Dia Datang! (Here She Comes!) Lyrics

Posted on December 19, 2009

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In the second part of what I hope will be a continuing series featuring traditional Malay tunes, I’ve picked another ghazal song by the King of Gambus the late Fadzil Ahmad. Dia Datang, which literally translates into She Comes or She Arrives, is commonly played at Malay wedding receptions just as the bride and groom make their way to the dais. It can also be heard playing in the background in shopping malls during festive seasons, in particular in the days leading up to Hari Raya, the Eid festival marking the end of Ramadan. Maybe they should make a song called Hari Raya Datang

Now, a short note on the translation. For the song, I’ve translated Dia Datang as Here She Comes, because I think it is more in keeping with the spirit of joyous anticipation that is evident in the rest of the chorus. Each momentous cries of Dia Datang! is followed by praises of the gentle sways and charming smile that accompany the woman’s arrival. In this light, the direct literal translation, She Comes, lacks the sense of occasion that the song conveys. As a segue for interested linguists, dia is in fact gender-neutral, Malay does not have the equivalent of he or she. Dia is used to refer to persons of both sexes, however based on the song lyrics I think we can safely assume that the subject at hand is a woman; either that or a very effeminate man, what with the “gentle sways” and the “sweet as honey” demeanour.

The amateur video shows a Malay family at a gathering for Hari Raya, with the song playing in the background. What I like about the video is that it reminds me of my own. There’s the older generation having a conversation at the dinner table, a girl lying on the sofa watching TV, and the other relatives eating and lounging about, all perhaps wondering if there’s more to the celebration than what they’re currently doing. The answer is…probably not. After a month of fasting, Hari Raya is essentially about eating, so if you’re not eating you’d be catching up with your relatives. Food, friends and family. It’s simple like that and it’s probably all the better for it.

Dia Datang                                Here She Comes

(Korus)                                 (Chorus)
Dia datang                                 Here she comes
dengan lenggang lenggoknya       with her graceful sways
Dia datang                                 Here she comes
dengan senyum simpulnya          with her knotted smile
Dia datang                                 Here she comes
dengan senyum manisnya           with her sweet smile
Dia datang                                 Here she comes
dengan lemah gemalainya            with her vulnerable gentleness

(Korus)                                 (Chorus)

Bagaimana                              How can one’s
hati tak tertawan                    heart resist capture
Bagaimana                              How can one’s
hati tak rindu dendam             heart not miss her with vengeance
Wajah cantik                          Such beautiful image
Umpama bulan                       Comparable to the moon

(Korus)                                 (Chorus)

Hati siapa                              Whose heart
tak kasih dan sayang               fails to love and cherish
Hati siapa                              Whose heart
tak rindu dan dendam            fails to miss her with vengeance
Oh jelita                                 O beautiful
Sungguh menawan                  Truly captivating

(Korus)                                 (Chorus)

Jangan engkau                         Don’t you
menggoda hatiku                      tempt my heart
Jangan engkau                         Don’t you
Meracun jiwaku                         Poison my soul
Oh jelita                                   O beautiful
Manis bermadu                        Sweet as honey

(Korus)                                 (Chorus)

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Posted in: Culture