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Friday, July 10, 2009

Shah of Shahs/Al Stewart

Shah Of Shahs, from Al Stewart's 2008 CD Sparks of Ancient Light, is based on Ryszard Kapuscinski's 1982 book Shah of Shahs, about the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran. In an interview on nevillejudd.com, Stewart says the song "is taken from the wonderful and eminently readable book of the same title by Ryszard Kapuscinski. . . . It's a series of snapshots of the Shah of Iran's sudden fall from grace in 1979, which happened very quickly indeed, about how he cried in the car on his way to the airport,a soldier bending down to kiss his feet before he got on the plane, his statues being pulled down almost at once. . . . a series of events that I have pieced together into a song." He cried inside the limousine and at the airport too/Where the soldier knelt before him and kissed his shoe/He flew across the desert and the open sea/While they tore down all his statues and his legacy.

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