Phoenix Belly Dance

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Oum Kalthoum: Leylet Hob (A Night of Love) 1973
by Linda Taylor

Leylet hob is a traditional Arabic love song which explores the passion and emotions of an intense relationship. The lyrics are speaking of a male lover pinning over the absence of his love who is uncharacteristically late/absent from an arranged meeting. Throughout the song, passions are expressed with conflicts of thoughts and, in the end, a seeking of resolution. The music comes to rest when the lovers are united again.


On first listening to this piece of music, the introduction felt energetic and light but with an undertone of suspense and questioning. Then the moment Oum kalthoum begins to sing, it is emotional onslaught with her very commanding voice. The music takes second place when Oum Kalthoum starts to sing.


Leylet hob is approximately 58 minutes long. There is a musical introduction of 6.20 mins before Oum Kalthoum begins to sing. There are many interludes of music throughout the song. The musical introduction and interludes are the pieces of music that are frequently danced to.


The composer: Mohamed Abdel Wahab

Mohamed Abdel Wahab is well known for introducing western sounds of (1970's). You can hear synthesisers and guitar in the musical interludes. The audiences of that time loved it.


The maqam (a type of Arabic melody, specifically 'a technique of improvisation') for this song is Nahawand. Nahawand is a maqam that is romantic and passionate, to evoke a feeling of yearning.


A shortened version of Leylet Hob was first used for dancing by Sohair Zaki.


Here's the link for one of my favourite renditions of Leylet Hob, by Omar Khorshid (1945-1981). Omar Khorshid was a renowned guitarist who has accompanied Oum Kalthoum, Abdel Wahab, Abdel Halim Hafez. 


English Translation of Lyrics:

A night of love

You, who never had been late at any date in your life

Why this night you became absent? Your state confused me

What latened you from me?

Its impossible that the life could laten you from me

Im waiting with hope

Im vigilant… to come to me … my life, and I’ll stay with you

Come here, we will terminate our life all with love, this night

Come here, we will live all our yearning from our heart, this night

Don’t leave our longing to tomorrow

Don’t let our happiness to tomorrow

As it’s the first night for love, this night

My darling, my heart beat, and my life’s light

My night’s smiling, and its fantasy, and its memory

The world became calm here, and been eager for you

All the world, with me here, looked at you

The spring, the flower, the stream

All with me, waiting for you

All of them, darling, missing you

For their sake, and for my heart

For the yearning nights, and its callings for us

Don’t crucify us

Don’t make us eager

And come to live our happiness here

Come here, we will terminate our life all with love, this night

Come here, we will live all our yearning from our heart, this night

Don’t leave our longing to tomorrow

Don’t let our happiness to tomorrow

As it’s the first night for love, this night

If all loves from all hearts collected, my love is more

With me with me, although you are far, but you are with me

Fantasy and eagerness increasing with me

All things around me, making me remember you

All brightness of my eyes contain a smile of your eyes

Here is the candles which your smile lightened the tears above it

Here is your steps, your smile, your whisper

Here is you, all of you, your light, your shadow, your gentility

Come for dreams, for love, for afflatus

And we will stay awake as much as we want, and the others will sleep

Come here, we will terminate our life all with love, this night

Come here, we will live all our yearning from our heart, this night

Don’t leave our longing to tomorrow

Don’t let our happiness to tomorrow

As it’s the first night for love, this night

You are going to the nice nights and nice memories

You make my diseased hopes return alive by your kindness

You are with me, in my mind, this night and all nights

In this place darling

How many times we came, and how much the night holded us

in this place, the same place

How much we flied in the heaven,this night

Oh my soul my life, in this place

I came with my eagerness, my heart, and my kindness

We came waiting for you

We came mulching with hope, your steps way

And however you became absent, you will come to me after a while

I will take your hands and put inside my hands, and hold your eyes by mine

And we live this night of life