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Akher Zapheer: The end of it is a melancholy tune – اخرتو لحن حزين

وخدني بعيد عن عمان بعيد برا…
وسوق فيي شوي شوي عليمين، ولعواميد علشوباك بتتوالا.
هادا الطريق أخرتو لحن حزين، والسيجارة نستني نستني.
نستني وشالتني وحطتني وقلبتني من جوا لبرا
خلتني حزين، أنا وياك احنا التنين.
وهلأ صار الوقت تزيد سرعة، سكر عيونك وزيد سرعة.

There’s something really magical about musically experiencing the familiarities of your marginalized life. Magic is in the details, they say, and something weird happens when these details transcend into song.

It’s about the choice of words and the sentence structure. It’s about the unfamiliar feeling of hearing your accent in a tune, as opposed to English, Lebanese, Egyptian, Bedouin. It’s about the scenes of the city; the white stone, the nostalgia of sitting with a friend in that same coffee shop, the black beetles and the gas stations. There’s no Hollywood dazzle, no artificiality, no extensive experience. It’s about the familiar faces; strangers you often see in Turtle Green, people you went to school with, friends sitting out of focus in the background.

“Akherto Lahen Hazeen” is the latest single by Jordanian band Akher Zapheer, and a very good one at that. The music is definitely different, and the video is awesome.

Great job, guys. I hope you borrow a few pages from the likes of Radiohead and Mashrou Leila by offering the music as free MP3 downloads. It would also be fantastic if there is a write up of the lyrics.

It brings up memories of driving out of Amman with friends, with loved ones, with parents, with strangers. It reminds me of the pine trees scattered in random thin lines. It reminds me of staring out of the window, of conversations in the city, of laughter, of pain, of loss, of love.

وسكر عيونك، واسمع الهوا… طلعنا الهموم الجواتنا… أنا حر مش مجبور علطاعة، والسيجارة نستني، نستني.

Translation for the non-Arabic speakers:
“Take me away from Amman, take me away to the open,
Drive me around slowly on the right lane, with the poles fading away in the window,
The end of this road is a melancholy tune, and the cigarette helps me escape,
It sends me into oblivious, lifts me up, puts me down, flips me around inside out,
it made me sad, both you and I,
Now is the time to increase your speed, close your eyes, and increase your speed,
Close your eyes and listen to the wind, let all your worries slip away,
I’m free, I don’t have to obey,
and the cigarette helps me escape.”

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11 Comments

  1. What a great song?!! The guitarist is unbelievably awesome.

  2. Jordaanse

    I loved the vague story in the video so much, only reveals at the end..

  3. Thank you for introducing me to some awesome new Arabic music! First Mashrou Leila, and now Akher Zapheer. And thanks also for the translation. Great lyrics. Best of luck to this band.

  4. liyan

    you really captured what they are all about with this article! great music, great video and great review :)

  5. Dina

    More than a great work, very creative :)

  6. random guy

    1.The bride hair is horrrrrrrrrrrrrrible
    2. Where is the Jaha?
    3. His voice is annoying,another goat voiced dude,adored by artistic Jordan girls

    All in all: 2/10

  7. @random guy: you should have used “typical Jordanian guy” as a name.

  8. Hao Y Sh

    guys i saw you on roya and i heard your song before and i told all my friends about it so when you were on roya all of them opened it and watched it and soo i am soo surprised why you dont have a place i hope you will soon cuz your songs are cool !!

  9. koki

    my greetings from egypt..well done guys …the song is more than fantastic the music is another story it drives me mad each time i listen to the song it says alot of things can’t be described it can only be felt it can easily move u from palce to another ,from act to act smoothly

  10. Keren

    Fantastic song, loved the video – portraying Amman in such a realistic way. Awesome!!

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