Anvil of The Sun (c) 2012
Words, Music, Guitar, Vocals by Lance Frank
A tribute to the film "Lawrence of Arabia" inspired as much by one famously hot summer day in Indio California. Coincidentally, Indio is infused with a good deal of Arab culture owing perhaps to the origins of the local date industry. Every year scenes from the Arabian Nights are played out here during the Riverside County Fair and Date Festival. The local High School sports team is The Rajas and many of the streets have Arabic names. Just South of here is the city of Mecca.
I remember fooling around with the basic chord progression when I was still living in an apartment off El Paseo in Palm Desert. I originally imagined the tune as a melancholy ode to the empty streets of El Paseo during the off season when the tourist have gone, but could not come up with any suitable lyrics. This must have been before 1997 because soon after that I bought my first house in Bermuda Dunes Country Club where I made some progress in my playing but did very little composing.
When I sold the house in 2007 and moved to Indio, I continued my habit of walking to the market to buy groceries no matter how hot it was. In 2012 during one such walk when temperatures hit the high teens I was thinking about some of the lines from Lawrence of Arabia, particularly, “This is The Nefud, The Sun’s Anvil.” After that, the lyrics to Anvil of The Sun based mostly on the dialogue and story line of the film flowed quite easily. I later learned that 2012 just happened to be the 50th Anniversary of the film’s release.
The lyrics are a first person narrative from Lawrence's point of view. Each chorus follows his character arc through the film. When he is first given the assignment to find Prince Faisal in the desert he remarks "It's going to be fun" and the first chorus ends "For me it will be fun." As the story unfolds his romantic illusions of war begin to wane and the 2nd chorus ends "I thought it would be fun." Finally, the third chorus ends "It was anything but fun" reflecting his disillusionment.
I was getting bored with rhyming one verse after another and so decided to shake things up a bit by running the last two stanzas of the last verse into one. I hope this does not offend any purest sensibilities. Tough luck if it does.
Aside from the acapella "The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo" at the end, there are no direct musical references in this version to the Maurice Jarre score. However, if I ever perform the tune live it will begin with a screaming overdrive rendition of the main theme remeniscent of Jimi Hendrix's Woodstock interpretation of the "Star Spangled Banner." There will also be an extended drum solo in the middle which will begin with, then expand upon the tribal drums of the Lawrence of Arabia score.