30 Seconds to Persia in the Aegae Wine Tent

Play List
Come Together
Welcome to the Conquest (Babylon rewrite)
Your Time is Gonna Come, Darius
This Is Persia
One Night in Babylon
Seven City Army
Phalanx Kept a Rollin’
When the Empire Comes Crashing
Wine To Die (For)
Between Hades and Olympus
Silver and Gold
Oh My Gods

Encore
Book One of The Iliad
A Pindaric Victory Ode
Hetaira

Notes by Hephaestion

Come Together
One of the first songs that we wrote together as a band, and also our most controversial. We wrote it after Alexander razed Thebes and subdued Greece. It was just meant to be a playful number. Unfortunately, the Greeks thought it mocked them and were naturally offended by it, while Alexander thought we were advocating equality with the poleis. I had to work very hard to put his mind at ease..

Seven City Army
Amyntas of the Kithera and I wrote this song in the aftermath of the controversy over Come Together. We wanted to write a song that made Greeks forget about where they came from and look only to what they were about to achieve. This was an impossibility, of course, so we just wrote a feel good ‘We’re all here, we hate each other, but we hate the Persians more, so let’s just look forward to killing them’ type song. I regret making it so anti-Persian but it is probably our most popular song now so we can’t get away from it.

Welcome to the Conquest
Amyntas of the Drums and I first wrote this song on the day we crossed the Hellespont. Back then, it was a sort of rallying cry for the troops: Here we go, let’s overthrow us an empire! When we entered Babylon, the song became obsolete. We had finally conquered the Persian Empire, so, because we liked the music a lot, we rewrote it to take account of the new circumstances.

Your Time is Gonna Come, Darius
Another song that Drum Amyntas and I wrote. We did so a few days after the battle at the Granicus river. We were recovering from our wounds but exhilarated to have won our first major battle. In fact, we thought we were invincible. A belief, which, as far as the Persian Empire is concerned, turned out to be true. I particularly like the Homeric quotes in it. I should add that the coda, referring to the ‘heroic Persian’ refers to Memnon not Darius.

This is Persia
I wrote this song by myself the night before we fought Darius for the second time at Gaugamela. I was walking through the camp when I saw Craterus talking to a few young boys who at the Granicus and Issus battles had been at the back of the phalanx but were now at the front and were, frankly, scared to death of being there. Craterus picked up some sand, showed it to them and said, “This is Persia!”. He threw the sand to the ground and stamped on it. I immediately knew I had a song. The famous lyric ‘We must end Persia, or Persia will end us’ was written by Kithera Amyntas.

When The Empire Comes Crashing
I started writing this song three nights after the battle at Gaugamela. It is one of our hardest songs with both a drum and kithera solo. I shout more than sing in this song and for that do not really enjoy performing it; however, I really wanted to get across to the audience what a big thing the fall of the Archaemenid empire was. As befitting the destruction of an empire over two hundred years old, this is also our longest song by some margin. The foreign language that I sing in the middle is indeed Persian.

One Night in Babylon
Amyntas of the Drums, Kithera and Lute all wrote this song after a night out in Babylon. It’s a very simple song, being about girls, girls, girls. It is also very embarrassing but a good laugh to sing once I have had a few flagons of wine to drink.

Phalanx Kept A Rollin’
I wrote this song at the request of Parmenion and Craterus who wanted a song that celebrated the achievement of the phalanx. We were more than happy to oblige them.

Wine To Die (for)
Amyntas of the Lute and I wrote this song. It started out as a playful number but gradually got more serious. We have been on the road for five years now, and in that time, I have seen a number of friends die due – I think – to over drinking. It has been very hard seeing their decline from beautiful men to red-faced, purple nosed wrecks. I hope Alexander never goes that way. Or that, if he does, I do not live to see it… please stop the scribe, I need a moment to myself…

[a few minutes later]

Between Hades and Olympus
This is the only song on the play list that doesn’t refer to any particular event. It is simply about our relationship to the gods: You scratch our back, we scratch yours. You ignore us, we destroy you. I know Olympus is that excellent place where the gods live, but when you have that kind of a relationship with them, Hades and the Lethe do seem a preferable option.

Silver and Gold
We all – that is to say, the band – wrote this song. It is dedicated to my childhood friend Harpalus who, somehow, is in charge of the king’s money back west. I don’t know why. He started thieving when he was young and hasn’t stopped since. If he wasn’t a friend of Alexander’s as well he would be dead by now. Actually, maybe he wouldn’t, since he is such a witty character! Hopefully, although we make fun of him in the song, we get that across, too. I can confirm, though, I would never put him in charge of my money.

Oh My Gods
I have heard that the royal palace at Persepolis is even grander than the ones here at Susa and in Babylon. This song is really me imagining what my reaction will be when I finally see it. The song also looks forward to what we might find if we go further east. Apart from Ocean. I daresay there are lots of tribes out there and, who knows, maybe more grand buildings, ones that are even more splendid that we have hitherto seen.

Hephaestion was speaking to Eumenes.

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