I Must Be Myself (1996)
by Bakhtiyar Vahabzade (born 1925)

Perceive and understand yourself,
Stop bowing first to this one, then to that one.
By flattering others so much
You're your own worst enemy.

We lost ourselves completely,
Where's the vigor, where's the pride?
The old East that once ruled the world
Is now acting upon the orders of the West.

By God, we got sick and tired of bowing to strangers,
But we didn't get bored of imitating others.
We lost ourselves, we become unrecognizable
Because of mixing our pure blood with others.
This world doesn't want to recognize us,
We let ourselves get drowned in imitations.

I want to be known by my own voice,
Enough that I lived like a convict,
I want the eyes of the world to see me
The way I am: with my good and my evil.
I am the way I am, whether black or white,
Why should I imitate others?
I have to be myself, only myself,
If I am not myself, then I am nothing.

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