What looks Arabic is actually Jawi. Another form of Malay written language which uses Arabic Alphabets that were adapted to fit the way Malay language and words sound.
Art Fadzil is a well-travelled, numerous National Level accolade-winning performer, singer, song-writer in different musical genres of folk, pop and rock songs.
I guess he is a household name in both Singapore and Malaysia at least.
Its outstanding that he can compose and perform in both the English and Malay languages on above mentioned musical genres. He was also part of the Rausyanfikir group. A legendary folk-rock group that mostly performed in the Malay language.
This is from 2009, his album called Syair Melayu - A Collection of Classic Malay Folk Songs.
Excerpts from the cd booklet
"The Malays have a rich collection of folk songs. The songs are soulful expressions of the feeling, the philosophy, sense of self and memories of the people".
"The effort to preserve the lyrics and music for the children must prevail. Every generation has the responsibility to keep these songs alive,..."
"....to dive into the ocean of Malay Folk Culture that is hauntingly deep and vast".
I have to admit, listening to these songs ripped to 320kbps MP3s, blasting it on my headphones in the dead of the night, walking the streets after finishing my shift work.
- Some of these songs brings a lump to my throat.
On this cds are the Malay folk songs and I try to translate the song titles directly (probably incorrectly to English), but I hope it gives the idea...
Hi stork why are you so thin?
I am thin, because the fish arent rising (swimming near the surface of the water).
Hi fish why arent you rising?
I am not rising as the grass is too long.
Hi grass why are you too long?
I am too long because the buffalo is not eating me
hi Buffalo why arent you eating the grass?
I am not eating the grass because my stomach is aching
Hi stomach why are you aching?
I am aching because of uncooked rice (not properly cooked rice)
Hi Rice why are you uncooked?
I am uncooked because the wood (firewood) is wet
Hi wood why are wet?
I am wet because the rain falls on me
Hi Rain why did you fall on the wood?
I (Rain) fall on the wood because the frog is calling me
Hi Frog, why are calling for the rain?
I called the rain, as the snake wants to eat me
Hi Snake why do you want to eat the frog
I want to eat the frog, as its my food.
Remember Led Zeppelin's Gallows Pole??
This is the interpretation from the cd booklet on this and a few other songs.. The bird is a crane.
- Air Pasang Pagi (Water tide rises in the morning) - I think so.
- Lagu Tiga Kupang (Song of the three coins) - I think so.
- Ikan Kekek (name of a type of fish)
- Syair Hang Nadim (Song of Hang Nadim) - this is the boy who save Singapore from the attack of Sword fish, unfortunately the King and his people worries that he is too clever, so thats the death of him.
- Geylang Si Paku Geylang (Like the Wings singer Awie says - "Orchard Road ada apa?? (what is there in Orchard Road Singapore??) Geylang la...".before breaking into this song). Its basically about the place in Singapore called Geylang Serai. No matter how the modern world change, Geylang Serai will continue to be the focus of the Malay Muslim community not only in Singapore, but the rest of the region.
and so on...
Untuk sapa yang takde cd ni...ni aku taruk sikit2 packaging dia...
hah alif ba ye sin.
cehhhhhhh... aku kan mesti ke laut sey kalau aku eja jawi..