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NOA (Achinoam Nini) - Genes & Jeans

by Noa (Achinoam Nini)

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about

This album was born from my wish to seek and revive the Yemenite songs I heard from my grandmother as a child. I listened to endless amazing singers, from Aharon Amram, Zion Golan,
Shoshana Damari, Shlomo Dachyani and Miriam Tzafri to Avner Gadasi and Ofra Chaza. The beautiful melodies and wonderful voices touched me deeply and humbled me greatly, though none as much as grandma Rachel's, she is number one, all 4 feet of her. It was clear
to me that a girl born in Israel and raised in New York, where the Yemenite songs faded and were replaced by Joni mitchell and Paul Simon, would have to find her own way to connect to that rich place called Root...

I meditated on the old Hebrew/Yemenite lyrics, full of love and longing, of dreams unfulfilled, of pain, heat, dust and wind. I wrote new English lyrics and music, and wrapped them around the old songs like a long coat in winter. I contemplated my family's history, their harrowing journey from Yemen to Israel, my grandfather's travels to Africa and beyond, finally uprooting the family to the US, my own decision to follow my heart and return to Israel, and from there, to again embrace the world on the wings of song, as a young woman and later, as a mother of two. This never ending search for identity, for clarity, for acceptance, for love: I tried to see it through my grandmother's eyes, through my mother's, through my own, through my daughter's. The result is before you.

I want to acknowledge the one and only Gil Dor, my best friend and musical director, for his incredible, indefatigable work on this album. Toda Gili.

Achinoam Nini (Noa)

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released March 1, 2008

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Track Name: Waltz to the Road
and the road and the road
and the car and the car
and your wrist touching my hair
we know we are traveling far, far
but we haven't decided on where
and the sound of my name in your mouth
is spicy and sweet, or soft as a prayer
i say, let's turn to the south,
there is nothing and everything there

there's a bottle of water, a bag of dates,
an orange that i can peel
i can tell you a story, or sing if you want,
if you're falling asleep at the wheel
we can talk about when we were kids
and we thought there was nothing we couldn't achieve
then years passed by and blinded our eyes
now we need something else to believe

oooh, something else to believe...

you are silent for hours, i hum, and i hum
i feel on the verge of a song
i wait for the words to come when they come
lucky the road is long
and the music i hear in my head
is the dance of the wind
sweeping over the plain
the shade of your eyes
the shifting skies.
and the rest, only love can explain.

ooooh, only love can explain

at the top of the mountain the view is stunning
but soon it gives way to the night
you say you can tell it's the end of the tunnel
you ask if i've seen the light
the slope is steep
but the road keeps taking us down

to the river below
the sound of the wheels, the endless fields
and i'll go wherever you go

oooo, go wherever you go

and the road and the road
and the car and the car
and my eyes are watching your hands
we know we are traveling far, far
and we know the road never ends...
so lets talk about when we were kids
and we thought there was nothing we couldn't achieve
then years passed by
and blinded our eyes,
now we need something else to believe

oooh, something else to believe...
Track Name: In Your Eyes (Ayelet Chen)
מילים ולחן אנגלית: אחינועם ניני וגיל דור
מילים עברית: רבי שלום שבזי
לחן: עממי

איילת חן, איילת חן
בגלות תסמכני
ובלילה ובלילה
בתוך חיקה מלוני

in your eyes
I see something distant
waiting for

in your eyes
I see something constant
longing for

the smallest hands
I've ever seen
but hard as steel
the straightest back
that's ever been
deep inside you're shivering

and I feel you
every time I look in the mirror
I feel you
don't hide your tears away from me
I feel you
every time I look in the mirror
I feel you

איילת חן?

in my ear you would always whisper
soothing words
I could hear in your voice beauty
different worlds

too proud to ever bend
forest hills napoleon
the village girl turned city cat
desert in your velvet hat
strength of will turning wheels
handkerchief and faded heels
silver hair, cheeks of rouge
a heart that's huge

and I feel you
every time I look in the mirror
I feel you
don't hide your tears away from me
I feel you
every time I look in the mirror
I feel you

