Thursday, December 07, 2006

Guitar Medley: An artifact of the 'good' times

I got a recording of a medley of Iraqi songs I did with Nabil earlier this year, I think May. I'm on vocals and classical rhythm while he's on solo acoustic...What's amazing about it is that it had brought back to me a flood of good memories and nostalgia, it was only May this year!!! Did it really change that much?
This recording was done a month before the graduation party, I had an idea that I would do some sort of mini-concert and I needed a back-up player, this was a time when I thought I could persuade Nabil, a proficient player in his own right, to play with me, I did it with somebody else in the end and it was a great step down from what I had in mind, but still...in some ways, this is a hallmark for one of the best days of my life, if not THE best ever, the graduation day, this was before my friends were killed, before several other things happened that made me hate my country and everything that is in it...
and also, it reminded of a part of myself that I thought was fading, my musical self, it's amazing how a person can change in such a short time, back then, I took myself seriously on the guitar and I was really convinced that I had a passable voice (evidently not, as u can see here -), after repeated tries, I found out that doing any musical project in Iraq surely not work out (not just because of the condition, the audience itself is largely unreceptive and would rather laugh first and throw tomatoes second)...but this short clip, in all its mistakes and amateurish charm, has somehow resurged my interest in guitar as not just something to attract chicas with.

It is a medley of five traditional Iraqi songs, thanks to Ilham al-Madfa'ie, a popular Iraqi artist whose mean feat is transcribing folk songs to western arrangements, they've been done to death on guitar, it's like a Stairway To Heaven for Iraqi musicians, you have to play them at one point or the other: Mohammed Boya Mohammed (Mohammed My Son Mohammed), Fog El Na Khal (Up There We Have A Lover), S'ghayeron (Little One) - perhaps the most sell-out song ever due to the fact that guys like Bashar al-Kaysi have sung it, and Bayn el Asir wil Maghrib (Between the Afternoon & Sunset), I didn't know the lyrics at the time for that last song, and being the naughty person that I am, have replaced them with a high-school rhyme that is lewd in a polite way (The Haji Returned From Mecca).

Nabil sings on S'ghayeron too.... Enjoy

12 comments:

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

I've been trolling your site for a couple of days now trying to think of a response to your post on the poem. I see you beat me to the punch with a new post though. So I will respond to both.

Current Post:

It's about time Nabil sent you that if you recorded it in May! :))

Now you can take him off the bottom of your list. ;)

I loved the music. I'm not just saying that to kiss up, either! lol! The second more upbeat part was my favorite. But of course I want to know the words...maybe you could post them as well? Yeah, yeah, even the "lewd in a polite" way ones.

The only problem I had with the recording was that it was too short. :)

Post on the Poem:

Well I honestly didn't know how to respond. I really couldn't laugh. Although I understand that response. Your style of writing is your own. :) It's just, I'm not Iraqi and I felt as if I would be laughing at someone else's pain. If that makes sense?

Anyway, however you want to say how you feel is okay by me.

Anonymous said...

That is AWESOME!! I wish I could play guitar like that. Beautiful music, well done!

Konfused Kid said...

Okay, Lynn...here are da lyrics, I've only included the parts that we actually sing:

1. Mohammed :

O Mohammed My Son Mohammed
My Son, why do you remain intent?
O Mohammed My Son Mohammed
My Son, why do you reamin intent?
O Mohammed, don't you fear God?
O Mohammed, beware, for this is God.
My son Mohammed, my eye Mohammed.

Don't ask me what it means, folklore seldom means anything apparently.

2. Fog El Nakhal

Up There, Up, Up, Up there we have a lover, up there...
Perhaps his cheek his twinkled, or perhaps it is the moon, up there...
and by God, I do not want it...
for his love has brought me much agony...

3. S'ghayeroon

I was a little girl and you were a cute little boy...
And love has bonded us by the exchanged glances...
and they said, surely these two are in love....
From their childhood to the day they grow...
by the river we have sat for many nights...
by the river, and the palm trees were high
and they said, that we have grown , my precious...
the river, and the palm remained high...
CHORUS: Between the star and the moon, our love grew and prospered, for your eyes my love, I see the essence of times...
La La Lay Lai Lai...La La Lay Lai Lai...

4. Lewd Song

The Hajji returned from Mecca
riding on a limp donkey
and he was met by the hijiiya (female hajji)
who trapped him into the corner
she said Hajji that's enough
it has brought me to my knees
she said Hajji taste it
it has gone up to my head
it's gone up to my head...
(that last line was an improv.) heh heh...

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

lol!

She trapped him, huh?

Still like the last 2 songs the best. :)

Tsedek said...

why is nothing happening when i open the link and get only a blank box saying "full screen" and nothing else?

Melantrys said...

Well, well, welcome to Omar, I guess?

beachmom1 said...

Nice strummin', Kid. It really DOES sound like a great day.

annie said...

i LOVE THIS!! i am listening to it again for the third time now, lucky i pushed the comments so i can read them while its playing. it is really hard to top the first and second for beautiful melody. i am linking to this at some other sites for sure. this is so beautiful.. S'ghayeroon, the guitar playing ahh. it is hard to tell when this drops off and the last song comes it... no matter. i want more now. you must make some more music and record and post it for us. you can justify it by claiming it is helping you pass thru anger, the first stage of grief.

it is clear to me listning to all this beauty how much you feel you have lost. you know what, you can take an iraqi out of the country, but you can never take the country out of the iraqi! you must play more and record for us!!

lewd in a polite way

oh yeah, i am really believing that! (not) you may be able to take the lewd words out but the image, no way. i feel very sorry for that trapped hajji in the corner. ;)

Zeyad said...

Not bad. I thought Nabil's singing was bad until I heard you. Heh.

Anonymous said...

nice, despite the chaotic change to the upbeat :) Fog El Nakhal remains one of my favorites songs ever.

It would be nice if you played Bezr Il Gosh after the fast part just for a change after the quick part... noooo, I am kidding

Nice you mention the legendary Al Madfai.

Most nicely that you post it in the first place, Kid

neurotic_wife said...

KK, Ilham is my favourate. He used to come over at my parents during the good old days and sing, he is my no 1. Your guitar playing is amazing, pretty impressive. Umm, Nabil's voice isnt bad. But you did make me feel nostalgic for these days. I love all these songs...

Thanx for reminding us that once upon a time there were good old days...Take care KK

Tamara said...

Very nice.