Thursday, August 3, 2017

In defense of "put me on a swing" (rakkabni el merjayha) video clip

Rakkabni el Merjayha (put me on a swing) - an euphemism of having sex - is a song taking Egypt and in extenso the Arab world by storm. France 24 had even an article on it! Problem is, I actually love the damn thing. I mean what is the difference between this song or any of the musical segments in the Egpytian movies of the 80s. Songs in such movies, came out of nowhere, and even the whole film was cheaply shot, it followed the same scenario of "slapstick" reactions from cartoonish characters - stereotyped "actors" in one-size-fits-all scenarios of the usual I-love-you-but-mother-hates-you-too. Heck, even Adel Imam was never immune to such exaggerations assuming he ever was as skillful actor.
The video is obviously shot on a budget, mind you when Cyndi Lauper shot "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" for a dismal 35,000 USD back then it was considered to be the joke the recording industry (Lauper used her own mother and agent in the video!), Lauper's video of course now is a classic 80s piece of art - everything from clothing, make up, hair, accessories and that joie de vivre in a crumbling New York which actually was a city on the verge of bankruptcy back then. So the Moschino shirts that Ahmad Abou Chama is sporting or the overdone make up Daly Hassan is adorned with, shall go down in Arab folklore history for generations to come.
Small note, if you see some clips for very famous singers from the late 80s or early 90s you will see a lot of resemblance to the work of Abou Chama (and Hassan) - take off a lot of plastic surgery (for both male and female singers) and you end up with a lot of kitschy elements which have been recreated in the clip of "Rakkabni el Merjayha". I for one love to see them - bring on the Ragheb Alameh mullet and the Najwa Karam shoulder pads!

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