Last year a moving video went viral on You Tube--it was called PLAYING FOR CHANGE and was conceived by Mark Johnson to use music to unite people all over the world. It was first brought to my attention by one of my students. In Mark's own words "Music has always been the universal language and we followed its path from city streets to Native Indian reservations, African villages and the Himalayan Mountains. I could never have imagined that we would discover a world with so much love, hope and inspiration. In a world with so much focus on our differences I am proud to have discovered that people everywhere believe in creating a better world together."
If you have not seen it --you can view it here:
Now as is the way with the web the idea of using the Song Stand by Me and combining the talents of musicians around the world is behind the Iran dissident movement. According to Ianyan
"Popular Iranian-Armenian singer Andy Madadian joined the likes of Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and record producers Don Was and John Shanks on June 24 to record a special version of the Ben E. King classic “Stand By Me” with lyrics in English and Farsi as a a musical message of worldwide solidarity with the people of Iran."
The new lyrics in English and Farsi are well worth listening to:
According to one report -since June 27, the video has generated nearly 500,000 views, "and just as many emails of support. "Within hours, we were flooded and we couldn't handle it," Madadian says of the "zillions" of messages of support he received from his fellow Iranians on Facebook, MySpace and his personal website. Madadian claims that he has yet to hear any negative reaction to the video."
So this is the new 21st century global village--in action---it looks as though participatory global web enhanced democracy is here to stay and will be a force for good. Let's hope!