Drifting Among the Reeds

Drifting Among the Reeds

Russ Keys's picture



Liner Notes: 

I was impressed by a recent article in the Smithsonian magazine about new archeological finds in Egypt. They have uncovered a large cache of sarcophaguses that are in pristine condition. They also have inscriptions naming the occupants. One mentioned in the article was a woman named Ta-Gemi-en-Aset which translated to "She who was found by Isis". So I have used this as an inspiration for a series of songs reimagining what her life might have been like 3000 or more years or so ago in Egypt. And how it lead to her having a relatively nice burial which would have assured her a favorable place in the after life.

This song is from the phrase "found by Isis". I am imagining an orphan, an unwanted child. Maybe her mother died in childbirth or maybe she was so poor that she could not afford to care for the baby. Or maybe she was the product of some unsavory conduct (rape or prostitution).

Anyway the birth control of the day may have been to offer the baby to the gods by floating her in a basket on the Nile. Either the crocodiles would get her (Sobek) or someone would rescue her who could afford to care for her. I picture her washing ashore near the temple of Isis in the lower Nile and being taken in to be trained in the healing arts that Isis (Aset in Egyptian) oversaw.

I'm hoping that this character and her life will generate more songs for me. And that she will delight you as I try to tell her story.


In a basket among the reeds
a baby her mother couldn't feed
just another orphan no one needs

She is an offering to the gods
will they help her against all odds?
If she cries, will anybody hear?

[bamboo flute solo]

A friendly face and out stretched hands
gather the child who came to land
in the lap of Isis, the temple her new home

The Mother goddess saw her and smiled
a baby cast upon the Nile
another chance to heal a lost soul

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


Edward 9th Street's picture

Good backstory and sounds like a cool project. Your demo appears empty, I get nothing.

coolparadiso's picture

Interesting story well delivered. I like that bamboo flute (a reed instrument? ).

gregwere's picture

Cool what research to push into a song, lovely rolling piano. Sounds like a musical might be on the way?

Kristi's picture

What a fascinating backstory! The flute and piano are so lovely and fitting for this story. I like the gentle vocal too. I was happy to hear the fate of the baby was positive. Good sound effect of running water too...adds so much!

Gwyn Jones's picture

Very affecting liner notes which inform the song so well...making for an even better appreciation of the track...

Hypnotist's picture

This is a great idea for a project. Imaginitive engagement with long lost lives is such an interesting idea, and although the only conclusions you can draw are tentative, I think it is great to try. People from even a hundred a fifty years ago in our own countries would probably be more alien than someone from the other side of the world today. But the music! It is really nice, reflective. Love the flute solo. Lyrics interesting too. The lap of Isis, its interesting because it is alien to us and very relatable. Bravo.