Monday, February 18, 2013

Revolutionary music from Port Said

Check out "Heela Heela," from El Tanbura's album Friends of Bamboute: 20th Anniversary Edition. You can listen to it and buy it (you must!) here.

El Tanbura describe the song as follows: "Traditional worker’s song from Port Said popularised by local fishermen. The “Heela Heela” (Do More) chorus takes the form of a motivational refrain to be sung by encouraging fellow workers to tackle the job in hand with vigour when engaged in their daily activities, be it fishing or working in agriculture. This rendition includes additional lyrics from ET’s oldest member Abul Adel for verse 3 in which the fish become a metaphor the countries (Israel, Great Britain and France) attacking Egypt and the activities of the resistance movement during the [1956] occupation of Port Said."

You can also find El Tanbura's "Heela Heela" on the new Rough Guide to Arabic Revolution. (Alas, it's not a great collection, but "Heela Heela" is certainly one of the better tracks.

You can learn more about El Tanbura and its role in the Egyptian Revolution in the article I recently wrote for the latest Middle East Report (#265, Winter 2012), "Egypt's Music of Protest: From Sayyid Darwish to DJ Haha."

No comments: