Sunday, June 01, 2008

Chris De Burgh & Iran

Gamma Goblin has raised a couple of questions on the buzz surrounding Chris de Burgh's planned concert in Iran

I am not a fan of Chris de Burgh, but I am sure there are many in Iran, like in any other country, despite that the government in Iran prohibit listening to western music in general, but I believe such restriction exclude control over satellite TV. Therefore pop and rock concerts is not common in the Islamic Republic, but it is generally common in other Arab and Islamic countries: Deep Purple and Iron Maiden did perform in the United Arab Emirates couple of years ago. Ricky Martin, I think, has been to Jordan?

Planning a concert in Iran is surprising to me, especially under the current circumstances, but less surprising when one follows the growing interest Chris de Burgh is showing in music business in the Middle East generally. Couple of years ago I read in the news about a duet Chris de Burgh did with a famous Lebanese singer called Elissa. I never listened to the song but saw pictures of her with de Burgh in the studio. Many young boys and girls consider Elissa a super star, a great singer and a very sexy woman - no way I consider her so, but I agree with the last opinion, though - remember Spice Girls? you can mute the TV and watch their video clips. In addition to that duet, he made an appearance on the Lebanese show "Star Academy", a show for young musicians want to be super stars and conducted interviews through that show. Chris de Burgh is not the only western artist who collaborated with Arab singers, so it is not something new (that's another issue), but this legendary musician is either trying to explore or re-explore new/ old fan-base for his musical career, or he decided to be in the headlines by triggering such news, last December -

I think Chris de Burgh is serious about performing in Iran, and his statement is clear about his motives, which I personally like. The question remains when and how the legendary singer will arrange all this

Back to Gamma Goblin's question and remarks on "Crusader"; he won't sing that song, that for sure. He would play "A Melody for Peace" instead! The song he did back in 2007 with the Iranian, Arian band! But to answer specifically the question, the comment by someone reviewing that album I read on is valid in this case:

"... and the mere fact that the story is told from a crusader's point of view doesn't do anything to change this, for those who participated in the crusades knew better than to underestimate Saladin or put him down like this - the version we're getting here is the propaganda spread throughout Christian Europe in support of the campaign to "free" Jerusalem. But ultimately, I don't think this part of the song represents the point that Chris De Burgh wants to make. Rather, the song's most important lines are those of the last, reflective verses, which are well worth considering, particularly these days:

"What do I do now?" said the Wise man to the Fool,
"I have spent my whole life searching, to find the Golden Rule,
Though centuries have disappeared, the memory still remains,
Of those enemies together, could it be that way again?"
Then the Fool said "Oh you Wise men, you really make me laugh,
With your talk of vast persuasion and searching through the past,
There is only greed and evil in the men who fight today,
The song of the Crusader has long since gone away ..."

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