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about

I learnt this song from my maternal family in Nazareth. I also heard it amongst Diaspora Palestinian Women in the refugee camps of Lebanon and elsewhere who originally come from Nazereth and Galilee. This song
has become a staple part of my repertoire over the past 10 years. The arrangement attempts to stay true to Bedouin tradition, in terms of rhythmic patterns, melodic accompaniment and percussion effects.

This song falls into the genre called 'furaaqiyyaat' (parting songs), which people sing for their loved ones as they part company.

lyrics

The cameleer tormented my heart
The day he made up his mind to go;
Cameleer, take me with you!
My journey is far too long, he said;
Cameleer, can I ride with you?
My load is far too heavy, he said;
I shall walk, then, cameleer;
Patience is a virtue, he said!

• The cameleer tormented my heart
• The day he made up his mind to go;
• Cameleer, how long have you travelled
the road?
• Over fifty years, he said;
• Cameleer, what have you in your caravan?
• Refugee families and children, he said;
• Where are you heading then, cameleer?
• To my homeland Palestine, he said

Oh brother, don’t spread your mattress
We are not staying over.
And don't slaughter your lamb
We are not hungry.

The cameleer tormented my heart
The day he made up his mind to go.

I asked: what is your first load?
Coffee and cups, he said;
I asked: what is your second load?
Ginger and spice, he said;
I asked: what is your third load?
Old women cooks, he said;
I asked: what is your fourth load?
Well-adorned young maidens, he said.

credits

from Sprinting Gazelle - Palestinian songs from the Motherland and the Diaspora, released February 6, 2006
Traditional Palestinian, Arr. Reem Kelani
Verse: Reem Kelani.

Vocals: Reem Kelani
Bass clarinet: Idris Rahman
Violin: Samy Bishai
Double bass: Oli Hayhurst
Daf: Fariborz Kiani
Tar, Bandir & Percussion: Salah Dawson Miller
Tar, Riqq, Mihbash & Percussion: Reem Kelani

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about

Reem Kelani London, UK

Reem Kelani is a Palestinian musician born in Britain & brought up in Kuwait. Her debut album “Sprinting Gazelle: Palestinian songs from the Motherland and the Diaspora” was released in 2006 to critical acclaim. Her next album "Reem Kelani: Live at the Tabernacle" will be released in March 2016. Reem wrote & presented “Songs for Tahrir” for BBC Radio 4 on the music of the Egyptian Revolution. ... more

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