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Man of a Thousand Faces

Introduction: In an interview with Ed Sciaky from WMMR, 93.3 in Philadelphia, Steve Hogarth said: "This was based on a book called Hero of a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell who is America's foremost knowledge on mysticism and psychology. And it's quite a heavy book which attempts to link Freud and his thoughts and Jung and his philosophies with tribalism, rights of passage.

He's really talking about man's need to function on a tribal or mystical level and how that's a psychological need as well as a spiritual need. That song takes in conspiracy theory, masonry, secret society, all the way from the Holy Grail in the Knights Templar to some of the conspiracy theories that still go around in the modern age. And the need in all cultures in all parts of the world and at different times to worship similar symbols and how similar gods keep on turning up. So, it's quite a heavy book. It addresses heroism really, and the need for a hero in every culture in society. That's what that one's about."

Additionally, this is a John Helmer lyric.

The following information comes from
Princeton University Press [1949], who publish the book. Campbell, J: Hero with a Thousand Faces (Mythos Series): "Despite their infinite variety of incident, setting, and costume, the myths of the world offer only a limited number of responses to the riddle of life. In this best-selling volume, Joseph Campbell presents the composite hero. Through Campbell's eyes, we see Apollo, the Frog King of the fairy tale, Wotan, the Buddha, and numerous other protagonists of folklore and religion enacting simultaneously the various phases of their common story.

"Campbell begins his interpretation of these timeless symbols by examining their relationship to those rediscovered in dreams by depth psychology. The psychological view is then compared with the words of such spiritual leaders as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Lao-tse, and the "Old Men" of the Australian tribes. From behind a thousand faces, the single hero emerges, archetype of all myth."

'A little piece of me in every part I take'
An actor.

'I hold the tape for a thousand races'
An athlete. Note the pun on the word 'races'.

'A different point of view in every speech I make'
A politician.

'Cut me a piece of my divided soul'
A philosopher. Plato had the notion that the soul of a plant was comprised of one part - instinct, an animal two - instinct and courage, and a human three - instinct, courage and intellect. That is an extremely basic overview of his views!

'Cry me a river, call it rock and roll'
A singer. Cry me a River is a song originally written for Ella Fitzgerald but made famous by Julie London.

'Give me an attitude and watch me make it lie'
Another politician?

'Pass me a microphone - I need to testify'
A preacher/ televangelist.

'You see my face in the stones of the Parthenon'
The following information was taken from an Elgin Marbles site that is no longer maintained. It was formerly at, so credit where credit's due!

"When the Parthenon was built between 447 BC and 432 BC, three sets of sculptures, the metopes, the frieze and the pediments, were created to adorn it. Of these, the metopes and the frieze were part of the structure of the Parthenon itself. They were not carved first and then put in place, high up on the Parthenon, but were carved on the sides of the Parthenon itself after it had been constructed.

"The metopes were individual sculptures in high relief. There were 92 metopes, 32 on each side and 14 at each end and each metope was separated from its neighbours by a simple architectural decoration called a triglyph, The metopes were placed around the building, above the outside row of columns and showed various mythical battles. The north side showed scenes from the Trojan war; the south side showed a battle between the Greeks and the Centaurs - part man, part horse; the east side showed the Olympian gods fighting giants and the west side showed a battle between Greeks and Amazons.

"The frieze, 160 metres long, was placed above the inner row of columns, so it was not so prominently displayed. It is one long, continuous sculpture in low relief, showing the procession to the temple at the Panathenaic festival.

"At either end of the temple, in the large triangular space, the pediment statues in the round were placed. These were designed to fill the space so that those at the highest point of the triangle are enormous. The pediment sculptures have been so badly damaged that we only know what they represent because of the writings of the Greek writer and traveller Pausanias, who was active around 150 AD. According to him, the sculptures in the east pediment represent the birth of Athena from the head of Zeus and the sculptures in the west pediment represent the struggle between Athena and Poseidon for the land of Attica.

"The real glory of the temple, however, was housed inside. The statue of the goddess Athena was about 40 feet (12 metres) high, and gold and ivory was used to decorate it. This statue was damaged by fire as early as 200 BC and it is thought that a new statue replaced it in 165-160 BC. Unlike the Parthenon Marbles, the statue did not survive antiquity.

"Not all of the Parthenon Marbles, however, survive down to the present day. There were originally 115 panels in the frieze. Of these, ninety-four still exist, either intact or broken. Thirty six are in Athens, fifty-six are in the British Museum and one is in the Louvre. Of the original ninety-two metopes, thirty-nine are in Athens and fifteen are in London. Seventeen pedimental statues, including a caryatid and a column from the Erechtheion are also in the British Museum. So the Parthenon Marbles are almost equally divided - half in London and half in Athens.

