Sherali Juraev

Sherali Jo‘rayev is a classic Uzbek singer, poet, composer, and actor who was highly influential in the 1980s and 1990s, though he has since joined the long list of Uzbek singers censured by the authorities. Nevertheless, he was and is beloved throughout Uzbekistan and is one of the preeminent figures in Uzbek music.

Jo‘rayev was born in 1947 in Asaka, a city in the far east of what was then Soviet Uzbekistan. He attended Tashkent’s state university of the arts and, soon after graduating in 1971, found work at the Shodlik Song and Dance Ensemble, where he stayed for almost a decade. After that time, he was a member of the Andijan Province Philharmonic before finally landing in the Uzbek State Philharmonic, where he performed from 1986 until 1996. In 1987 he was named a People’s Artist of the Uzbek SSR.

At the same time that he was building this official music career, Jo‘rayev was also writing and performing his own songs, which brought him wide acclaim and which are the reason for his continuing fame and influence. He has reportedly written more than 1,000 songs, among this number songs in which he set to music poems by Uzbek poets. Among his most famous songs is “My Uzbek People” (“O’zbegim”), whose lyrics are from a poem by Erkin Vohidov. His writing career also spans other genres—he has a novel and a screenplay to his name.

Jo‘rayev’s career and life have also had their share of political activities. He was actually a member of Uzbekistan’s Parliament for five years in the 1990s, but in 2002 his luck changed. He was criticized by the government for comments he made about the country’s economic situation; he is now banned from making public appearances, which includes on TV, radio, and stage. He continues to perform in other countries, though.


“Springtime” (“Bahor ayyomi”):



Lyrics for “Bahor ayyomi”:

Bahor ayyomidur dag’i, yigitlikning ovonidur,
Ketur soqiy sharobi nozikim, ishrat zamonidur.

Gahi sahroi zori lola sham’idin erur gulgun,
Gahi sahni chaman gul chehrasidin arg’uvonidur.

Yana sahni chaman bo’ldi munaqqashrang gullardan,
Munaqqashrang gullardan,
Magar kim sun meni naqqoshig’a rang imtihonidur,
Rang imtihonidur.
Oo-o, magar kim sun meni naqqoshig’a rang imtihonidur

Yuzing, ey gul, hayotim gulshani toza gulzori,
Qadding, ey gul, hayotim bog’ining sarviravonidur.

Qadding, ey gul, hayotim bog’ining sarviravoni,
Sarviravoni, ha-aa, haa-ay.

Na yerda bo’lsang, ey gul, andadur chun joni Boburning, o dod-ey,
G’aribingga tarahhum aylagilkim, andijonidur. (x1+x1)

Na yerda bo’lsang, ey gul, andadur chun joni Boburning,
Chun joni Boburning,
G’aribingga tarahhum aylagilkim, andijonidur,
Kim, andijonidur, oo-o, haa-ay,
G’aribingga tarahhum aylagilkim, andijonidur.

Bahor ayyomidur dag’i, yigitlikning ovonidur,
Ketur soqiy sharobi nozikim, ishrat zamonidur.


“Paris” (“Parijon”):


Lyrics for “Parijon”:

Ko’z yetmagan ellarda,
O’xshashi bor gullarda,
Kokillari bellarda,
Izlaganim – Parijon,
Noming doim tillarda.

Parijon, Parijon,
Noming doim tillarda.

Sadaf sofligini sendan o’rgansin,
Quyosh iliqligini sendan o’rgansin.
San oshiq ahlining orzusi ersang, Parijon,
Ular oshiqlikni mendan o’rgansin!

Parijon, Parijon,
Ular oshiqlikni mendan o’rgansin!

Tunlar qomatingni o’rasa nurlar,
Qadding ham bo’yningdan silasa hurlar, (x2)
Bog’lanmoq istasa zulfi-zanjirlar, Parijon,
Ular barchasini mendan o’rgansin!

Parijon, Parijon,
Ular barchasini mandan o’rgansin!

Oh Parijon, ular oshiqlikni mandan o’rgansin!

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.