AnalysisPolicy Brief

Toomaj’s “Normal” in English

On September 13, Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi was arrested by the IRGC. Read NUFDI’s introduction of Toomaj and his work here.

His song “Normal” described life under the Islamic Republic in Iran. NUFDI translated the song below. Thanks to Danial Jafari for translation assistance.

“Normal” by Toomaj Salehi

Yes! Yes Sir! Life is normal
A laborer’s annual wage is worth a dinner abroad

Yes! Of course, Sir! Life is normal
We don’t dare say otherwise, lest we get in trouble

Yes! Yes Sir! Life is normal
Some have to sleep in graves, others own 10 high-rises

Yes! Of course, Sir! Life is normal
We don’t ask for what is ours, lest it be a crime

Sir, have you seen the under? The empty plates?
You are so enlightened, have you seen the dark city?

Have you seen these quarters where the waists are so narrowed, from your blood-sucking
These quarters where you dump your waste from above

Have you seen how different we are?
Be my guest, no need to buy tickets to watch

Kid! Go back back to your room, you are scaring the gentleman
He is not used to seeing ragged and worn clothes, not even from afar

Are you watching Sir?
You shine like a star, with the glimmering light of the ones you executed

Instead of being reprimanded, you have been promoted for your mistakes
You cut off any dissident at will

Sir! My words are sour, have some sweets to wash off the taste
Here, people are just alive, they don’t have a life

Our kids sleep with empty stomachs
Sorry, how do you sleep with a clear conscience again?

Yes! Yes Sir! Life is normal
A laborer’s annual wage is worth a dinner abroad

Yes! Of course, Sir! Life is normal
We don’t dare say otherwise, lest we get in trouble

Yes! Yes Sir! Life is normal
Some have to sleep in tombs, others own 10 high-rises

Yes! Of course, Sir! Life is normal
We don’t ask for what is ours, lest it be a crime

While the rest of the world is supporting their citizens
Our government denied responsibility and kept complaining

It called the protestors as insurrectionists
Did it stop at imprisonment? No, it committed atrocities (as well)

No doubt “We broke records”!
We are the only country, where the (COVID) vaccine was different for the rich and poor

In the age of science, women are beaten for their beauty,
Thrown in the back of a Police van, taken to unnamed prisons

Our shopping cart is empty, no more oil left to export
The rest of the world are shooting for the Moon and Mars, while we are in the abyss

We are the dead who can’t die
Since we can’t pay for the burial and the tombstone

I’m ringing the alarms, hoping the ears burn
We have people who are on the verge of death from starvation

They have kissed the lips of death, where are they?
Perhaps someone should sing them lullabies

Yes! Yes Sir! Life is normal
A laborer’s annual wage is worth a dinner abroad

Yes! Of course, Sir! Life is normal
We don’t dare say otherwise, lest we get in trouble

Yes! Yes Sir! Life is normal
Some have to sleep in tombs, others 10 high-rises

Yes! Yes Sir! Life is normal
We don’t ask for what is ours, lest it be a crime

We are constantly worried about the rent
We are scared for roofless schools in the desert

A bird can’t fly without food and water
Is this a normal life, or are we sick?

Cheap products cost a fortune
Laborer is working overtime, yet the car he wants to buy is getting further away

In this corrupt cycle, he is struggling
The regime sacrifices a million for one

For the deeply corrupt regime apologists in the US
Those who compensate for their inferiority by debauchery

There is no Left and Right here, they are all the same
We say we are trapped in a swamp, they say they hope to reform it

Is there anything that makes you feel ashamed?
Do you think citizens are your slaves?

You expect people not to eat bread so yours is buttered?
Did I confuse you by calling you Sir?

Oil tankers in a queue, on their way
Red tulip covered lands, green dollar bills

The poverty ridden city, the only sound is the cry of death
To hell with the regime officials

We are all united, We want freedom
Locked hands, human chains

We are all united, We want freedom
The power of unity is ours

Oil tankers in a queue, on their way
Red tulip covered lands, green dollar bills

The poverty ridden city, the only sounds is the cry of death
To hell with the regime officials

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