Three years ago, I began my search for poetry in modern day Iran. I wanted to share the words, the thoughts, the feelings…with the world. And I wanted to express them through music.
I discovered the soulful and powerful poetry of Simin Behbahani, a poet whose love for her country comes through so strongly in her work.
The first poem I was introduced to of hers was “Dobareh Misaazamat Vatan” (My Country, I Will Build You Again).
I began to think about this poem and wondering if I would be able to create a song from it. A few weeks later, I heard former President Obama’s Persian New Year Greeting to Iranians around the world. And, in this message, he quoted that very same poem. 🙂
I took it as a sign, and began the journey.
I’ve started with 2 of her poems, both of which were written around the year 1980, during the Iran/Iraq war. In these songs you’ll hear a yearning for freedom and a desire to build again. Whether one’s own life, a relationship, a home, or a country, those with hope dream of rebuilding. The message is universal…
Five months into the project, I received the sad news that Simin Behbahani passed away in Iran. She was 87 years old.
A huge thank you to two very talented women who made this project possible for me; Sara Khalili, who’s translations brought the poems close to my heart, and to my co-collaborator and arranger, Megan Gould.
Here are my versions of “I Will Build You Again” and “Leave, So I Can Stay.”
I hope you will enjoy them.