Sunday, 6 December 2009

From my ears to yours: Cassettat wa manakeer

When I was young, our home was filled with cassette tapes that had Arabic written on them in red nail polish. I was amazed by how well my maman could write with the nail polish and how much writing she could actually fit, alongside the "A" and "B" to represent the side, on the cassette. The other amazing aspect of these cassettes was the content. Inside was the best old Arabic pop music ever (not the classic Fairuz, Abdel Halim, Farid El-Atrach or Oum Khalthoum, those were in the tapes with the fuchsia nail polish) but Warda, Azar Habib, Ragheb Alameh, Samira Toufic and Majida Al Roumi, to name a few. A recent soirée at my place had me yearning to find some of the classics for my guests, the ones that used to make my mom's hips sway and give Fifi Abdou a run for her money (true story, she outdanced Fifi herself on stage discussed briefly in this post, another note, Nancy please see Fifi's real name for a laugh at what yours was going to be). I've already sent my cousins a message to pass onto my aunt (the dancing machine) to make me a CD of these incredibly difficult songs to come by, but I got a little impatient, and being skilled at finding anything (I wanted to be a secret agent when I was young), I did manage to get my hands on a ton of old hits including a 1978 version of "Linda Linda Ya Linda" sung at the Sheraton Hotel by a young George Wassouf, and "Aamelli Aantar" by Ferial Karim, which is an awesome song and the name of my pretend cat. Pretend because I'm allergic to cats, but c'mon, a cat named Aantar? GOLD.

Below is a link to download some hits I compiled for your listening pleasure, mostly old Lebanese songs (tracklist below). And since the Arab world doesn't believe in "copyright", you don't have to feel guilty about it. A-HHHH-AAAA (I'm brushing up on my Masri)!

Download "Al Nostalgia"


Ragheb Alameh - Bint El sultan

Marwan Mahfoud - Tahet El Chebbak

George Wassouf - Linda Linda Ya Linda

Georgette Sayegh - Ya Nassini

Hekmat Wehby - Ah Ya Tamara

El Helwa De

Ferial Karim - Aamelli Aantar

Sami Clark - Oumi Ta Nor2oss

Edward Society - Linda Linda

George Wassouf - Terghalle Ya Terghalle

Georgette Sayegh - Dellouni Al Aynayn El Soud

Samira Toufic - Bassak Teje Haretna

Mohamad Hussein - Maryam Maryamti

Farid Saker - Ma Be2der Khabbi Aalayki

Ragheb Alameh - Hamdilla Al Salamah

Azar Habib - Kteer M7alaye

Azar Habib - Lawlaki Ya Malaki

Ali Hemida - Lolaky

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