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The Very Best Album - Immortal songs

The translations were made by Tarek Chemaly (

Mish kayen hayk tkoun - “You aren’t supposed to be like that” - Ziad Rahbani

The olives were different, the soap was different,

and even you - my love - you aren’t supposed to be like this,

The lemon was different, the aniseed was different,

and there you are - my love - you aren’t supposed to be like this,

What a pity they’re gone, whatever happened they’re just gone, ever heard the song: “they’re gone?”

The living room was bigger, the balcony was spacier,

and of course - my love - your love was as big as the universe

The truck was less noisy, going up and straight,

and even your eyes - my love - you had different eyes

What a pity they’re gone, whatever happened they’re just gone, ever heard the song: “they’re gone?”

Love used be insane, ending with the letters “ane”

and not every female that passes makes a difference and becomes cozy

Be kind and fond or lean on the branches

and if your love changed then to it would be better if it never was,

it would be better if it never was, it would be better if it never was.

“Habbaytak bil sayf” - “I loved you in summer” - The Rahbani brothers

In the days of cold, in the days of rain

and the pavement  is a lake and the street is drowned,

that girl used to come from her old house,

and he used to tell her to wait and she would wait by the road,

and he would forget all about her and she would wilt in the rain,

I loved you in summer, I loved you in winter,

I waited for you in summer, I waited for you in winter,

you eyes were the summer, and mine were winter,

our meeting place my love was behind the summer and behind the winter,

a strange woman passed and gave me a letter,

which my love wrote in sad tears,

I opened the letter and it’s letters were lost,

and the days passed and the years drifted us apart,

and the letters of the letter were erased by the rain.

“Kaddaysh kan fi nas” - “How many people there were” - The Rahbani brothers

How many people there were around the corner waiting for others,

And then it would rain, and they'll hold an umbrella,

While no one waited for me in the sunny days,

It’s been about a hundred years that I have been left in this shop,

The walls are bored from me but are too shy to say,

I have my eyes on that handsome, and he is on the roads,

I would sing him songs, but he himself is busy,

I waited for a lot of dates, but no one waited for me,

It’s been about a hundred years that I have inventing addresses, not known for whom, and I'd send them news, 

It must rain on the door tomorrow umbrellas and loved ones who would take me someday

And he who has remembered all the people, finally remembered me.

“Chadi” - “Chadi” - The Rahbani brothers

A long time ago, when I was a child, there was a boy,

who used to come from the prairies and I would play with him. His name was Chadi.

Chadi and I used to sing together, play on the snow and run in the air.

We wrote stories on the stones and we felt the breeze,

And on one day, the world went on fire,

People fought eachother in this world,

There was a battle getting closer to the hills, and the world was still a world,

but the battle streached to the edges of the valley and Chadi went to watch it.

I got scared and called upon him, “where are you going Chadi?”,

I would call, but he won't hear me and go farther into the valley,

From that day I never saw him again, Chadi was lost,

Snow came, and snow went, for twenty years

I grow old, but Chadi remains young playing in the snow.

“Kan el zaman” - “These were the days” - The Rahbani brothers

These were the days, and there was a small shop in the shade,

and boys and girls would come and play by the water,

and drunken John would be sitting behind the shop,

singing and making the girl next door sad,

“Don’t ever forget me and remember drunken John”,

A bunch of us and a bunch of birds would roam around the street,

towards the shop we flew carrying batches of flowers,

and drunken John would be busy and on the walls,

drawing the girl next door,

The beauty in the next door’s house went away in a feasty night,

and the shop was torn down, and a new house was built instead,

and drunken John is still, on the walls of oblivion,

drawing the girl next door.

“Shayef el bahr chou kbir” - “Do you see how big the sea is?” - The Rahbani brothers

Do you see how big the sea is? My love for you is as big as the sea.

Do you see how far the sky is? My love for you is as far as the sky.

As big as the sea and as far as the sky I love you,

I waited for you, I called upon you, I drew you on the promenades,

You sorrow of my life, you tears of the flowers, you season of the birds,

How vast the forest is, my heart is as vast as the forest.

You who are drawn on my door, and drawn in my heart,

I waited for you a year, and throughout the year I would ask the walnut trees,

and I would see you in the sunny days, coming from the sunny days, and lost in the almond leaves,

How small is a tear, and I am just a tear in your way,

I want to vow a candle so that you would let me love you.

