Beyond Bridges
10 tracks

Beyond Bridges

Album Description

“Beyond Bridges” is the second album from world-fusion group Azadoota. Iraqi front man Robin Zirwanda delivers ten catchy new original songs in the accessible, dance-driven style for which Azadoota is known, and showcases fellow Iraqi Ahmed Al Karawi on acoustic and electric oud. Robin sings in his native Assyrian language (with one song in Arabic), mixing traditional Assyrian dabke with contemporary rhythms, while intricate oud improvisations caress the melody lines with the fluency of a true maestro.

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COVER ARTWORK

For the cover of the CD we worked with Naomi from Chilli House Design to develop a concept that reflects the themes of the record. The inspiration behind the name "Beyond Bridges" is that in life and in our music we are constantly working to bridge the gulf between nations (and between generations), with a view that beyond the bridges is a place where harmony truly exists.

For the background image, we used a picture of Mosul city, shot by Iraqi photographer Saad Salem. Mosul is the site of the Ancient Assyrian capital Nineveh, and is also the city where both Robin's and Ahmed's mothers grew up. The instruments protruding out of the city are ones that were actually used on the recording. The pattern we use behind the Azadoota logo is a replica of a decorative motif found in the ancient palaces of Nineveh.

Have a look at some more of Saad's photos here.

Mosul

Lyrics

She came from another country, She had heard about me, she was very happy.
I asked her who are you and where do you come from?
Tell me, let me know, how did you hear about me?
I asked her who are you and where do you come from?
Tell me, let me know, how did you fall in love with me?
She answered, I was the one, I was the quiet girl. We used to play together in the creek.
She answered, I was the one, I was the quiet girl. I used to sit next to you in the creek.
You remind me of those days. I had one photo from a long time ago.
There was no-one like you, no girl as beautiful.
How can I forget your beauty, girl from my nation.

See the eagle, he's looking with his eyes.
See the eagle, he's showing us the path.
How long will I live in a foreign land, living as an alien with no identity?
Tell me when the day will come that we will all gather together, and hand in hand we will return to those mountains.
See the eagle, he's looking with his eyes
See the eagle, he's showing us the path
Who is the man who has the intelligence to gather my people together and find a solution?
I miss my neighbours and relatives so much. I want to go back to my country so I can hold them in my arms.
See the eagle, he's looking with his eyes
See the eagle, he's showing us the path
Eagle, show me the shortest way. I want to go back to my homeland.
I'm fed up with displacement, I'm struggling to hold back the emotion.
I keep hearing the name of Nineveh, it brings tears to my eyes.

Have a look at my child, how sweet he is, how much happiness he has brought to my heart.
I have brought you up in the way of faith, and your heart should be clean and full of happiness.
There’s no day he doesn’t wake up and look at my face, he starts singing his songs for me
He has a really beautiful voice and he sings all the time.
All this time we waited for you. When you were born we didn’t realise how much love you’d bring us.
We waited days and nights. We didn’t know your love was going to come.
There’s not one day I don’t take him to Bertoni, he always asks me, “Where’s Tony’s mum?”
Lots and lots of girls always gather round him. In my heart I say to him “good on you!”
I love you more than both my eyes. Your love is so beautiful to me. I don’t want to go through a single day without you I truly love you so much.
All this time we waited for you. When you were born we didn’t realise how much love you’d bring us.
We waited days and nights. We didn’t know your love was going to come.

Come back, come back to me I’m having a breakdown. Come and have a look at my life. I am very depressed. She has turned against me.
Since she left I feel completely shattered. She has turned against me. She has made me so confused, like I’m falling.
Come back, Don’t leave me alone. I only ever loved you.
Come and have a look at my life. I am so miserable since you left.
She has turned against me. Since she left I feel completely shattered. She has turned against me. She has made me so confused, so confused.
Come and have a look, Look in my eyes. Come and see how much I have to say.
My heart is sad. Even now it only loves you.
She has turned against me. Since she left I feel completely shattered. She has turned against me. She has made me so confused, so crippled.
Come back to me my sweetheart. Make my heart happy.
Come back to me my sweetheart so my heart can be happy.
She has turned against me. Since she left I feel completely shattered. She has turned against me. She has made me so confused, so confused.
Come back to me my sweetheart. Make my sadness happy. Come back to me my sweetheart. So this sadness can become happiness.
She has turned against me. Since she left I feel completely shattered. She has turned against me. She has made me so confused, like I’m falling.
Come back, Come and look at me. I tell this to you alone. My heart, my love for you, I am so miserable since you left.
She has turned against me. Since she left I feel completely shattered. She has turned against me. She has made me so confused, So crippled.
Come back!

Kiss me kiss me with your mouth, My life is passing by
Kiss me kiss me with your mouth, Life is way too short.
Ay hawar hawar, my voice is calling out, Your kiss is still in my memory.
You went and left me behind, sad in this world, I’m asking of you, where’s that kind heart of yours?
Kiss me kiss me with your mouth, My life is passing by
Kiss me kiss me with your mouth, Life is way too short.
You told people that you loved me a lot, But I was young in age, that’s why you didn’t want me.
I didn’t have the guts to tell you, I was young in age and I loved you a lot.
Kiss me kiss me with your mouth, My life is passing by
Kiss me kiss me with your mouth, Life is way too short.
I used to wait for the day to go past quickly. Night time used to come and my heart would fill with flowers.
I used to get up from my sleep like I was crazy, and I’d say “oh my god what the hell is happening?”
Kiss me kiss me with your mouth, My life is passing by
Kiss me kiss me with your mouth, Life is way too short.

