Unchained Melody
May 20, 1951 — The Sydney Morning Herald

The Mossadegh Project | March 22, 2017       


Here is an excerpt from Candid Comment, a column which ran in The Sunday Herald (Sunday edition of The Sydney Morning Herald) in Australia. After some items heralding the British Empire, the column closed with this quirky poem about Iran.



Candid Comment by Onlooker Rubaiyat Revised

TEHERAN.—Persian M.P.s are considering whether the Premier, Dr. Mussadiq, feigned his fainting fit in the Majlis (Lower House), in order to overcome the delay in appointing members of the oil nationalisation commission, caused by competition for these lucrative posts.

Before collapsing, Mussadiq told of “a man from God” who had appeared to him in a dream, saying: “Tear the chains off the feet of the Persian people.”


Awake! for Mussa in the depth of night
Was vouchsafed from on high a vision bright,
An angel (so he says) that bade him go
And put the nasty foreigners to flight.

Dreaming, ere dawn’s first glint was in the sky,
He heard this timely apparition cry:
“Now strike for Persian liberty a blow—
“And do the oil refiners in the eye.”

Come, fill the cruse. What boots it to repeat
This talk of breaking chains and loosing feet?
It may go down among the smaller fry,
But oil’s the stuff to keep the Majlis sweet.

The moving finger writes: a note to Brit.,
Announcing she from Abadan must quit;
And if the fainthearts cancel half a line,
Old Muss will throw another phoney fit.

A book of verse, a flask beneath the bough,
His girl friend, and a loaf of bread for chow—
These were the things in Omar Khayyam’s line,
But oil, not wine, the Persians covet now.

And in their name the Mussadiqs conspire
To grasp the Anglo-Iran show entire,
And, shattering it into pieces, grab
The juicy jobs that are their hearts’ desire.


[The purpose of nationalization was not to ‘grab jobs’ or even oil]




Related links:

As I See It by Vee Cee | The Sunday Times column, 1951-1953

Oil, Shakespeare Country & the Ethics of Foreign Concessions

Russia Exploits Danger In Persia | Northern Star, May 22, 1951



MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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