The Prophet's Shirt: Three Versions of an Egyptian Narrative Ballad

Pierre Cachia

in Exploring Arab Folk Literature

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780748640867
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653300 | DOI:
The Prophet's Shirt: Three Versions of an Egyptian Narrative Ballad

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This chapter presents a collation of three versions of the same ballad. The samples are characterised by arrangement in quatrains similar to that of the Andalusian zajal. However, the samples are marked by differences of substance, wording, and improvisation. The first version of this Egyptian narrative ballad is sung by Rasid Abu Sari, an illiterate gypsy in his forties, born in the governorate of Bani Swef. The second version is produced on a cassette and marketed by the firm Nefertiti. The last version is from an anonymous and undated booklet with no other title than that of the song and of two other compositions of the same type. It bears the imprint of Maktabat as-Samarli, Alexandria, and was bought in Cairo in 1965.

Keywords: ballad; Andalusian zajal; rhyme; Egyptian narrative ballad; Rasid Abu Sari; Maktabat as-Samarli

Chapter.  9266 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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