In a previous post I wrote about how musical taste could be connected to where a person comes from. And a few days ago, while I was looking for something on YouTube, I found a video of an old song from that nice post-October 88 period. The song’s title was “Alash ya babor“, sung by Cheb Aziz, and it dealt with emigration (ghorba), and the babor (boat) as the way to leave the country was used as a symbol.
I don’t know where the word “babor” comes from and why it is used to mean “boat” in Algeria. This link provides some insights; it apparently means “train” in Egypt and some “oil lamp” in Jordan. Though this is not the topic, it again gives an example of how the different Arabic dialects can differ.
So back to the topic. I decided to look for other songs where “babor” was mentioned, and as I’ve been lucky in my
research I thought why not share some of the results here. I believe most of this blog’s readers know that I do not like Rai music, but most of the songs I found fall under this ugly category and the singers are all called Cheb flane or feltane.
Here is my selection.
I know some of the above, and many of those I didn’t select, are lame but there is something interesting about them. The first two songs express the feelings of those who left the country and regret it. Those who want to leave the country at any cost, even as harraga, have their opinion voiced by songs three and four. Shouldn’t they have used flouka instead of babor?
The last song is… like any other Rabah Dariassa’s song. Unique🙂
Before I publish this post, and to make it less useless, it’s worth adding that “Babor” is also the name of a mountainous chain in the Little Kabylie region. It is also part of the name of Fellag‘s one-man show, “Babor l’Australie” which you can watch here and which was released in 1992 at a time when Australia became the new Eldorado for young Algerians who were exchanged against some Australian
wallabies sheep. Finally, “Babor” is also in “Babor ghraq“, Slimane Benaissa‘s masterpiece and from which this excerpt had been taken. The boat that has sunk is obviously a metaphor for Algeria…
Here is Cheb Aziz’s song which sounds better to my ears.