Father of Sorrow And Tarnish

Father of Sorrow & Tarnish

In the past two years I took the liberty to sit with my grandmother — my father’s mother– and spoke with her about her old days.  I had gathered many interesting pieces of oral sayings, proverbs, and stories in which I am glad to share one in this post.  All the sayings, amazingly, were filled with profanity that translating them to English would be a challenging work.  Oral tradition is known to have been passed by old men and women.  I really doubt that once they’re gone to heaven, we would be able to sustain such tradition.  If it weren’t for documentation, all will be lost.

“Father of Sorrow & Tarnish”  is a short poem, usually sung, by small children, men, and women (villagers.) They would burn fronds of palm trees and woods to gather around it and sing along. It is said, according to my grandmother, that the fire used to burn their sorrows, and bring lightness to their heart, get rid of hatred and Satan himself and it is practiced in the second month in the Islamic Calendar, Safar.  I think this rite most likely goes back to a time unknown.  This right has been practiced later from the 60s till the 90s by boys just for a way to have fun.

Father of Tarnish

Boys around burnt stakes.

Father of Sorrow & Tarnish

Roughly Translated By

Ali Makki (Aka Amylian)

We burnt you Father of Sorrow & Tarnish,

We Covered birds with Dust,

Well is my spirit & intact.

Safar has finally approached,

In her grave asleep, I hope,

Is my mother’s foe.


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