Mizgin: Lorin

November 13, 2018

Music From Heartstrings

Listening Post 176. Denied education, she taught herself. Denied a voice, she just sang louder. Mizgin, born in the Kurdish heartland of eastern Turkey, contracted polio at two and spent her early years at home, unable to go to school. Initially without crutches, she crawled; often alone, she listened to music and taught herself to play her brother’s saz. In her teens, against her parents’ wishes, she went to live with her sister in Istanbul, where she learned to read and write and started singing professionally. At the time, Turkish law prohibited public performances in Kurdish, and after her first album she was arrested. Barely 21, she flew to Denmark and was granted asylum; she calls the two refugee camps where she met artists from around the world “my university.” An ode to love of family and of her people, Lorin (Lullaby), Mizgin’s fourth album, is also an ornate chamber for her music—Kurdish folk with jazz, classical, Balkan, South Asian and Nordic touches from the musicians who surround her, including Anders Honoré, her husband, producer and saxophonist. Lorin soars on Mizgin’s voice—warm, soulful, urgent, seemingly fueled by the sum of her joys and sorrows, obstacles overcome, friends and fellows lost in the Kurdish struggle. Azadî Sirin (Sweet Freedom), an anthem to Kurdish aspirations, also couples the artist’s hard won liberty to a larger cause (video 1). She exalts family with the soothing Dayê (Mother, video 2), and Welcome Delal, a love letter written after her daughter’s birth (video 3). Bilbillo (Nightingale) channels the pain of exile and homelessness (video 4), while Şahino (Shahino) is a love ballad in the dengbêj (troubadour) tradition. Sometimes those for whom traditional learning is beyond reach fashion life and music from their own heart. Sometimes a girl who walks with difficulty teaches herself to fly. (Kom Müzik)


Azadî Şirin/Sweet Freedom
Lyrics & Music: Mihemed Sexo

(from the Kurdish lyrics)
Sensitive and clean like light of day/Brightness is the hope
Darkness in the homeland/Freedom is the hope of the Kurds

Freedom is sweet/The eyes keep getting tired
The longing keeps growing

The sun of the Kurds, you know that, too, will shine again on the Earth
Congratulations and enjoy Freedom!


Lyrics: Bedirxan Epözdemir/Music: Mizgin

Of all the mothers, you are mine, sweetie my mummy

With your good heart, with your smiley face/Your love is great, my mother, my sweet

Clear like Lake Van, shining like a big moon in the sky

With your good heart, with your smiley face/Your love is great, my mother, my sweet


Welcome Delal
Lyrics: Mizgin/Music: Anders Honoré

Welcome to my life
My Delal, my sweet/
My Delal, my baby
My sweet, my dear/My baby, my little daughter

My life is brightened with you, with your goods and bads
My life is brightened with you, with your laughs and cries, your mother’s love
Sleep my Delal, sleep my sweet

I’m hoping a good life for you, with happiness, fun and generosity
With happiness, fun and knowledge
Knowledge and success and freedom

My life is brightened with you…


Lyrics: Xaki Bingöl/Music: Mizgin

Nightingale, why are you moaning?/Bloodstained wings and feathers

Far from your father’s land, moaning/Without friends and kin, without your dear ones, without your life

Nightingale, you are wounded

I will free the land of the sun/
I will crown you with a homeland and happiness
I will build your nest in a high place/Nightingale, hurt by destiny

I call you as a guest in the house of singers/
I invite all singers and troubadours

I wake Shakiro, king of singers, from his sleep/I went to Aleppo to sing my song, to fetch my bride and gold

I wake Shakiro, king of singers, from his sleep/With happy hearts we will listen to him

Nightingale, you have no place/
I will build you a new Serhad

I will set up our forefather’s lands anew/I will make your life happy again

I will build your nest in a high place/Nightingale, hurt by destiny



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