“Ya ana, ya ana” - “Oh me, oh me” - The Rahbani brothers

Oh me, oh me and you we became the odd stories,

Oh me, oh me and you and my letters were stolen,

and they knew that you were my love,

oh me, oh me the summer ran away and the grapes of decoration ran too,

and if love lost me in one summer in my heart you would find me,

and hide me and don’t hide me,

Your nights in my eyes, make me travel in your nights,

and I would tell you not to forget, never ever forget,

and your eyes would take me and promise me your nights,

They left, they left the night and the lover took in his wing,

they left their names on the door, on the books of tears and left,

they forgot and just relaxed.

“A’atini el nay was ghanni” - “Give me the nay and sing” - Gibran Khalil Gibran

Give me the nay and sing, for the nay is the secret of the existence/the immortality,

and the sound of the nay remains even after the end of existence,

did you ever take the forest like me as a house and never a palace,

And you followed the rivers and climbed the rocks,

did you bathe in perfume and you dried in light,

and you drank the dawn as a wine in glasses of air,

give me the nay and sing, for singing is a fine prayer,

and the sound of the nay stays even after when life has vanished,

did you sit in the afternoon like me, between the vines of raisin,

and the grapes hung like crystal lusters,

Did you sleep on grass and got covered by space,

humbled by what is going to happen, forgetting what has already passed,

give me the nay and sing, for singing is the justice of the heart,

and the sound of the nay remains even after the guilts have vanished,

give me the nay and sing, and forget the illness and the medicine,

for people are lines, written in nothing but water.

“Akoul li touflati” - “I say to my child” - The Rahbani Brothers

I say to my child, if the night is cold, and the silence of the hills is infinite,

let us pray for you are a child and the prayer of children is never unanswered,

I say to my neighbor, won’t you come and spend the evening, I have figs, almonds, and sugar,

We sing for you are lonely, and singing makes the waiting shorter,

I have a house, and a small land, so I am now inhabited by peace,

I don’t sell my land not for the world’s gold, the soil of my land is the soil of heaven and in it lies the time,

I say to our house now that I am alone and the nights came with snow and cold,

and my house is a fire, and spends the winter as a companion as a forest of flowers.

“Sakkarou el chaware’e” - “They barricaded the streets” - The Rahbani brothers

They barricaded the streets, they turned off the neon lights,

they planted cannons, and cleared the places,

where are you my love, you are still my love,

we have become the shouting love, we have become the distances,

we miss the happy days,

the days of staying out on the streets,

traffic jams and long promenades,

and we would meet in the old café,

Oh air of Beirut, oh air of the times,

come back Beirut, so that the days would come back,

the second summer came and the moon is broken,

would you forget me, my bitter love,

I came back to my house, I couldn’t find my house,

smoke and corners, no rose or fence,

they are migrating like birds,

dispersed under the night stars,

where do you think are the friends,

where would the tears and nostalgia be.

“Khidni” - “Take me” - The Rahbani Brothers

Take me to these lovely hills,

take me to that land which brought us up,

forget me on the terraces of figs and grapes,

throw me on the soils of our village,

old doors are waving to me,

and the voice of the rivers calling upon the absents,

and eyes behind windows explaining,

buddies, they say, we are buddies,

and I would walk on forgotten roads,

a land of absence and a beautiful smell,

waiting for a hand to shake,

and a voice that says “good evening”,

take me and plant me in the land of Lebanon,

in the house which is waiting for the hill,

I would open the door and kiss the walls,

and kneel under the most beautiful sky and pray.

“El bosta” - “The bus” - Ziad Rahbani

I am promised by you eyes, and I have crossed for them villages and highlands,

you are you, your eyes are black, and you don’t know what black eyes do to me,

on the buzzing of the engine of the bus taking us from the village of Himlaya to the village of Tannourine,

I remembered you Alia, and I remembered your eyes, and damn your eyes Alia how beautiful they are,

we were going up in that heat and we were feeling hot,

there was one eating lettuce, and one eating figs,

and there was one with his wife - how ugly his wife is,

I envy them, how peaceful their mind is, the passengers of Tannourine,

for they do not know how beautiful you eyes are, oh Alia,

we were going up, but didn’t pay the fare,

one time we would hold the door, another we would hold the passengers,

and the one with his wife - his wife suffocated and got dizzy,

I would swear by my life, he would let her go alone to Tannourine if they would see how beautiful your eyes are, oh Alia,

Oh sir if you please close that window,

too much wind sir, the air might get us a cold.

