Fila Sophia

applied philosophy, deep democracy, sustainability / by A.R.Teleb

Om Kalthoum “The Lady”: What is it about the Blues?

This post is off topic to ask a (quasi-rhetorical) question.

Umm Kulthum (or Om Kalthoum) was an Egyptian singer, notoriously popular during the middle of the 20th century. Her funeral in 1975, said to be one of the largest two or three in history, brought together over 4 million people.

She traveled to Tunis in 1968 and gave a 90 minute concert, ten minutes of which repeated the same three lines about a love-drunk couple “walking under the moon” over a dozen times and brought the well-dressed, well-coiffed crowd to a frenzy. How could this “farmer girl” from a tiny village, now nearly 70 years old, do such a thing?

The moon and its universality is clear. But what is it about the blues? What is it about the blues that makes people happy in its woeful, doleful, nostalgic subject matter? What does that say about human beings?

At any rate, everything there is to say about it has probably been said, and I wish to add nothing to it. Here’s my tweet from earlier and the video, a rare good-quality youtube. Sukara = drunks. The name of the song is “The Ruins.” It’s sung in classical Arabic with an Egyptian accent.


a gramophone jazz’d
melancholy nostalgic
quranic ‘n deep blue

#haiku #twoetry
#OmKa #blues #Eg
Om Kalthoum 1968 Concert Clip

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