Cicero Thrusts His Head Lyrics

Cicero Thrusts His Head

This is a song about one of the greatest senators and statesmen of the Roman Empire, Marcus Tullius Cicero, (3 January 106 BCE – 7 December 43 BCE). Where Cicero was an extremely intelligent politician, he could not extract himself from the fierce infighting following Julius Caesar’s death. Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony, and desperately sought to flee Rome, but was captured in his sedan and executed by beheading. The song concentrates on the last minute of his life when he decided to die with great courage, and simply, wordlessly, thrust his head outside his sedan’s curtains, knowing a soldier outside wielded the sword.

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Cicero Thrusts His Head Lyrics

(Doyle/Kelley 2016)

 

Verse 1

Cicero thrusts his head from his sedan,

exposing his throat as much as he can,

careful to stay reclining for all those

who say your death should be met in repose.

 

Verse 2

Cicero knows a soldier grips a sword

outside the curtain; he fears the quick word,

and there only remains his last gesture

of how to die well with a brave posture.

 

Play Cicero Thrusts His Head

Chorus

The bones of your death lie below you,

intricate ivory anchors who

soon know how to chain and compel you,

the bones of your death lie below you.

 

Verse 3

Hopes his brother escaped Marc Antony,

but no one avoids the last agony

of the Dictator’s henchmen who now wait

too patiently for Cicero the Great.

 

Verse 4

He does not want to see the soldier’s face,

and keeps his gaze downward with quiet grace,

staring at an oddly-shaped black stone,

all his courage transposed to the stone.

 

Play Cicero Thrusts His Head

Chorus

The bones of your death lie below you,

intricate ivory anchors who

soon know how to chain and compel you,

the bones of your death lie below you.

 

Bridge

Follow the stone down,

it’s something true you’ve found,

the smallest roots take ground,

welcome home . . . your white gown.

 

Verse 5

Many people doubted his bravery,

too many held faith in his knavery,

but the black pebble takes him all the way

to the pyre where his body does lay.

 

Chorus

The bones of your death lie below you,

intricate ivory anchors who

soon know how to chain and compel you,

the bones of your death lie below you.

 

 

Play Cicero Thrusts His Head

 

Artist’s note:

Marcus Tullius Cicero, 3 January 106 BCE – 7 December 43 BCE) was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. It was during his consulship that the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, and Cicero suppressed the revolt by executing five conspirators without due process. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar’s death Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BCE after having been intercepted during attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were then, as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed in the Roman Forum. –Wikipedia

 

Author: Ward Kelley

Ward Kelley has seen his stories and poems appear in hundreds of journals world wide. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee whose publication credits include such journals as: Plainsongs, Karamu, Another Chicago Magazine, Strange Horizons, Spillway, GSU Review, Rattle, The Chaffin Journal, Midstream, Zuzu’s Petals, Ginger Hill, Sunstone, Pif, Whetstone, Melic Review, Thunder Sandwich, Potpourri and Skylark. The recipient of the Nassau Review Poetry Award for 2001, Kelley is also the author of “histories of souls,” a poetry collection, and he has an epic poem, “comedy incarnate” on CD and CD ROM.

Kelley holds a Masters of Creative Writing. He published two novels “Divine Murder” and “Keenly Alive, Tony.” He also published two management theory books, “Warehouse Productivity” (2005Distribution Group, New York NY), and “Zen of Warehouse Management” (2005Distribution Group, New York NY), under the name Pat Kelley.

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