|English: O Iran
Unofficial anthem of Iran
Former national anthem of the Interim Government of Iran
|Hossein Gol-e-Golab, 1944
"Ey Irân" (Persian: ای ایران, lit. 'O Iran!', pronounced [ʔej ʔiːˈɾɒːn]) is an Iranian patriotic song that serves as the country's unofficial national anthem. The music was composed by Ruhollah Khaleqi, and the lyrics were written by Hossein Gol-e-Golab. This anthem was first performed by Gholam-Hossein Banan.
The song's history dates back to World War II in Iran. In September 1941, the Allied Forces occupied the country following the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. The idea of this poem inspired the poet when he saw the Allied flags waving from the military barracks and the deplorable situation of the country. One day when visiting Khaleqi, Gol-e-Golab witnessed a clash between two Iranian and British soldiers. When Gol-e-Golab recounted the incident, he wanted to write a poem to keep Iran and the Iranian spirit alive in it. Khaleqi decided to compose the song and Banan would sing the poem.
Gol-e-Golab was inspired to write this song by his patriotism. He was quoted as saying:
In 1944, the footsteps of the invading armies in the streets were enough to rattle any patriot and inspired me to write this anthem. Professor Ruhollah Khaleqi wrote the music and despite all the political opposition, it found its way into the heart and soul of the people.
"Ey Irân" served as the country's de facto national anthem for a brief period with the establishment of Iran's interim government following the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
Its first performance was held for two consecutive nights on 27 October 1944 in the military primary school, performed by Banan on Istanbul Street. "Ey Irân" garnered a lot of popularity that listeners demanded its repetition; thus, it was renewed three times. The reception and impact of this anthem caused the then minister of culture to invite the musicians to the Sound Broadcasting Center to record a page of it and broadcast it daily on Radio Tehran.
After the Revolution of 1979, several people were imprisoned for collaborating in the preparation of this anthem, and singing it was considered a crime, but after a while, it was used to inspire soldiers in the Iran–Iraq War.
In 1990, Golnoush Khaleghi, the daughter of Ruhollah Khaleqi, who was in Tehran for the 25th anniversary of her father's death, re-arranged the anthem for orchestra, solo and group singing, which was released on the album May Nab by Sorush Publications. The monologue in this version is performed by Rashid Vatandust.
ای ایران ای مرز پرگهر
Ey Irân ey marze por gohar
[ej iː.ˈɾɒːn ej ˈmæɹ.ze pʰoɾ go.ˈhæɾ ǀ]
An English translation can be found here.