I read a wonderful review of a new album, Baghani, by the Palestinian performer Amal Murkus that made me want to go right out and buy it–or at least listen to it. Unfortunately, you can’t–at least not easily, since no Israeli record company is yet distributing it (it figures). One of my Facebook Friends pointed me to this amazing YouTube video of the song, Memories of a Palestinian Wound, which is a song Murkus is well known for singing.
But based on hearing her version of this song and how different it is stylistically, I’m guessing that a comment in the Youtube video thread that the singer is named Omaimi, may be correct. At any rate, this is a slashing, powerful version of the song. Not knowing Arabic, I don’t know the words, but the pictures tell the entire story and they’re masterfully counterposed with the music.
The arrangement sounds like a combination of traditional Arabic music with almost a rock overlay of jangling electric guitars. No, it’s not pop music in any western sense, but it conveys its anger in a way that is somehow western, very direct, very modern, while remaining true to an Arabic musical idiom. To my readers who know Arabic, please fill in what I’ve left out. And please, if anyone has any of the music from Baghani, let me know. I’d love to feature it here.
If this song is the same as the Mahmoud Darwish poem, Diary of a Palestinian Wound, then you’ll find the lyrics here.