Performed by Roy Hutchins:
Studio version:

Live version:


Desperately wanting to be famous
Herostratus ran into the Temple at Ephesus,
Which was then the seventh wonder of the world,
And he set it on fire while shouting out his own name.

Appalled by a criminal trying to manipulate posterity
The city outlawed all mention of Herostratus on pain of death.
Yet soon he was better known than those who’d built the Temple
Or even the Goddess Artemis to whom the Temple had been sacred.

Flash-bulbs now echo all those destructive flames;
Dazzling electronic altars seethe with media-mad moths –
Each of them scorning the eye of a God for the eye of a camera
With every one still dying to be immortal in the same uncaring void.

Who’s ever heard of Herostratus now?
The question’s met with a shrug or a blank stare.
In space, where even Shakespeare or Christ are unknown,
The nameless drift unnoticed through stardust and moonshine.

Heathcote Williams
Pic: Claire Palmer


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