Hassan Garayd: A shining light in Somali Performance Arts

Hassan Sabriye better known as Hassan  Garayd was born in Hiiraan  during 1940s. The present-day Somali young generation might not know his contribution to countless Somali songs they enjoy listening to or watching on TV. Hassan is what Somalis calls laxamiiste –  the person who teaches the singer how to sing the song once the composer hands over lyrics to Hassan. 

The popular Somali TV interviewer, Omar Serbiya, interviewed Hassan Garayd  nearly two years ago. Hassan Garayd  put a tune to a song first  in 1968. It is a song co-sung by Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc and Halima Khalif Magool ( both deceased). Mohamed Mohamud Yasin ( aka Dheeg), now a member of Somaliland Council of Elders ( Guurti) wrote the song of which the following lines are part:

Sida canabka beeraha

Ama kayn caleenliyo

Dhul cagaarku siman yahay

Caad iyo Garloogubay

Cosobkii ku yaalloo

Cawshu gaardiyaysoo

Cidi daaqin baad tee

Cawo waxaa leh

Ama ciil bixi lahaa

Calaf nimuu ku siiyoo 

Cunto ku la wadaagood

Gogol ku la cawaysaa

A rough translation of the lines from the song:

Like the grapes of farms

Or evergreen jungle

A vegetation-enveloped land 

Like Caad and Garloogubey*

Covered in lush 

Over which a gazelle romp

That none has browsed you are

Lucky is the one

Who would throw resentment 

With whom destiny united you  

To share food 

And bedspread with you

Hassan Garayd playing his lute

Hassan Garayd elucidated his approach to deciding how a singer or vocalist  will sing a song. “I take into account emotion of the song-writer before deciding how the song will be sung by  a singer. I should know the context” said Hassan Garayd said.

In 1967 Hassan joined Radio Mogadishu Troupe. In 1969 the military regime rebranded Radio Mogadishu Troupe as Waaberi (Dawn). ” The  late Mohamed Ali Kaariye came up with name Waaberi ” Dawn”) Hassan added. 

*Caad & Garloogubey are towns in the Somali region of Ethiopia

 © Puntland Post Monthly, 2020

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