My Eureka moments are always related to childhood songs

Rasha al Raisi – Have you ever had a moment of Eureka? The moment when all your childhood believes — held so close and dear — are eradicated in front of your own eyes and in that sunny clearing, a new tree of knowledge sprouts out (like the mushrooms in Super Mario game).
You stand under that tree marveling and wondering how could’ve you been so blind (or stupid) all that long.
As a child growing in my grandfather’s house surrounded by loving (yet taunting) uncle and aunts, it was always a question of: shall I clarify the doubt I have in mind and be teased about it till the day my grandchildren arrive to this world? Or should I just make do with whatever information I have? Being a pacifist, I always opted for the second choice.
My Eureka moments are always related to songs I heard as a child. The first song is the famous Eid song: Ahlan bil Eid ( welcome Eid!) that starts playing on Eid evening till the third of fourth day of Eid. In her chocked voice, Saffa the singer says: “Sa’ad Nabeeha, makes it a good memory for us after Eid”.
I always imagined Sa’ad Nabeeha to be a short man with a paunch, a thick moustache and a sombrero carrying a pouch filled with presents and toys for the kids. I even looked for him in the music video shot in the 70s with Saffa in a white puffy dress, surrounded by happy children celebrating Eid.
Nabeeha never appeared. It was 3 years back when having a conversation with my aunt that I discovered that the songs says: “Sa’adina Biha” meaning our happiness with it and not “Sa’ad Nabeeha”. In that Eureka moment in my mind’s eye, I saw an arrow shot to Nabeeha’s heart. He fell and died instantly.
The La Bamba is another story. It was in the 80s when my cousin Amani got a video tape of the movie. In her house, Amani never played the full movie for me. Instead she told me the summary of the story and then played the last scene of the movie, where her favorite song La Bamba was sang and danced upon. I remember hazily the scene with a crowd of musicians on the stage, and a young couple on the ground dancing to it. All I could here was “a lalalala Bamba!” and that was the way I sang it for years to come.
My Eureka moment came years later when learning Spanish with my Colombian teacher and good friend Yibeth. Yibeth was proud of her Latino culture and shared it in every context. In a particular class, Yibeth announced that we were going to have fun and music. She gave me a fill in the blank exercise sheet, with two Latino songs.
The first was “Guantanamera” by Celia Cruz and the other was “La Bamba”. I gasped as I read the lyrics that said: Para bailar la Bamba (to dance the Bamba) instead of my childish: “a lalalala Bamba”.
I stared at the words in disbelief and wondered loudly: “Is that what he says? Para bailar la Bamba! Unbelievable!” In my mind’s eye, I could see a sledge hammer smashing the words: a lalalala bamba into dust. Needless to say, we played the song twice for me to fill in the missing words.
And on every time, I looked to Yibeth in pure marvel and exclaimed that I never knew that’s what he said. Yibeth smiled politely at me while obviously wondering what on earth I was talking about. Eid Mubarak everyone!
Rasha al Raisi is a certified skills trainer and the author of: The World According to Bahja. rashabooks@yahoo.com