When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra

I Have a Little Lady

ʿAskarī Ḥujayrān recited the following refrain from a strophic sung-poem by Bakhīt bir Ḳuṭrān and pointed out the double entendres between “cold water” and “lady friend” and “water basin” and “ladies.”  ʿAskarī could only recall the refrain and none of the strophic couplets that went along with it.

Chorus (Ar. kurs/kūrāl)Translation
1) šī ǧehlēt brēk ǧīhālI have some cold, fresh water (or “lady friend”) inside a water catchment basin (or “among all the little ladies”)
2) ḥōm l-tiḳḳ ġrabkes lāI want to take a drink, but I don’t know how [to do it].

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