Jaago Aiyan

(Translated by Sumer Johal, editted by Radhika Nagpal)

Copyright 2001 MIT Bhangra

"Jaago" literally means "Wake up!". It is a ceremony performed, mostly exclusively by women in Punjab, at midnight. The ceremony is performed by taking a clay (or copper) pot and covering it with many (20-30) candles or diyas using some wet "atta" (flour). The women take turns carrying this well-illuminated pot over the head, and marching in a procession through the village gathering up more women as they go along and singing "bolis" regarding various topics. Typically, as in most Punjabi folk songs, the bolis sung in the beginning are just an interlude or a framework for the women to start improvising Bolis that are more specific to the occasion as they warm up to the night. Typically the procession halts at various stops and everyone does gidda in the light illuminated by the jaago. Precussion is typically clapping...sometimes dholki (small dhol) or sometimes the Dhol. Typically the theme is "women"-oriented (women making fun of men, of their mother-in-laws, their young brother-in-law, their old father-in-law). As such Jaago has no "standard" lyrics, so each "Jaago" song you here will probably be different - all with a common theme, but illustrating different parts of Punjabi culture (birth of child, wedding, relationships, hardships, violence, etc.).

Jaago Aiyan

(version by Premi)
Jaago aiyan, saneha liahiya,
lagdee meri parjaiya ve,
Hun jaago aiyan

Jatta jag bhai O,
Hun jaago aiyan,
Shava bhai hun Jaago aiyan

Uchhi adi de pa gurgabi,
boch, boch pub dhardee (x2)
Naal dharm te de sabna da,
kooda ja ke kardee (x2)
Laage laage pindan de vich, (x2)
mach gayee husn duhayiah ve,
Hun jaago aiyan...

Husna paree arshaan ton ayee,
agh dilan noo lave
Dudh makhnan naal palli majajan,
jad gidde with aave
Bijli joon asmaani chamke,
aihdan dee rushnaiya ve,
Hun jaago aiyan

Gore rang te kaala doria,
zulphan da banjara
Suraj de mitne ton pehelan
eh koi kar jao kara
Bacheo loko dang marjaoo,
ban ke nagni aiyaa ve,
Hun jaago aiyan....

Dhaliwal dee phulan naalon
Komal eh bharjayee
Bhabi, Bhabi karda premi,
seh na sake judayee
Vich jeb de photo rakhda,
Samj ke ishq dawaiyah ve,
Hun jaago aiyan...

A special verse made on the occasion
of the BU Baisakhi festival 2001

Vaisakhi de mele te,
asi saare nache
Dhol de naal bhangra pada,
chote hone ya vade
Khana khada, khushiyan maniyan
Navroop de mehrbani ve,
Hun Jaago aiyan

Wake up, someone has brought a message (saneha) for me,
Looks like my parjai (brother's wife)
Jaago is here

CHORUS: Oh Jat, wake up now,
because Jaago is here
Shava Jaago is here

Wearing high-heeled (uchchi adi) shoes,
She walks delicately, a step (pub) at a time
By god (dharm=religion), all people who watch her (sabna)
she's ruining (kooda)
In all the villages (pindan)
All talk of nothing but her beauty (loose translation)
Jaago is here

The fairy (paree) of beauty has come from heavens (arshaan)
Starts a fire (agh) in every heart (dil)
Brought up with milk and butter (dudh, makhan=the best),
full of attitude (majajan)
When she comes into the gidda
Like lightening (bijli) in the sky (asmaan),
Her presence brings such light (roshni=light)

On her fair skin (gore), black rope (doria)
Hair like a gypsy
Before the sun (suraj) goes down,
this is going to do some damage.
Beware people (loko), it could sting you (dang)
Like a female snake (nagni)

More delicate (komal) than the flowers of dhaliwal (famous)
Is the daughter-in-law (parjai)
"My sister's bhabhi" he calls her,
but can not a moment's separation (judaee)
In his pocket he keeps her photo
As a medicine (dawai) for his love.

At the Vaisakhi festival,
we all danced (nache)
With dhol, everyone did Bhangra
whether young (chote) or old (vade)
We ate, we enjoyed (khushiyan=happiness)
Thanks to Navroop

Back to Glossary