art of resistance, Lebanon

Playlist: Maghawir By Mashrou’ Leila.

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It’s hard not to love Mashrou’ Leila. And why would anyone even try? Just love them. Love their music. Deeply. This June, they played at NPR’s Tiny Desk, and here is a lovely video of them singing Maghawir (Commandos). Maghawir is one of my favourite songs from their new album Ibn El Leil, and it might be one of their best songs ever.

The band wrote the song in response to two nightclub shootings in Beirut — a tragic parallel to what happened in Orlando (that’s why they decided to open the Tiny Desk session with that song). In the Beirut shootings, which took place within a week of each other, two of the young victims were out celebrating their birthdays.

So Maghawir is a wry checklist of sorts about how to spend a birthday clubbing in their home city, but also a running commentary about machismo and the idea that big guns make big men.

Number one, happy birthday beautiful.

Number two, you’re in for a long night;

Tell your mother to chill:

The club’s a bullet’s throw away.

Number three, wear your black suit and come down,

Bearing that when snow caps the hills

All the boys become men:

Soldiers in the capital of the night.

Shoop shoop shot you down.

Shoop shoop shot you down.

We were just all together,

Painting the town.

Where’d you disappear?

Previous Playlist:

Selda Bağcan

Saul Williams

Farida Muhammad Ali.

Nakba Day

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