This lullaby was collected and sung by Maryan Anshur. Over the past 30 years she has travelled in both Somalia and Europe and collected a unique archive of Somali children's stories and songs.
Oh, Perfect Child
Hobeeyaa hobeeheey hobeeheyaa
Markaad dhalatee dhawaaqday,
Dhedow dhaxan bayga duushay,
Dhulkaa ii wada iftiimay.
Dhammow dhuux iyo lafoowaa,
Dhammow dhuubane dhalyow waa,
Dhammow dhogor xaajiyow waa,
Dhammow kaan ku dhaartayow waa
Dhammow dheega Hartiyowa'.
Hobeeyaa hobeeheey hobeeheeyaa
When you were born and first cried,
All of my body glowed.
The whole world shone.
Oh perfect child, you're from the finest, deep roots.
Oh perfect child, you're the son of a tall, slim father.
Oh perfect child, you have the skin of a pilgrim.
Oh perfect child, you're the one whose life I swear upon.
Oh perfect child, you are the highest Harti*.
*Re. Harti - A name used to denote the various Darod sub-clans. According to Wikipedia, it also means "strong man".
Sung by Maryan Anshur, a Somali-born woman living in the UK.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Karin Koller from Quirky Press for sharing this lullaby. Thanks to Maryan Anshur for the recording, to Marilyn Ricci who was very involved with the translation, Anne Fishenden who did the illustration and Samantha Aylward who did the graphic design for the cd/book. This lullaby can be found in a wonderful dual-language (Somali/English) book of 14 Somali Lullabies, including a CD of the songs sung in Somali, by Maryan Anshur. Check out this link for info on purchasing the book and cd.