close_menu
close-popup
image-popup

Available languages:
close-popup
Paypal
Credit card

Privacy policy

subscribe
Middle East and Africa

Merry Christmas with the “Pure” Voice of Wadī‘ al-Sāfī

Basilica of the Nativity, Bethlehem [Shutterstock]

Our best wishes to our friends and readers

Last update: 2021-12-24 09:32:23

One hundred years ago, a year after the proclamation of the State of Greater Lebanon, an artist was coming into the world who was both profoundly Lebanese and at the same time profoundly international: the “eternal voice of Lebanon”, the “golden voice”, or even better the  “pure” voice as his name says.

 

Wadī‘ al-Sāfī was born into a large, humble family in Niha (in the mountainous Shouf region). At just 4 years of age, inspired by his grandparents, he sang and played the darbuka (goblet drum) at weddings; at the age of 13, he learnt the oud and traditional Byzantine and Syrian songs in Beirut, where he enrolled in music school. At 17 he performed with a 15-year-old girl, a certain Sabah, and won a music competition that would put him on the radio and consecrate him as a young pan-Arab talent.

 

An international career (in the 1950s we find him in Brazil singing famous pieces such as Lubnān, yā qit‘a samā’, “Lebanon, oh piece of heaven” for the numerous Lebanese diaspora) spanning 75 years and over 3,000 songs would make him the “founder of modern Lebanese folklore”, as well as maestro of the mawwāl and tarab, which he performed to his own and his public’s immense enjoyment. He is seen here with Sabah Fakhri, Farid al-Atrash, Nizar Qabbani, and Mohammad Abdul Wahab and heard here with Fayrouz. It seems that Pavarotti said about him: “this man doesn’t sing alone: it’s as if someone was singing with him.”

 

And it is with his pure voice and this simple song that we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

 

 

 

Thunder and rain

 

Thunder and rain,

lightning, snow and wind.

The little child lying on the hay

brings many gifts

and in his hands the keys of Heaven

Alleluia

 

No crown is worthy of the most beautiful brow

The Son of Heaven is bare

in the shepherds’ cave.

Ostrich feathers and silk clothes bow down before him.

You came into the world with a message of Light

about the essence of Faith.

Lamp for humankind

Bring new life

And new times

 

 

Heaven’s gate is open wide

A lily with glowing petals

A celestial breath

A hymn of love

 

Your name will forever be in our hearts[1]

 

Thunder and rain,

lightning, snow and wind.

The little child lying on the hay

brings many gifts

and in his hands the keys of Heaven

Alleluia

 

 

 

رعد وشتي

 

رعد وشتي

برق وتلج ورياح

عالقش طفل صغير

جايب هدايا كتير

حامل بإيده للسما مفتاح

هللوه

 

يا خجلة التيجان

من جبين أحلى جبين

ابن السما عريان

بمغارة الرعيان

ريش النعام

وهالحرير يميل

 

طليت عالمعمور

حامل رسالة نور

عن جوهر الإيمان

قنديل للإنسان

تعمّر دني ودهور تمحي دهور

 

باب السما مفتوح

زنبق كمامه تلوح

باب السما مفتوح

زنبق كمامه تلوح

نفحة سماوية
للحب غنّية

نفحة سماوية
للحب غنّية

 

واسمَك من البال ما بيروح

ما بيروح
اسمَك من البال ما بيروح

 

رعد وشتي
برق وتلج ورياح

عالقش طفل صغير
جايب هدايا كتير

حامل بإيده للسما مفتاح

هللوه

 

 

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Oasis International Foundation
 
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

[1] Literally, “mind”, “soul”, “thought” (bāl).