By: Abdirahman Ahamed Shunuuf, Mohamed Ahmed Shunuuf and Mohamoud Ahmed Shunuuf
Abdirahman Hassan’s career as a singer/songwriter was short lived. He only recorded three songs in his entire life. But his remarkable legacy as a great singer/songwriter and composer is remembered to this day, twenty-five years after his untimely death. His songs are played by some of his close friends and co-singers such as Ahmed Ali “Drum” and Faisel Omer “Mushteeg.” (They were all members of the famous “Barkhadcas Band.”) Faisel, a great admirer of the singer and a close friend remembers Mr.Hassan’s 1971 “Barkhadcas” concert debut as a turning point. ” When Abdirahman came, it was the first concert of a three part series,” Faisel recalled. “But he really lifted us up with his real life, truthful, haunting voice and carried me along. It was the most phenomenal debut since Mohamed Mogeh.”
Hassan’s voice always made “Xudaydi’s” “oud” scowling. His voice showed his deep seated feelings of suffering and intensity. He put on a blaring performance that held the audience rapt.
In describing their chemistry – Xudaydi and Hassan – you might say Hassan’s genial down-home bluesy style returned Mr.”Xudaydi” to his serious “Qaaraami” roots. The expected song, “Waan Ku Raadiyaayoo,” was delivered with freshness and heart. But the show’s most touching moment was Mr.Hassan’s rendition of, “hurdo Gama’ Ma Ledoo,” an arching ballad that infuses agonized longing and despair with an almost Shakespearean sense of tragedy. Faisel adds, “When you sing Abdirahman’s songs, you must speak them in tune, because the love stories are so profound.” Some of his lyrics are in English.
I don’t sleep at all
love never leaves me alone
The stress in my body
drives me out of bed
A man who has so many to chose, from his age group
But who stays away from them, because of you!
If you have any intelligence or empathy
Do not foster harmful designs against me
Do not discard me
Do not reject me
I would never have dismissed you!
I am trying to track you down
I can not rest
My hair has a braided length
I have dreadlocks, because of you
When I look in front of me
My false dreams make your vision real to me
But, Allah has taken you to a place of honey
Green grass and plentiful water
The song in English
When the earth is wet and full of moisture
Flowers on the trees blooming
You are like the efflorescent morning glory flower
When someone is smitten by love
You don’t just watch and stand by!
What has come between us?
Our state of affairs is in shamble!
While I was waiting for your love
my compatriots have surpassed me (financially)
And I have neither money nor your love!
What inspires me with awe
And hurt me badly
is your grand sublime and powerful beauty
1) Gacan haadis bay I dilay
2) Malabkoo dhibcaayaay
My Dear Companion
You have pierced me with spears
Do not hurt me
Take this load or saddle off of me
Mr. Hassan’s songs raised questions about the abstract notion of love. He asked things through his songs, why loving someone created despair and agony for him. He asked, furthermore, why he was put into this miserable state of affairs. He felt neglected, unwanted, and unloved by the woman he loved and cared for.
He was agonized and bewildered by this sudden misfortune; his lover, the woman of his dreams, songs, and music lived in the midst of plenty, enjoying every part of it, he explains in his songs. His songs raised more questions than answers.
Most Somaliland artists and music lovers knew a secret that other people didn’t know. They knew that his love was real. They also knew that when someone is smitten by love, you don’t just stand and watch by!
Who has come between us?
Our state of affairs is in ruins.
Love was the cause of his untimely death. This puts him in the category with a rare group of Somaliland poets who died when they couldn’t attain the desire of their love. Elmi Boodhari is one of the most famous of this category. He was a 1940’s Somaliland poet who died of love, according to Somaliland folk tales. Therefore, one can arguably say that Mr. Hassan is the second person, after Elmi Boodhari to have died of love during the last century in Somaliland.
Abdirahman died in the mid-’70s in Djibouti; he was only twenty years old. Abdirahman had a famous singer as a brother called Omer “Rooraayeh.” He is remembered by many artists and Somali music lovers as one of the most gifted and talented artists of all time. If there was a “genius award,” Mr.Hassan would have won, without a doubt. Somaliland misses him a lot!