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Sara Samad 24 Apr 2014

Adonis Releases New Song, “Bent el Hawa”

Adored Arabic pop-folk band Adonis released a new song Wednesday called, “Bent el Hawa.” The song is Adonis’s reinterpretation of “L’accordeoniste” by Edith Piaf, originally composed by Michel Emer and gifted to Piaf in 1940. The original song tells the story of a love struck prostitute whose dreams of a prosperous life are crushed when her lover leaves her to fight in a war.

Adonis’s reinterpretation is both a play on stereotypical gender roles and offers a poignant socio-political commentary. In their version, the roles of the characters are reversed. Told through the perspective of a man, the song relays his love story with a prostitute (Bent el Hawa) who dreams of fleeing her village for the iconic city of Beirut, and has high hopes for a better future. “Her biggest dream is to become a famous photographer and unite all the leaders and celebrities of Lebanon, and of the world, in one picture,” Anthony Khoury, lead vocalist of Adonis, tells Beirut.com. However, her dream, and his heart, is shattered when she disappears in Tripoli amidst clashes, with some saying she was dragged to the infamous ‘Hobeish’ police station in Hamra, where she was married off to a policeman.

Adonis fans will not be disappointed with this latest release. It perfectly delivers what fans have come to expect from the band: thoughtful commentary complimented by the romantic undertones and rich vocals of Khoury. The song’s heavy theme is conveyed smoothly with smart, pun-tastic lyrics.

And we’ve got to give huge props for the art direction of the video. Directed by Martine Daher, it’s set in a puppet theater where the characters and settings of the song come to life. Everything you see in the video is hand-made by the band members and a couple of their friends. Khoury tells Beirut.com it “took weeks of drawing, cutting, building and painting” to bring the video to fruition. Look out for some hilarious moments. (Hint: Walid Jumblatt and Marilyn Monroe unite!)