Thursday, July 31, 2008

From Tehran with Love

One of the things I like about 'blogging' (like earlier fanzine production) is the possibility of direct communication with unmediated voices from around the world - rather than dealing with organisations and party lines. One such voice is Selma at From Tehran with Love. As well as being a fellow Leonard Cohen enthusiast, Selma has posted on being a woman in Iran faced with the religious police: 'the second before going out of the door every morning, you look into the mirror not asking yourself “do I look good” or “how does my hair look today” but wondering if what you are wearing is “legal” and fearing what if this manteau isn’t long enough (below knees, wearing trousers mandatory too) and if it is loose enough and if black is dark enough for them?'.

I noticed that in response to a government threat to crack down on blogs she posted these lines:

One day we’ll sing our freedom
One day we’ll laugh in our joy
And we’ll dance

Dance as synonym for freedom, right up my street, so naturally I googled to check the source and found out that they were actually from a song by... Sting ("We'll be together"). Let's just say I've never been a big fan! I've always had him down as very smug and comfortable, preaching platitudes from some tantric cloud. But actually, reading the lyrics, I thought it was quite remarkable that he'd written a song about the disappeared in Chile (murdered by the state in the aftermath of the 1973 military coup). Remarkable too that he'd structured the song around the image of the dance:

They're dancing with the missing
They're dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
Their anguish is unsaid
They're dancing with their fathers
They're dancing with their sons
They're dancing with their husbands
They dance alone
They dance alone

One day we'll dance on their graves
One day we'll sing our freedom
One day we'll laugh in our joy
And we'll dance

Even more remarkable that this song, written about events in South America thirty years ago, should inspire dreams of freedom in the Middle East today. And remarkable too that I should be moved to post about a songwriter whose work I have always dismissed out of hand. Another prejudice challenged. Still haven't listened to the song mind!


Transpontine said...

Help! Blogger has blocked me posting to my own blog - apparently one of their robots had identified this as a potential spam site. Hopefully this will be sorted out soon and normal service will be resumed.

Anonymous said...

Is this working yet?

Great post by the way.

But Sting as a voice of reason? Nah ....

Transpontine said...

Yes various problems with sitemeter and blogger sorted out.

I know, I mustn't go soft on Sting. Still that doesn't preclude others making some use of him.