The First Single Hymn Group

Compiled by: Islamic Revolution Website
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


The events of the 8th of September and the condition of the people and martyrs of that day affected me a lot. I said that this incident should not be forgotten. I thought that this event should be kept current in people's minds and tongues. The regime should not be able to finance this event and after some time the water will fall from the mill and it will run out and go away. I was looking at the coming months and years. I thought that something special should be done from the incident of 8th of September to strengthen the movement of the revolution. Of course, at that time I could not have calculated that the regime would be dismantled in a few months. At that time I was only thinking about what I had to do.

I didn't take any pictures of the incident, I didn't have a video. The only way forward was to speak and write. I have written stories before. My hand was not bad. I said to myself, if I can use the language of poetry, it will be great. I slowly started to put the words together. I started with a certain weight. As I went a little further, I saw that it was getting more beautiful. I started like this:

Greetings, greetings to the pure soul of the martyr of the path of God

Greetings, greetings to the young man who was killed in Martyrs' Square

Greetings, greetings to all the martyrs of karbela.

The people themselves changed the name of Jhaleh Square to Martyrs' Square in the evening of 8th of September. I wrote the poem with the same mood until the end. I did not have any plan in my mind to turn the poem into a song. When the poem was finished, I started singing with a special beat and recorded my voice.

This issue goes back to the beginning of October 1978, on the 10th of October, my uncle had passed away, and according to the custom of Iranian families, all the family would gather at his house at night. It was the seventh night of the uncle’s martyrdom when I gave the recorded tape to Shahab Gonabadi at the dinner table. He said: "What?" "Now listen to me," I said. He took the tape and got up from the table and went out. in the alley to listen to his car recorder. A few minutes later, he was upset and came back in tears. He said: "Where did this tape come from?" what's the matter Where did you get this from? I laughed and said: "What are you doing? Where did you get it?" Is it good or not? He said: "Great" and continued: "Who did it?" I said: "so..." He understood that I did it. Just like we were talking he thought for a while and laugh, and then say: "La Allah-il-Allah, La-ilah-il-Allah." Then he came back once and said to me: "The Imam's name is not in the poem."

He was right. I got up and walked for a few minutes and thought. Then I added a verse and mentioned the Imam's name: "Peace be upon Khomeini".

Of course, I made all this up in my mind. It was not possible to write everything on paper. If we were arrested and such writings were with us, we would be caught, so I had to keep all the poems in mind.

That day passed and I started making songs with more people's voices. I was thinking of a song that would be hummable and that people could easily sing along to. It seemed to me that if the hymn is sung by only one soloist, the epic feeling that I am looking for will not be created. It would be better to read it collectively instead of singly. The production of the hymn in those conditions was not so simple. I had to arrange a deaf group that could read well, and whose members were trustworthy and confident that I could practice this text with them. I just had to look for a suitable place to practice and record. None of these conditions were available; I didn't have a suitable place, I didn't have a ready and reliable choir. The best place I knew was the basement of my sister's house in the three roads of the prison. The basement was a whole room, empty. It was placed in a place where it was not possible for the sound to go out. Because the ceiling was relatively high, the sound reverberated in the space and got a natural echo. In short, I took my tools and went to the basement. I had only one way to make the hymn with a magnificent and so-called choral effect. It occurred to me to sing and record the hymn myself. Then I will play the tape and sing along with the tape again so that we become two people with my own voice. I did the same thing. I made two tape recorders. One for tape playback and the other for audio recording. In the same way as I said, I continued the work. Naturally, the sound quality dropped a bit when it was played from the tape; But because they were all sung by one person, the final product was very just and beautiful according to the musicians. I knew exactly how to sing to match the previous voice. Of course, there was a very small difference in some words, which did not bother much. In short, with this method, I recorded the hymn. When you listen, you think a whole choir sang it; while all the choir consisted of myself. This was the first production of my one-man hymn group.

It was decided that we should spread this hymn widely. Shahab Gonabadi said: "The content of the tape is low. If we want to play this tape, its duration is short and it will end soon. We should be able to fill a full bar." We decided to record the hymn with a series of other sounds. One of these sounds was Mr. Kafi's speech. The late Kafi had given a strange and shocking speech in the Jama Mosque. In that speech, he mentioned the Imam's name and talked about Imam's exile and such issues. Following this speech, people were crying profusely. This speech had created a strange revolutionary passion. I played a part of his speech first. I immediately followed it with the hymn. Then I added a part of Dr. Shariati's words and after that, I repeated the hymn. Again, I left part of Imam's statements about the 8th of September next to these. I played hymns regularly and filled the tape.

All the hymns that I sang were no longer than four or five minutes, but the recorded tape was about half an hour long. For example, Shariati used to say: "After you left, yes, that's how it was, brother..." Then I added a part of the hymn: "Greetings, greetings, greetings to the pure soul of the martyr of the path of God." Then, for example, we put a piece of the Imam's words: "Who should I offer my condolences to?" Shall I offer my condolences to the people of Iran? To the mothers of the dead son? Imam Yen had given the speech in Najaf. Only a few parts of it had reached us. We also used the sound of shootings on 8th of September. Mohammad Tausli brought the recording of this voice and gave it to me. He was very careful and advised not to give it to anyone. After the tape was finished and he heard it, he said, was this really recorded in Iran? I also jokingly said: "No, it was recorded!"

In this tape, I tried to depict the presence of all people's groups during the revolution; in such a way that when we listen to the tape, we can feel that public presence. It was very difficult to make this work, but the pleasure was as difficult as it was.

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