Relax, said the camel…

Organizing old files on my computer, I found this lyric I wrote while taking a class on Near Eastern archaeology. To the tune of “Hotel California”:

On a dark desert pathway, cool breeze from the Nile
Warm stink from the camels, wafting off from a mile
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My eyes were waterin’ from the sand blowin’ in
I had to stop, couldn’t fight…

There it was in the distance
I heard the papyrus sway
And I was thinking to myself
This could be a very cool day
Then I entered the temple, and I saw very well
There were paintings all over the walls
I thought I heard them say…

This is el-Amarna, Akhetaten!
Such a lovely place
Aten’s favorite space
Plenty of room at Amarna, Akhetaten!
Akhenaten’s plan, was accomplished here!

This place is only for Aten, he’s the fancy new Sun God
He’s got plenty of pretty, pretty boys, that he calls priests
How they dance in the vestry, sweet desert sweat
Some follow the Pharaoh, some follow themselves

So I asked the gatekeeper
“Where’re Horus and Re?”
He said, “we haven’t had those deities here since fourteen fifty three”
And still those spirits are calling from far away,
Staring out from the scratched defaced reliefs
Saying with spite in their voice

This is el-Amarna, Akhetaten

Treasures down in the royal tombs
Locked away for all time
And they said: “We are all just biding our time, until the next pharaoh comes”
And in the downstairs chambers
They gathered up all the scribes
Copying out the Akkadian texts
Endless diplomatic sets

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax,” said the camel
It won’t matter much for long
Aten’s time is not long to be
And we’ll not sing this song…


One comment on “Relax, said the camel…

  1. Harald says:

    next time in the field I will put Hotel California on the playlist, so we can try to sing your version along

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