Traffic Light Poetry

I just thought I’d share this little clip from the Fooq al-Sada team’s latest Tashweesh Wadih episode:

I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the consonant pronunciations there – likely an attempt to riff on Sudanese colloquial, according to the comments, as well as the lyrics / melody being a parody of this widely distributed clip – but all in all it’s a genius little take on recent traffic regime changes in Amman; in particular, putting up traffic lights at the “Eighth Circle” intersection in the west of the city.

[EDIT: h/t to Farah on Facebook for letting me know about the full clip of the original poem: LINK

Hilarious all on its own, and also direct example of how Bzour manages to parody all the other parts of a performance that don’t necessarily involve language (but are equally important for the general effect).]

(Note that the “Circles” in Amman are just enormous roundabouts, which however to guarantee any kind of traffic flow usually need to be manned by police officers at every sub-intersection (as in the image here: LINK) – which in essence isn’t all that different from a traffic light. Still, this didn’t stop people making up jokes last year when traffic lights were being put up at Seventh Circle – al-duwaar as-saabi3, الدوار السابع – re-imagining it as “the Former Circle,” al-duwaar as-saabiq الدوار السابق. )

Here are the “lyrics,” along with my attempt at a (working) translation:

قصيدة رثاء الدوار الثامن

آاااااااي

علقنا بأزمة كبيرة مش خفيفة
قالوا نشيل الدوار الثامن ونخلص من عجقة خبيسة

آااي

نركب مكانه اشارة تنظم السير وتكون للعين لطيفة

و
صفت السيارة صفت , صفت السيارة
صفت السيارة صفت ,ما فتحت اشارة

صفت السيارة صفت , صفت السيارة
صفت السيارة , ولعنا سيجارة
صفت السيارة صفت , صفت السيارة
صفت السيارة صفت ما فتحت اشارة
صفت السيارة صفت , صفت السيارة
صفت السيارة وخلصت السيجارة

صفت السيارة صفت , صفت السيارة
جنبي غاعدين بيبنوا في عمارة
صفت السيارة صفت , صفت السيارة
جنبي هسا هما خلصوا العمارة

وكله هذا صار، ما فتحت الاشارة

صفت السيارة صفت , صفت السيارة
عشت عمر طويل وانا قاعد في السيارة
قولولي كيف قولولي كيف
نخلص من اشارة

ولعنا سيجارة، تلعب العمارة، حافروا مغارة
كله هذا صار، مفتحت الاشارة

An Elegy for Eighth Circle

(Aaaaaaay!)
We were stuck in a great traffic jam – not a small one!
They said: We will raise Eighth Circle and get rid of the horrible crowds
(Aaay.)
Instead we’ll set up a traffic light, one that orders traffic and pleases the eye.

Aaaand…
The car stood still, the car stood still
The car stood still, the traffic light didn’t turn green
The car stood still, the car stood still
The car stood still, we lighted up (a cigarette)
The car stood still, the car stood still
The car stood still, the traffic light didn’t turn green
The car stood still, the cigarette went out

The car stood still, the car stood still
Next to me they’re building (a building)
The car stood still, the car stood still
They’ve finished the building now

All this happened, and the traffic light didn’t turn green

The car stood still, the car stood still
I lived a long life, sitting in my car
Tell me how, tell me how
We can get rid of the traffic light

We lighted a cigarette
The building opened
They dug a whole cavern
All of this happened
And the traffic light didn’t turn green!

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Traffic Light Poetry

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