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The Third Way

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"Although we do not know what this song sounded like when it was sung in ancient Sumer, we do have the words to the song, written in cuneiform on clay tablets nearly 5000 years ago, and I have used instruments (a three stringed Mesopotamian lute, and two reed flutes) that we know the Sumerians possessed.

There are many songs, which the Sumerians called “tigi”, that have been translated by sumerologists, and this is one of my favorites. It is sung by the god Dumuzid (aka Tammuz) to the young goddess Inana (aka Ishtar) in an effort to seduce her.

Dumuzid was a shepherd god, and like Inana he was one of the so-called “Anunnaki”. He was also a very naughty boy! The Sumerians had a wonderful sense of humor, and were not the slightest bit prudish when writing or singing about the pleasures of seduction and love making. The irony of this song is that Dumuzid is telling young Inana to lie to her mother, so she can spend the day with him but he also tells her that these are the “lies of women”. In other words, he is blaming his own male dishonesty on females!

I am convinced the ancient Sumerians would have found this hilariously funny. The idea of a male as a “teacher” of love to women is still reflected in songwriting today, and the same theme is expressed in the 1953 hit song, TEACH ME TONIGHT, by songwriters Gene De Paul and Sammy Cahn. The ziggurat you see in the background is in the City of Samarra, in modern day Iraq."

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