Paradise Key. (words and music Andrew Brel and Hugh Burns.)

A song about the consequences of blind faith.

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(Pictures from Iran circa 1984, Kaveh Golestan.)



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The Paradise Key

I was a child with the world at my at my feet
I ran and I played where the crossroads did meet
Mother drove me to join my brothers in arms
And on the front line we were handed the charm

For two days and nights we listened to talk
how wars are won, how holy men walk
We learned about god and our part in his plan
when the time came we rose as one man

All the way from the east - made especially
A gift from above - to set my soul free
The locks to their heaven will open for me
Cause I am the one with the paradise key
Na na na na lord look out for me
Ill be the one with the paradise key.


Then up from the trench, 4 thousand young feet
In a human wave rose for the good god we'd meet
they fell to my left they fell to my right
our victory is sure as the spirit takes flight

All the way from the east - made especially
A gift from above - to set my soul free
The locks to their heaven will open for me
Cause I am the one with the paradise key
Na na na na lord look out for me
Ill be the one with the paradise key.


Then below my feet the ground did explode
My motion went slow, on a wave up I rode
I followed the light resolute in my faith
and reached for my key to open the gate

All the way from the east - made especially
A gift from above - to set my soul free
The locks to their heaven will open for me
Cause I am the one with the paradise key
Na na na na lord look out for me
Ill be the one with the paradise key.
Na na na na lord look out for me


I was the one with the paradise key.

 

About the Paradise Key

During the Iran/Iraq War (1980 - 1988) the Iranian Shia fundamentalist regime of Ayatolah Khomeini found themselves in a tricky position. After years of poorly conceived battle plans, territorial gains followed by grave losses brought the war to a stalemate.

With American backed Saddam Hussein's army on one side and on the other, Irans Islamist forces, superior in number, but limited by a lack of sophisticated weaponry and hamstrung by lack of military tactics.

By 1984, exhausted after four years of costly backwards and forwards attacks and retreats the war had found its basic low level, similar to First World War conditions. Two sides in trenches, separated by a one mile 'no man's land' heavily mined with anti-personnel land mines by the Iraqi's. By this time many hundreds of thousands of men had already died.

The Iranians believed this to be a Holy War. Their supreme commander was Allah. Unusually in the context of modern warfare, their military orders came not from trained Generals, but via prayer, directly from Allah through his emissaries, the holy men.

The Iranians faced a dilemma on how best to mount an attack on the Iraqi defensive line considering the minefield issue. Without access to minefield clearing vehicles they contrived an ingenious solution.

One entirely unique to this time and place.

The Holy Quran the very word of Allah confirms that the highest purpose of a Muslim is Jihad. Dying in Jihad ensures immediate entry to heaven where 70 virgins await.

Before these events began the Ayatolah's regime placed an order for 500,000 plastic keys from Taiwan.

From the Mullahs to the Mothers - word went out across the land - Mothers bring your children to the front line to become martyrs for Islam. Mothers arrived in droves bringing their young boys, aged 10 - 12, to serve God.

Typically 2,000 at a time would be delivered to the front line after school on Friday. Each boy was given a plastic key. They would spend the weekend praying and bonding with their 'Paradise Keys' before lining up on Monday mornings, 2,000 in a line holding hands. Preparing for the 'Human Wave.'

Upon command (Allah Akbar) they would rise up over the trench and walk out, hand in hand, into the minefield. Certain death. No child ever made it to the other side.

Eye witnesses to these Human wave attacks say that despite some of the children showing fear, vomiting or crying, not one single child turned and ran away. Proof that Allah rules absolutely.

Of course in military terms this technique had no value whatsoever. Any ground attack across the no mans land, even after some of the mines where cleared, would end on the Iraqi machine guns that lay in wait.

Many Many thousands of children died in this way. Martyrs for Islam whose parents traded their children's lives for a 2 cent Taiwanese plastic key, whilst praying 5 times a day to their God.

The Paradise key.

 

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