Media Type:

Songs


Title

'We are the people' by Cairokee

Subject

Song

Description

In this song, rock band Cairokee put to music “Al-ahzan al-‘adeyya” (Ordinary Sorrows, 1981) by legendary vernacular poet Abdel Rahman al-Abnoudi. Abnoudi's poem paints a picture of defiance in the of face of oppression: 'We’re the people who get hit by the front of a shoe and the end of a heel, we are the people of beauty and the difficult way'. The song is evocative of the emotions that drove the 25 January 2011 uprising.
Cairokee shot to fame during the 25 January uprising with their song ‘Sawt al-Hurriya’ ('Voice of Freedom') to become one of the most successful Arab rock bands.

Creator

Cairokee

Publisher

Cairokee Official via YouTube

Date Published

22/09/2012

Rights

Standard YouTube License

Language

Arabic/English

Date Created

22/09/2012

Citation

Cairokee, “'We are the people' by Cairokee ,” Politics, Popular Culture and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, accessed November 30, 2020, https://egyptrevolution2011.ac.uk/items/show/179.

Output Formats


Media

Cairokee Band.jpg

Translation

“From every corner
of the silent cities
Youth in their thousands
Crawling, calling out
For the death of the dawn
They waited for dawn after dawn

For the killing to stop
For the grip to loosen
And so, they went out to demand
That the grip be gripped back
And to offer a palm
The blood

Turned the square upside down
As though melting copper
I have an idea about the cities
That light hates to enter
And the grave that lies unhappy
I have an idea about shame
And the birth of hell
The prison is in my hear
And not a painting on a wall

I told him ‘no sir, I’m sorry
My country is spring and morning
In my heart, there is still the cooing of the spring
In my voice, there is still the neighing of the lamp
The world is still alive, toing and froing
Differing between darkness and light
As confusing as my land is, it won’t be lost
No one gets lost but a vast square

We are the people
Of beauty and the difficult way
We’re the people
Who get hit by the front of a shoe
And the end of a heel
We are the people
Of beauty and the difficult way
We’re the people
Who get hit by the front of a shoe
And the end of a heel

And I can’t cry to my friends except at night
I’m friendly with the moon
I speak with it many times a month
As for who killed me,
No evidence appeared
On the night of the procession
The moon did not appear
The stars were full
Did not stop dancing or shivering
When I heard the news
The door got crowded
Loved ones grabbed me
This one washes
This one washes me
The other covers me in shrouds
This one grounds a handful of dust
I had specified
I should only be carried on the shoulders of brothers
Who had eaten together
No betrayal nor traitors can be amongst them
Or else my coffin won’t pass the door
How beautiful it is to sleep on your friends’ shoulders
You find out who your friends are,
And who is lying
You look for the friend with the noblest face
In a time of fraud

We are the people
Of beauty and the difficult way
We’re the people
Who get hit by the front of a shoe
And the end of a heel
We are the people
Of beauty and the difficult way
We’re the people
Who get hit by the front of a shoe
And the end of a heel

Spoken word Abdel Rahman Al-Abnoudi:
“I looked around
And felt I was among family
Come and see the world from my place
The pieces of life
Have stopped us from looking
Despite the nobility of pain and waiting
We learned things
The least of them is caution
We slept for years
Dreaming of our expected dreams
The markets are filled with things
Selling myths
Spreading the land across the pavements
With thought, and hunger, and spiders
and the humiliation of the loaf of bread”

“You are the stopping
and we are the walking
you steal food
and we build houses
we’re the sound
when you want quiet
yes, the sound
when you want quiet
we’re two people, two people, two people
see where the first is,
and where the second is?
And here’s the line between the two
You sold the land with its people
On the world stage
It’s now front and back
Stomach and chest
And the smell is wafting out

We are the people
Of beauty and the difficult way
We’re the people
Who get hit by the front of a shoe
And the end of a heel
We are the people
Of beauty and the difficult way
We’re the people
Who get hit by the front of a shoe
And the end of a heel

Abnoudi overlaid:
“if I am alone now,
With time
Generations will visit this cell
For sure there is a generation
Who are different
When it sees it comprehends
And when it comprehends it is not afraid
You are the traitors
Even if my senses betray me
Take your prison keys with you
And leave me my country
My country is not your country
And he left
I told myself
Only your jailer served you”
English translation by Heba El-Sherif