(In Assyrian)
My night is not night, my day is not day, Your beauty is so beautiful.
I fell in love with you, I love you so much, With your love I will never forget you.
(In Arabic)
Here we come, here we come, here we come, We came to ask for your daughter, we came.
We came to see her, we came. We accepted the marriage conditions.
Our son loves your daughter, here we come. Here we come, here we come, here we come.
We came and brought you a gift. We have nothing but gold for your daughter.
We came bringing our relatives with us, They just want to see who this girl is.
Here we come, here we come, here we come, We came to see your daughter, we came.
She is dark and beautiful, we came, Her eyes are blue and beautiful, we came.
Our son loves your daughter, here we come. Here we come, here we come, here we come!

(The first verse of the song, from the perspective of the groom, is in Assyrian. Then the rest of the song, from the perspective of the groom’s parents speaking to the bride’s parents, is in Arabic. This suggests that the song describes a cross-cultural marriage, with the groom’s family being Assyrian and the bride’s family being Arab.)

Khaled ya Khaled1, What have you done to us?
You’ve ruined our houses2, You’ve shattered our dreams.
For so many years I saved up my money, Entrusting it to the worms, I buried it underground.
How did you have the gall to go so low that you even cheated worms?3
Khaled ya Khaled, What have you done to us? You’ve ruined our houses, You’ve shattered our dreams.
Not a morning went by without me looking up to see the name Froggy written in the sky.4
Why do you suddenly love frogs so much? Back in Dora we used to kill them with our sling-shots.
Khaled ya Khaled, What have you done to us? You’ve ruined our houses, You’ve shattered our dreams.
You fed $20 million to the Shark5 Just to get yourself one boat.
You cruised around eating the whole world. Now, why are you anchored in Long Bay?6
Khaled ya Khaled, What have you done to us? You’ve ruined our houses, You’ve shattered our dreams.

FOOTNOTES
1. Khaled, known as Karl, is infamous for running a pyramid investment scheme that defrauded over 2000 investors to the tune of $130 million. Karl used investors’ cash to fund his extravagant lifestyle until his pyramid scheme eventually collapsed. Karl was jailed and the investors – almost all from Sydney’s Assyrian community – were left shocked, betrayed and badly in debt.
2. Literally - you’ve wrecked our houses – many investors mortgaged their homes to invest with Karl.
3. Refers to the practice of migrants, not trusting the banks, who kept their savings as cash buried in the back yard. Karl was even able to persuade these “low risk” investors to join his doomed pyramid scheme.
4. Karl’s other business venture, discount ISP “Froggy” conducted a prolific skywriting ad campaign throughout 2000 – 2001, before Karl’s empire collapsed.
5. Karl purchased a luxury motor yacht from Greg Norman, “the Shark”.
6. Refers to Long Bay Jail, Sydney’s maximum security prison.

Hey Maro, what can I tell you?
I had two sisters. One of them left me way before her time.
I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know who to talk to.
It was like a dream passing very quickly before my eyes.
I didn’t have time to visit you. I had a few words to tell you.
I didn’t have the guts to talk to you, but I had a few words to send with you.
Hey Maro, what can I tell you?
I had two sisters. One of them left me way before her time.
I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know who to talk to,
It was like a dream passing very quickly before my eyes.
You haven’t spoken to me for a long time.
You haven’t spoken to me since the day of Nusardil.
I couldn’t be of any help to you because I lived far away.
There’s nothing I could have done because I lived far away from you.
Hey Maro, what can I tell you?
I had two sisters. One of them left me way before her time.
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know who to talk to.
It was like a dream passing very quickly before my eyes.
I’m saying goodbye to you, kind-hearted Maro. I’ll always remember you til the day I die.
I had a letter to send with you. Take it to her and tell her how much I still remember her.

The time came, and everyone was separated from each other.
The time will come that everyone will join together again.
I am looking for the day to come. We will raise a flag and start building those houses.
I am looking for the day to come. We will raise a flag and start building those villages.
The time came, and everyone was separated from each other.
The time will come that everyone will join together again.
We have dispersed over the seas. We are waiting for that blessed day to come.
We have dispersed over the seas, far from each other, waiting for that day to come.
The time came, and everyone was separated from each other.
The time will come that everyone will join together again.
Our departure was hurried. Our return will be full of love and happiness.
Our departure was bitter. Our return will be full of love and happiness.

Why did you split up with me?
You left me very unhappy. You took your love away from me and gave it to someone else.
Why did you split up with me?
Just with words you tricked me. You took your love away from me and gave it to someone else.
I’m on the run, There’s nothing left to cling to.
I’m on the run, Nothing’s going to change.
Why did you split up with me?
There’s only one girl I have ever loved. Even she has forgotten me.
I’m on the run, There’s nothing left to cling to.
I’m on the run, Nothing’s going to change.
Why did you split up with me?
Why did you split up with me?

Behind the scenes