A-WA – Habib Galbi (2015)

Sisters Tair, Liron and Tagel Haim are A-WA (Arabic for Yes) are the daughters of a Yemenite Jewish father and a Ukrainian/Moroccan Jewish mother. A-WA is pronounced Aye-Wah and is used in all Arabic dialects, some (such as Egyptian) more than others (such as Lebanese).

Tair takes the lead vocals on this track whose English title translation means Love of My Heart, whose musical expressions and influences are too numerous to count but it’s easy to find a parallel in the tracks written by Balkan Beat Box. It was the first Arabic language song to be a number one hit on Israeli pop charts. While clearly a modern technologically-infused pop song, the lyrics and melody is taken from a Yemeni folk song

As for the ladies, they are the oldest three in a family of six.

…their own musical flavor came from a variety of sources, such as their American-born music teacher at the local regional high school. He was a member of the nearby Kibbutz Ketura, a community with a large contingent of American immigrants. That was how the sisters gained their American-accented English, and accessed singers like Judy Garland and the Andrews Sisters.

There are elements of those fifties-era musical giants in Tair Haim’s black bangs and matte lipstick; in Tagel Haim’s A-line skirt and full, wavy hair; in Liron Haim’s sophisticated, assured manner.

Later a version was recorded to include Pitbull and I refuse to link it here. This is the only version I will recognize:

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