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Origins: Bisan / Bissan / Bissane

Joe Offer 28 Jul 16 - 12:03 AM
Joe Offer 28 Jul 16 - 12:07 AM
Jack Campin 28 Jul 16 - 03:41 AM
Felipa 28 Jul 16 - 06:29 AM
Joe Offer 28 Jul 16 - 01:56 PM
Monique 28 Jul 16 - 03:47 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jul 16 - 04:36 PM
Felipa 28 Jul 16 - 05:13 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jul 16 - 08:52 PM
Monique 29 Jul 16 - 02:24 AM
Monique 29 Jul 16 - 03:38 AM
Monique 29 Jul 16 - 05:25 AM
Monique 29 Jul 16 - 05:47 AM
Felipa 24 Sep 16 - 07:27 AM
Felipa 24 Sep 16 - 07:43 AM
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Subject: Origins: Bisan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 12:03 AM

I'm working on a database to give background information for the Rise Up Singing Songbook, so I'm researching all the songs in the book. One of the songs in the "Home & Family" chapter is "Bisan," and I know nothing about the song and have no idea of the melody or the pronunciation.
Can anybody give us background information?

-Joe-


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Subject: ADD: Bisan (Palestinian)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 12:07 AM

I found lyrics here: http://www.wayofthesun.com/nightfires/CDInfo/ReturntoSoulLyrics.pdf

BISAN
Author unknown, made famous by Farouz
A Palestinian exile yearns for the village that was home

Kanat lana min zaman
Bayyaraton jamila wa dai 'aton dhalila
Yanamu fi afya iha nisan dai 'atuna
Kanas muha Bisan
Khuthuni ila Bisan, ila dia 'atish shita iyyah
Hunaka yashi 'ul hanan, 'alal hafafiren ramadiyyah
Athkuru ya Bisan, ya mal 'abat tufula
Afya ukil khajula, wa kullu shai en kan
Babon wa shubbakan, baituna fi Bisan
Khuthuni, khuthuni ma 'al hasasin
Ilath thi alil lati tabki
Rufufon minal 'aidin, 'ala haninen laha tahki
Khuthuni ila Bisan


It's from an album called Return to the Land of Your Soul by a group called Nightfires


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bisan
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 03:41 AM

Seems to be transliterated as Bissan or Bissane more often.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2MeAt_ma1o

She must have been very young when that was filmed. The backing is rather unappealing. The sound in this French-subtitled version is much better:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxdXiYgZZgQ

I can't find sheet music but I could ask - do you need it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bisan
From: Felipa
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 06:29 AM

"She" referred to by Jack being well-known singer Fairuz. I had found a different youtube video, the first one Jack gives the link to has both Arabic and English translation lyrics on screen and the second gives French translation.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bisan
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 01:56 PM

Hi, Jack - If you come across sheet music at a reasonable price, it would be helpful. The two YouTube videos were great.
Thanks.
-Joe-


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Subject: ADD Version: Bisan / Bissan / Bissane
From: Monique
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 03:47 PM

I found the Arabic lyrics and an English translation here

Bissan

كانت لنا من زمان
Kanat lana men zaman
بيارة جميلة و ضيعتة ظليلة
A planted field and a shaded village
ينام في أفيائها نيسان
And under their shadows the april used to sleep
ضيعتنا كان اسمها بيسان
Our village…..its name was Bissan
خذوني إلى بيسان
Take me to Bissan
إلى ضيعتي الشتائية
To my rainy village (winter village)
هناك يشيع الحنان على الحفافي الرمادية
On the grey rocks, the tenderness reflected.
خذوني إلى الظهيرات إلى غفوة عند بابي
Take me to midday hour, to the siesta at front my door
هناك مدت علات و أعانق صمت التراب
Where the families grow up and I adore the silence of the soil
أذكر يا بيسان يا ملعب الطفولة أفيائك الخجولة
I remember you Bissan , playhouse of my childhood, and your humble shadows
وكل شئ كان باب و شباكان
And all the things that existed, were a door and two windows
بيتنا في بيسان
our home in Bissan
خذوني مع الحساسين إلى الظلال التي تبكي
Take me with the birds to the crying shadows
رفوف من العائدين على حنبن لها تحكي
The crying shadows are crying for the people who long to come back
خذوني إلى بيسان
Take me to Bissan


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Subject: ADD Version: Bisan / Bissan / Bissane
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 04:36 PM

Here are the lyrics from the Rise Up Singing songbook. Part of my project is to correct lyrics from this songbook. I do not know where the editors, Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, got this version.

