when flowers sleep...
when i found this 7" from the great french label 'le chant du monde', i assumed from the cover it would be traditional persian folk music. when i put the needle onto the record, well, i must say i was surprised, as well as mind blown. the delicate melancholy voice and rendition of these tunes is absolutely sublime.
monir vakili was born in tabriz iran, but studied in paris, boston, and other places. she sang opera as well as folk music, and was somewhat of an international star in europe in the early 1960s, and in 1958, this disc received an academy charles cros grande prix du disque.
the songs and their arrangements remind me a lot of one my my guilty musical pleasures, richard dyer-bennet. this is not folk song for lovers of the harry smith anthology, but folk song sung with affectation, finesse, and in vakili's case, a healthy dose of french chanson. but, like dyer-bennet, vakili, at least on this disc, transcends all of those affectations to create a music of lilting human tender beauty. these songs are pretty darn wonderful.
the track here is called "gorgan", the lyrics, as translated by my friend google translate are roughly:
"sleep, my beautiful tulip, sleep. do you hear the sound of a panther, groaning in the mountains? sleep my beautiful flower hazel, sleep. while your mother works. sleep my beautiful flower poppy, sleep. your father is far away. and God is with him."
click here to listen to gorgon