'face In The Sand' Regarding the title, I obviously don't know exactly what was oging through Bruce's head when he wrote it, but here's a likely possibility that no one has considered. It is related to the face-on-mars idea, but doesn't rely on crazy superstitions and pseudo-science. The idea is, of course, that all that our civilization has built will one day crumble to the ground and be buried in the sand. Why face in the sand as opposed to, say, books, buildings or subway stations (or anything else we have built) in the sand? Because of the following well-known poem by Percy Bysse Shelly: I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read, Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed, And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away. The image is haunting and, of course, exactly the image that I think Bruce was trying to convey in the song. Here you have a statue whose face is half-buried in the sand with an inscription proclaiming the unlimited and eternal power of the King who is the subject of the statue. "Look on my works and despair!" he boasts. But around him, nothing of his great empire, nothing that testifies to his once great power remains but his face, half-buried in the sand.