Marcel Khalife songs playlist .. “I would resist with oud strings”

Marcel Khalife

Arabic Oud (the oriental lute) is a central feature of Arabic music. It is a pear-shaped, lute-like instrument whose origins go back several thousand years. Traditionally, Oud playing was constrained by the strict techniques that governed its playing, but many contemporary oud players such as Marcel Khalife, Charbel Rouhana, Le Trio Joubran were, however, able to free it from those constraints and thus greatly developing and enlarging what oud music can mean.

Marcel Khalife (born in 1950, age 69 years) is a world-renowned Lebanese composer, singer, and oud player. He is one of most important players in bringing oud to the attention of western audiences. He is also a cultural icon throughout the Arab world, in any corner of the Arabic speaking world you can find audiences numbering in the thousands singing along with Khalife. Khalife has changed the face of Arab music. He is deeply attached to the contents of the texts on which he relies From protest songs and political ballads to charming improvisations, and has campaigned for artistic and humanitarian causes, since the 1970s.

From 1970 to 1975, Classically trained on the Oud at the National Academy of Music in Beirut. In 1976, Khalife created Al Mayadeen Ensemble. He was granted the Palestine Award for Music In 1999. In turn, he contributed the financial portion of the award to the National Conservatory of Music at Birzeit University in Palestine.

In 2005, Khalife was named UNESCO Artist for Peace and happiness, in recognition of his outstanding commitment to the musical heritage and artistic creation. This great musician has released more than 20 albums during his career.

Khalife has always been a politically engaged artist using his art to comment on issues such as the Palestinian cause and the cause of human rights in the Arab world. He became famous all over the world for songs like Ummi, Rita w’al-Bunduqiya and Jawaz al-Safar, based on Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry, He seeks to renew the Arabic song by associating with the great contemporary Arab poets.

Darwish wrote of Khalife, “Marcel Khalife’s music eliminated the gap created by the poets between poem and song. He restored to exiled emotion its rescuing power to reconcile poetry, which glorified its distance from people and was thus abandoned by them.”

You can find out more about Marcel Khalife tour, here.

 

Here’s a playlist of  best Marcel Khalife songs.

1- Ya Naseem Rih (Oh soft breeze)

This beautiful ballad “Oh soft breeze” is a poem by sufi poet Al Hallaj, sung by Marcel Khalife. 

English Lyrics (Translation):

Oh soft breeze tell to the drizzle
that the rose didn’t bloom due to thirst
I have a beloved and his love is among my body organs
If he wants to step on my face he could
His soul is my soul and my soul is his soul
His desire is my desire and my desire is his desire

Marcel Khaleifa - Breeze | مارسيل خليفة - يا نسيم الريح
Marcel Khaleifa - Breeze | مارسيل خليفة - يا نسيم الريح

 

2- Beiti – (My Home)

Marcel Khalife -  My home (Bieti) | مارسيل خليفة - بيتي
Marcel Khalife - My home (Bieti) | مارسيل خليفة - بيتي

 

3- Granada 

Granada Marcel Khalife - غرناطة مارسيل خليفة
Granada Marcel Khalife - غرناطة مارسيل خليفة

 

4- Hifa

This song is adapted from Lebanese poet Moussa Cheaib poems set to music by Khalife.

مارسيل خليفة ـ هيفاء
مارسيل خليفة ـ هيفاء

 

5- Rakwet 3arab 

This song is adapted from Lebanese poet Talal Haydar poems set to music by Khalife.

Marcel Khalife - Rakwet 3arab  مارسيل خليفه - ركوة عرب
Marcel Khalife - Rakwet 3arab مارسيل خليفه - ركوة عرب

 

6- Wa Ana Amshi (As I Walk)

This song is adapted from Palestinian poet Samih al-Qasim poems set to music by Khalife.

Marcel Khalifa - Wa Ana Amshi
Marcel Khalifa - Wa Ana Amshi

English Lyrics (Translation):

As I Walk
I walk with my back held straight, I walk with my head held high
I walk with my back held straight, I walk with my head held high
I hold an olive branch in my palm, and on my shoulders I carry my coffin
As I walk, as I walk, as I walk, as I- as I- as I walk
My heart is a red moon, my heart is a garden
It is filled with boxthorn, it is filled with basil
My heart is a red moon, my heart is a garden
It is filled with boxthorn, it is filled with basil
My lips are like a stormy sky
Raining fire one moment and love the other
My lips are like a stormy sky
Raining fire one moment and love the other
I hold an olive branch in my palm, and on my shoulders I carry my coffin
As I walk, as I walk, as I walk, as I- as I- as I walk
I walk with my back held straight, I walk with my head held high
I walk with my back held straight, I walk with my head held high
I hold an olive branch in my palm, and on my shoulders I carry my coffin
As I walk, as I walk, as I walk, as I- as I- as I walk

 

7- Ya Watani 

This song is adapted from Palestinian poet Ali Fodah poems set to music by Khalife.

