Rim Banna

Rim Banna


The "Voice of Palestine", Rim Banna is a singer-songwriter form Nazareth in Galilee. Her songs are inspired by the Palestinian people’s conscience and sentiments, from their culture, their history and their folklore.


Throughout the "Arab Spring", Rim Banna, the best-known voice of Palestine, has seen how the music she has created over the last ten years has become part of the revolution's "soundtrack". She has toured and held concerts in several of the countries where artists have mobilized the masses to overthrow regimes and presidents, especially in Tunisia and Egypt, where she has had many performances. Now Rim has searched back into the Pan-Arabic cultural heritage and composed her own music for classical Arabic poetry, which through time and space reflects the revolutionary spirit that permeates the atmosphere of the audiences she meets on a daily basis. The result is a fantastic new album, "Revelation of Ecstasy and Rebellion" which was released on 14 January, the second anniversary of the "Arab Spring".
A number of new musicians join Rim on her new album, including some Norwegians, including Eivind Aarseth, who plays guitars, as he has done on all the three preceding Rim Banna records, and Bugge Wesseltoft (piano, keyboards and programming), who has produced and arranged the album. He has put together a band that also includes Jihed Khmiri (percussion), Kays Zorrouk (oriental cello) and Mohamed Ben Salha (flute), from Tunis, and Ossama Bishara (kanoon) and Ramsis Kassis (oud) from Palestine. Indian-British Shrikant Shriram plays bass.
The new production has for the most part been recorded and produced in Norway (by Martin Abrahamsen and Bugge Wesseltoft), but some of the songs were recorded in Nazareth in Palestine and in the Ennejma Ezzahra palace in Tunis. Tunisian rapper Mr Kaz is also featured on one of the tracks. The record has been funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and "Fond for Lyd og Bilde" (the Audio and Visual Fund).

"Beautiful, rebellious and in every sense worth listening to" - Dagsavisen
"Her best album ever" - Vårtland
"Beautiful and inspiring" - All About Jazz


The Absent One

Written By: Poem by Rashed Hussein / Music by Rim Banna / Arr. Bugge Wesseltoft

God became a refugee, sir.
So confiscate now even the carpet of the Mosque
And sell the Church, it is also among his properties
and sell the muezzin in the black public sale
and put out the wicks of the stars
because they light up the road for the lost homeless
even our orphans for whom their father is "absent"
confiscate even our orphans, sir.

Do not apologize those who said that you are a tyrant
do not be upset with those who said you are an aggressor
you also freed the livestock
the day you gave "Abraham" the field of "Mohammad"

It is you who have killed the spring season
but my thrashed floor is a rage that is shaking
and a revolution that does not fade away
it is you whose hands have mined my gardens
and you who blew up the season with its rosy blooming almond trees
and you knead idol delegates for us to worship them
while they themselves are slaves who lament over slaves
and you want me to be slave sold and bought
and you want me to be a disappointed man living with a future

Do not be outraged, because this speech had no mouth
do not be afraid, this speaker had no hand
Me, if i squeeze yuor loaf of bread in my hand
the only thing you would see is my blood flowing over my hand.

The Taste Of Love

Written By: Poem by Ibm Al Faredh / Melody by Rim Banna / Arr Bugge Wesseltoft

I hid your love and your love hid me
until i swear i was about to vanish from myself
i hid it from myself because I uncover it
I´ll find it hidden secretly more than the tenderness of the uncovered
and I said to the one who had provoked my love
you exposed yourself to sickness
which made you its goal.

You are the slain one in the hands of your beloved
then select for yourself the chosen one in passion
tell the blamer that you had elongated your blame for me
wishing that your desire of depriving me from love would stop me

Let alone and stop scolding me
and taste the flavor of love
because when you love passionately
you can chide me afterwards
and if anybody else is satisfied by the shadows of his fancy
because i am the one to whom reunion with my beloved
wouldn´t be the end of my satisfaction.

Stranger In The Gulf

Written By: Poem by Bader Shaker Al Say Yab / Melody Rim Banna / Arr. Bugge Wesseltoft

Yesterday, when I passed by the coffee house
I heard you, Iraq
and I was the cycle of a disk
it is the cycle of the universe in my life.

His time was shaped for me
in two moments of security
although it lost its place
it is the face of my mother in the darkness
and her vice, which are sliding with visions until I sleep
it is the palm trees I am afraid of
when it is darkened by sunset
and it is crowded by the phantoms
which kidnap every child who doesn´t go back home from the roads.

The sun is more beautiful in my country than other countries
and the darkness, even the darkness is more beautiful there
because it embraces Iraq.

Alas, when should I sleep
to feel over my pillow from your summer night
dew drops that carry your essence, Iraq
between the humble villages and the foreign towns, my footsteps
i sang your beloved earth
and I carried it as if I am Jesus Christ
carrying his cross in his exile.

The Free Man

Written By: Poem by Amara Omrani / Melody by Rim Banna / Arr. Bugge Wesseltoft

The free man among the villains
Suffocated by his heavy screaming
Like the bird who is soaked in mud
Shot in his wing

Hay, you time, cure him with fire
Because through cauterization, his wounds would be healed
All the bitterness that he drank is enough for him
It made his teeth fall down
The free man wouldn’t bargain
No matter how much he perished
He doesn’t beat or beep
He dies standing with his weapon ready
He likes when the fire of the bullet is blazing

He knows the dogs who eat the rotten corps
He never went along with them
And he never became an allied to them
But he knows the deers of the desert
And they know him
They are in harmony with him
And he is in harmony with them
They understand each other through a clever blinking of the eyes

My Heart Tells Me

Written By: Poem by Ibn Al Faredh / Melody by Rim Banna / Arr. Bugge Wesseltoft

My heart tells me that you are ruining me
While my soul is paying redemption for your sake
It doesn’t matter if you know it or if you don’t
I didn’t pay my right to loving you if I didn’t pay for it with my sorrow
It is only me who can fulfill it
I have nothing but my soul in redemption
For the sake of the one I love, and it is not extravagant
And if you get satisfied by it, you had relieved me
Woo for my disappointing attempt if you don’t relieve me

Thou who is preventing me from restful sleep
And thou who is donating me the robe of sickness for his sake
And my ruining fondness for his love
Be kind to the last spark of life in me
And what you left for me of my worn out body
And my heart which is exhausted from your love
Because the ecstasy in love is lasting
And the reunion of lovers is delayed
And patience is mortal
And the intimate communion of lovers is postponed


Rim Banna's discography on Kirkelig kulturverksted:

Revelation of Ecstasy and Rebellion
Seasons of Violet
The Mirror of My Soul

Participates on:
Lullabies from the Axis of Evil
Songs Across Walls of Separation

Set List

The sets usually lasts 1 - 1 1/2 hours.