Aisha

As if I didn’t exist at all
She passed by me
Without a glance, Queen of Sheba
I said, Aisha, take it, it’s all yours

Take it all – the pearls, the jewelry
The gold around your neck
The fruits, ripe, tasting of honey
My life, Aisha, if you love me

I’ll go where you breath carries us
To the countries of ivory and ebony
I’ll wipe away your tears, your pain
Nothing is too beautiful for your beauty

Oh Aisha, Aisha, listen to me
Aisha, Aisha, don’t go away
Aisha, Aisha, look at me
Aisha, Aisha, answer me

I’m going to recite words of poetry
I’ll play the music of the heavens
I’ll take the sun’s rays
To light up your regal eyes

Oh Aisha, Aisha, listen to me
Aisha, Aisha, don’t go away

She said, keep your treasures
I am worth more than all that
Bars will be bars even if they’re made of gold
I want the same rights as you
And respect every single day
I want nothing but love

Aaaah!
As if I didn’t exist at all
She passed by me
Without a glance, Queen of Sheba
I said, Aisha, take it, it’s all yours

(Translation from French © by Johannes Beilharz 2010)

Notes
This song, released in 1996, was a superhit for Algerian raï singer Khaled. For some reason or another, it’s come up in conversations with friends or been played at parties repeatedly during the last year or so, so that I eventually felt compelled to attempt an English translation.
That despite the fact that my French friend Pierre has declared its popularity and omnipresence in France to be an excellent reason to leave that country. He said that at a bar in Stuttgart, where an African band was just getting started with their Aisha cover. Pierre and another friend demonstratively left to smoke a cigarette. When they came back after 20 minutes or so, Aisha was still in full swing as the Africans were rendering a much extended orgiastic version of the song…

Here’s the French original:

Aicha

Comme si j’n’existais pas
Elle est passée à côté de moi
Sans un regard, Reine de Saba
J’ai dit, Aicha, prends, tout est pour toi

Voici, les perles, les bijoux
Aussi, l’or autour de ton cou
Les fruits, bien mûrs au goût de miel
Ma vie, Aicha si tu m’aimes

J’irai où ton souffle nous mène
Dans les pays d’ivoire et d’ébène
J’effacerai tes larmes, tes peines
Rien n’est trop beau pour une si belle

Oooh ! Aicha, Aicha, écoute-moi
Aicha, Aicha, t’en vas pas
Aicha, Aicha, regarde-moi
Aicha, Aicha, réponds-moi

Je dirai les mots des poèmes
Je jouerai les musiques du ciel
Je prendrai les rayons du soleil
Pour éclairer tes yeux de reine

Oooh ! Aicha, Aicha, écoute-moi
Aicha, Aicha, t’en vas pas

Elle a dit, garde tes trésors
Moi, je vaux mieux que tout ça
Des barreaux sont des barreaux même en or
Je veux les mêmes droits que toi
Et du respect pour chaque jour
Moi je ne veux que de l’amour

Aaaah !
Comme si j’n’existais pas
Elle est passée à côté de moi
Sans un regard, Reine de Saba
J’ai dit, Aicha, prends, tout est pour toi

(Written by Jean-Jacques Goldman and Khaled)

Here’s a live performance from Casablanca in 2007:

Lyrics index – an eclectic selection of song lyrics.

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About James Steerforth

I am an author of poetry and fiction, translator and painter who loves to have fun with borrowed feathers.
This entry was posted in Lyrics, Music, Poetry, Translation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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