Monday, December 29, 2014

Another xalq mahnısı - Dağlara çən düşəndə

I've started singing again with a new teacher - Konul. She is really teaching me the proper way to sing xalq mahnısı. I really love singing these songs, but the meaning can be difficult to decipher. Even locals that I have asked about lyrics have confessed that they don't understand some archaic words. I have gone to the dictionary for several in this song. However, even when the words are not difficult, the meaning can be elusive.


Dağlara çən düşəndə,
Sünbülə dən düşəndə.
Ruhum bədəndən oynar bala,
Yadıma sən düşəndə.


Yaylığı aldı yarım,
Boynuma saldı yarım.
Qıyğacı baxmaq ilə bala,
Könlümu aldı yarım.


Səyyada bax səyyada,
Torun qurub qayada.
Toruna tərlan düşüb bala,
Kimsəsi yox oyada.

Fog descends on the mountains,
The wheat is ready for harvest.
You come to mind,
My spirit dances.

[OK, the image of falling works in Azerbaijani, but doesn't in English.]

My love took my scarf,
He put it on my shoulder.
He looked at me with his eyes half closed,
And stole my heart.

Look at the hunter,
He tied a net to a rock.
A bird was captured in the net,
There is no one to awaken.


Alef Jim said...

Hi Colleen,

Notice that “…seed falls…” is wrong translation. This is because dən düşmək is phrasal verb and idiom. “Dən” in an of itself could be translated as seed or grain. It can be translated as wheat spikelet too. "Düşmək", taken separately from other words, means to fall. But "dən" and "düşmək" together do not mean “to let seed fall” or something similar. In addition to some other meanings (irrelevant to your text), “dən düşmək” means to bring forth fruit, to come to fruition, to ripen, to whiten, to gray.
You may hear from literary-minded azeris to use the phrase “Saçlarıma dən düşüb.” Literal translation would not make sense here; appropriate translation would be my hair has grayed.
The other word, sünbül, means wheat spike.
So, somewhat literal but meaningless translation of "sünbülə dən düşəndə" would be when grain/spikelet falls into wheat spike.
More meaningful translation of "sünbülə dən düşəndə" is “when wheat spike ripens” or something similar.
I think more correct translation would be

When fog descends on the mountains,
When wheat (spike) ripens
When I recall you
My soul moves (or dances) in my body.

Colleen MacDonell said...

Thanks Alef! It also didn't make sense that it was falling to the ear of wheat. Your explanation as always is so helpful.