Came across this Punjabi song on YouTube. Very touching. This song is about an unborn girl who is being aborted and is urging her mother to sing her a lullaby. “Mother! Sing me a lullaby, even if discreetly from others, Sing a lullaby to this unborn daughter of yours on its departure, on its separation from you. Sing me a lullaby.”
The song is sung by Jasmer Dhatt Jasbir Jassi. It is actually a poem titled ‘Lori” (quest for a lullaby) written by the well-renowned Punjabi poet Gurbhajan Gill. This poem has been declared as a national poem by All India Radio, New Delhi and translated into 22 Indian languages.
Thanks to Prof. Edleson, here are the lyrics of the song with English translation.
maayein ni annjammi dhee nu, apniaN naloN wichhRhe jee nu,
-> Mom’s unborn daughter, separated love of her’s
jaandi waari maayein ni ikk lori de de.
-> Mom, as I go, for the last time give me a lullaby
babul toN bhaweiN chori ni, ikk lori de de.
-> Even if you need to keep it secret from Dad, give me a lullaby
maayein ni teri godee andar, baithan nu mera jee karda si
-> Mom, I wanted to sit on your lap
babul di tyudi toN darke har vele mera jee dardha si
-> Frightened from Dad’s frown (or raised eyebrows), my heart was scared all the time
dhiyaaN banke jamna ithe kyon ban gayi kamzori
-> Why did being born as a daughter become a weakness?
manneyaaN tere ghar wich wadh gaye dheeyaN wale guddiyaaN patole
-> I agree that the girl toys have increased in your house
tere dil da hauka ni maiN sunndi rahiaaN tere ohle
-> But I was the every painful breath you took, I listened to all your agonizing cries (during pregnancy)
mainu maar mukaun di gall kyoN tooNhiyoN pehlaN tori
-> Why didnt you first stop the talk about killing me?
haspetaal de kamre andar paiyaaN ne jo ajab mashinaaN
-> The weird/amazing machines inside the hospital room
puttran nu eh kuch na aakhan saade lai kyon banan shaginaN
-> They dont say anything to the sons, but why are they messengers of death for us?
daaktaraN chauNh sikkeyaN de khatir katti jeevan dori
-> For a few coins (a little amount of money) the Doctor’s cut the life line (terminate)
dhee titli nu maslan vele chupp kharhe kyoN dharmaN wale
-> Why are the priests (or religious people) so silent, when the butterfly like daughters are being crushed (killed)
goonghay bole ho gaye saare nakk namoojaN sharmA wale
-> They turned mute/deaf, those who used to hold their heads high in pride
bin doli toN dharmi maapeyaN kidhar nu dhee tori
-> Hey you religious/pious/God fearing parents, instead of the ‘Doli’ where did you send me to? (Parents send daughters in ‘Doli’ when they get married and leave their home)
maayein ni meri naani de ghar tooN vi si kade dhee ban jammi
-> Mom, you were also born to Grandmother as a daughter only
kukh wich qatal karavan wali kiyoN keeti tooN gall nikammi
-> Mom, my murderer in the womb, why did you do even say such a thing?
veera labhdi labhdi ho gai kyoN mamta toN kori
-> Searching for a boy for so long, why did you give up all your motherly love?
sutteyaN lai sau yatan vasiley jaagdeyaN nu kiveN jagavaaN
-> Did hundreds of things to wake up the asleep, but how do I wake up those, who are already awake?
rakhri di tand khatre vich hai chup ne kul dharti diyaN mawaN
-> Rakhri (Indian tradition, where brother promises to protect his sister always) is in danger, and the mothers of the race are all silent.
ambriye mainu gurti di thaaN de na jahar khatori
-> Mom, do not give me a bowl of poison instead of ‘gurti’ (a tradition in which an elderly blesses the child at a very young age, and its said that the kid will inherit their wisdom and traits)