Nothing looks like you
Walah fee'l kayal Not even in a dream
Sadah ilee aahl I believe those who said
Zay el Ghazel She is like a deer
   
Leh lemma bashufak (be anayah)rouhee tiganee? Why does my heart sing when I see you in my eyes?
Witgahny il ahhlaam hawaleyah w'ttamennee And the dream sings around me and revives me.
Nazrit anneyk tishernay Your looks entice me
Weshow ilaek Hayarney Longing for you makes me choose
   
Leh kul el azhar bit hebek? Why do all the flowers love you?
Wa dtar wa nass? And the birds and the people
Alashaan arayalee fee elbek walah el ahhsas. Because of kindness in your heart or feelings

 

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Where to Get Recordings of this Song

Legendary Songs of Passion CD Cover

 

Artist: Farid al-Atrache
CD Title: Legendary Songs of Passion and Musical Extacy of the Arabian Nights

Samya Best of Farid al-Atrash CD Cover

 

Artist: Hossam Ramzy
CD Title: Hossam Ramzy: The Best of Farid al Atrash

Art of Belly Dancing CD Cover

 

Artist: George Abdo
CD Title: The Art of Belly Dancing

Bellydance from Egypt

 

Artist: Bashir Abdel Al
CD Title: Bellydance from Egypt: Gamil Gamal

 

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Translations of
Farid al-Atrache's Songs on This Site

 

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Acknowledgements

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 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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