Cauchemar (Nightmare)

from by Chris Cunningham



The improvised lyrics by the Ethiopian singer Biruk Chegen (in Amharic) were inspired by the painting, Cauchemar, by Louis Janmot.

In 26/8


Cauchemar (nightmare)

ህልም ነው ወይ ቅዥት? የማየው እያልክ ስትፈራ
ህልም አይደለም ቅዥት ሚታየው እውነት ነው
ተስፋ ስትቆርጥ ማየት አልፈልግም
መልካም ነገር ይሆንል ል
ጥረትን አድርግ፣ አትበል ድክም
አትበል ድክም
ሂድወደፊት ተጋዝ፣ አትበል ድክም
አትበል ድክም
አትበል ድክም
ተፍጨርጭረህ ጎንህ ያለውን ይዘህ
ነገሩ ቢምስል አስፈሪ
እሩጥ፣ ተስፋ አትቁረጥ
ጠንከር በል
ተስፋ አትቁረጥ

hilimi newi weyi k’izhiti? yemayewi iyaliki sitifera
hilimi āyidelemi k’izhiti mītayewi iwineti newi
tesifa sitik’orit’i mayeti ālifeligimi
melikami negeri yihonilihāli
t’iretini ādirigi፣ ātibeli dikimi
ātibeli dikimi
hīdiwedefīti tegazi፣ ātibeli dikimi
ātibeli dikimi
ātibeli dikimi
tefich’erich’irehi gonihi yalewini yizehi
negeru bīmisili āsiferī
irut’i፣ tesifa ātik’uret’i
t’enikeri beli
tesifa ātik’uret’i


Is it a dream or a nightmare? When you are afraid of what I see
It is not a dream it is a reality to be seen
I don't want to see you give up
It will be a good thing for you
Make the Effort, Do Not Say Weakness
Do not say that you can’t
Go ahead, don't say I can’t
Do not say that you are tired
Do not say that you are tired
Hold on to what is on your side
Even though it seems scary
Run, don't despair
Be strong
Do not give up


from How It Went Down, released September 22, 2019
Chris Cunningham:12 string guitars, bass, baritone guitar, frame drum, dumbeks, keyboards, porch board kick drum, drum programming and drums, shaker
Biruk Chegen: vocals

Painting: Cauchemar (Nightmare) by Louis Janmot - mid 1800s


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