Sar Oomad Zemestoon by mattsteinglass
June 23, 2009, 9:59 pm
Filed under: democracy, Iran, Music

Commenter Matt tells me I simply must share this Iranian protest song with my readers. And he’s right. It’s incredibly beautiful.

Matt writes:

“Sar Oomad Zemestoon” (”The Winter Has Come to an End”)

This song, whose melody is apparently taken from a very old Armenian love song, was popularized during the 1979 Iranian revolution by the Fedayeen Khalgh (”The People’s Sacrifices”), a secular Marxist group. It was eventually appropriated by the revolution as a whole.

I bring it up, because the song has been resurrected by the contemporary Mousavi campaign (see below), an interesting fact in its own right. I don’t know what this says about him. Perhaps some of your readers could tell us….

…A translation of the Farsi lyrics (be sure to read them while you listen):

“The winter has come to an end, the spring has blossomed.
The red flower of the sun has risen once again, the night has escaped.
The mountains are covered with tulips, the tulips are awake.
They are planting sunshine in the moutains, flower by flower by flower.
In the mountains, his heart is awake, he is bringing flowers and bread and will defend
In his heart, he has a forest of stars.
His lips wear a smile of light.
His heart is filled with the flames of emotion.
His voice is like a spring.
His memory is like a deer in the forest of light.”


24 Comments so far
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Oh THANK YOU SO MUCH for this beauty. Tears and laughter sprang out of me before I even scrolled down and read the words. Once I knew on a brain level what they were saying…..ahhhhhhhhhh.

I’m spreading this link on my morning rounds.

Have a Great One All…

Comment by Forrester McLeod

Thank you for sharing this. The music is lovely, but the lyrics are pure poetry of the soul. They have that rare quality of producing heartbroken joy, which seems like a contradiction until you look at it through the lens of the poet.

Comment by Leigh

hi matt,im a “chrik fadaiie khalgh”i think i should clarify somethings here,
about 5000(nobody knows the exact number)of “cherikhaye fadaiie khalgh” were arrested,tortured and killed by islamic republic regime 20 years ago.
at that time Musavi was one of the officials that pushed forward this case.i like any other iranian today know the difference between Ahmadinejhad and Mousavi and just know Musavi would be less of a disaster for my country,but it doesn’t mean i can forgive him for killing my dad and his comrades and using their song for advertising himself.its not ok by me or any other fadaii ,alive or dead.
His lips wear a smile of light.
His heart is filled with the flames of emotion.
His voice is like a spring.
His memory is like a deer in the forest of light.”
“he” is to someone who the world and even many of his countrymen doesn’t know yet.
that i think show you how unfair thingsin iran kill some peolpe after they help you to overcome a regime(shah) by putting their life on the line.after 20 years you use their song ,and become their child’s hero.

Comment by sh

sh — thanks so much for that background. It helps those of us new to Iranian issues grasp some of the complexity and tragedy of it all. It must be infuriating to see someone who supported your father’s persecution co-opting this song.

Comment by mattsteinglass

Brother, this is time for reconciliation…others bear witness to what is before us,….young women and men bearing the brunt of the most brutal of systems ever seen while teaching us courage and humility. There is no room for ideological challenges of yesterday, we are now all one and must learn to live with each other. We should find a way of bringing all of us together and explore how to best accommodate each other. We want to be free TOGETHER

Comment by Jahangard

You are so right about Musavi. My father too as tortured under the Shah regime. As in all revolutions to change, the most successful are the ones that proceed step by step. Maybe Musavi is a step towards total elimination of the regime. Lets hope whatever it is, it will be the will of the Iranian people and not the interests of others that have sucked the blood out of us and used us for their own profit for so many decades.

Comment by Neloo

Uplifting as the lyrics are, it seems to be idolising a leader who has died perhaps in a stuggle but the struggle has ultimately led to victory or they sing of a victory that is yet to come…. also note the ‘red flower of the sun’, a nod to Marxism perhaps?

Another point, indeed a question to those who may know about the opposition leader Mousavi in Iran. I used to live in Turkey and there exists a small ‘sect’ there, a group of people let’s say called the ‘Musevi’, as far as I understand they’re a minority like the Alevi or Bektasi.

Well taking into account that the Kurdish language is similar to Persian, is there any connection between Mousavi and these people the Musevi?

