Kabza

by Babbu Mann

Translated by Moninder Jheeta, Navroop Pal Singh, editted by Radhika Nagpal

© Copyright 2001 MIT Bhangra

A bhangra song very different in character from the popular stuff one usually hears, but actually very in character of the artist himself who has also written other less violent but equally potent social-commentary songs. The refrain of the song is the desire to take control (kabza) and conveys the sentiment of the oppressed rising against oppression. The lyrics are very violent and have been the subject of much debate in India, as well as within our club..
 
Khedenge Jatt aj khoon diyan holiyan 
Karde oh waaje aj maar maar goliyan

Jaan vi dere suke gareebe ich paena he
OR 
Chaal de nerde suke vere che baena he

Today the Jatts will play (khendenge) Holi with blood (khoon). 
They will play music with the sound of shooting bullets (goli). 

We are not sure about the third line. In the first interpretation it means One day you will have to give up life (jaan) anyways, whether in good times or bad times (sukhe=hin happiness, gareebe=in poverty). The second interepretation is - even though we are sitting near (nerde) a well (chaal), we are sitting dry (suke) in front of our own home (verde=veranda).

CHORUS:
Chak lo, chak lo
Chak lo revolver,
Rab naal vi kabza laina he

Pick it up (chak,chuk=to pick up)
Pick up your revolver, and with God (Rab) we will take back (kabza) what is ours.
Chuk ke faraade zara jipsi chon naagani
Pehli goli vairiyan di hik wich lagni
Barda sehliyaa daaba, hor na sehna eh
Pick up and give me (faraade) that gun (naagani=snake) from the jeep (gypsy=type of jeep). 
The first bullet (pehli goli) will go into the chest (hik) of our enemy (vairiayan). 
We taken (sehliya) so much abuse, we won't take any more (hor).
Kadke pahe de wich, muchh nu tutaa de
Kich ke gadaasa ek jard ich gawaa de
Aj maarna, ya fir marna pehna he
Stand tall in the road and curl your mustache (muchh=mustache). 
Pull out your machete (gandassa=sickle), cut it off at the root (jard). (this is from the expression, if you cut the tree at the root, it won't grow again). 
Today either we have to kill (maarna), or (ya fir) die (marna).
Chak lo dunarian te chako sentalian
Giddaran de garadna wich paonia panjarian
Do man wich gaarde de ek ne tehna eh
Pick up your double barrel gun (dunarian, do=two nariyan=barrel) and pick up your AK-47 (sentali=47). 
We are going to put a yoke (panjarian) on the necks of the cowards (giddard=jackel). (A panjari is the ring you put around the necks of the bulls to control them with a chain, this is how you get them to pull the plow for you; calling someone a Giddard is an insult meaning that they are cowards). 
Between the two sides, one will lose for sure (this line is refering to a type of wrestling game that we play in punjab called kushti. a gaarda is the crowd that forms around the two people when they are wrestling. In this game, one must win - there are no ties)


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