Sisyphus

by Ominous Ride

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SpinTunes: "Greek Chorus" - Write a song about mythology that has no chorus.

The myth is much more complex than what I was able to put into the song. There are also multiple variations, and I took creative liberties with a few of them.

Sisyphus was essentially an evil but cunning king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). When he died, he was sent down to the hellish part of Hades (yes, there is a nice part, too) known as Tartarus. Death, otherwise known as Thanatos, takes him to the underworld, and as Sisyphus inspects the chains that will hold him, he manages to convince Thanatos to demonstrate how they work. Sisyphus locks the cuffs and traps death, resulting in chaos up above, as no one can die - people in wars still fighting even after they get their heads cut off, etc.

Zeus is furious because no one can make sacrifices to him, so he actually threatens to make Sisyphus' life miserable unless he releases Thanatos (which is a bit strange that Zeus has to convince anyone to do anything). Sisyphus agrees to release death, and must then incur Zeus' punishment which is to roll a boulder up a large hill - near the top the boulder always rolls back down, and Sisyphus has to start over again. And he must do this forever, which is allegedly more of a pain than just sitting chained up in Hades.

The last part with the boulder was the only part that I was familiar with before I chose this as my topic - needless to say, I think the entire myth is much more colorful and I had fun trying to tell the story.

I like the song, but I think I'd like to rerecord some of the vocals and perhaps add a little texture musically.

lyrics

Cunning and brash,
The king of Ephyra
Draws his final breath
No apprehension
Of confronting Death
For he has a plan

Thanatos scales the palace gates
His quarry a man who dared to betray Olympus
And give up its secrets
For his own gain

It is one thing to send the guilty down
It's another to keep him

As the travelers forge the river Styx
Tartarus looms in the distance
The prisoner senses his opportunity to escape

The very manacles intended to keep him bound
Are the ones that will free him

Sisyphus: Pray tell, are these my eternal chains?
Death: Indeed, they shall be your tomb.
Sisyphus: So forged to keep even a god detained?
Death: No doubt they could humble the highest throne
Sisyphus: I have reservations
These shackles confuse me
A brief demonstration
On your own hands would soothe me...
And I run

Zeus: How dare this mortal Sisyphus mock Death!
He thinks his tricks will expunge his debt
He may have wit, but he lacks respect
For the gods! He will pay for this treason!

A mountainside is where he'll serve his sentence
A mighty stone is how he'll pay his penance.
He needs no chains, for his toil is endless
Trudging and rolling from season to season

Pushing
And rolling
And trudging
And toiling
Till the end of time

credits

released February 21, 2016

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