After the song had gained over forty million views on Shervin’s Instagram page in the space of a few days, the singer was detained by the authorities. He was released on bail on 4 October 2022, but only after having been forced to remove the ballad from his social media platforms by agents of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Shervin Hajipour received the Special Merit Award for Best Song For Social Change for Baraye at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Also in 2023, Hajipour was listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
The 5th October marks the half way point between the 1 October National Day of the People’s Republic on the Chinese mainland and the 10 October celebration of Taiwan’s Republic of China. Separated by only ten days and the Taiwan Strait, in political time a century wide chasm divides the two national days. (See also October 1 & October 10 — Two Chinas, Whose Fatherland?, China Heritage, 1 October 2022.)
We dedicate this reproduction of ‘Baraye’ to the memory of Lee Yee 李怡, who passed away in Taipei on this day.
For a selection of essays by Lee Yee on Hong Kong’s frustrated quest for freedom, see Hong Kong Apostasy in China Heritage.
— Geremie R. Barmé
Editor, China Heritage
5 October 2022
- In Persian ‘baraye’ means ‘for’ or ‘because of’.
For dancing in the alleys
For terror when kissing
For my sister, your sister, our sisters
For changing rusted minds
For the shame of poverty
For the regret of living and ordinary life
For the dumpster diving children and their wishes
For this dictatorial economy
For this polluted air
For Valiasr and its worn out trees
For Pirooz and the possibility of his extinction
For the innocent illegal dogs
For the unstoppable tears
For the scene of repeating this moment
For the smiling faces
For students and their future
For this forced heaven
For the imprisoned elite students
For the Afghan kids
For all these ‘for’s that are beyond repetition
For all of these meaningless slogans
For the collapse of fake buildings
For the feeling of peace
For the sun after these long nights
For anxiety and insomnia pills
For men, homeland, prosperity
For the girl who wished to be a boy
For women, life, freedom