My Egyptian Grammar

Like the proverbial hieroglyphics, the song “My Egyptian Grammar” by The Fiery Furnaces seems like it must have a key somewhere to deciphering it. Can anyone help make sense of it?

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Both the name of the band and the title of the album from which it comes (Widow City) have religious references.

HT The Oriental Institute, which is mentioned in the song. Here are the lyrics:

“My Egyptian Grammar”

I never thought it could have happened to me.
But on the morning of my eldest daughter’s
Second wedding, I blacked out.
They said it was just stress, but I didn’t think so:

I couldn’t remember the 15 minutes before.
A white-haired half Samoan girl from Darwin
Gave me a ride, it seems; she let me the car in.
But what it was she said, I couldn’t say.

Now, that clearly didn’t happen. I consulted my Egyptian Grammar.
On p. 333 was the hieroglyph for motorcycle helmet.

I combined this with a leather-back’s shell as I felt I was instructed.
I Xeroxed it and posted it down by the bike lock-ups at the Oriental Institute.
Maybe a nether-world entity would see it and pass it on to those responsible.
That kind of thing must happen sometimes.

Now that clearly didn’t happen. I consulted by Egyptian Grammar.
On p. 428 was the hieroglyph for French Canal boat.

I met on the Midway someone channeling up a whatever it wasn’t:
There are 17 sections of cymbals in the orchestra of the oversold, it said.
Your youth is lost and doesn’t it now seem
You can’t make smoke–only steam?

Now that clearly didn’t happen. I consulted my Egyptian Grammar.
On p. 566 was the hieroglyph for a blue jay.


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