يا زمان

The song in this lesson is by Mike Massi, a Lebanese musician I’ve only recently found out about. He’s basically a classically-trained hipster who can play piano and has a nice voice. Not exactly remarkable from a Western perspective, but for music in Arabic it’s pretty unique.

The song is غير لون عيونك or “Change the Color of Your Eyes.” It’s way too saccharine for my taste, but the words are relatively easy and it makes for a useful lesson.

Step 1: Match Arabic words on the right with English translations on the left.

1. breathiness   a. حكي ħakī
2. be harsh   b. جنون jnūn
3. craziness   c. وصل يوصل wiṣil yūṣal
4. news   d. هم ج. هموم hamm pl. hmūm
5. talk (n.)   e. اخبار axbār
6. concern (n.)   f. بحة baħħa
7. arrive   g. صار يصير ṣār yiṣīr
8. become, happen   h. قسي يقسى qisī yiqsā

.

Answers: 1f 2h 3b 4e 5a 6d 7c 8g

Step 2: Listen to song (without reading lyrics)

Step 3: Listen to song (while reading lyrics)

صارو شي شهرين وكم يوم انا وياك

 ما عم نقدر نوصل على ولا شي

بعرف انو صار لازم انساك

بس لون عيونك بيذكرني فيك

غير لون عيونك

اخبارك حكيك وجنونك

بحة صوتك بتذكرني فيك

بلكي بنسى همي وفكر فيك

كل ما بتذكر قصتنا انا وياك

بفكر دايما حالي اني نسيت

برجع بتذكر هاك الأيام

وبذكر وقتها انو انا ما قسيت

Step 4: Check my translation (not word-for-word)

It’s been 2 months and some days of me and you,

And we can’t get anywhere.

I know I’ve got to forget you,

But the color of your eyes reminds me of you.

Change the color of your eyes,

Your news, your talk, your craziness.

The breathiness of your voice reminds me of you.

Maybe I’ll forget my concerns and think of you.

Every time I remember our story, me and you,

I always think that I’ve forgotten.

I come back and remember those days,

And remember that I wasn’t harsh then.