Cleopatra

Album: Everything Will Be Alright in the End (2014)
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  • Lyrics
  • This song finds Rivers Cuomo breaking free of a co-dependent romance with a girl, whom he likens to the legendary Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra. He goes on to wish his ex the best, predicting great things for her.
  • This shifts from the standard 4/4 beat to 5/4 in the chorus. Asked during a Reddit AMA about the reason for the unusual time signature, Cuomo replied: "It just came to me, that's how the melody popped into my head. And I wasn't counting beats."
  • Cleopatra VII (69 BC – 30 BC) was the last active pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, only shortly survived by her son, Caesarion. She is one of the most famous women in history, due largely to William Shakespeare's famous tragedy Antony and Cleopatra. Here are some more songs that reference the Queen of the Nile.

    "Marilyn Monroe" by Pharrell Williams (Pharrell dismisses famous women including Cleopatra, in favor of a girl who is "different").

    "Pyramids" by Frank Ocean (The song begins with a dream of Cleopatra and her ultimate betrayal, before switching to another doomed romance).

    "Legendary Lovers" by Katy Perry (The Egyptian pharoah is name-checked ("You're Cleopatra") as well as another famous Shakespearean heroine, Juliet).

    "Cleopatra" by The Lumineers (Recounts how after the death of her father, Cleopatra was forced to marry her younger brother).
  • Here are some fun facts about Cleopatra from The Encyclopedia of Trivia.

    The name Cleopatra is derived from the Greek name Kleopatra, which means "glory of the father" in the feminine form.

    Cleopatra was summoned by Mark Antony to explain her refusal to aid the leader of the Caesarion faction in the civil war he was occupied in, She sailed to him dressed as Venus in her river barge where she worked her charms on the Roman general. Instead of punishing her, Antony fell in love with the Siren of the Nile. On December 25, 40 BC, Cleopatra gave birth to twins fathered by Antony, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene.

    On one occasion Cleopatra gave a lavish banquet for Antony at Alexandra. The Roman general expressed his surprise at the outlay involved. Cleopatra, to impress him further, took a pearl earring and dissolved it in vinegar to prove she could consume a fortune in a single meal.

    Cleopatra was actually quite plain, it was really her famous lovers that gave her the reputation as a great beauty. She was quite masculine looking with a bony face, hooked nose, tick necked and jutting chin.

    She wasn't so charming to the lower ranks. Slaves were tortured for Cleopatra's amusement. She also tested the efficiency of her poisons by feeding them to her slaves.

    Cleopatra committed suicide in Alexandra in 30 BC by inducing an Egyptian cobra to bite her after Antony had committed suicide. (Dying of snakebite Egyptians believed conferred immorality.)

    Cleopatra lived closer in time to the first Moon landing than to the building of the Great Pyramid.
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