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NOA (Achinoam Nini) - Noa

by Noa (Achinoam Nini)

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about

Noa, our first international album, was released in, 1994 after the release of "Achinoam Nini and Gil Dor", 1993 (not to be confused with "A.N. and G.D. Live in Concert". As you can see, we're big on album titles). However, it was recorded earlier, so from a creative (as opposed to chronological) stance, it comes first.
Our first encounter with Pat Metheny, the legendary jazz guitarist who produced the album, happened right after our debut at the "Cinemateque". Gil called Pat that very night. They had met years earlier at the "Berklee School of Music" in Boston, and later in Israel.
Gil, who was the Academic Director of the "Rimon School of Music" in Ramat-Hasharon for many years, invited Pat to do a master class there during his concert tour of Israel in, 1988 and they quickly became friends.
To make a long fairy-tale short, Pat agreed to meet me in NY (a moment of weakness he regrets to this day!), listened to the material and decided to produce the album, thus risking his reputation for two weird musicians from Israel. Pat did an incredible thing for us.
He produced the album in the best studios in NYC, with the best musicians he knew (Steve Rodby on acoustic bass and Lyle Mays on piano, long time members of the Pat Metheny Group), long before our record contract was finalized. We couldn't believe this was happening to us.
Gil and I wrote and arranged a whole bunch of new songs for the album, rehearsed very briefly with the guys (six hours, to be exact), and recorded the whole thing in four days at the "Power Station" in NY.
The four of us - Gil, Steve, Lyle and myself, played live, all together in one room. Later Lyle added lots of his beautiful original sounds on additional tracks, and Pat called in Steve Ferrone to do a bit of drums and Luis Conte to play percussion. Bill Evans contributed a sax outro on "Desire", Danny Gottlieb played on "Wildflower"and Gil Goldstein graced "Uri" with a few tasteful notes on accordion.
Clearly, Pat's production approach was very minimalistic and non-intrusive, allowing Gil and me maximum creative space. He basically made it easier for us to do what we do naturally. God bless him.
Although the Hebrew songs "Mishaela", "Uri" and "Pokeach" were included in this album (Pat's idea, he fell in love with them), the majority of songs are in English. Having grown up in the US, English is my first language of expression. It is only in recent years that I have felt comfortable enough with Hebrew to actually write Hebrew song lyrics. But that's a different story.

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released March 1, 1994

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Noa (Achinoam Nini) Israel

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Track Name: I Don't Know
flower, colored bright
i am strong i can fight
but i don't know.

tower, brick and stone
make my way on my own
but i don't know

i don't know why, i don't know how
if i can fly, can i fly now?
are my wings strong enough to bear
the winds out there?
hey, i don't know.

tell me it'll never fade
and i'll go forth unafraid
because i don't know.

show me rain and flood
to cool the fire in my blood
because i don't know.

i don't know why, i don't know how
if i can fly, can i fly now?
are my wings strong enough to bear
the winds out there?
hey, i don't know.

darkness, edge of night
you are here, i'm in flight
now i know, now i know
now i know
Track Name: Wildflower
in a tenement near the henry hudson river
from my favorite spot on a rusting fire escape
i would look below.
and see mario
braving the ferocious dandelions

mario, our fearless superintendent
kept the garden green, despite the parkway smog
but the flowering weeds
their fates decreed
pulled, to keep his rosebush from dying

then i would creep inside, curl up in my bed
something strong was pulling at my head
pulling at my heart

wild flower, growing in all the wrong places
wild flower, so lonely 'neath that lovely rose bush
proper garden's nightmare, queen of opened fields
tell me, who will love this wildflower
for exactly what she is?

years passed by, we left that red brick building
left mario behind
for a brand new house
but my dark brown skin
on the white washed walls within
stood out, so it'd get me up and cryin?

my growing pains had many rooms to fill, then
mother never know
had a garden to keep clean
while there was ny grease
on her young flower from the middle east
she was busy pulling dandelions

then i would creep inside, curl up in my bed
something strong was pulling at my head
pulling at my heart


wild flower, growing in all the wrong places
wild flower, so lowly 'neath that lovely rosebush
proper garden's nightmare, queen of opened fields
tell me, who will love this wildflower
for exactly what she is?
Track Name: Mishaela
Transliteration:

Beineiha, mi yode'a
Ananim aforim mitpazrim la'arba ruchot
Nachal achzav mitmale
Deshe yarok mechaseh
Vehamerchav niftach
Lashamaim, zug einayim
Mabitot, mechapsot, tsolelot bakachol harach
Merachafot ba'avir el hazahav hameir
Et se'arah harach
Mishaela, ma at roah?
Mah belibech hatsochek el otah hadmamah?
Az et einai li tifkach
Keshet achat bamizrach
Vahalo dai bechach
Mishaela, ma at roah?
Mah belibech hatsochek el otah hadmamah?
Az et einai li tifkach
Keshet achat bamizrach
Vahalo dai bechach
Beineiha, mi yodeo
Ananim aforim mitpazrim la'arba ruchot
Nachal achzav mitmale
Deshe yarok mechaseh
Vehamerchav niftach
Vahalo dai li, dai li bechach?
Vahalo dai li, vahalo dai bechach

Translation:

Who knows what is in her eyes?
Grey clouds disperse in the four winds.
A dry riverbed overflows.
And the horizon opens wide.

Up to the heaven she turns her eyes.
Searching, diving in to the chilly blue.
Floating in the air
Touching the pure golden light
That glimmers in her hair.

Mishaela, what do you see?
What is it in your heart
That greets the desolate silence with such laughter?

It is one rainbow in the east, she says.
It is all I need.

What more could I want?
It is all that I need.
Track Name: Path to Follow
i found a path to follow
i knew it straight away
now that i found it i won't stray
no, i will not stray,
not stray.

i walk through the woods and holler
the songbirds will laugh and play
they know i've found it and won't stray
no, i will not stray,
not stray.

the woods are alive with laughter
the rivers are drunk with mirth
they all know what i've been after
they're rejoicing for my rebirth,
for my rebirth.

i found a path to follow
but it's a path for two
why don't you come here beside me
i won't stray, no, i will not stray
from you.
Track Name: Child of Man
if i were a desert flower
all winter long i'd pain and cower
spring would make me sing
my voice would ring
as tiny buds begin to bloom
in spring i'd blossom and forget
the winters gloom.

if i were a brook of water
kissed by the frost along my borders
spring would make me sing my voice would ring
as i'd release my ice chains
in spring i'd bubble and forget the winter's rains.

but i am only a child of man
i am only a child of man
just an innocent child of man

don't look so surprised as my eyes shine and glow
it's the sunlight in the skies that is making me so.

if i were a joyful songbird
all winter long so cold and somber
spring would make me sing
my voice would ring like tiny bells on scarves of silk
a song as beautiful and pure as mothers milk.

but i am only a child of man
i am only a child of man
just an innocent child of man

don't look so surprised as my eyes
shine and glow
it's the sunlight in the skies
that is making me so.

don't be surprised
by this look in my eyes
like a flower or tree
i will bloom in the spring
i will shed all my woes
as the green grass grows
like a flower or tree
i will throw my head back and sing

if i were a desert flower, desert flower..
Track Name: Eye Opener (Pokeach)
Transliteration:

Veca'asher atah poke'ach et einecha
Haboker hofech le'achar hatsohorayim me'ucharim
Poke'ach et einecha
Poke'ach et einecha
Veca'asher atah poke'ach et einecha
Haboker hofech le'achar hatsohorayim me'ucharim
Veca'asher atah poke'ach et eineicha
Haboker hofech le'achar hatsohorayim me'ucharim
Poke'ach et einecha
Le'achar hatsohorayim meucharim
Poke'ach et einecha
Le'achar hatsohorayim meucharim
Vehineh kvar ha'erev
Vehineh shuv yored ha'erev
Vehineh yored ha'erev
Veca'asher atah poke'ach et einecha
Haboker hofech le'achar hatsohorayim me'ucharim
Veca'asher atah poke'ach et einecha
Haboker hofech le'achar hatsohorayim me'ucharim
Poke'ach et einecha
Le'achar hatsohorayim me'ucharim
Poke'ach et einecha
Le'achar hatsohorayim me'ucharim
Haboker hofech le'achar hatsohorayim
Ha'erev nofel
Laylah otef, otef, otef et hashamayim
Haboker hofech le'achar hatshorayim
Ha'erev nofel
Laylah otef, otef, otef et hashamayim
Vehineh shuv yored ha'erev
Vehineh shuv yored ha'erev
Vehineh yored ha'erev
Vehineh shuv yored ha'erev
Vehineh shuv yored ha'erev
Vehineh yored ha'erev

Translation:

And when you open your eyes
Morning turns to late afternoon
And then evening falls.