BISAN

(intro) Kanat lana min zazan
Bayyraton jamila wa dai 'aton dhalila
Yanamu fi afy iha nisan dai 'atuna
Kanas muha Bisan

Khuthuni il Bisan, ila dia 'atish shita iyyah
Hunaka yashi 'ul hanan, 'alal hafafiren ramadiyyah

Khuthuni ilath thuhairat, ila ghafwaten 'inda babi
Hunaka maddat 'ailah, u'aniqu samtati turabi

(bridge) Athkuru ya Bisan, ya mal 'abat tufula
Afya ukil khajula, wa kullu shai en kan
Babon wa shubbakan, baituna fi Bisan

Khuthuni, khuthuni ma 'al hasasin ilath thilalil lati tabki
Rufufon minal 'aidin, 'ala haninen laha tahki
Khuthuni ila Bisan

— author unknown

Bisan is the name of an old Palestinian town, now within the borders of Israel & renamed Beit Shalan. This song, made famous by the Lebanese singer Fairouz, expresses the longing of the Palestinian (and any) people for a home and a homeland.
Published by M. Chahine & Sons, Beirut, Lebanon.
On Fairouz' albums, Bright Morning Star, Live in the USA, & in Broadside #159 (Songs for Peace & Justice in the Middle East).

    Translation of Arabic:
    A long time ago we owned a beautiful orchard.
    A shady village in which April surrendered to sleep.
    The name of our village was Bisan

    Take me to Bisan, to my winter village.
    There where tenderness thrives up to the grey edges
    Take me to those long afternoons,
    To those peaceful naps against my door
    Where I can hug the silence of the earth.

    I remember Bisan, a playground of innocence,
    humble dwellings, pastoral shadows,
    Everything we called home: our home, Bisan

    Take me, take me with the songbirds
    to those same shadows that now weep.
    Rows and rows of the Returning (from the Diaspora)
    To a tenderness now reduced to words.
    Take me to Bisan.


These are more-or-less the same lyrics and translation in Broadside Magazine, Issue #159, Songs for Peace & Justice in the Middle East
http://web.archive.org/web/20130602124853/http://www.broadsidemagazine.com/Broadside%20pdf/159.pdf


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bisan / Bissan / Bissane
From: Felipa
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 05:13 PM

Joe, could you not find an Arabic speaker to help you?

I can show the lyrics to someone on Monday; it helps a lot to have the original Arabic script.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bisan / Bissan / Bissane
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 08:52 PM

No, Felipa - closest I could come to Arabic was Farsi, and that's not close at all.....
If you can find a native Arabic speaker, that would help a lot.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bisan / Bissan / Bissane
From: Monique
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 02:24 AM

You have the Arabic lyrics here
The first line is missing in the lyrics + translation I copied above, it's كانت لنا من زمان.
If you copy and paste the lyrics into "Google translate", you won't get a correct translation as the translator doesn't know everything. You'll also get a transliteration without the short vowels since Arabic doesn't include them in the spelling but in the children's reading books. The transliterations you have above are the transliterations of the way the Arabics words are pronounced. At least more or less as the emphatic "d", the pharyngal sound usually transliterated as "3" aren't transliterated "properly" so you can't see a difference between a regular "d" and an "emphatic" one. (Cf. here).
I have no time right now but I'll try to come up with something better this afternoon.

    I pasted in the first line that you sent me by email. Did I do it right?
    -Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bisan / Bissan / Bissane
From: Monique
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 03:38 AM

@ Joe: Yep!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bisan / Bissan / Bissane
From: Monique
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 05:25 AM

All in all, here's what I could make up to. I'm not sure the words in the transliteration are all cut properly.

kanat lana min zaman
bayyaraton jamila wa ḍai3ton ẓalila
yanamu fi 'afyaiha nisan ḍai3tuna
kanas muha bisan
khudhuni ila bisan, 'ila ḍia 3tish shita iyyah
hunaka yashi3 ul Hanan, 3lal Hafafiren ramadiyyah
khudhuni 'ilath ẓuhairat 'ila ghafwaten 3inda babi
hunaka maddat 3ilat, 'u3niqu ṣamtati turabi
'adhkuru ya bisan, ya mal3b alṭufula
afya ukil khajula, wa kullu shai en kan
babon wa shubbakan, baituna fi bisan
khudhuni, khudhuni ma 3l Hasasin
'ila alẓalil lati tabki
rufufon min al3idin, 3la Haninen laha taHki
khudhuni 'ila bisan

