Ghost Writers in the Sky
Fertile Crescent Rising
Neolithic Hillbillies Lyrics
Now, listen to a story 'bout a man named Ugh
He didn't have house or a lamp or a rug
He hunted and he gathered every day for his food
And the weapons that he used were wooden and crude
Big wooden clubs, that is
Stone tipped spears
It's hard to have a household when your dinner runs away
It's hard to start a city when you move from day to day
It's hard to write down all the things you know that you should save
When you're waking, eating, sleeping, living; holed up in a cave.
Migratin', that is
One day Ugh decided that he'd finally had enough
The hunting and the gathering was really rather rough
He's had his fill of his last kill and left it for a vulture
He found a fertile field and invented agriculture
Farming, that is
Food that stays put.
He domesticated cattle so he'd have some milk and meat
Made a house and clothes to wear in the times of cold and heat
He dug a dozen ditches all to irrigate his farm
Turned all his spears to plowshares and then built a big, brown barn
For storing food, that is
He had more than enough.
Ghost Writers in the Sky
When wedge-shaped writing first was born
They wrote it with a weed
And it was called cuneiform
They just used clay and reeds
Egyptians needed holy writ
Some carvings of their own
And thus invented hieroglyphs
To put on Rose Etta's Stone.
Ghost Writers in the sky
The Chinese chose their letters well
The future for to see
They carved them into broken bones
And inside fortune cookies
The ancients wrote with images
With pictographic words
Then came phonetic alphabets
For each symbol, sounds were heard.
Semitic scribes inscribed their lines
Without A, E, I, O or U
The Phoenicians took their phonetics
And papyrus from Byblos too.
The Greeks grabbed the alpha-bet
And added vowel signs
The Latin warriors sacked the Greeks
And made their Roman rhymes
From Rome it spread the whole world o'er
And comes to us today
We use these signs in all our books
In all we write and say.
When u im or txt ur friends
Or l-o-l ur laughs
Remember, those emoticons
Are only pictographs.
Fertile Crescent Rising Lyrics
I see a fertile crescent rising
Right where Iraq is today
Between the river's fertile fields
In ancient Sumer, walls were built
Made of sun baked clay
At Uruk, ruled by Gilgamesh
Whose friend, Enkidu, passed away.
Sing with me if you're able
Of civilization's cradle
A fertile crescent's on the rise.
Then came Akkad and Sargon sacked
The Sumer city-state
Knocked down the walls and made them thralls
Or dealt a deadly fate.
A ziggurat was made for Marduk
In Babel he abode
So he gave Lex Talionis
And Hammurabi's Code
The witty Hitties waged their wars
With iron swords and spears
In chariots they charged their foes
Who wept great Turkey tears
Beware the bold Assyrians
They're torturers and crooks
To Ashur take your nose and eyes
To Ninevah your books
Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean
First conquered Babylon
Then built a wonder of the world
To hang his gardens on.
In Persia, Cyrus said, "I ran
My empire's ends with ease,
From Susa to Persepolis,
With strapping satrapies."