Souad Massi - O Houria (English translation)

English translation

O Houria

I would have liked to sing eternal tales for you
and fallen suns and full moons, dark nights,
and on the shores of lakes where burned out angels sleep
I would have laid blazing flames on your forehead.
I would have liked to sculpt incredible poems,
flaming birds tearing through bleak nights,
and on the top of mountains, a few passing angels
would have etched mirages in the stone.
 
O Houria1
love might well never cross our path again2.
O Hourria
love might well be dead before I return.
 
I would have liked to give you fine blue dreams,
illuminated stars lost in your hair,
liked to listen to life whispering through these wet lips
from the place where your name is.
 
O Houria
love might well never cross our path again.
O Houria
love might well be dead before I return.
3
I would have liked to give you a piece of sky every night,
to stroke the light, smooth your wings somewhat.
While perfumes rip through the morning light,
I would have built every tomorrow for you.
 
O Houria
love might well never cross our path again.
O Hourria
love might well be dead before I return.
 
O Houria
I would not have wanted the mist to change anything,
O Houria
not have wanted the cruel winds to cut my hands.
 
O Houria
love might well never cross our path again.
O Houria
love might well be dead before I return.
O Houria
 
  • 1. An Arabic feminine first name. Might mean a nymph or a girl with beautiful wide eyes. It might also allude to the 1987 Algerian movie bearing the same name
  • 2. more precisely "we might well never cross love's path again", but for some reason I found that sounded a bit heavy in English
  • 3. The poem in the background is the begining of "Algerian Odyssey" and goes:
    O, Algeria. You're the source of miracles
    You're God's wonder among (his) creatures
    O, You're God's smile in his earth,
    O, (You're) laughing-featured face of him.

    .
    (kindly translated by Eagles Hunter)
Do whatever you want with my translations. I'm not rich enough to sue you anyway.
Submitted by petit élève on Sat, 16/09/2017 - 06:05
Added in reply to request by GK-1
Last edited by petit élève on Sun, 24/09/2017 - 17:25
Author's comments:

Nice voice, pleasant tune and poetic images. Not half bad.
.
Thanks to Eagles Hunter for the explanations about "Houria".

French

O Houria

Comments
Eagles Hunter    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 15:43

Houria حورية
is an Arabic word (and a feminine name). It has 2 meaning 1-Nymph 2-Girl with beautiful wide eyes. Regular smile
You know that Souad Massi sings originally in Arabic. right?

petit élève    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 18:51

Sure, but that does not make me more knowledgeable in Arabic Regular smile
Her French is perfect too. She's been living in France for decades.
Thanks for the precision. I'll put that in the footnote.

Eagles Hunter    Sun, 17/09/2017 - 23:12

You asked about Houria. and I was just there to answer Regular smile

petit élève    Fri, 22/09/2017 - 12:40

Just out of curiosity, can you make out what the male voice in the background is saying (about 2 minutes into the song) ?

petit élève    Sun, 24/09/2017 - 16:52

Oh great! Thanks for taking the time to check.
Would that have been translated into English or French somewhere? It would be nice to add a link if possible.

Eagles Hunter    Sun, 24/09/2017 - 17:14

جزائر يا مطـلع المعجزات
و يا حجـة الله في الكـائنات
و يا بسمة الرّب في أرضـه
و يا وجهه الضاحك القسـمات
.....................
O, Algeria. You're the source of miracles
You're God's wonder among (his) creatures
O, You're God's smile in his earth,
O, (You're) laughing-featured face of him.
.........
Something like that

petit élève    Sun, 24/09/2017 - 17:19

Thanks again. I'll add an approximative French translation, just to give readers an idea of what the poem is about.