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Lyr Req: Bob Azzam:Mustapha 1960Englished version

Sanjay Sircar 21 Jan 13 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,jeyadev 08 Mar 14 - 09:10 AM
GUEST 08 Mar 14 - 12:09 PM
GUEST 15 Apr 14 - 02:38 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Bob Azzam:Mustapha 1960Englished version
From: Sanjay Sircar
Date: 21 Jan 13 - 06:56 AM

Whatever the origins of the song "Mustapha" (folksong or otherwise derived)* that Bob Azzam popularised worldwide 1960ff. with his renditions, there were two polyglot versions he sang. The standard one was French-based creole (or creolised); the other English-based. I think the same company (Decca?) put them out on 78 rpm.

The phonetic transcriptions of the former, using various conventions, are in various places on the worldwideweb (it seems to have an English line/phrase on "guest(s)"). I have searched in vain, however, for the latter. It contained the line "I never want to let you go" (in one place, I think, substituting for the line on loving the beloved as much as tomsato ketchup), and a couplet, where "mister" rhymes with "sister". Can anybody help with these words, please?

* see for the "French" standard. The note here reads that this song "appeared in one of the films of the Egyptian actor,the late Esmaeel Yasseen in the 50s and in another Egyption film of Sabah from the same era [Al hob keda].The Izmir born singer Dario Moreno [1921-1968] performed it in the late 50s". Elsewhere, Azzam's granddaughter conformns that he bought the rights, which does not obviate a folk origin (I have heard one musical phrase in it in another Arabic song, no relation). The world needs to hear these precursors, too, and doubtless it will, one day.   

There is a separate project waiting to be done by someone more polyglot than I, setting down and translating the various new lyrics set to the same tune (from Serbian through Telegu to Indonesian, it seems), all with the same "Mustapha, ya Mustapha! phrase in them (one, at least,is a parody, with a donkey in it), but that is too large a thing to attempt at one go.

Sanjay Sircar

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bob Azzam:Mustapha 1960Englished version
From: GUEST,jeyadev
Date: 08 Mar 14 - 09:10 AM


I distinctly remember the Anglicised version being played
over the radio in India in the late 60s. The line you
mention is the last line of the track. I also remember
that it was sung by a woman. Probably one of the many that
came up in the 60s in the UK and then sank. OTOH, it could
be one of the big ones -- but I doubt that as I have tried
all kinds of searches, and nothing has turned up.

Also, it is possible that it was made on the Continent.
Multilingual artists were already quite common then.
Perhaps some Continental singer covered it in English.

I will make a few inquiries and see if I can get more data.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bob Azzam:Mustapha 1960Englished version
Date: 08 Mar 14 - 12:09 PM


i never want to let you go, bob azzam, english version

The 45 rpm is presently available on e-Bay.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bob Azzam:Mustapha 1960Englished version
Date: 15 Apr 14 - 02:38 PM

See the Wikipedia article on the song, especially the section on different versions.

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