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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Mesopotamians

Sometimes when you are reading about something it brings to mind something very obscure. Well that happened this past weekend while doing my homework. I was reading the chapter on the Mesopotamian culture and the next thing I know I am singing a song from one of my boyfriend’s favorite bands which happens to be on the same subject – and then I needed to know more about it.

First here is the song for you and I am including the lyrics below as well. The song is, The Mesopotamians by They Might be Giants.

We've been driving around
From one end of this town to the other and back
But no one's ever seen us (No one's ever seen us)
Driving our Econoline van (And no one's ever heard of our band)
And no one's ever heard of our band

We're the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

Then they wouldn't understand a word we say
So we'll scratch it all down into the clay
Half believing there will sometime come a day
Someone gives a damn
Maybe when the concrete has crumbled to sand

We're the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

The Mesopotamish sun is beating down
And making cracks in the ground
But there's nowhere else to stand
In Mesopotamia (No one's ever seen us)
The kingdom where we secretly reign
(And no one's ever heard of our band)
The land where we invisibly rule

As the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

This is my last stick of gum
I'm going to cut it up so everybody else gets some
Except for Ashurbanipal, who says my haircut makes me look like a Mohenjo-daroan
Hey, Ashurbanipal

I'm a Mesopotamian
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

We're the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

"Hey, man, I thought that you were dead
I thought you crashed your car"
"No, man, I've been right here this whole time playing bass guitar
For the Mesopotamians"

We're the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

We're the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

Ok, so now for a little bit of information on the four stars: Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh.


Sargon was a king of the Semitic Akkadian’s who is remembered through history for his conquest of Sumeria. He reigned from 2270 to 2215 BC. He is commonly looked at as a model for Mesopotamian kings for that period.


Hammurabi is best known for his code of laws, including “an eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth”. Contrary to popular belief, Hammurabi did not create this code, but rather he was the one to put all of the current laws onto one code. Hammurabi was the 6th king of Babylon and ruled from 1792 to 1750 BC.


Ashurbanipal was an Assyrian king, and the last of the strong kings of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. He ruled from 668 to 627 BC. He was known for being cruel to the people he conquered but also was very popular with his people. He is also known for amassing a huge collection of cuneiform tablets which are now located at the British Museum.


Gilgamesh was the 5th king of Uruk – a Sumerian king. He is best known from the Epic of Gilgamesh an epic poem and one of the earliest examples of literature which tells the tales of Gilgamesh. There is a chance that Gilgamesh was a historic figure or may be an amalgamation of a couple historic figures. He likely ruled around 2500 BC.


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. !!! This is hilarious -- you made my day. I love me some They Might Be Giants.

    1. Glad I could make your day! It was funny as I was reading the material this song kept flashing through my head and I knew I had to write something about it!


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