Yemenite Songs

Lyrics from the album "Fifty Gates Of Wisdom"
- translated by Keren Barak -

 

IM NIN’ALU
Rabbi Shalom Shabazi – Traditional Yemenite

If there be no mercy left in the world,
The gates of Heaven will never be barred.
The Creator reigns supreme, and is higher than the angels;
All, in His Spirit, will rise.
By His nearness, His life-giving breath flows through them,
And they glory in His Name.
From the moment of Genesis,
His Creation grow
Captivating and more beautiful.

The wheel in its circle thunders
Acclaiming His Holy Name;
Clothed in the glory of His radiance,
The six-winged cherubs surround Him,
Whirling in His honour
And with their free wings sweetly sing,
Together, in unison.



 

AYELET CHEN
Rabbi Shalom Shabazi – Traditional Yemenite

Oh, Star of the Morning
In exile, You will be my guiding light,
And at night,
Holding me close to Your bosom,
You bid me drink of Your wine.
Mingling nectars,
Drink, dear grooms! Pleasure in your drunkenness
And rouse your senses,
In the palace of the honourable Daughter of Angels.
The table is always set for the many.
Cruel fate separated friends and lovers,
But my Beloved draws me by Her love.
Uniting beauty and grace,
Shall I be remembered.
Although foreboding clouds may line the sky,
My love will fill my desire,
When passing through the fifty fixed gates of wisdom,
Discerning Leah will push me onward
And with the love of Rachel for her sons,
I will not sway.
By Your sovereign secrets
I will reach the tenth sphere;
Oh Almighty,
Hurry with the salvation
For Your nation
Wrapped in the tranquillity of inner peace,
Our throats are raw
For we the Children of Yakov,
The Treasures of Avraham.



 

YACHILVI VEYACHALI
(CHILWI WYA'ACHALI)
Traditional Yemenite

My Sweet love,
You are always with me.
I have fed you the most succulent of foods
And clothed you in the most expensive brocades.

Oh, what a lunatic love!
Gd, help me ...

There are those who do not understand
The nature of my lunatic love.

Oh, what a lunatic love!
Gd, help me ...

I made you swear,
For days and nights
That you would explain, once and for all,
What is happening, happening to us?
There are those who are jealous
That I am all-important to you
You are my special love,
And you revealed to me the secrets of love.
You are the centre of my thoughts and imagination;
I have no interest in any other.



 

ODE LE'ELI
Rabbi Shalom Shabazi – Traditional Yemenite

Thank my Gd who created me
A fortress;
He will hear my voice
And me, in my quest.
In His Name I hope,
As I kneel and bow my head;
And in praising Him,
Strive to better my soul by my words.
Your hidden secrets,
Deep in the recesses of Your wisdom, Guide me
And I begin anew when praising Your Name.
Evil needs its ugliness
And multiplies its devilish ways
To keep us in poverty.
Illuminate the darkness
Cover us, Save us
Do not forsake us, the Chosen;
By Yakov, we have Your favour.
And only when we cry out,
Answer quickly
For You are our Redeemer,
Our Saviour.



 

TZUR MANOTI
Rabbi Shalom Shabazi – Traditional Yemenite

Rock of my existence,
You are the object of my desire
And of all that I have,
You are my claim to Holiness.

SE'I YONA
Rabbi Shalom Shabazi – Traditional Yemenite

Fly, sweet dove, and hearken my voice,
On the violin, play.
And in Your song, beware,
Soar swiftly
Do not meander into paths where evil may hide.
Take sustenance and fly
And we will take our pleasure
Until we are sated.
And we will drink of springs of wisdom,
And we will sing to the sound of the harp,
And You will give song.

SAPRI TAMA
Se’adyah Ben – TraditionalYemenite

Pray tell, wondrous innocent,
Tell of the joy in Your naivety.
Wise Daughter of Angels,
Have you found Your home?
Answer, lovely dove,
I sally forth to the Palace
And in the heart of the vessel
And clothes, only, in Your beauty.
Permission has really been given,
Regards to You in your crowning.
Do not be swayed by cloaked enemies, Lass,
And though You reach a frontier,
Look for its border.



 

LEFELACH HARIMON
Rabbi Shalom Shabazi

Your temples are like a slice of pomegranate,
You are more regal than the walls of the highest palace,
Your eyes, wide as the doe's, have imprisoned me.

With the eyes of a lovely dove,
And lips like scarlet silk,
And breasts, incomparable in their beauty,
Your heart to my heart, in love, are tied.

As white as the rising moon,
Quickly skipping like a young girl,
I will pay any price for this Lass
My heart and my spirit are in Her hands.
Sand-Lily of the Sharon, Rose of the Valley,
She slipped through my aching fingers,
With her head upturned,
And left only the pain
Of my shrinking heart,
No bandages will heal the wounds
Inflicted upon my longing heart...



 

A'SALQ
Rabbi Shalom Shabazi

I ask you, King of Kings
Why, why do you torture me?
I believe only in you
And anxiously await the rewards of my belief.
You punish me in my Diaspora;
How long will you ignore my pleas?
You, the all-knowing of questions and answers
Chastise and agonize me,
You neglect me
Since I am not one in the Promised Land.

As the pyramid-shaped amber
And the pleasant fragrance in the air,
When your light is discovered
You glitter like a star in the heavens.
Oh, Flowing Miracle,
Healer or all pain and sorrow
Who will bid me drink of the blue liquid
And remove all anger and worry from my brow.

In praising the One and Only,
All is possible
For He who created us;
He will lead us to a world
Of happiness and brilliant light.



 
 

GALBI
Aharon Amram

The Gates of Heaven are open
To my tears.
Gd, be merciful to me
And this ache in my heart.

How can I win you, love?
Do you even know I exist?
How will I find your love-laced path?
My heart desires only freedom,
No one can make me love another.
If only my love knew my suffering
And came to my side.
Who is the cause of this incredible pain?
Who is the one that knows nothing of my existence?