Books Are Burning

(Partridge)

“Books Are Burning” vignette from #\#i#/#Nonsvch#\#/i#/# Recordings
Art
Lyrics
Chords and Tablature
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Recordings

  1. Album version, 4'51.
    Released on Nonsvch.
    Andy Partridge- Lead & backing vocals, electric guitars (first & third solo).
    Colin Moulding - Bass guitar & bass guitar
    Dave Mattacks - Drums & tambourine
    Dave Gregory - Synthesizers, hammond organ, electric guitar (second & fourth solo) & backing vocals
    Gus Dudgeon, Neville Farmer & XTC - end chorus
    Andy: “I'm intensely proud of this song. I love books, they're sacred objects, and anyone who destroys them is scum. Usually it's frightened regimes, their way of saying we're in control. But what they stand for doesn't have a hope in hell. To destroy thoughts, dreams, and an attempt to communicate is a crime.”
  2. Live version.
    Recorded live on The Late Show, for BBC TV, in early 1992.
    Recorded at BBC Television Studios, London.
    Presenter: Kirsty Wark.
    First broadcast on 9 June 1992.
    Released on 25 March 2002 on Coat of Many Cupboards in the U.K.
    Andy Partridge - Guitar and Vocals
    Colin Moulding - Bass and Vocals
    Dave Gregory - Hammond organ
    Dave Mattacks - Drums
  3. Demo version.
    Released on 25 September 2006 on Fuzzy Warbles Volume Seven in the U.K.
    Also released on the Blu-ray reissue of Nonsuch on 4 November 2013 in the U.K.
    Andy: “Only the second song that I recorded on my brand new ADAT machine (the first by the way was ‘Always Winter, Never Christmas’). Stumbled over the music while dicking about with learning the Beach Boy's ‘I Get Around’. I just loved the change from G to an E7 with an A flat bass. Thanks Bri. So here it is, a plea for complete freedom in print. Perhaps it should have been titled ‘I Dick Around’.”
  4. 2013 stereo mix.
    Mixed and produced by Steven Wilson from the original multi-track tapes.
    Released on the DVD and Blu-ray reissue of Nonsuch on 4 November 2013 in the U.K.
  5. 2013 5.1 mix.
    Mixed and produced by Steven Wilson from the original multi-track tapes.
    Released on the DVD and Blu-ray reissue of Nonsuch on 4 November 2013 in the U.K.
  6. 2013 instrumental mix.
    Mixed and produced by Steven Wilson from the original multi-track tapes.
    Released on the Blu-ray reissue of Nonsuch on 4 November 2013 in the U.K.

Art

“Books Are Burning” vignette from #\#i#/#Nonsvch#\#/i#/#

“Books Are Burning” vignette from Nonsvch

“Books are Burning” live on #\#i#/#The Late Show#\#/i#/#, BBC TV, April 1992

“Books are Burning” live on The Late Show, BBC TV, April 1992

#\#a href="video/AndyBurn.avi" target="churl"#/#Andy, ignoring his disdain for extended guitar solos, lets loose with the soulful finale to “Books Are Burning”.#\#/a#/#

Andy, ignoring his disdain for extended guitar solos, lets loose with the soulful finale to “Books Are Burning”.

Steven M. Fish, 04/05/99

Steven M. Fish, 04/05/99

Molly Fanton, 09/06/98

Molly Fanton, 09/06/98

Rory Hoffmeister, 10 July 2006

Rory Hoffmeister, 10 July 2006

Kirkwood Duke

Kirkwood Duke

Paul LoPiccolo, 09/24/97

Paul LoPiccolo, 09/24/97

 

Lyrics

Books are burning
In the main square, and I saw there
The fire eating the text
Books are burning
In the still air
And you know where they burn books
People are next
I believe the printed word should be forgiven
Doesn't matter what it said
Wisdom hotline from the dead back to the living
Key to the larder for your heart and your head
Books are burning
In our own town, watch us turn 'round
And cast our glances elsewhere
Books are burning
In the playground
Smell of burnt book is not unlike human hair
I believe the printed word is more than sacred
Beyond the gauge of good or bad
The human right to let your soul fly free and naked
Above the violence of the fearful and sad
The church of matches
Anoints in ignorance with gasoline
The church of matches
Grows fat by breathing in the smoke of dreams
It's quite obscene
Books are burning
More each day now, and I pray now
You boys will tire of these games
Books are burning
I hope somehow, this will allow
A phoenix up from the flames

