“Mona With the Children” by Tom Francis

Baha’i Blog’s “Studio Sessions” is an initiative where we invite Baha’is and their friends from around the world to come into a studio and share the Baha’i Writings put to music.

In this Baha’i Blog Studio Session, we do something a little different, where Tom Francis sings a cover of the song “Mona With the Children”, originally by Doug Cameron.

The song is a protest song based on the true story of an Iranian Baha’i girl named Mona Mahmudnizhad, who, in 1983, at the age of 16, together with nine other Baha’i women, was sentenced to death and hanged in Shiraz, Iran, because she was a Baha’i.

You can also download the audio version of this song from Baha’i Blog’s Soundcloud page here:

https://soundcloud.com/bahai-blog/mona-with-the-children-tom-francis

This song was filmed and recorded in Los Angeles, USA, August 2015.

The song is also available on Tom Francis’ album From Up There and is available for purchase on 9StarMedia.com.

You can also check out Baha’i Blog’s interview with Tom Francis here:

From Up There: An Interview with Tom Francis

Here are the lyrics to the song:

A 16 year old girl living in a land so cruel, she said this where I’ve got to be.
Taken in the night, her heart full of light, she said this where I’ve got to be.
How can I tell you, how could she be so young to know the truth in all her dreams.
She stands before them to hear them say, save your life and throw your faith away.
Mona With the Children send your love to me
All around the world we’ll go dancing.
Mona With the Children send your love to me
Every precious moment you’ll be dancing
Every precious moment we’ll be free.
I can see her in my heart when the whole world is falling apart she said, this where I’ve got to be.
Captive in the light, a love that burns so bright, this where I’ve got to be.
When they asked her, what could she say, she said
You can’t break my heart, you can’t take my faith away
When they told her the price she’ll have to pay
She said take my life, take it all the way, all the way.
Mona With the Children send your love to me
All around the world I see you dancing.
Mona With the Children send your love to me
Every precious moment you’ll be dancing
Every precious moment you’ll be free.
Mona With the Children send your love to me
All around the world our souls go dancing.
Mona With the Children you gave your life
All around the world we’ll go dancing
All around the world we’ll be free.
Mona With the Children send your love
All around the world souls are dancing.
Mona With the Children, send your love to me
All around the world I see you dancing, so pretty dancing.
Mona With the Children Mona send your love
All around the world we’ll go dancing.
Mona With the Children send your love to me
Every precious day, I’ll be dancing, I’ll be dancing.

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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Discussion 4 Comments

  1. I totally support every Baha’i’s personal decision to martyr themselves for the Faith. That being said, I cannot help but wonder how it furthers the Cause to lose another individual, another 10, another 100, on and on, when on the other hand if a way were found to save the life and go on to teach the Faith, then we might gain yet another, another 10, another 100, do the math. When the terrorist straps on the explosive vest and claims more lives for their cause, along with their own, I do not see this furthering their mission one iota. If we want to spread the light of truth, I believe we can do it more effectively on this side of the grave than from the other. We don’t believe in losing our children in war, so why shouldn’t that apply to our selves as well?

    1. Dear Tim, thank you for your honest and heartfelt comment, but please don’t equate someone strapping themselves with explosives and killing themselves with others to that of Baha’is who are being arrested and killed because of their beliefs. It’s a very, very different thing.

      Perhaps the following links may help clarify some of the questions you have around the subject:

      Here’s a page about the situation of the Baha’is in Iran from the Baha’i International Community (BIC): https://www.bic.org/focus-areas/situation-iranian-bahais/current-situation

      This interview with Maziar Bahari on the ‘Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson’ may help: http://bahaiblog.net/2017/05/bahai-blogcast-rainn-wilson-episode-16-maziar-bahari/

      And also some of the things professor Nader Saiedi mentions in his interview on the ‘Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson’ may help as well: http://bahaiblog.net/2017/08/bahai-blogcast-rainn-wilson-episode-20-nader-saiedi/

  2. Thank you Naysan. And thank you for the links to the documents. Here are both my replies from FB where I first found your kind reply to me.

    Part 1: Of course its not the same thing. I didn’t say it was the same thing. I just am weary from attending memorial services for friends and loved ones, who if alive today would be furthering the Cause most assuredly. How does it help us to lose those most devout and beloved believers? Do you honestly believe the sentiment caused by their deaths does more to further the Cause than continuing Ruhi Study groups and the other core activities? Why not put our resources, sparse as they are, in places where they can flourish? The intellectual drain on nations where these things are prohibited will more quickly realize the great loss they are inflicting on their own people when they see how quickly the truth spreads.

    Part II: Shortly after Mr. Rezvani was assassinated in Iran, I was deeply honored when asked by his family here in the States to share my music at his memorial. I greatly appreciated the film Rosewater produced by Jon Stewart about the 118 days Maziar Bahari was held at Evin Prison in Iran. I have continually been humbled and in awe of the former students I have come to know from The Baha’i Institute for Higher Education who live here now and am grateful for their friendship and the joy and love they bring to our community’s devotionals and children’s classes.

    But now that the policies of economic apartheid, denial of access to higher education, and continued persecution being carried out against some of the brightest and most gifted citizens of Iran simply for being Baha’is is escalating into ever more violent reprisals, outlined in the documents you graciously shared above beginning with the assassination of dear Mr. Rezvani, it is becoming increasingly clear that matters have gone beyond the pale. Resistance to such crimes against humanity is destroying lives.

    All I am saying, is that some might want to consider how best to wage this resistance so that it does more good than harm. If someone approached me and my family and threatened my children or parents, my first priority is my family’s safety. I will do whatever I have to do and am able to do to keep them from harm. Then when that is assured, I am more than ready to rejoin the conversation and find ways to get laws changed so that religious freedom may become the reality it deserves to be for people everywhere.

    The place where our faith resides is in the heart. God knows where we our hearts are because He lives there. If I am mistaken, God will let me know. But in my opinion, verbal or written denunciations of one’s faith when coerced or forced through violent threats mean nothing. We don’t need to “out-believe” the enemy, we need to outlive them and to do that we need to out-think them. That is why I strongly support the Education is Not a Crime campaign. This is a wise strategy to use education to overcome ignorance, it is far superior to violent revolutions which have never resulted in much more than exchanging one form of tyranny for another. But we need teachers and students to carry out education, not more graves.

  3. dear Tim, often it is not as simple as denying your faith. We do have members of our community in Iran who denied their faith to save their lives but then were forced to witness to lies against the faith and the community in the public media, they were forced to join forces to bring harm and hardship on the Baha’is who were their friends and relatives. This was so hard on them that they suffered from a nervous breakdown and their family fell apart. the cruelty of the Iranian regime against the innocent Bahais has no limit.

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