Lyric of the Week: SATRAPS
Updated: Jan 23
You came through hell and high water
And what didn’t kill you made you stronger
You’re a new woman now and your spirit flies
So you don’t need the same old guy any longer
You gathered all these exciting new friends
Mesmerized ‘em with your psycho-spiritual voodoo
But I didn’t buy into it and I still don’t
‘Cuz I know what you are and I can see right through you.
You’d rather have your henchmen and your satraps
Your sycophants, your toadies, and your cads
Your pettifogging mouthpiece and your enabling shrink
Whisper in your ear how you’ve been had
Your yes-men and your minions
Who bolster your opinions
Will always shore up what you already believe
And you’ll regretlessly eject
Anyone who dares object
You’ll make sure the door won’t hit them when they leave.
You were once my sustaining soulmate
The salt of the earth, so genuine, and so real
You were the gifted giver of life
With hands and heart to love, nurture, and heal
But you metamorphosed into such a dislikeable thing
And those who once loved you don’t even know you
You won’t even spit in their direction now
Because all who came before are suddenly so below you.
You’d much prefer your henchmen and your satraps
Your proxies, your doxies, and your marks
All the gawkers and hawkers that bow to your every whim
Your kiss-up army of snakes, wolves, and sharks
Your bitchery leaves me flummoxed
And so does your loyal lummox
Who you count on to kowtow on cue
And all these goons, geeks, and dorks
Line up like spoons, knives, and forks
In their zeal to remain in the fawning Cult Of You.
What chappened to the Chunnie that I used to love
I wonder as I stare in disbelief
I sniff the stench of snobbery that floats down from above
As I fight off all the heartbreak and grief
I scream out, I want my wife back!
I want my stable old life back!
I want to roll back and restore the way things were before
You became like some bogus tribal chief!
So now you’re queen of all you survey
You look down your nose from that ivory tower
You issue edicts and proclamations from up on high
Because now you believe that You Got De Power
Your hysterical pronouncements are so loud and shrill
As you consolidate your high position
You brandish your blackjack to blackball and blackmail
And browbeat me into submission.
Well call off your henchmen and your satraps
Your lackeys and your flunkies and your flacks
All the hucksters and shysters that give you advice
Your lapdogs and your stooges and your hacks
All your bluster and your threats
They won’t pay your debts
Hell hath no fury will get you nowhere with me
So take all your schemes and plans
Stuff them all back in your cans
Just ‘cuz you say so doesn’t mean it’s going to be.
You really have no henchmen or satraps
Or honest-to-goodness friends of any kind
All you have is a gallery of heels and fifth wheels
Who let you manipulate their minds
Your henchmen are all flakes
Your satraps are all fakes
You haven’t any allies in this world
‘Cuz beneath all the armor
Of your dogma-chasing-karma
Is just a scared and lonely little girl.
So take all your henchmen and satraps
All your yokels and your yahoos and your dupes
Take all the true believers who think you’re G-d’s gift
All the bozos willing to be your troops
And swallow your bitter pill
Or bite down on it, better still
Hope you enjoy the taste of your own venom
I’ll see you take the seeds you’ve sown
With all the bull you’ve thrown
And check in to your own special place in Gehinnom.
©2019 The Hesh Inc.
Well. Where do I even begin with this one.
If you're not familiar with the term "satrap," it means a follower, political or otherwise, whose support for the leader he or she follows is chiefly for personal advantage. Its original, literal meaning is governor of a province, subordinate and second only to the king, in the ancient Persian Empire.
I wrote this in the spring of 2007, in the aftermath of my divorce and after I crossed the country from Los Angeles back to New Jersey so I could put a continent between my ex-wife and myself.
The story of what happened to the marriage in the run-up to our separation is pretty much told in the lyrics so there really isn't any need to be more explicit.
Musically, I borrowed a bit from Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. Lyrically, I had a great time with all the wordplay. In the bigger picture, I envisioned this as the centerpiece of the album I was going to write and record about my having gone to LA in a spirit of cautious optimism, only to have everything go to pieces because my ex decided to reinvent herself. (Yes, the fault is all hers. Just thought I'd say that here.) I may yet still do that, once I finish with the recording of my Soul In Exile magnum opus.
I recorded the song in 2018 as part of a series of 'acoustic' singles at Bruce Tunkel's Beanland Studios in Branchburg, NJ, with the objective of showcasing my solo singer-songwriter act.
At first I decided not to show it off along with the other songs I recorded in those sessions, given its pointed, direct manner and somewhat morbid subject matter, and also in the interests of keeping the peace between my ex and myself. But every now and then, she'll still do something to remind me just what kind of, ah, person she is. And so I put this out there. No need for me to keep the peace if she doesn't.
Some words of advice to anyone who finds themselves in the orbit of a wannabe-charismatic, self-styled guru such as my ex-wife described in the lyrics: Please, for your own sake and those of everyone around you, disconnect and disengage from this person. She or he is not good for you and not good for the world. You could be aiding and abetting the ruination of this person's family and relationships without knowing it. You don't want to be a yes-man, minion, or cad. If you honestly feel that there is a void in your life that is filled by associating with such a guru type, please go seek help. Pick up a book on codependency or find a chapter of Co-Dependents Anonymous near you.
(Of course, anyone knowingly associating with such a person and aiding in the destruction of their relationships is the precise definition of a henchman and satrap, and can go fuck right off along with the guru herself or himself.)