Syrian Princess

I found myself in Rostock to protest the G8
That was good but there’s something else that I’d commemorate
It started with a text message I got on my cell phone
Eating in the Hotel Troika, sitting all alone
I had just bought the SIM card only the day before
Stuck it on my website and now I knew what for
The words upon my screen asked are you coming to Berlin
No I said but come meet me here at the town I’m in

She said her name was Rosa and the next thing that I knew
She said go down to the Hauptbanhof, I’ll be there in a few
It was roll the dice, jump on in and see what happens next
Answering a smoke signal or a random text
I went down to the station to pick up my blind date
And I was suddenly transported to Damascus Gate
She had a denim jacket and a studded leather belt
My knees began to buckle, my heart began to melt

She was a Syrian princess (3x)
The princess of Syria

I asked her are you hungry, would you like to have a meal
She said it’s almost midnight and that’s not the way I feel
Then do you wanna come with me back to my hotel
She didn’t skip a beat, she just said that’d be swell
When we got there we spoke, tried to be understood
I don’t speak Arabic or German and her English wasn’t good
She started looking bored, I asked is it time for sleep
She said ya, let’s count some sheep


We brushed our teeth together, I wondered what was going on
In those hours after midnight, just before the dawn
It was right around that time that someone called her on her phone
And it was then that I heard her ring tone
It was a song that I recorded in 1999
I felt a bit embarrassed, but mostly I felt fine
We walked into the bedroom, she took off her shoes
Then she asked me is there something I can do


We had breakfast together, then she said fare thee well
I wondered if I’d see her again, couldn’t really tell
She went back to her home, I went back to mine
But I’m still looking at my cell phone, waiting for a sign
When I’m alone in a hotel room I wonder if it might
Be a day to turn out like things did on that night
Good times have happened since but I take off my hat
‘Cause I’ve never had another night like that


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“Syrian Princess” appears on Meanwhile In Afghanistan (CD and Bandcamp album, 2012 — download the Bandcamp album to also get the acoustic version of the entire album).

This song is a love song about what turned out to be a one-night stand.  A really good one, though, that I eventually thought I’d write a song about.  I hesitated to actually write the song because I figured someone would accuse me of being sexist.  But I thought about how so much pop and hiphop out there is about one-night stands, there’s room in the world for one more song on the subject written by me.  And I don’t think there’s anything inherently sexist about having sex with someone for a night, anyway, when everybody involved is an enthusiastically consenting adult, regardless of whether they met because one of the two of them was a musician and the other a fan of said musician.  These differences exist — lots of them — gender, age, nationality, fame, wealth or lack thereof, all kinds of stuff.  Relationships are rarely between total equals.  Question and challenge everything, but don’t talk yourself into a corner where you’re not allowed to have any friends.  Or where you’re not allowed to write songs about one-night stands with your Syrian fans.