The Iranian protest song that became the soundtrack to the rebellion returned to the international spotlight over the weekend when Coldplay performed a cover and broadcast it live around the world.
The British band performed the song “Balayeh” at the start of their world tour on Friday and Saturday nights in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with exiled Iranian actor Golshifteh Farahani singing in Persian on stage.
Friday’s concert was streamed via satellite to cinemas in 81 countries, but not in Iran, where playing or singing the song could lead to arrest.
Balayeh, which means ‘for’ or ‘because of’, was written by Sherbin Hajipour, one of Iran’s most popular musicians, and contains poems extracted from 31 messages posted online by citizens. , sharing personal misery, pain and sorrow.
Hajipour sings lyrics such as “For dancing in the streets”, “Every time I was afraid to kiss my lovers” and “For women, life and freedom”.
Days after the song was released and went viral, the 25-year-old was arrested and his song removed from Instagram.
But his music has been widely shared, with other videos of Iranian schoolgirls singing balayeh, singing loudly from a car window in Tehran, and performing at solidarity protests around the world. . There were tens of thousands of entries for the Grammy Awards, which honor music dedicated to social change.
Iran has embarked on protests since 22-year-old Martha Amini of Kurdish origin died in custody on Sept. 16 after being arrested by the “morality police” in Tehran wearing a headscarf. I’m tired. She is said to have been beaten and taken to hospital in a coma, after which she died.
Since then, the women-led protests have faced violence by authorities, with at least 270 people dead and 14,000 arrested, according to Iranian human rights activist groups.
Now in its seventh week, the rally has become a full-blown student uprising against a regime that shows no signs of ending.
At Saturday’s concert, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin told the audience that in Iran, “young women and young people are fighting for freedom, for their right to be themselves.”
After inviting Farahani on stage, he told his fans:
During the performance, an original video of Hajipour singing the song was broadcast over the stage.
Footage of the concert has been widely shared by Iranians on social media, but government restrictions on the internet have made it difficult to verify the accounts in the country.