Learn Levantine Arabic Through Music

Lebanese Arabic Song: Albi Ya Albi (Nancy Ajram)

The multi-platinum Lebanese pop singer Nancy Ajram is among the Middle East’s biggest pop stars of the new millennium. Albi Ya Albi is in her native Lebanese Arabic. However, Nancy also has many hits in Gulf, Egyptian, and Tunisian Arabic. 

Have fun singing along while learning the lyrics. Below, you can see the Arabic script with tashkeel. Click on any line to expand it to reveal the English translation and language notes.

My heart
(Lyrics start at 0:30 mark.)
قلْب heart
(suffix) ـي my

My heart, oh my heart, leave me, my heart.
ترك to leave. The masculine* imperative is تْروك but the vowel is shortened to kasra when a suffix beginning in a consonant is added: تْروك plus ـني (me) → تْرِكْني
*masculine because she is singing to her heart, and the noun قلْب is masculine

It’s not the right time to [fall in] love again.
مِش not (+ noun, adjective, or adverb)
وَقْت time
ـا her, its
هلّق (also spelled هلّأ) now
رِجِع to return… but preceding an imperfect verb, it means ‘__ again’
حبّ to love

I can’t now. It’s out of my hands.
ما not (+ verb or pseudo-verb)
فِيي I can
منّا it (f.) is not
بـِ in
إيديْن two hands
إدَيّي my two hands (notice the ـن disappears before the possessive suffix is added)

I don’t know what happened to this heart.
عِرِف to know
شو what
صار to happen
ـلُه to it (m)
هـ this

Maybe I loved you, to my taste I found you.
معْقولِة it’s possible that…
ـك you
ذوْق taste
لاقى to find

I only saw you in my eyes
عُيون eyes
في there is/are
إنْتَ you (m)
بسّ only: و بسّ and that’s all

Nights nights… I stay up all the nights.
لَيالي nights
عم + (bi-)imperfect verb is a continuous marker: __ing
سِهِر to stay up late, stay up all night

Missing you without feeling it
اِشْتاق لـ to miss
مِن دون ما without __ing (مِن دون is a preposition and can go before a noun phrase, but we need to add ما to turn it into a conjunction before a verb
حسّ to feel

Ahhh! My heart, oh my heart, leave me, my heart.

It’s not the right time to [fall in] love again.

I can’t now. It’s out of my hands.

I don’t know what happened to this heart.

I don’t know what to tell you
قال to say
قول I say, but with a suffix beginning in a consonant (ـلك to you), the vowel shortens to kasra: قِلّك

If [only] I could not tell you about my heart and what has happened in it.
لَوْ if
literally she says ‘if I can NOT tell you’, meaning ‘if I could hide (the truth)’
عن about
فيه in it

It’s clear to me that there’s a secret in my eyes.
مْبيِّن على apparent to
سِرّ secret

Tell me, did you feel anything?
طمِّن to reassure
شي something

Ahhh! My heart, oh my heart, leave me, my heart.

It’s not the right time to [fall in] love again.

La la!

I can’t now. It’s out of my hands.

I don’t know what happened to this heart. This heart!

My heart, oh my heart, leave me, my heart.
It’s not the right time to [fall in] love again.
I can’t now. It’s out of my hands.
I don’t know what happened to this heart. This heart!

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