Let me just start by saying that I am so excited that the entire freaking album is on Youtube!
And with that let’s take a look at Gin:
Here are the lyrics:
بالغابة منسهر بالليل .. منشرب من قلب الغزال
مننخر الارض بعصيان .. ليطوف الخمر من العين
كل النسوان و الرجال .. جايين لابسين الجلود
بانتظار اللى بيموت و بيعود .. منسمع حكمة الأعناب
كل الحكم بالأعناب .. رح نهجر حالنا بــس الله مــعنــا
مــا اشربش القــزوزة و لا الشــاى أنـا
رح غرق حزنى حأنسى اسمى حأعطى نفسى لليل
و عمادة كـبدى بالجن .. برقص لـعوذ من الجن
رح غطس كبدى بالجن .. باسم الأب و الابن
بكرا بس اوعى بالليل .. يوم القيامة حيــقوم
لكن الخمار ما بيوجع قد الهموم .. بينى و بين فرحى حيط
بسمك قزازة الكاس .. بـرليـن ما صمدت ..
نــاولنى و هبط!
Well obviously this song is about drinking, but not in a raving sense. I mean the beat is there, and the “مــا اشربش لشــاى أنـا” is quite cheeky, but I think the main themes are thirst and sadness.
From the art piece in the video and the first couple of verses we can understand that”we” refers to a group of hyenas thirsty for a Gazelle’s heart. Hyenas are perfectly fit for Ibn Ellil because guess what, they are are nocturnal animals!
Another biblical imagery of thirst is brought to mind by the second verse: We can easily picture Ishmael scraping the ground (ننخر الارض) and Hagar finding the source (عين).
At first I thought it was a bit of a stretch but “يطوف ” was a dealmaker. I think it’s clearly referring to Hajj (Islamic pilgrimage), and in particular the “Safa & Marwaa”. Then again”يطوف ” could simply be an additional religious reference to add to “Baptism” in the 8th verse, as well as “In name of the Father and the Son” and “The End of Time” in the following ones. So I don’t really know… Tell me what you think.
Obviously عين also means eye.
So the second half of the second verse also links wine to the tears. “ليطوف الخمر من العين” . Pretty neat.
It seems then that drinking quenches one’s thirst, but also brings darkness and demons.
I love the duality of the word جن. On the one hand it means gin (the drink), which I happen to know first hand is one of Hamed’s favorites
But it also means demon.
Hamed has shared how difficult it was for him to recover after he lost his father and how he spent his days drinking before writing this album. So it seems that the song is about drinking to drown ones’ sorrow.
The lyrics almost literally say so: “رح غطس كبدى بالجن”. Now would be a good time to remind you that the liver was long believed to be the organ of feeling, so it’s perfect for combining drinking and sadness!
Surprisingly, the end of the song has some kind of a twist. It describes drinking as the way to happiness: The wall between him and his happiness is the glass. Maybe he just means forgetting his problems and not actual happiness..But there is also the possibility that he means that drinking brings happiness because it frees him and brings him closer to his feelings.
In that sense, the Berlin wall iconography is just a way to say that he won’t keep a wall between him and his feelings. Which is just beuatiful. Amirite?
If you want to learn more about Hamed’s “feelings” and the motivations behind this album, I cannot recommend this interview enough:
Also check out my other posts on Mashrou Leila:
PS: btw, I was googling Hyenas and Gazelles and this came up. I had to share: