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October 3, 2013 / rockroots

The Irish Bahá’ís – Peace Will Shine

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The Bahá’í faith claims to be the youngest of the world’s independent religions. In essence, in 1844 a Persian merchant named Siyyid Ali-Muhammad proclaimed himself the ‘Báb’ – the gateway to the Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam of Shi’a Islam who is considered to have been in hiding for a thousand years. He later declared that he himself was the Mahdi, inevitably leading to persecution from the Shah’s authorities and execution by firing squad in 1850. The Báb had prophesied that ‘Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest’ would follow, and in due course one of his disciples, Mírzá Husayn ‘Alí Núrí, known as Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), came to be recognised as this Messenger of God, the most recent in a line that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad. In moving away from their origins in Shi’a theology and embracing aspects of all monotheistic religions, Bahá’ís emphasise that there is only one God and that all major religions have the same spiritual source; that all humans have been created equal and that diversity of race and culture are worthy of appreciation and acceptance; and that the human purpose is to learn to know and love God through such methods as prayer, reflection, and being of service to humanity. The religion gradually spread from its Persian and Ottoman roots and gained a footing in Europe and America. Currently there are five to seven million Bahá’ís worldwide, although in its Iranian heartland it currently suffers intense repression.

A visit to the website of the Bahá’í movement in Ireland reveals that it  was a former Church of Ireland clergyman in the late 1940′s who first established a permanent presence here, with an influx of new followers in the early 1970s. The ’70s was also the era when the Hare Krishna, Buddhist and various Born-Again Christian faiths first gained a small but durable foothold in Ireland, and also when, in a wider context, a huge number of post-hippie young people across the Western hemisphere looked to religion – rather than sex, drugs & rock ‘n’ roll – for spiritual enlightenment. It’s this demographic of the community that is most evident on the 1978 LP Peace Will Shine, credited simply to The Irish Bahá’ís. The album is a collection of acoustic folk-rock songs with close-harmony vocals, reminding me of no-one more than Crosby, Stills & Nash and – with occasional flutes and whistles – not far removed from Trader Horne. The lyrics, aside from those specifically about figures from Bahá’í history, are filled with the aspirations for world harmony and tolerance that are very admirable parts of their faith, but which also align very strongly with the kind of music championed by the Woodstock generation. The record also invites inevitable comparisons to evangelical Christian rock, and to my ears it comes close to those faithful of a different hue, Ya Ho Wa 13.

Music is “by the Irish Bahá’ís”, although more particularly the track ‘Healing Prayer’ was set to music by John Ford Coley, and much of the lyrics are taken from Bahá’í texts. The liner notes tell us that it was recorded in a three-day session at Middle 8 Studio, but neither the musicians nor the lead singers are identified. The producer, however, is named as Jack Costelloe. The Irish Rock Discography suggests that Jack Costello and Guido DeVito from late ’60s Limerick rockers Granny’s Intentions may have been involved, but this isn’t evident from listening to the music. The LP was released on the (apparently one-off) Hyacinth Records label (B134/1) and has become highly collectable due more to its scarcity than to high regard for the contents. That said, it’s a decent record and well worth hearing if the above musical references or the Bahá’í faith pique your interest. This is another case where I’m reposting contents from elsewhere on the web – in this case from Epeli’s site the linked below – which will explain why track 11 is missing and can’t be added for the time being

 

The Irish Bahá’ís – Peace Will Shine (192 kbps):

  1. Alláh’u’ Ábha
  2. Right On Brother
  3. Healing Prayer
  4. Waves Of One Sea
  5. The Báb
  6. Blessed Is The Spot
  7. Hidden Word
  8. Lonely Faces
  9. Tara
  10. Work Together
  11. A Question Of Life
  12. Peace Will Shine

 

See Also:

Epeli’s archive of Bahá’í-inspired music unavailable elsewhere

Irish Rock Discography: The Irish Bahá’ís

Somewhere There Is Music: The Irish Bahá’ís – Peace Will Shine

Official website of the Bahá’ís of Ireland

 

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. joe / Nov 21 2013 20:54

    Good to find this site again.

    I had never heard of this album before, but a few of the songs are familiar to me. In the late 1970’s John Brown and Paul Hanrahan (?) were an acoustic duo in Galway. John played guitar while Paul played flute and guitar (and told excellent jokes while John replaces broken guitar strings). They did close harmonies like Seals & Crofts and England John & John Ford Coley. I remember the song Tara, and I think it sounded better without the rhythm section!

    John Brown appears on a CD called An Droichead Beag – Mighty Session, where he accompanies and is photographed with the piper Eoin Duignan, so I know it is him. The album was recorded in Dingle, so he may have been living there at the time (1995).

    I think Paul Hanrahan was in an early version of the band Stagalee, with Earl Walsh. (any chance you could post their long lost single “Give A Little Love”)?

    Keep up the good work.

    Joe.

  2. Rich / Oct 24 2014 12:08

    Thanks for this incredibly hard to find record!

  3. Ckbdf Uheif / Oct 16 2016 20:36

    hi!
    where is 11 song?
    thanks

    • rockroots / Oct 17 2016 01:07

      As I mentioned in the text, I got this rip from another source which was missing track 11. If anyone can complete it I’d be very grateful!

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