An Arabic love song

Published 2024-02-13

You are my life. Those words were sung by the world famous singer Um Kulthum. The song is about love which is perfect for Valentine's Day.

Three years of love

Last year, we celebrated Valentine's Day by reading quotes from Arabic love poems. The year before that, we celebrated the day by learning Arabic words and phrases that express love. This is the third year that I blog about Valentine's Day. This time, I will write about a love song.

You are my life

The song has the title [anta umri] that means you are my life.

You are my life.

In a previous blog post, we have learned another Arabic phrase that also means you are my life.

You are my life.

Both the Arabic word [umr] and the Arabic word [Hayaa] means life.

ﻋُﻤﺮ
3umr
age
ﺣَﻴَﺎﺓ
Hayaa
life

Artists from Egypt

The song [anta umri] is performed by Um Kulthum and written by Ahmad Shafik Kamel, both of them were rfrom Egypt. The song is in Arabic dialect but many of the words are familiar if you know Modern Standard Arabic. However, two of the words can be difficult if you are not used to dialect. One of them is the pronoun [illii] that is written اللي. In Modern Standard Arabic, we use [alladhii] instead.

ﺍَﻟَّﺬِﻱ
alladhii
which

The other is the question word [azaay] that is written ازاي. In Modern Standard Arabic, we say [kayf] instead.

ﻛَﻴﻒ
kayf
how

Four versions of the text

It is not possible to go though the entire song in this blog post, so we have to settle with the beginning. I will show each line of the song in four different ways. First I will write the original lyrics that is in dialect. After that, I will transform that line to Modern Standard Arabic. Then I will show the pronunciation with gray text. Finally I will write my translation.

Under each row, I will list the Arabic words that are used. You can click the eye symbol under each word to get more information. Note that the words are in their basic form in the list, but if you click on them, you can often find the conjugation or declension that is used in the song text.

Your eyes took me back

رجعونی عنیک لأیامی اللی راحوا
رجعتني عينيك لأيامي الذي راحت
raja3t-nii 3aynay-ka li-'ayyaamii al-lathii raaHat
Your (two) eyes took me back to my days that passed
ﺭَﺟَﻊَ
raja3a
to return
ﻋَﻴﻦ
3ayn
eye
ﻝِ
li
for, to
ﻳَﻮﻡ
yawm
day
ﺍَﻟَّﺬِﻱ
alladhii
which
ﺭَﺍﺡَ
raaHa
to begin, go, leave

They taught me how to regret

علموني اندم على الماضي وجراحه
علّمتني أندم على الماضي وجراحه
3allamat-nii 'andamu 3alaa l-maaDii wa jiraaHi-hi
They (your eyes) thaught me to regret the past and its wounds.
ﻋَﻠَّﻢَ
3allama
to teach
ﻧَﺪِﻡَ
nadima
to regret
ﻋَﻠَﻰ
3alaa
on
ﻣَﺎﺽٍ
maaDin
past
ﻭَ
wa
and
ﺟُﺮﺡ
jurH
wound

Before you: wasted life

اللي شفته قبل ما تشوفك عينيا عمر ضايع
ما الذي شاهدته قبل ما شاهدتك عيناني: عمر ضائع
maa al-lathii shaahadtu-hu qabla maa shaahadat-ka aynaanii: 3umrun Daa'3un
What I saw before my eyes saw you: A wasted life.
ﻣَﺎ
maa
not
ﺍَﻟَّﺬِﻱ
alladhii
which
ﺷَﺎﻫَﺪَ
shaahada
to watch
ﻗَﺒﻞ
qabl
before
ﻣَﺎ
maa
not
ﺷَﺎﻫَﺪَ
shaahada
to watch
ﻋَﻴﻦ
3ayn
eye
ﻋُﻤﺮ
3umr
age
ﺿَﺎﺋِﻊ
Daa'i3
lost, wasted

How can they?

يحسبوه ازاي عليا
كيف يحسبونه أعلى
kayf yaHsabuuna-hu 'a3laa
How can they consider that (wasted life) to be better?
ﻛَﻴﻒ
kayf
how
ﺣَﺴِﺐَ
Hasiba
to regard
ﻋَﺎﻝٍ
3aalin
high

You are my life

انت عمري اللي ابتدى بنورك صباحه
أنت عمري الذي بدأ بنورك صباحه
'anta 3umrii al-ladhii bada'a bi-nuuri-ka SabaaHa-hi
You are my life who's morning started with your light.
ﺃَﻧﺖَ
'anta
you
ﻋُﻤﺮ
3umr
age
ﺍَﻟَّﺬِﻱ
alladhii
which
ﺑَﺪَﺃَ
bada'a
to begin, start
ﺏِ
bi
by, with
ﻧُﻮﺭ
nuur
light
ﺻَﺒَﺎﺡ
SabaaH
morning

What pedagogic style do you prefer?

That was all for this time. I suggest you to listen to the song, but be patient because it starts with a musical introducation that lasts about eight minutes.

In this text, I have chosen to show the Arabic text and its translation first, and then present a list with links to the words. In some poems, ilke Love letter 49, each sentence is clickable. And when you click the sentence, you get to a page where each word is clickable. On the rest of this website, and in some poems like The camel driver tormented my heart, both the sentences and their individual words are clickable. So, the perdagogical style is a bit different here. I prefer when everything is clickable. What do you prefer?