The subject‑matter of the dargîlik‑distichs is always imbued with melancholy. Images of nature are frequently used, but in such a small unit as the dargîlik‑distich, no long descriptions are given, only characterizations of the vicissitudes of life, in which the surroundings of the composers and singers are reflected. In the small space of a dargîlik‑distich subjects like separation, estrangement, mourning, transitoriness and love all occur, as in the quatrain, the other short genre of poetry current in Badakhshan.

A short scene of nature in the first hemistich of a dargîlik‑distich is often followed by a statement concerning the state of mind of the composer or a piece of general wisdom (such as D20 and D21 and D33). Apart from some slightly ironic dargîlik‑distichs (D13), most dargîlik‑distichs are sad: the composer expresses his grief by using imagery familiar to him or her.

D14     The camomiles (kuxchivîr) did not flower

The grief of the world has made me old

D12     The woollen thread for stockings is again in blue

Happiness was last year: we were together

The dargîlik‑performance starts with an instrumental introduction of the accordion, accompanied by a soft beating on the daf, apparently irregular; this music accompanies the singing of the first distichs. The marked syllables are long‑drawn. After the first distich, a short intermezzo on the accordion and daf follows. During the singing of the second dargîlik‑distich, the accordion seems to hold one and the same key.

dargîlik malüv ey / dargîl malüv / dargîl / dargîlik ayi

ca lüvi‑k‑i dam mis ey / ba sûz dam lüv / shîrîn / shîrîn‑ik ayi


pis osmünikath ay / jûri kargas / dargîl / dargîlik ayi

tar mi dinyoik ay / mund chîz awas / shîrîn / shîrînik ayi


Do not sing dargîlik, do not sing dargîlik, oh grief, oh sadness

If you sing one, then sing it with fire, oh sweet love (D7)

In the sky a couple of vultures are flying, oh grief, oh sadness

What desires have I in this world, sweet love? (D21)

After part A, the melody of the accordion changes and the rhythm of the daf becomes more pronounced. The lala’ik‑distichs are performed in a slightly faster tempo. The voice of Abrigul raises at each third accentuated syllable of the hemistich (par, marg, ma, ma, pîndz, sar). All accentuated syllables are slightly long‑drawn also. The last lais of each hemistich and of each refrain are sung softly. The lala’ik‑distichs are alternated by short instrumental intermezzos on accordion, while the daf retains the same rhythm throughout.