Monday, March 11, 2019

More Algerian protest songs

A whole bunch more protest songs are emerging, as singers ride the wave. I don't think any of them have the kind of reach that La Casa d'El Mouradia does, but they should help counterbalance the Algiers-centrism of the previous post...

From the eastern plateau, in Chaoui (Berber), we have Sami Youress' "Ulac n cinquième" (No fifth term). Now I speak some Siwi, and a bit of Kabyle, but no Chaoui, so I wouldn't be able to translate this without the helpful subtitles, and my transcription is probably wrong in parts, but it starts:


Ulac ulac ulac, ulac n cinquième No no no, no fifth term,
Neṣbeṛ εecrin sna, temlim-aneɣ s imezgan We've waited twenty years, you've loaded us with problems.
Monsieur le Président ṛuḥ Ṛebbi ad yeεfu fell-ak Mr. President, go, God have mercy on you,
Ugir gg ubrid nnek, awid id-ek ayetma-k Go on your way, and take your brothers with you.
Agdud ad yeqqaṛ-ak εecrin sna bzayed fell-ak The people tell you twenty years is too much for you,
Ddzayer tamurt nneɣ ur teɣrid c sɣer baba-k / Algeria is our country, you didn't get it from your father.
Ddzayer tamurt nnek macci d elwert n baba-k. Algeria is your country, not your paternal inheritance.

Prominent opposition rapper Lotfi DK, from further east in Annaba, rose to the occasion as expected with Bandiyya (Bandits); there are whole theses on his oeuvre (well, at least one) so I won't devote too much effort to it here, but here's a short excerpt:


الشعب كرهكُم يا الكلاب The people are fed up with you, you dogs,
عشرين سنة بزّاف Twenty years is too much,
جمعنا أزمات البلاد باعوها في المزاد We've gathered crises, they've sold the country at auction,
البلاد رقّاسات ولبسات راهو زاد The country is dancers and costumes, it's gotten worse,
والرّئيس فلابوسات مانعرف مات ولاّ مازال And the President is in a stroller, don't know if he's dead or not yet...

Down in the Sahara in Adrar, a band calling themselves Gsariyine came up with their own take, with interestingly savvy lyrics as well as an unexplained goat:


واش بغيتوا فينا ضركا What do you want of us now?
البلاد راهي في غرقة The country is drowning;
انتُم عاطينها للسرقة You're handing it over to theft
والشعب خصروا النفقة And the people have lost the spending.
بغيتوا تزيدوا لينا عُهدة You want to impose on us another term
باش تديروا الزردة So you can have a party
تدخّلونا في هردة And get us in a mess
وتلعبوا فوقنا الروندة And play hopscotch all over us;
بلادي، c'est le moment - My country, it's the time
باش الشعب يتكلّموا For the people to speak up
ونكونوا يد واحدة And we'll be [as] one hand
ونبلّعوا للظالم فُمّهُ And close the wrongdoer's* mouth.
إيلا هوما ما حشموا If they have no shame,
حنايا نكونوا نفهموا We'll still understand
ونكونوا حضاريين And we'll be civilized
باش مبعد مانندموش So we don't regret it later.
في هاد اللخضة خصّنا نكونوا سلميين At this moment we must be nonviolent,
باش مايضحكوش علينا الُخرين So that "others" don't laugh at us.

And, moving back to the Algiers area for completeness, some sort of anonymous/Anonymous group came up with a catchy chaabi/country song. It ends:


إذا ادّاوا هاذ العُهدة If they get this term,
ما بقى في الدزاير قعدة No more staying in Algeria;
تتباع في سوق الخُردة It'll be up for sale in the flea market.
افّظنوا يا لا جوناس Wake up, youth,
ولّينا عرّة فالاجناس We've become the laughingstock[?] of peoples,
قولوا هاذ المرّة خلاص Say: This time it's enough.

I assume there are similar songs coming out in the west, and surely in Kabyle, but none of them have crossed my path; if you find any, let me know!


* Corrected following comment on Twitter.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lameen, great addition to your previous post. There is one more song that appeared recently, it is "Allo le Système" from Raja Meziane (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-ajCGiDlrg) and although she lives in Europe she is from the West of Algeria, a translation and analysis of the lyrics would be great ! Djam also made an acapella song, this one had a little less reach I believe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTu00rvXZPM).

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Two nice examples, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Just in case you didn't know, I'd like to add that the song from Adrar is a cover of Guerilla by Soolking.

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

I did not know that, thanks.

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

On similar lines: I now hear that the "catchy chaabi/country song" is a cover of Baaziz's Je m'en fous

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Another interesting one:

* In Fusha, from El Eulma, فارس ولد العلمة - الزوجة الخامسة - he seems to have been an early one!

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Also: Wary Nichen's Président du Bled, a comic take in French.

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

And a poem in Kabyle, at least: Tilelli

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

DS - لا للعهدة الخامسة - Semhili Hobi ( clip officeil )

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Soolking feat. Ouled El Bahdja - Liberté [Clip Officiel] Prod by Katakuree

Imad said...

Amazigh Kateb has also released a song Roho - Gnawa Diffusion So much creativity these days !

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Thanks Imad!

Just got forwarded another one: a qasida with the chorus "شعب الجزائر سيد، كيف يحكمه الخشب؟"

Imad said...

Also wanted to add one, which is from Ouled El Bahdja and was released the 17th of February (before the first massive protests I believe) Ultima Verba - Ouled el Bahdja . The song led to the cover/featuring of Soolking that was already shared. What struck me is the direct reference to a poem by Victor Hugo in the description of the video. These guys are real pioneers and real poets, pretty impressive for a football fan club.

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Thanks - that one is good...

Another in Fusha: عبدو سلام _ من أجل الوطن [راب بالعربية الفصحى] عن مظاهرات الجزائر

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Anes Tina El Cha3be Yourid الشعب يريد (poem)

Tilelli (Allaoua) (in French+Kabyle)

Mohamed Mazouni - "ghounia selmia" (painfully forced!)

Souad Massi & Sidi Bémol - Fi Bali (does this even count?)


Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

(with help from K_ar_im's Twitter thread)

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Almost forgot DZjoker CADRE جديد ديزاد جوكر ضد العهدةالخامسة (another poem)

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Asefru s tamaziɣt n mass Nuḥ Muḥammedi #Lezzayer_tamurt-nneɣ. شعر بالأمازيغية #الجزائر_بلادنا للاخ نوح محمدي.

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

And an anonymous poem in Darja.

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Atef lewhama 2019 - SI TMES AR WAMAN

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

A Chaabi song by Lawzy

A song in English by Abdou

A satirical poem