US Musicians Sing Support For Iranian Protesters

By Shaya Tayefe Mohajer

28 June 09

CAIRO (AP) — They wouldn’t be allowed to perform in Iran, but singers
Joan Baez and Jon Bon Jovi are showing their support for protesters.

In videos carried on YouTube, the artists perform songs — with a
few lines in Farsi — that call for peace.

Bon Jovi sings "Stand By Me" alongside Armenian-Iranian pop star Andy
Madadian. The New Jersey rocker adds, in surprisingly good Farsi,
the line: "Hand in hand, with one voice, you and me, countryman,
your pain, my pain, be with me."

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora provides the licks in the June
24-dated video, which opens with an image of Bon Jovi holding a sign
that reads "We are all one" in Farsi.

A comment posted to Bon Jovi’s Web site Saturday thanked him for
the performance, adding hopes that Bon Jovi would "be the first
legendary American singer who will perform in Iran … one day in
the near future."

Folk singer and activist Joan Baez’s version of "We Shall Overcome"
includes a portion in Farsi. Strumming an acoustic guitar in her
kitchen, the 68-year-old singer trills the song made famous as an
anthem of the American civil rights movement.

"In you the world sees the power of nonviolence," Baez said in a
statement on her Web site. "We hear it in the roar of your silence
and see it in your eyes as you sit down p eacefully in the face of
terror. We are moved by your courage and inspired by your sacrifices."

Other musicians are the soundtrack for videos and slideshows protesting
alleged fraud in the June 12 election whose result gave a landslide
victory to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

One collection of photos is set to the late pop star Michael Jackson’s
"Beat It" — with the song’s key lyrics appearing in red over images
of Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Politically charged rock band Rage Against the Machine serves as the
soundtrack for another such video that splices protest photos with
video from the pre-election debate in which Ahmadinejad holds up the
intelligence file of the wife of rival candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

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