Comment by tigercity

Thank you tigercity- I was thinking the same thing

Comment by S-Joon

I’ll add that in Turkish Musevi would mean ‘of the house of Moses (Musa)’…

Comment by tigercity

sh– I’m deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your profoundly moving story, and shedding some light on the history associated with this song. I agree that it does seem hypocritical and unjust for Mousavi to use the song for his campaign, given his own history.

Comment by Matt

thanks for your understanding.i think its time iranians stop making heros out of politicans(even Obama can’t be perfect)and see the facts.
Mousavi is a very common family name.they are seyyeds meaning their lineage goes back to muslims prophet Muhammad,the word “Mir”in Mirhosein Musavi ‘s family name is turkish for seyyed.being seyyed is a honor for muslims.
someone having Musavi family name could be lor,kurd,fars or turkish,Mirhosein Mousavi is turkish.meaning iranian turks.which is diffrent from turky’s turks.

Comment by sh

sh, thanx for the explanation, interesting as my wife is Turkish and she says her name Derya has Persian origin..Her family are originally from Erzincan in Anatolia (Anadolu). Take care..

Comment by tigercity

Does anybody have the chords for this song?

Comment by mastokhiar

I wonder what that old Armenian song is. Any pointers to the history of the Armenian song or this song would be appreciated.

Comment by Amin

The original song is “Sari sirun yar” composed by Gusan (Troubadour) Ashot (Ashot Hayrapeti Dadalian) born in Goris, Armenia 12 April 1907. He started his career in 1928 with such songs as “Ashugh em”, Varvogh ser”, etc. His primary instrument was the kamancha.
In 1976 Gusan Ashot was awarded the title of People’s Artist of Armenia. His published collections of songs include “Gusanakan yerger” 1946, “Gusani sere” 1955, “Gusani Sere” compleate and notated 1958, “Siro nvagner” 1979 and “Lernere kanchum en” 1988. Gusan Ashot died in Yerevan, Armenia 28 January 1989 and is buried in Goris, Armenia.

Comment by anahita

Thanks for the info you provided.

Comment by Amin

dear all
i wann to add sth to what “Sh” said abt this song though I understand and respect what s/he feel abt what in his mind is misusing of this again and even editing & adding some extra lyrics to it ..I am an iranian girl who s living in iran and i m 30 years old ..the story of what s/he told is true but remember Mousavi was nt among the ppl who brought up the case of executions at that time although he was close to their ideaology maybe ..and sth more is, in the new version of this song today a part of lyrics is omitted and and substituted with some other lines
for example
I am neither torn nor dust
” i am standing here
to get my vote back.,,
and the “HE” parts is not in the new version talking abt Mousavi or any leader !! the question of the Mousavi ‘s fans are regardless now adays . me myself did nt vote FOR him but the other reformist HOWEVER i have a green rebon on my wrist too ..and i chant slagons for him ! this doesn’t mean the words we sing . one should read between the lines.. we are all shouting our opposition against AHmadi nejad and all. to be united we ve chosen to support Mousavi who is a moderate reformist ..I am not sure wether mousavi himself has heard this song …today many artists are doing these voleenterly .

Comment by novin

sorry for my bad english :p
hope it makes sense !

Comment by novin

Thank you for your comment directly from Iran Novin jaan
It was interesting for me.

Manham sobrah doost daram

Comment by xyz

Please tell me where “manham sobrah doost daram” comes from. It’s a beautiful line (“and I too love the morning”), and I know Khatami said it (it’s at the start of another video version of this song on the net), but I dont know what poem he is quoting or why. or why this line is association with this song. … thank you!

Comment by leili

It`s a great song…it`s for me my no.1 hit. @all iranians: dont`t forget: you`ll never walk alone.

Comment by Lutz Bucklitsch

You might like to know that I have made a “sing-along” score of the song available for free. For download link, you can go directly to the following post:

All best, Payman

Comment by Payman

If you really want to know the history on this song go to youtube and type “Siahkal” You’ll see the story of what happened about 60 years ago, by some young brave men.

Comment by Kami

[…] Übersetzungsquelle ShareDieses einfache Lied treibt mir seit fast zwei Jahren die Tränen in die Augen. “Sar Oomad Zemestoon” (”The Winter Has Come to an End”) “The winter has come to an end, the spring has blossomed. The red flower of the sun has risen once again, the night has escaped. The mountains are covered with tulips, the tulips are … […]

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