(every time I look in the mirror and see your eyes)
Track Name: The Eyes of Love
little girl so young and tender
braids are thrown upon her back
in the pages of her book the world is
white and black

she is wearing heavy glasses
far from who she dreamt to be
little one, her father tells her,
close your eyes and see...

the eyes of love
don't know your name
don't see the color of your skin
the eyes of love
don't know where you?ve been
the eyes of love
don't know your age
don't see the lines you try to hide
the eye of love
see only what?s inside

little girl has grown and flowered
glasses tiny, in her eyes
she can see a lot more clearly,
still at night she cries

never happy with the mirror
she will shun all who adore
little one her father tells her
open up your door...

the eyes of love...

the light shining bright from your heart...
Track Name: Dreamer
dreamer
sending your vision into the night
dreamer
swinging your sword of light

running where the road is broken
singing where no words are spoken

i remember you when i was a girl
how your bright eyes reflected the african planes
you told me of laos and the ivory coast
and of all of your friends with unsayable names...
you taught me to never hide my wings
to strive for all the craziest things
and always believe in the goodness of men
you told me all this,
and took off again?

dreamer
let all the cynics laugh
you?re on your own path...

i remember you when you drank your beer
the crack in your voice when you said,
don't you worry
you know i must go, but i'll come back again?
in the book of your face i could read your story.
a torch in the disillusioned night
you raged, and raged and raged
against the dying of the light!
and i still believe in the goodness of men
you told me all this
and i'll say it again

dreamer
let all the cynics laugh
you're on your own path...

running where the road is broken
singing where no words are spoken...
Track Name: Something Has Changed
something has changed
but i don't know what it is
something has grown inside
something has changed
but i don't know what it is
something has changed

somebody called
in the middle of the night
somebody called my name
somebody called
in the middle of the night
something has changed

something has flown
now i don't know anything
something has shown its face
something has come
and i want to let it in
something is telling me it's time to put my weapons
down and let it begin...

if i would jump
to the bottom of the well
what would i find down there?
water or sand
at the bottom of the well
think i will jump

something has changed
but i don't know what it is
something has grown inside
something has come
and i want to let it in
something is telling me it's time to put my weapons
down and let it begin...

(don't forget to call us, wear a sweater,
will you be home for the holidays?)

something has changed...
Track Name: Ani Tzameh (I'm Thirsty)
מילים: אברהם אבן קפמק
לחן: עממי

אני צמא
למימייך
ירושלם

I thirst for your waters Jerusalem
Track Name: Follow Your Heart
here is the plane, here is the door
here is the boarding pass
come aboard
you've packed your bags
you've made your choice
you've said goodbye
in a tiny voice

so i waved, turned to go
telling myself i won't turn back
bravely, going crazy
a smile on the verge of a heart-attack

follow your heart...

here is the plane, here is the land
everything's opening
everything's sand
don't forget your bag
don't drag your feet
but leave your memories
under the seat

my eyes are red, everything's white
carefully, i trace the steps i took
crazy, going bravely
like every hero in every book

follow your heart...

but i know, life is not a movie
will he be there like his letter said?
follow your heart
numb your head
Track Name: Heart and Head
happiness, the guests are all in line
happiness, they say i look divine
happiness, the never ending list.
happiness, there must be more than this...

everyone's celebrating
blessings and flowers shower over my head
my heart is syncopating
what do i really know about the man in my bed?

everything's burning, dancing and turning
spinning around i'm nearly falling apart
can i be certain, open the curtain
break down the walls between my head and my heart

happiness, it's written in the books
happiness, your fortune and your looks
happiness, you tie it on your wrist
happiness, there must be more than this

everyone's drunk and happy
swaying deep in a trance
feet are stomping hands are clapping
saying life is a dance

everything's burning, dancing and turning
wine like a river flowing rapid and red
can i be certain, open the curtain
break down the walls between my heart and my head

every night and day we grow
to be the sum of you and me
is more than 2 alone but can i love you now
will we be happy?
heart and head, i'm wondering...
Track Name: Lullaby
Sleep little baby don't you fret
mamma's gonna say a little prayer
then mama's gonna get some masking tape
and fix the hole in the ozone layer

