When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra

Wedding Night Song

Recited by Ḥājj Dākōn and recorded by Sam Liebhaber in his home, al-Ghaydha, April 2004.

This song is known as halyōt, from the injunction ehalyōt (“Let’s go out!”). Halyōt songs were traditionally performed by women as they marched to the groom’s house during the nighttime wedding festivities in a procession called the frōźet.

w-yā layle nūrO Night of Light
ehalyōtLet’s go out!
ġōṭī l-reḥbēt It has covered the village
ehalyōtLet’s go out!
we-mṭawlā kel In every direction
ehalyōtLet’s go out!
tēhem nīwrētIt glows with light
ehalyōtLet’s go out!

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