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Love (Jacayl) in the Words of Some Legendary Somali Women Singers

May 16, 2012

Xaliima Qaliif Magool was one of the most recognizable voices in the musical history of Somalia. Her songs have been the life soundtrack of many generations of Somalis since the 1960’s.

Haddii aad ubax tahay mid aad u uroo udgoon badan baad ahaan lahaydee

If you were a flower/ with a strong scent you would be very fragant.

Genre: Qaraami. Singer: Xaliimo Khaliif ‘‘Magool.’’ No date.

Kapteijns, Lidwien. Women’s Voices in a Man’s World : Women & the Pastoral Tradition in Northern Somali Orature, c.1899-1980.
Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press, 1999. p 179.

Here she is in another amazing song :

Wax badan bustaha saaray boogtaydoo markii ay bogsan wayday la i baray

For a long time I covered my wounds with blankets When I failed to get better, I was found out

Halkii aad qoontey way i qiiqdahayoo qofkii aan arko waan ka qariyaa

Where you hurt me, I am on fire But I hide this from whomever I meet

Genre: Qaraami. Singer: Xaliimo Khaliif ‘‘Magool.’’ Date unknown, but probably early 1960s.

Kapteijns, Lidwien. Women’s Voices in a Man’s World : Women & the Pastoral Tradition in Northern Somali Orature, c.1899-1980.
Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press, 1999. p 174.

 

 

Khadra Dahir Cige has long been considered the barbra Streisand of Somalia with her soothing voice and vibrant personality.

Mahiigaan jacayl baan dhex muquurayaa

miraalihiisii midigta igu qaadyoo mawjad baa i sidatee

 Naftu kay u muhatana iga mawanoo waayee.

I am diving into a torrent of love

Its nocturnal thunder storms have taken hold of me  and have swept me away

The one I yearn for is absent and not on my side.

Singer: Khadra Daahir. Song: Mahiigaan, ‘‘Torrential Rain.’’ No date.

Kapteijns, Lidwien. Women’s Voices in a Man’s World : Women & the Pastoral Tradition in Northern Somali Orature, c.1899-1980.
Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press, 1999. p 176.

Hibo Mohamed

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hcee33mIHF8)

The above link was recorded in 1984 in a tour by the Waaberi Band which took them to Sudan. She currently resides in the Usa.

Sabab kale ha moodinee

 suntaadii habeennadan waan ka seexan waayoo

 seeddahaad i goysay

Xalay baan saqdii dhexe

sariirtaan ku jiifsaday

 sagaal jir ka toosoo

Don’t think it is for any other reason

These nights your poison prevents me from sleeping

You have cut my strength

Last night, in the middle of the night

in the bed where I lay

I woke up nine times.

Singer: Hibo Maxammed. Song: Sabab kale ha moodinee, ‘‘Don’t Think It Is for Any Other Reason.’’ No date. 8.

Kapteijns, Lidwien. Women’s Voices in a Man’s World : Women & the Pastoral Tradition in Northern Somali Orature, c.1899-1980.
Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press, 1999. p 175.

Maryan Mursal is another legendary singer who lives abroad. She has toures the world  withWaaberi Band and appeared with Nina Simone. Some of her work has been produced by Peter Gabriel’s Real World record label.

Inkastuu asluubiyo adab dumar lahaan jiray

uruguda jacaylkaan la adkeysan waayey

kuu imi inabtow, waxaad odhan se mooyee

 Sida ayridhabankaan kuu ololayaayoo

oon iyo harraad baa hilibkay idleeyee

kuu imi inabtow, waxaad odhan se mooyee.

Although women used to have good manners

I could not endure the sadness of my love

I have come to you, cousin, not knowing what you will say

Like a she-camel whose suckling has stayed behind, I am howling [in frustrated longing]

Thirst has emaciated me

I have come to you, cousin, not knowing what you will say.

Singer: Mariam Mursal. Song: Kuu imi inabtow (Inkastuu asluubiyo adab dumar lahaan jiray), ‘‘I Have Come to You, Cousin.’’ Date: Early or mid1970s. 34.

Kapteijns, Lidwien. Women’s Voices in a Man’s World : Women & the Pastoral Tradition in Northern Somali Orature, c.1899-1980.
Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press, 1999. p 184.

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One Comment
  1. Thanks for sharing these women. How inspiring.

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