sleep little angel, baby dove
sun's gone down, it's getting late
mamma's got her chicken soup of love
for the bad old world is sick with hate

wish that I could give you child
all the beauty I have seen
all the nature growing wild
far from your computer screen

who knows what the world will be,
angel child, when your are grown,
mamma's gonna sing you a melody
that you can humm when you're alone

now you're in you're cozy bed,
sleep little angel, drop of mud,
there's a journey in your head
and desert winds blow in your blood

wicked wolf and wicked world
howling in the moonless sky
but mamma's here to fend them off
hush little baby, don't you cry
Track Name: Dala Dala
I have to breath
I have to stop and breathe
other wise I'll buckle at the knees.
otherwise I'll freeze.

I have to count to ten,
Wachad, Tnen,
then once again
oh god, there isn't time
Achat, U-Shtayim
three, four,
my heart, the door.
Sahar Sheh Ala
<em>the rising moon</em>

Dala Dala Ya Rashal
<em>slowly, slowly my love</em>
La Yismaouk Ali
<em>so they don't hear you!</em>
Wiyetaleuk Al Chebus
<em>for if they do they'll throw you in jail</em>
Wiyesamsemu Chali
<em>and my throat will be slit!</em>

I have to run
I know I have to run
I can hear the beating of the drum
but my legs are numb

I have to count to ten...

love and death
the sweetness of your breath
the perfume of your skin
death and love
the water and the flames
the echo of our names
the promise in your eyes for which I yearn

Dala Dala...
Track Name: El Hamaayan (To the Spring)
אל המעיין
בא גדי בא גדי קטן
אל המעיין
בא גדי קטן...
השלום לו
ללבן בן בתואל?
ולרחל?

To the well came a little lamb,
I asked him, is peace upon Lavan Ben Betuel?
and what of Rachel?
Track Name: Take Me
take me, take me as i am
take me, don't let go my hand
take the part of me that strives to reach the light

take my hand and lead me through the darkest night
hold me, when i'm feeling low
hold me, never let me go
hold the part of me that fears the setting sun
hold my hand and tell of better days to come

everyone i know plays games
everybody's so untrue
when it's over what remains
nobody but me and you

hold me, when i fall apart
hold me, closer to your heart
hold the part of me that vibrates when i sing
hold me so i'm not afraid of anything

everyone i know plays games
everybody's so untrue
when it's over what remains
nobody but me and you

so take me, take me as i am
take me, don't let go my hand...
take the part of me that strives to reach the light
take my hand and lead me through the darkest night

take me as i am
(never let me go...)
take me as i am
Track Name: Genes and Jeans
סעי יונה ושימעיני
בכינור נגני

Can I wear your jeans?
will they ever fit?
guess I'll just inhale and make the best of it

Sometimes they're too loose
sometimes they're too tight
will I tie the noose upon my appetite?

Hungry, hungry
to belong, to belong...

Can I wear your genes?
guess that's not my choice
I'm walking down the street and singing
in my mother's voice

When you reach this world
wet and cold and scared
little do you know
what you'll be forced to wear

When you grow and change
eyes are open wide
you can try in vain to "metamorphasize"

Hungry, hungry
to belong, to belong...

Sei Yonah Weh Shimini
Bakinor Najany
listen to me, dove, fly high!, play your violin..
Weh Pasachi Zamari Rani
Beshir Hitboneny
dance and sing, contemplate the song..</em>

Can I wear your genes?...
Track Name: The Balancing Act
my angel
so much i'd like to tell you
so much of what i've seen
i'd plant behind your eyes

my angel
i know i can't compel you
to any of my ways
as you walk beneath the merciless skies

my angel
my angel
the more i see, the more i grow,
the less and less i seem to know
only that
life is just a balancing act.

the demons
the fear that will confine you
the fire that will burn
your innocence away

the heartbreak
the pain will seek and find you
and loneliness will grow
with every passing day.

my angel
my angel
i won't be there to always dry
the tears that gently fill your eyes
so will you remember that
life is just a balancing act.

my angel
my angel
the more i see, the more i grow,
the less and less i seem to know
only that
life is just a balancing act.