By Yehia Abd El Ghany
Over the years mosalsalat have produced some of the most iconic songs in Egyptian popular culture. Some of these songs are affiliated with the success of the show itself. Others live on years after people have long forgotten the actual show. Many of the theme songs reflect certain periods in Egypt’s history. In turn, many of these songs entail nationalistic, social, and even political sentiment. Here is a list of the most iconic mosalsalat theme songs.
Bawabet Al Halawany – Ali El Hagar
Perhaps the most iconic theme song of them all. The song, to put it simply, is a love letter to Egypt. It most notably rendered the iconic line: eli bana masr kan fel asl halawany. The song is a collaborative effort between several musical heavyweights. The lyrics are written by the renowned Sayed Hegab and composition was handled by the legendary Baligh Hamdy. And if that combination isn’t exciting enough for you, Ali El Hagar’s vocals come in and beautifully capture the essence of the song. The mesmerizing lyrics and the captivating melody along with the soothing vocals created one of the most memorable Egyptian songs in modern history.
Rafat El Hagan – Ammar El Sherei
Despite not having any lyrics, the opening music to the Rafat El Hagan series is instantly recognized by Egyptians. This is partly due to the huge success of the show during the late 80’s. The show ran for three seasons with the same theme music played in the intro. The music perfectly reflected the dramatic and intense nature of the biographical spy mosalsal. The music is also considered one of the finest works of the late musical icon Ammar El Sherei.
Abo El Ela El Beshri – Ali El Hagar
Another Ali El Hagar classic is the Abo El Ela El Beshri theme song. It is written by arguably one of the greatest poets in Egyptian modern history Abdelrahman El Abnoudy and composed by the distinguished Ammar El Sherei. The song resists a society trying to put down those who are noble and loving. El Hagar then urges that very same society to aspire to become like those they resent before it’s too late.
Yetraba Fe Ezzo – Hisham Abbas
A light-hearted song for a light-hearted show. In the song, Hisham Abbas details the life of the protagonist of the musalsal Hamada Ezzo, a mother’s boy who is living a carefree lifestyle. Abbas provides a very catchy hook that Egyptians can recite by heart. The song’s lyrics are written by Ayman Bahgat Amar and composed by Mahmoud Talaat.
Layali El Helmeya – Mohamed El Helw
Mohamed El Helw sings a poetically driven song in an attempt to absorb the essence of the very successful Layali El Helmeya. The mosalsal chronicles the life of the residents of the Helmeya neighborhood throughout Egypt’s history, starting from the King Farouk era until the early 90’s. Layali El Helmeya ended in 1995. However, it was renewed for a 6th season in 2016. Even though times have changed, the theme song of the 6th season remained the same as it was previously. An indication of how much the song resonated with Egyptians all these years. The song is composed by Michelle El Masry and written by Sayed Hegab.
El Mal We El Banoun – Ali El Hagar
The El Mal We El Banoun theme song marks yet another collaboration between Ali El Hagar and Sayed Hegab. In the song, which is composed by Yasser Abdelrahman, El Hagar explores the toxic relationship between love and money which perfectly ties in with the plot of the show. El Hagar then concludes that greed will inevitably lead to self-destruction, a reoccurring theme of the mosalsal.
Hawanem Garden City – Hoda Omar
The mosalsal narrates multiple romances with political unrest serving as the backdrop. The theme song finds a reminiscent Hoda Omar romanticizing about the past. A notion shared by the characters of Hawanem Garden City in which they all wish they could go back to simpler times. The song is written by Sayed Hegab and composed by Rageh Dawood.
Zizinia – Mohamed El Helw
Zizinia examines the life of foreigners in Alexandria during the 1940’s. In turn, the legendary poet and activist Ahmed Fouad Negm penned a song full of admiration to the city of Alexandria and its people. The song was sung by Mohamed El Helw and composed by Ammar El Sherei.