Marcel Khalife – Passport

Painting Sunlight and Shadow: The Newbury Marshes by Martin Johnson Heade

This beautiful song “Passport” is sung by Lebanese composer and singer Marcel Khalife. He also plays the oud (the Arabic lute)

English Lyrics:

They didn’t know me
in the shadows that
absorbed my color
into the passport
and my wound was for them like an exhibition in a gallery
for a tourist who loves collecting pictures

They didn’t know me
don’t let the palm of your hand under the sunshine (at a woman)
because the trees know me
even all the songs of the rain know me
because the trees know me
all the songs of the rain know me
don’t leave me pale like the moon (to a woman)
like the moon..

all the birds who followed the palm of my hand to the door
of the far away airport
all the fields of wheat
all the prisons
all the white graves
all the borders
all the handkerchiefs that waved
all the eyes
everything was with me but they
had let it all fallen to be not in the passport!

forced to be ashamed of my name and my sense of belonging
in the dirt which I had formed with my own hands
Hiob’s patience calls into the sky of the new day:
don’t make an example of me – second, second!*

Gentlemen, gentlemen and prophets
don’t ask the trees what their names are!
don’t ask the valleys who their mothers are!
from my forehead a sword of light comes out
and from my hand sprigs the water of the river..

The hearts of all humans are my nationality!
so free me of this passport..

The author of the poem, Mahmoud Darwish

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