SOURCE: “Vanished Persian army said found in desert”, Discovery News, 9 Nov 2009, as used in the post “Like a wolf on the fold. Like an ocean of choking sand.”
ABSTRACT: It’s hard to get more poetic than an invading army swallowed by an angry desert. Even if, as may be the case here, it’s only a story. Yes, there’s a good chance the found army might be a stunt pulled by a couple of exploitation filmmakers. But I’ve built a career on not letting the facts get in the way of a good story, which is kind of apropos to the deaths of the notional army, too, since, after all, they were following orders (a kind of story) and attacking an oracle (who’d been telling the wrong kinds of stories).
So, this song is a story told in the voice of a ghost. It’s supposed to be a little discombobulated because, after all, he’s been dead for more than two millennia. What does he remember? Wanting moist things – red wine, oranges, the fountains of Isfahan, the cloths that she laid on his forehead and arms. And he remembers old fishermen’s tales about weather, and the competing lies of his leaders and their enemies. I guess that much never really changes.
I recorded this with a kid’s guitar tuned to an open C-sharp minor (looow) and some vaguely Middle Eastern soundfonts, to sound like the kind of ghosts you’d find in the Sahara. And I decided to leave my charming daughter’s complaints on the end because, well, how could I resist? Damn grownups with their loud music….