a, i, u: "a" as in "father", "i" = "ee" or "i" as in "bit", "u" = "oo" or "u" in "put".
y: as in "you"
ḍ: dark/emphatic d –pronounced raising the roof of your mouth
3: a sort of "ah" pronounced very deep in the throat*
ẓ: dark/emphatic z – pronounced raising the roof of your mouth
': glottal stop
h (on its own): like an English "h"
kh (or 5): like a Spain Spanish "j" or German "ch" in Bach
dh: like an English "th" in "the, this…"
H (or 7): a strong "h" (imagine you've just swallowed a Jalapeño chili)
gh: a gargling sound like a Greek γ
q (or 9): dark/emphatic k -pronounced raising the roof of your mouth
ṣ: dark/emphatic s -pronounced raising the roof of your mouth
ṭ: dark/emphatic t -pronounced raising the roof of your mouth

* a student of mine's father once told me "Remember we were shepherds! It sounds like a sheep bleat!"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bisan / Bissan / Bissane
From: Monique
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 05:47 AM

In case the original lyrics at the link would disappear, here they are (should be right aligned):

بيسان

كانت لنا من زمان
بيارةُ جميلة وضيعة ظليلة
ينام في أفيائها نيسان
ضيعتنا كان اسمها بيسان
خذوني إلى بيسان
إلى ضيعتي الشتائية
هناك يشيع الحنان على الحفافي الرمادية
خذوني إلى الظهيرات إلى غفوة عند بابي
هناك مدت علات أعانق صمت التراب
أذكر يا بيسان يا ملعب الطفولة أفيائك الخجولة
و كل شئ كان بابٌ وشباكان
بيتنا في بيسان
خذوني خذوني مع الحساسين إلى الظلال التي تبكي
رفوف من العائدين على حنين لها تحكي
خذوني إلى بيسان


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bisan / Bissan / Bissane
From: Felipa
Date: 24 Sep 16 - 07:27 AM

there is also a different song called Bissan, about a young woman of that name who died in a traffic accident, modern song 2009
partial lyrics

There are several youtube offerings of this Bissan lament
Bissan RIP
Bissan Marwan Mroue (same recording, different pictures)
I sampled a few more youtube videos, all sounded like the same recording


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Subject: RE: Bissan Mroue
From: Felipa
Date: 24 Sep 16 - 07:43 AM

recorded by Alaa El Amin
http://www.allthelyrics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=104558, submission by Gole Yas [which is also the name of a Persian song!]

    بيسان شو نفع الدنيا بلاك
    Bissan(name), shu naf3a denye balaki?
    Bissan, what is the benefit of the world without u?

    بيسان ماكنت بعيش لولاكِ
    Bissan, ma kent b3esh law laki.
    Bissan, i would not be living if it weren't for you

    بيسان صوتي راح تعي برتاح
    Bissan, sawti ra7 ta3e birta7
    Bissan, my voice has gone, come and ill feel comfort

    ياريت عمري راح وخلاكِ
    ya rayt 3omri ra7 w khalak
    I wish my life went away, and you're the one who stayed

    شتقت لغمراتها وينن نظراتها
    shta2t el ghamratha, waynon nazrata?
    I miss her embrace, where are her glances/gazes?

    وين دموع لي كانت تنزل وينن بسماتها
    Wayn el Dmou3 el kanet tenzel, waynon basmata?
    Where are the tears that used to shed? Where are her smiles

    شفتن حملوها عكفوفهن ينعو فيها
    shifton 7emluha 3a kfufon yin3o feeha
    I saw them carrying her on their hands in her obituary

    ركضت لعندن عمببكي تاحكيها
    Rka'6t l3indon 3am bibki ta7kiha
    I ran to them crying just to talk to her

    شميت ترابها الدم يلي على تيابها
    Shamait trabha eldam 3ala tyabha
    I smelt her sand/soil, the stench of blood on her clothes

    يارب صبرني وصبر اهلها على غيابها
    Ya Rab 9aberni o 8abir ahlha 3la '3yabha
    God give me and her family patience upon her departure

    ريتن شافوها اهلها وزفوها وحدي مشوها فوق الورد
    Rayton shafuha 2ahl o zafoha o 7adi mashoha fo2 elward
    I wish her family saw her, and made her walk beside me on the flowers *meaning at a wedding*

    شفتن لفوها نعشها حطوها صارو يرشوها بنفس الورد
    Shifton lafuha, na3sha 7atuha, sar i rishuha bnafs el wared
    I saw them covering her, putting her in her coffin, and started to sprinkle her with the same flowers *meaning instead of flowers being used at a wedding, they were used for the funeral*


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