Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 28.01.2007:
Bethlehem’s wedding songs are inherited from one’ generation to the next, and are distinguished for their innocence, sweetness, and expressive and inspiring vocabulary. They are replete with overpowering passion. Their strong rhyme and assonance are easily noticeable.
Family, relatives and friends will come in flocks, some bringing presents for the baby and its mother, such as clothes. They also offer a sheep, sugar, coffee, sweetmeats and fruits. The father offers them alcoholic drinks such as ‘araq, cognac and wine as well as hors d’oeuvres such as white cheese, fried kidney, tomatoes, cucumbers and almonds. Sweetmeats include raisins, dried figs, fruit leather and fruits, in addition to delicious, fresh fruit juice. Lastly coffee is offered.
1- Shave him, oh, barber, and entrust him to his mother; your fee,
Oh, barber is at the end of his sleeve.
Shave him, Oh, barber, under the shade of a boulder; his mother is glad, and her heart is anxious.
Shave him, Oh, barber, under the shade of fig trees;
Oh, his mother is glad, but her heart is dejected.
Shave him, Oh, barber, with a gold razor; do not pain the groom for me because he is a bachelor.
Shave him, Oh, barber, by God; do not pain the groom, otherwise I shall invoke imprecations against you.
2- Give the barber his equipment and razors, May a hundred almond branches hit him on the head.
Give the barber his splendid equipment; the barber has sworn not to take a fee less than 100.
3- Oh, mother of the bride,
Oh, you are like the legs of the hen,
Oh, all your life you have been a coquette.
Oh, mother of the bride, you are like the legs of the tortoise; all your life you have been wearing a veil.
4- Tell me where shall I hold your wedding ceremony
Oh, (So-and-So), Oh, handsome one.
Lead it Oh, father, in Manger Square.
Tell me where shall I hold your wedding ceremony?
Oh, handsome one; on the Virgin’s Temple between the two candles.
Tell me where shall I hold your wedding ceremony,
Oh, your black-eyed? In the honorable Rock (Mosque) and Prophet David’s (Mosque).
5- At your wedding Oh, brother, my heart and mind were delighted for your sake.
Thank God for His generosity, as the Almighty God has rendered me happy.
6- We have intended to celebrate the wedding;
Oh, people pray for the Prophet.
We have brought ten silk-satins, from a Moroccan trader.
7- Oh, groom, on your wedding day, I will light a chandelier and a lamp.
I will; be delighted and happy; the wedding ceremony took place in the convent.
I will light a chandelier and a candle; and I will invite my beloved to me.
Source:”Bethlehem, The Immortal Town” by Giries Elali.