(Night embraces the sky).


A literal translation from Hebrew by Noa
Track Name: Lady Night
i walk alone into lady night
she wraps me in her black veils, wraps me tight
her velvet touch on my weary eyes
kisses softly
windy sighs

lady night in her grandeur flaunts jewels of light
flirting with sir half-moon,
she shimmies slowly backs-o-mountains
dips her hair in twilight

walk alone into lady night
the woman's discreet as a grave, and i know she?ll
want your tears
lady night's got an appetite
for sorrow liquidated into pearls of light
one by one shell gather them to her breast
kiss your lowered eyes and bid you rest.

she takes me to her tummy, i clutch her warmth
i know that i am falling
she delves into my mind, brings out my darkest thoughts
to keep her dark from dawning
(i know that's what she wants)

i turn my back to lady night
my mind is clear
my pearls are in her satchel
i've paid my share of blackness to her.

turn my back to the lady, though she calls
she calls?
but i am going to the dawn
and she can no longer keep me .
Track Name: Uri
Transliteration:

Ben lu hayah li
Yeled katan
Shchor taltalim venavon
Le'echoz beyado velifsoa le-at
Bishvilei hagan
Yeled katan
Uri ekra lo
Uri sheli
Rach vetsalul ha shem hakatsar
Resis neharah
Leyaldi hashcharchar
Uri ekra lo
Uri ekra
Od etmarmer kerachel
Od etpalel kechanah beShiloh
(Od) Achake
Lo

Translation:

I wish I had a son
A little boy
Bright, with black curly hair
I would take his hand in mine
And stroll slowly, slowly
Through the garden
Little boy

Uri, I'd call him
My Uri!
How gentle and clear this tiny name
A glimmer of joy
For my little boy,
Uri, I'd call him
Uri, I'd call

But I still bitter as Rachel
I am still praying as Hannah in Shiloh,
I am still waiting for him.
I will
Wait
Track Name: It's Obvious
it's obvious you're special
i've known it all along
i suspected you from the moment you flew through my window
and fell to the floor
saying i'm yours.
take me, i'm yours.

and it's obvious i'm crazy
with every hazy dawn
i inspect myself, and in light of my plight i am certain
as loud i may roar
my eyes will implore
how fully i'm yours.

have you ever been told you're too utterly bold to be true?
with a flash of your smile
i am baffled, beguiled,
i'm bewildered by you.
do you know love you inspire
would make me fly higher than i've ever flown before?
now inspire me to more
inspire me to more.
Track Name: Desire
with the breaking of the dawn
i will peek beyond the glass
there's an endless stretch of blue below
an ocean cold and vast
i am traveling again
between the heavens and the clouds
reaching out, turning a vision
into a future, strong and proud

but i say, oh, there's nothing more i desire
than to spend my life with you
setting me gently on fire.

we're a very special two
only you can understand
walking parallel, on separate paths,
but always holding hands.
as we lay our yellow bricks
on the road to something better
can we find a point of meeting
and continue on together?

and i say, oh, - there's nothing more i desire
than to spend my life with you
setting me gently on fire.
Track Name: Ave Maria
ave maria
where have you been hiding?
don't you know we need you!
things are looking pretty bad down here.
i know that there is beauty
gentleness and laughter
these are things you always stood for
help us find them too.

hey, there, maria!
santa maria...maria.
may i take a liberty
and say that it's a shame to me
not to live in harmony
were all just hoping
someone will step forward singing...
amen, amen

ave maria
where have you been hiding?
don't you know we need you!
things are looking pretty bad down here.
i know you hear the fighting
see the torch we're lighting
on our quest for peace and freedom
help us see this through

hey, there, maria!
santa maria...maria.
may i take a liberty?
and say that it's a shame to me
not to live in harmony
we're all just hoping
someone will step forward singing...
amen