“Sanarji’ou yamnan” - “We will come back one day” - The Rahbani brothers

We will come back one day to our neighborhood, and drown in those who buried happiness,

we will come back no matter how much time will pass and distance will grow between us,

so heart slow down, do not throw yourself on our way back tired,

it is a sorrow for the birds to come migrating back and we are here,

there on the hills, there are hills which sleep and awake on our promises,

and people who fill their days with love and a peaceful wait full of songs,

meadows filled with willows as far as the eyes can see on every water they kneel down,

the afternoons play in their shadows and fill them with the song of peacefulness and the clarity of ease,

we will come back the bird told me just after we met on a slope,

and that the mockingbirds are still living in our poems,

and there is still a place between the hills for the nostalgia, and the people of nostalgia still have room for us,

so heart, no matter how many winds have dispersed us, we will come back - so come on.

Remember me (ouzkourini) - the Rahbani brothers

Remember the days in the woods you handsome one

when we used to kiss in the nostalgia of love

the night held us in a confidence which reflected all the love we had

so if I complain do not blame me

remember me when the dawn breaks and when the nights come

remember me every time the bird sings telling the forest about the moonlight

remember me and remember the happy days, would I still live if you wouldn’t remember me?

We all come from the night and from the tales of the blossoming beauty

the night has taken us away and we walked the paths of dream

so we played at the oasis of happiness and we sat under the shadows of the melody

what beautiful world it is for us filled roses and light breezed nights

we would swing and swing and the chanting is like a bird flowing at every garden

Laure’s love (Ya Laure houbbouki) - the Rahbani brothers

Laure, your love has broken my heart

and I had given you love and tenderness

don’t you remember the nights

and a promise we made to stay faithful

the night, the dreams and the dewy beach

the missing, the melody and the calm country

what beautiful days

and breezes calling us to stay faithful

To the one I miss (Ya man yahinn) - the Rahbani brothers

To the one my heart misses do you remember the promises of tenderness

do you remember our nights of love when we met for the first time

when the faithfulness to the songs called upon us beauty flew on every valley

do you remember the roses’ blossoms that kneeled on us

we had times of love which became the talk of the meadows and the birds

Good evening (Ya mit masa) - the Rahbani brothers

Good morning and good evening to you who never answers back

good evening to the one who accused me and leaned on the door

good evening, the moon is dancing and playing on trees

it seems the moon likes to stay up late and is in love with a broken heart

Dabke (Mij mij dabke) - the Rahbani brothers


our weddings are filled with songs, love, and happiness

may all those who were invited be wed

and they would watch us dance in their own wedding

may the night breeze on the lovers

and we would stay up together and talk

the air has bent the fruits of our plantings

and the concierges have called us

how lovely are the nights of our mountains when filled with love

garnishing our weddings

may our groom live a long and happy life

and our land and country would stay for us

our land is made up of rocks and flowers

we vow ourselves to love

how beautiful is our village

where we planted our love and where the grapes are beautifu;

 and the night which has confided it’s secrets and lit up it’s house

has descended it’s moons in our village to tell us it’s stories

In our hut, my son (bi koukhna ya ibni) - Michel Trad

In our poor hut my son

and there’s too much snow and no wood

and the wind is howling and howling

and it would make a bamboo flute

the birds would sit on your window and call you

with their freezing wings

they are seeking shelter from the storms

and your friend the mockingbird is missing you a lot

hiding you presents in it’s feathers

I wish I could fly and just see you my small one

and you have not completed your first year yet

the whole world is worth nothing if your silky hands have not caressed my face

what is this bell ringing for the feast?

It’s your voice tumbling down in the valley and is being lost

going down the hill in the distant valley

carrying dawn in one hand, and spring in the other

and since you were gone,

I have been collecting flowers and borrowing colors from the sky

and sketch on the wall your features

and I am rubbing my heart on your bed, scrambling it with your toys

with the smell of your wings and the hoofs of you small pony

The sun has come out (tole’et ya ma ahla nourha) - Sayyed Darwish

The sun has come out

let us go milk the cow

the handsome and tanned one is sitting by the river

he bent the head cap and asked me to sing for him

and I wished for him to give flowers and to tell me that I was beautiful

Visit me (Zourouni) - Sayyed Darwish

Visit me once a year, just don’t forget me at all

I fear that love would come in a glimpse and go

I left you once my love, it’s a pity you would forget me at all