Baez, Bon Jovi, Mike Scott: Which Iran Protest Song Is Right for You?

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  07.01.09 | 11:51 AM ET

If you were a child of the ’60s, then perhaps it’s Joan Baez’s “We Shall Overcome.” If you came of age in the ’80s, then maybe it’s Jon Bon Jovi’s “Stand By Me,” which he recorded with Iranian exile Andy Madadian.

I’m a longtime fan of the Waterboys and their sometimes solo-recording frontman, Mike Scott, so I’m loving his tribute, which draws on the words of W.B. Yeats.

Which is your favorite? Any others we shouldn’t miss? Here they are:

Mike Scott: “Let the Earth Bear Witness”

Joan Baez: “We Shall Overcome” (2009)

Jon Bon Jovi, Andy Madadian and Friends: “Stand By Me”

7 Comments for Baez, Bon Jovi, Mike Scott: Which Iran Protest Song Is Right for You?

Kevin Fay 07.01.09 | 4:19 PM ET

Wow. Bon Jovi is not really my cup of tea, but a hair rocker from Jersey singing in Farsi with an exiled Iranian? Pretty cool. Could be turning off a lot of his more “patriotic” fans, too. Good for him.

hass 07.02.09 | 11:53 AM ET

There’s no actual evidence of election fraud in Iran. Such claims and counter-claims have been compiled at—see for yourself.

mohammed allah 07.02.09 | 1:29 PM ET

Watch and read mohammed T-shirt art from Sweden at,

David 07.03.09 | 11:50 AM ET

Three fantastic videos: A profound mixture of images and words on “Let The Earth Bear Witness” video.  Was this song just recorded for this effort? Mike’s voice has a lot of emotion in it. The Baez video (filmed in the kitchen of her home) packs a big (nonviolent) punch: Joan’s respected 50 year history of activism, the places she has sung this song before (including in 1963 alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. at the March on Washington), the verses in Farsi, and the green scarf (color of the opposition in Iran)make for an especially strong impact.  The Jon Bon Jovi / Andy Madadian video is quite touching, especially with the use of Farsi. How interesting that they used this “pop” song, unearthing a more universal message within it. [Side note: Joan has been singing “Stand By Me” in concert on and off for the past several years.]
A special thanks for posting the Mike Scott video which I had not seen yet.

Gregory Sandritter 07.04.09 | 2:12 PM ET

Here are three wonderful pieces speaking from three important perspectives.  “Let The Earth Bear Witness” video with the powerful image of people gathering non-violently to give voice and ending with the saddening image of a lone martyr.  Joan Baez doesn’t sing “We Shall Overcome” hardly.  Lest the powerful words become a nostalgic reminder of past days, she now only sings it for those who cannot sing it for themselves - and there she sang it for the people of Iran from her kitchen - quietly, simply letting the power of the people and the song come together.  The Jon Bon Jovi / Andy Madadian coming together to give the final piece of this message…. Stand by me (us) using the high tech of music that the people of Iran used (i.e. the new tech of the internet) to get their message across even when the government tried to shut out the Media.  They then became their own Media.  Three pieces, three power images: the people coming together; the forever powerful song of overcoming; and if we stand by each other, the keeping alive of this event that it may blossom into a thousand flowers for peace, for freedom, for love.  Thank you to those who combined these three wonderful pieces of music devoted to the people of Iran.

Karen Smulevitz 07.04.09 | 3:21 PM ET

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earh, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creatot with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it it the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient suffering of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.  The history….......................(is not unlike that of Iran)......................

Stephen 07.20.09 | 2:55 AM ET

sing to the tune, “Barbaranne” by Beach Boys, and sing it all the way to Iran!



Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.