Fairuz -قصة مش هاي -Ussa Mush Hay ‘It doesn’t matter’

Composed by Ziad Rahbani and released in their first collaboration, the album Kefak Inta, this song’s chorus could be an ode to a woman’s self-sufficiency: ‘you can say you care, you can say you don’t, I really don’t care’ because this is a purely mutually beneficial situation. The issue is that of course it is ironic, and the protagonist of the song is both financially and emotionally dependent on her unreliable lover (‘You have a great place and esteem, and at yours  I have much prestige’), making her assertion ‘مش فارقة معاي’ (it makes no difference to me i.e. I don’t care) one of questionable certainty. Ziad manages to craft a seemingly strong and self-asserting woman all whilst bringing her down. The ‘I don’t care’ may appear as an assertion of agency, but it in fact emphasizes her powerlessness. Not caring here means not being able to voice an objection. A passive acceptance of any of her lover’s whims. The voice Ziad expresses in his lyrics is echoed by Fairuz herself in her interview: ‘From the beginning I’ve been one of the friends of silence. […] Words are impotent.’ When asked for her opinion in another interview, she stated ‘Is not my singing speaking?’ If her singing substitutes her speaking and her song lyrics are written by the men in her life, that makes for a sad form of self-expression. Whilst affirming the singer’s powerlessness, Mush Usa Hay simultaneously gives a possibility of its expression. Ziad’s song-writing thus paradoxically articulates Fairuz’s lack of agency all whilst disempowering her. The paradox of the subaltern.

بتمرق علي امرق ما بتمرق ما تمرق مش فارقة معاي مش فارقة معاي
You decide to drop by, then do, if you don’t drop by, then don’t,  I don’t care, I don’t care 

بتعشق علي اعشق ما بتعشق ما تعشق مش فرقة معاي مش فارقة معاي
You decide to love me, then love, if you don’t love me, then don’t love, I don’t care, I don’t care

بتمرق علي امرق ما بتمرق ما تمرق مش فارقة معاي مش فارقة معاي

بتعشق علي اعشق ما بتعشق ما تعشق مش فرقة معاي مش فارقة معاي

عندك مكانة وصيت كبير وفي عندك عندي من التقدير شي كتير
You have a great place and esteem, and at yours  I have much prestige

عندك مكانة وصيت كبير وفي عندك عندي من التقدير شي كتير

لكن بتروح بترم مش مسموح واعزارك ما بتنفع معاي
But you go off and do what’s not allowed, your excuses will not sway me

لكن بتروح بترم مش مسموح واعزارك ما بتنفع معاي

تمرق علي امرق ما بتمرق ما تمرق مش فارقة معاي مش فارقة معاي

تشفق علي اشفق ما بتشفق ما تشفق مش هاين علي مش فرقه معاي
You feel pity for me, then do, if you don’t feel pity, then don’t, it’s not easy for me, I don’t care

بتعلق معاي اعلق ما تعلق ما تعلق القصة مش هاي مش قصة هاي
You dangle with me, then do,  if you don’t dangle, then don’t, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter [lit: it’s not a story]

حبك اناني بالتأكيد ومفكر انك انت وحيد وعنيد
Your love is selfish, certainly, and I think you are lonely and stubborn 

حبك اناني بالتأكيد ومفكر انك انت وحيد وعنيد

وعلى شو مسنود على شي مش موجود عم تغلط وتزود علي
And what is it supported on? On something which doesn’t exist. 
You make me miserable and provide for me. 

بتصدق معاي اصدق ما بتصدق ما تصدق القصة مش هاي مش قصة هاي مش قصة
You’re true with me, then be true, if you’re not true, then don’t be, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter

بتفرق معاي تفرق ما بتفرق ما تفرق قصة مش هاي مش فارقة معاي
You care about me, then do, if you don’t care, then don’t,  I don’t care, I don’t care

هيدي الغنية جزء صغير من عقلك والشقى والتعتير
This song is just a small part of your wretched and unfortunate mind.

هيدي الغنية جزء صغير من عقلك والشقى والتعتير

ولو وقتي يساع بتصير ما بتنزاع وبتجرس هالعالم ياخي
And while time goes on, the world is in discord when you speak, man.

بتمرق علي امرق ما بتمرق ما تمرق مش فارقة معاي مش فارقة معاي

تسودن مساي يلا ما تسودن خير من الله مش انت مساي مش قصة هاي مش قصة

Darken my night, come on, don’t darken it, thank god you’re not my night, [but then again] it doesn’t matter.

بتفرق معاي تفرق ما بتفرق ما تفرق قصة مش هاي مش فارقة معاي
بتمرق علي امرق ما بتمرق ما تمرق مش فارقة معاي مش فارقة معاي
بتمرق علي امرق ما بتمرق ما تمرق مش فارقة معاي مش فارقة معاي

The song is the last on the album, but a bizarrely psychedelic 1.5 minute long xylophone version appears in the middle of the album under the title ‘Laada'(لعادة returning):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSjl8xGkKuQ

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