Sons of the Desert
Freemasonry in the cinema
The film opens at a meeting of Oasis 13, "the oldest lodge of the great Order of the Sons of the Desert", where members, dressed in tassled fezzes and sashes, are singing "Auld Lang Syne". The "brothers" are directed to sit with one knock of the "Exalted Rulers" gavel, then told about their annual convention in Chicago in a weeks time.
"Down through the centuries of time in the history of this fraternal organization" the position in which they received the oath involved crossing their arms and clasping the hands of the men on either side of them. The meeting is closed with the singing of "We Are the Sons of the Desert".
We Are the Sons of the Desert
By Frank Craven
We are the Sons of the Desert,
Having the time of our lives.
Marching along, two thousand strong,
Far from our sweethearts and wives, God bless them.
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the boys are marching,
And dancing to this melody.
Na Na Naa Na Na
Na Na Naa Naa Na Na Naa, [tune: Arabian Song *]
Sons of the Desert are we!
Almost a decade later, in their 1942 film, A-Haunting We Will Go, they remark that they once belonged to a lodge.
Sons of the Desert (1933)
Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase, Mae Busch, Dorothy Christy, Lucien Littlefield. Directed by William A. Seiter, written by Frank Craven, Byron Morgan (continuity). European release: Fraternally Yours. 68 min. USA, English. Black and White, Mono (Comedy).
* Sol Bloom (1870-1949) is widely credited with creating the "Snake Charmer Song" for use with a "hootchy-kootchy dance" introduced at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago by Farida Mazar Spyropoulos, known later as "Little Egypt". The tune can be traced back to "Arabian Song", notated by Jean Baptiste Arban (1825 - 1889) as Number 13 of "Sixty-eight Duets for Two Cornets," Grande méthode complète pour cornet à pistons et de saxhorn Paris Conservatory, 1864. It can also be heard on Louis Armstrongs 12 December 1928 recording of Tight Like This.