October 12, 2020

"To Iranians at home and abroad, the death of the country’s most revered classical music singer, Mohammad Reza Shajarian, reverberated like the death of a rock or pop star in the West."

"After learning that he died Oct. 8 at age 80 at a hospital in Tehran, tens of thousands took to the streets of Iran’s capital to weep, mourn and sing his songs of love and peace. Angered that his music had been banned by the country’s Islamic regime, they also chanted anti-government slogans, including 'death to the dictator'.... Security forces arrived on motorcycles, swinging batons at crowds until they dispersed.... Mr. Shajarian was known as an ostad, or master, of traditional Persian music.... Mr. Shajarian typically used subtle metaphors and poetic allegories in his verses, and he rarely ventured into politics. But in 2009, he surprised many of his fans by speaking out against the government he had long supported, siding with demonstrators who challenged election results that led to ultraconservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s second term.... As security forces wielded batons and tear gas against protesters, Mr. Shajarian turned a work of Persian poetry into an anthem of resistance, singing 'Language of Fire and Iron' by Fereydoon Moshiri. 'Lay down your gun,' he pleaded, 'as I hate this very abnormal shedding of blood. The gun in your hand speaks the language of fire and iron. . . . Come, sit down, talk, hear. Perhaps the light of humanity will get through to your heart, too.' When Ahmadinejad labeled the protesters 'dust and trash,' Mr. Shajarian responded by telling the BBC: 'I am the voice of dust and trash, and [my voice] will always belong to dust and trash.'... 'My music has always been entirely connected to what happens in Iran,' he told German writer and Persia expert Marian Brehmer in 2011. 'The poems I choose to perform reflect our social history. My songs speak of people’s lives. I get my inspiration from the people. I need to be among them. Or else I wouldn’t be able to sing. I think of people’s longings.... Humanity should rule the world, not religion, nationalism or ideology. Humanity is the aim of all arts.'"

15 comments:

Lyle Smith said...

Religion, nationalism, and ideology are humanity too.

Mal said...

Well, never in a million years did I think I would start the day listening to a Persian song. Surprises, surprises! The audience seems moved to tears. Art is art. And beautiful women in the crowd are always a treat to see.

tim maguire said...

Small wonder he was banned, given that Reza Shah is right there in his name.

(I'm assuming pronunciation, but also assuming that his last name is part of the reason his parents chose “Reza” as his middle name.)

Temujin said...

Many (most?) people in the West don't know anything of the Persian people, their culture, their history before the fanatics took over, outlawing their own culture and history (sound like anything going on now in the US?). In Iran multiple generations have been lost, on hold, or just living in a darkness.

The entire world suffers when a great people are shut down.

Now...that said, I'm not for sending pallets of money to the Islamic Revolution leaders. They are thugs, punks. They are the destroyers of their own culture. But somewhere deep within Iran lives a great people. We should be working with them to free them from out of the tyranny they live under.

And, keep in mind when you watch BLM and Antifa- this is the same mentality that took over Iran.

buwaya said...

Ancient stuff. All that classical Persian poetry, of which there are boatloads, must have been intended to be sung like this.

We see very little of this, normally, and certainly less of it now. I have my great uncles copy of Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. In school we had a translation (not sure by who) of part of the Shahnahmeh by Ferdowsi, on the combat of Rustam and Sohrab. I did go to a rather good school.

There seems to be a lot of this old Persian stuff always trying to break through the iron cage of Islam.

rhhardin said...

No wonder they had to ban Faure's chamber music.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Just remember, Obama sided with the mullahs in 2009 against the dust and trash (Persian deplorables).

gilbar said...

does this mean, that Rita is now Iran's "most revered singer?
what Does THAT mean?

she introduced the single, "Shaneh" based on traditional Persian folk music, but modernized with a more pop and techno dance beat. Iranians of all ages responded "overwhelmingly,"
Most Westernized popular music, including hers, is banned in Iran, which filters the Internet, however fans have downloaded or bought bootleg copies of her albums
Despite her popularity in Iran, the Iranian government called her music a "plot" to win over the hearts and minds of Iranians, and part of Israel's "soft war" against Iran.



BADuBois said...

I hope I live long enough to see scores of mullahs dangling from telephone poles in Tehran.

narciso said...

I hadn't thought of that, at the time of his birth, the senior reza had been in power for 20 years, he would be deposed for pro axis sentiments, and his son who was 22, and out of lerosey school would replace him,

Darrell said...

I thought they were bummed about Eddie Van Halen.

mikee said...

I, for one, hope Willie Nelson never leaves this mortal world, because the entire state of Texas will suffer a mourning period that makes the COVID shutdown look like a three day weekend. But the wake afterwards will be EPIC.

YoungHegelian said...

The Shi'a Islam of Iran was, before the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini, never as iconoclastic as Sunni Islam. It accommodated music and the representative arts. Iran had a long tradition in both music & the arts that all got destroyed, exiled, or forced underground by Khomeini. Khomeini was a lot like Mao in that way.

Narr said...

BOOGIE!

I kid; that was beautiful, and a great way to start a day.

Narr
FREEBIRD!

Robert Cook said...

"I hope I live long enough to see scores of mullahs dangling from telephone poles in Tehran."

Are you of Iranian descent, or do you have any loved ones who are? If not, why should you care so strongly about the mullahs or wish to see them hanged?