"It is precisely because the surviving sculptures are to be found in two countries 1,500 miles apart that the Greek government has requested the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum so that they can be reunited in one collection, in a museum to be built at the foot of the Acropolis Hill on which the remains of the Parthenon temple stand."

What this article fails to mention is that the reason the marbles were taken to Britain is that in the 1930s (?)Lord Elgin found that the marbles were being stolen, broken or otherwise damaged through lack of care, and that the Greek authorities were being negligent in their care. He decided and took them away. The British examples are often called the Elgin Marbles. There is an on-going discussion (a diplomatic phrase for often undiplomatic disagreement) between the British and Greek governments to get the Marbles returned.

'You hear my song in the babble of Babylon'
In the Book of Genesis, the people of Babylon decide to build a tower so they can reach God. At this time on Earth, all humans spoke with one tongue. God spits the dummy over this, destroys the tower, scatters humanity across the globe and renders them unable to understand each other by creating loads of different tongues. The story doesn't stand up to close scrutiny but the word 'babble' has its genesis (ha ha!) in the story of the Tower of Babylon.
Gen 11:1 -9 (New International Version)

1) Now the whole earth had one language and few words.
2) And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3) And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
4) Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
5) And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built.
6) And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7) Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."
8) So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9) Therefore its name was called Ba'bel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
'I'm the man of a thousand riches'
This may be a reference to Croesus, a 6th century BC Lydian king, renowned as the richest man in the classic world. To be 'as rich as Croesus' is a reasonably well-known way of describing a Bezos or Musk type.

'Be my guest at the feast of Satyricon'
Stefan Rau said: "The Satyricon is a story written by the Roman author Petronius which tells about a man named Trimalchio, who had been the slave of an extremely rich man and inherited ungodly sums of money when said rich man died. However, not being one of those who is used to high society, Trimalchio has no idea what to spend all this money on.

"The most interesting sequence of the Satyricon is the feast scene, in which Trimalchio tries to impress his friends by showing off all of the bizarre, off-the-wall, occasionally obscene, and generally highly disturbing things which he has purchased, thinking that his new position in society demands that he be as downright ostentatious with his wealth as possible. It's generally taken as a spoof of how much Roman society of the day had gone to unbelievable excesses for no good reason."

Satyrs were the servant of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine - analogous to the Greek Dionysus.

'You spend the money that my logo's printed on'
This could be a reference to the eye in the pyramid that appears on dollar bills in the US. This is often taken by conspiracy theorists to be a sign of the Illuminati, a secret society that supposedly rules the world. The Illuminati certainly were real, being a short-lived 18th century German rival to the Freemasons, endorsing enlightenment ideas, but is now believed to be wrapped up with all manner of esoteric stuff and... oh look, there's one hiding under your bed making you buy more stuff you don't need and starting wars and pandemics. Or something. Woo woo nonsense.

'I stole a fire but it burned up much too soon'
Prometheus, according to Brewer's: "One of the Titans of Greek myth, son of Iapetos and the ocean nymph Clymene, and famous as a benefactor to man. It is said that Zeus, having been tricked by Prometheus over his share of a sacrificial ox, denied mankind the use of fire. Prometheus then stole fire from Hephaestus to save the human race. For this he was chained by Zeus to Mount Caucasus, where an eagle preyed on his liver all day, the liver being renewed at night. He was eventually released by Hercules, who slew the eagle. It was to counterbalance the gift of fire to mankind that Zeus sent Pandora to Earth with her box of evils." (cf. Fugazi)

'I took a leap and I landed on the moon'
An astronaut. This line references the 'one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for Mankind' line by Neil Armstrong as he stepped from the Eagle lander onto the surface of the moon on 20th July 1969. Armstrong's son Rick is a fan of the band, and has done Swap the Band and even plays with Pete in Edison's Children!

' looks like CNN'

CNN is a 24 hour-a-day dedicated TV news channel in the US, owned by media mogul Ted Turner.

'Speak to a woman with a fatal charm of a snake'
This is a parallel to the biblical tale from Genesis III, where the Serpent tempts Eve to bite from the Tree of Knowledge, which God forbade her and Adam to touch.

'And when I talk to God I know he'll understand'
John Haworth said: "The Fleetwood Mac rip-off is from Oh Well: 'When I talk to God I know he'll understand, He said stick by me and I'll be your guidin' hand.'" Oh Well was a 1969 single from the Peter Green-led era of the band. It reached no 2 in the singles charts in November of that year.

Songs with a link have explanations.

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