Jagal el USEK: A Success Story.

Michelle Keserwany’s Jagal el USEK is more than a song; it is a social satire. In Lebanese Arabic, the word “Jagal” (the etymology of which is extremely enigmatic) can be translated as “lady killer” given to pretentious display, a conceited macho with cocky manners. But the Jagal is not systematically a wannabe pimp trying too hard, he could also simply be a confident and cool guy.

Jagal el USEK is not only a social caricature of the Lebanese Jagal, bragging about his car, fine clothes, dad, way of life, money, etc., in short: bragging about everything he owns and nothing he is. It is also a sharp critique of male-female relations within Lebanese and Arab societies. I very much liked how the girl in the song (clearly autobiographical) puts on the role of the naive and shy “girlie” she is obviously not, who suddenly transforms into a despotic wife in order to make the Jagal run away.

Indeed, in my country, most girls are naive (but less and less) and most wives are phallic. Take a look at your parents and most middle-aged couples: in old couples, wives are the man and the woman at the same time. Men just seem to lose their phallus after marriage!

Enough analysis. Here is the official video clip (disappointing, but the song is still good), my favorite audio version, and the lyrics. Enjoy.

Jagal el USEK Official Video Clip.


Here is the audio version I prefer:


kent e3de bel cafète
ma fi chi 3a bele
3am beshrab nescafé
eja shabb w a3ad 2bele

lebes lunettes
w cha3ro mtabbas bel gel
alle bonjour-
-ik ya demoiselle

ana el shabb el cool
lbyesma3 fifty-cent
siyyarte bet lamme3
w ma b2affe event
3ande chalet
w villa b farayya
w ex-miss liban
e ana khayya

3melet 7ale hable
w 3melt 7ale mastoule
ma 7kito chi
w 3a wejje el basme el khajoule

3melet 7ale hable
w 3melt 7ale mastoule
ma eltello shi
w 3a wejje el basme el khajoule

ana jagal el usek
3youne mlawnin
beshrab vodka sec
w chemiseté mousseline
el papi colonel
w bdakhin cigare
3tine ra2mik j’t’appelle
ta nedhar shi nhar

hone rasse far
la ktir hal2adde 3layye
wejje kello 7marr
w tol3it dakhne men dinayye

wejje kello 7marr
w tol3it dakhne men dinayye
w nhareta 3refet le
bi oulo 3an 7awwa 7ayye

eltello no way
el 2adar kif jama3na
7ayete kella ablak
ma ken ela ma3na
bass ya 7obb 7ayete
w ya shrayin el alb
ta3a nettefi2 3a shaghle
w men awwal el darb

3ale2a 3atifiyye b amous bayye ma fi
badda tkoun jadiyye ta ye2bal bayye fik
..ne lezim netjawwaz
w tjeble siyyara
w njib wled
w nsamme el benet sarah
w ta3melle piscine
w tghayyerle el lamba
w tsafferne 3al sin
w t2acherle manga
w tefrechle beit
w tjeble jhez
w t2oss el gazonet
w tlamme3 le 2zez
waw fekret el jeze
3anjad 7abbet
yalla amtan baddak nokhtob
ta dellak 3al beit?

w khdarr el chabb el cool
w dabb el lunettes
w alle “euh sorry mashghoul”
w lezim erja3 3al beit
w b2it la wa7de
3am beshrab nescafé
3am bed7ak la 7ale ana w tal3a 3a saffe

7kito bkell ma7abbe
w tsamma3t 3le
bass ma 3ad wajjah sawbe
walla ma ba3rif le

ekhtafa el shabb el cool
le byesma3 fifty-cents
lsiyyarto bet lamme3
lma bi 2affe event
3ando chalet
w villa b farayya
w ex-miss liban
e e e houwe khayya

jagal el usek
3youno mlawnin
byeshrab vodka sec
w chemiseto mousseline

bayyo colonel
w bidakhen cigare
w ken fekro yde22elle
ta nedhar shi nhar (x 2)

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