Temple in the Path of Xerxes Lyrics, song by Entrance Way

About Temple in the Path of Xerxes by Entrance Way

The song is set in 5th century BCE Greece, where a landowner learns the Persian invader Xerxes is nearing his property with a large, murderous army. He quickly sends his wife, children, brother and slaves to the safety of the shore, and resolves to make a suicidal stand with his small guard of mercenaries. The night before the battle, he stands, during a thunderstorm, in the small temple he built on his property, contemplating his gods – why does a man decide to stand and fight, when the very gods have fled this place?

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Temple in the Path of Xerxes Lyrics

(Whitaker/Kelley 2015)

Verse 1

Stone frigid columns, pungent fumes, incense burning,

biting breeze penetrates the Acute night outside,

pillars clammy, expressing my fear, oh, from learning

invaders coming tomorrow for genocide.

 

Chorus

My children are safe at the coast,

their mother SPIRIT ed  them down,

with the slaves, my brother, oh, and most;

she left my sword . . . . but not her gown.

 

Verse 2

Wind easily dispels incense and sacred smoke,

I understand our gods have also left this, oh, this place,

and perhaps they too are at the shore, beaten down and broke

into human pieces, oh, of themselves and our race.

 

Chorus

Why does a man stand firm after

the very gods have fled far from this place?

I’ll always rail from the rafters,

look unyielding fate in the face.

 

Verse 3

Is the nature of gods to dissipate, oh, at whim?

So man must stand while the gods are only, oh, only smoke

for the awe of future generations, oh, brave him

who does not flee, oh, but is privy to the old joke.

 

 

Chorus

My children are safe at the coast,

their mother SPIRIT ed  them down,

with the slaves, my brother, oh, and most;

she left my sword . . . . but not her gown.

 

Instrumental

 

Verse 4

I cannot imagine this place without myself,

but it’s better to believe in man than these cults,

for any man can readily complete, oh, himself,

while the gods can only . . . . . cry at their results.

oh, cry at their results.

 

Oh,oh, well you know it’s coming.

 

Here it comes.      Oh, oh, you know it’s coming.

 

I see it.     Oh, God, it’s coming,

 

Oh, oh, oh, oh,  it’s coming.

 

Can’t you see it?    Oh, here it comes.

 

Can you feel it?   Oh, God, it’s coming,

 

Oh, oh, oh . . . . oh, here it comes.

Play Temple in the Path of Xerxes

Artist’s note:

Xerxes I (circa 519 – 465 BCE), was a king of Persia.  To punish the Greeks for their victory over the Persians at Marathon in 490 BCE, he invaded Greece, his vast army penetrating to Thrace, Thessaly, and Locris.  Three hundred Spartans made a courageous but suicidal stand at Thermopylae; after ten days Xerxes broke through, and eventually burned Athens.  Returning to Asia, Xerxes so disgusted his subjects with his debauchery that he was at last murdered by the captain of his own palace guard. 

 

 

 

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