Marcel Khalifeh - Enni Khtartuka Ya Watani (MS Arabic) Lyrics + Translation - مارسيل خليفة - يا وطني
Marcel Khalifeh - Enni Khtartuka Ya Watani (MS Arabic) Lyrics + Translation - مارسيل خليفة - يا وطني

 

8- Bghaybtik Nezel El Shete (In your absence it rained)

This song is adapted from Lebanese poet Talal Haydar poems set to music by Khalife.

Marcel Khalife - Bghaybtik Nezel El Shete
Marcel Khalife - Bghaybtik Nezel El Shete

English Lyrics (Translation):

In your absence it rained, now you are on my mind.
There’s a carpet for prayers up there
And those who are praying are few.
They sound like Egypt the woman
and baalbek the man. (baalbek is an area in Lebanon)
As much as the grass grows between us

The deer lives/eats

I sent with a the Shepard from Hama (City in syria) 
so he can look at the weather in the north

He said this year a wind will come
that will knock the rider off his horse

I wish
I didn’t saddle the horse
and didn’t send this messenger

 

Marcel Khalife and Mahmoud Darwish songs:

9- Jawaz Safar (Passport)

This beautiful song “Passport” is a poem by Mahmoud Darwish, sung by Marcel Khalife. It was originally released on the album “Promises of the Storm,” which was first released in 1976 and was Marcel Khalife’s first lyrical album. It endeared him to millions in the Arab world. Probably it is one of the best lyrical retakes of the the 1948 Palestinian refugee. Marcel tells of how he is denied the sense of belonging because of his passport. He ends the song with a declaration that his passport is meaningless.

Marcel Khalife - Passport. [Full translation/subtitles/ lyrics]
Marcel Khalife - Passport. [Full translation/subtitles/ lyrics]

 

10- Marcel Khalife – Rita And The Rifle

This song is adapted from Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish poem “Rita” set to music by Khalife

Marcel Khalife - Rita (Fusha Arabic) Lyrics + English Translation -  ريتا - مرسيل خليفة
Marcel Khalife - Rita (Fusha Arabic) Lyrics + English Translation - ريتا - مرسيل خليفة

 

11- Marcel Khalife – ommi (Mother)

This song is adapted from Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish poems set to music by Khalife. However, It isn’t just a song about a grown son’s love for his mother, because as is common in Arabic poetry, the true meaning of the words may be much more than.

Marcel Khalife - Ommi - Mother. [Full translation/
Marcel Khalife - Ommi - Mother. [Full translation/

 

12- Ana Youssef Ya Abi (I am Yusuf)

Although this song is adapted from Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish poems set to music by Khalife. Khalife was arrested in his country for “defaming” Islam by singing a line from the Qur’an that was included in the lyrics “I am Yusuf” in 1999.

marcel khalife- مارسيل خليفة - أنا يوسف يا أبي
marcel khalife- مارسيل خليفة - أنا يوسف يا أبي

“Ana Youssef Ya Abi” English Lyrics (Translation):

When the gentle wind played with my hair, they were jealous
They flamed up with rage against me and you
What did I deprive them of, Oh my father?

Oh my father, I am Yusuf
Oh Father, my brothers don’t love me
They don’t want me in their midst, Oh my father

They assault me and cast stones and words at me
They want me to die so they can praise me
They closed the door of your house and left me outside
They expelled me from the field
Oh my father, they poisoned my grapes

The butterflies stopped on my shoulder
The wheat bowed towards me
The bird slept on my palms
What have I done, Oh my father?
Why me?

You named me Yusuf
And they threw me into the well and accused the wolf
The wolf is more merciful than my brothers
Oh my father, did I wrong anyone when I said that?
I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon, I saw them kneeling before me?

 

13- I Pass by Your Name

This song is also adapted from Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish poems set to music by Khalife.

Marcel Khalife - I Pass by Your Name | مارسيل خليفة - أمر باسمك
Marcel Khalife - I Pass by Your Name | مارسيل خليفة - أمر باسمك

Marcel Khalife “I Pass by Your Name” English Lyrics:

In my solitude I pass by your name
Like a damascan passes through All-Andalus.
Right here, lemons lit my blood for you, Right here, the wind fall off her mare. 
I pass by your name – The Army is sieging me, no countries as though I’m the last of the guards or a poet in his thoughts, taking a walk.

 

14- ode to homeland

This song is also adapted from Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish poems set to music by Khalife.

Marcel khalifa-ode to homeland | مرسيل خليفة-تصبحون على وطن
Marcel khalifa-ode to homeland | مرسيل خليفة-تصبحون على وطن

 



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