© 1992 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.
[Thanks to Dave Ambrose]


Chords and Tablature

Date: Sat, 22 May 2004 23:28:09 -0700
From: Jeff Truzzi.
Subject: XTC Transcriptions
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.0.20040522231753.00ac6788 (at) mail dot theharveys dot net>
XTC SONG TRANSCRIPTIONS
transcribed by "Jeff Truzzi" for the XTC Forum, 2004.
and freely given to the XTC "Chalkhills" site!

****************************************

BOOKS ARE BURNING by Andy Partridge
Copyright 1992 Virgin Music Ltd.
Transcribed for the XTC Forum by Jeff Truzzi

G D7/F# D7 E7/G# E7 Am D Dsus4

G D7/F# D7 E7/G# E7 Am D Dsus4 D

Em A7 G/F

Em A7 (1xF G) (2xFsus2/A G)

Em A7 G/F

Bb F/A C D Dsus4 D7

* * * * BRIGDE:
E E7 Gmaj7 G6/7

Bb Bb/A Bb/G Bb/F

F/A F (1xD7) (2xD7 D7sus4 D7)

*****REPEAT TO VERSE********
*************************************

NOTES CHORDS & COMMENTS

G/F (G over F but really F6/9#11)
1*3*0*0*0*X

The reason I think it's really F6/9#11 is that you can play it like this as well:
1*0*0*0*0*X which he may even do sometimes, this name being more of the function of the chord as I hear it. (Comments?)

Fsus2/A (F sus 2 over A)
X*0*3*0*1*X
It's not really "over A Bass" because Colin walks down from the F,
but Andy doesn't hit an F chord like he does the first time,
and I know this is another favorite chord of his used elsewhere as well, a slight modification of one he told us about. If the Bass WAS on A this would be the chord. (It's really Fsus2 as it is.)

In the Bridge, the guitar really stays on the E, vocals move to E7
(actually E9 - but the guitar definitely doesn't go there!)

Gmaj7 also due to the vocal - I think he's really hitting an open G6 without the high strings -
until he goes to another great Andy chord - reinforced in Dave's organ part:

G6/7
3*2*3*0*0*0


-----
Jeff Truzzi


Date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 17:57:06 -0400
From: Kevin <KB305 (at) aol dot com>
Subject: one more time
Message-ID: <960723175703_244054811 (at) emout16 dot mail dot aol dot com>


Books Are Burning
          G
Books are burning
       D                  E/G#
In the main square, and I saw there
          Am         D7
The fires eating the text

Books are burning
In the still air
And you know where they burn books
People are next

Em  A                 F                 Fmaj9#11    (1x200x)
I believe the printed word should be forgiven
Em      A              F         G
Doesn't matter what it said
Em     A                F                Fmaj9#11
Wisdom hotline from the dead back to the living
Bb         F/A             C         D
Key to the larder for your heart and head

Books are burning
In our own town, watch us turn 'round
And cast our glances elsewhere
Books are burning
In the playground
Smell of burnt book is not unlike human hair
I believe the printed word is more than sacred
Beyond the gauge of good or bad
The human right to let your soul fly free and naked
Above the violence of the fearful and sad

E             G
The church of matches
Bb          F7             D7
 Anoints in ignorance with gasoline
E             G
The church of matches
Bb            F7               Dsus
 Grows fat by breathing in the smoke of dreams
                    D7
It's quite obscene

Books are burning
More each day now, and I pray now
You boys will tire of these games
Books are burning
I hope somehow, this will allow
A phoenix up from the flames

Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 10:13:13 -0800
From: wine (at) shell dot wco dot com (Glenn Siegel- The Wine Spectrum, Inc.)
Message-Id: <v01510100acec6775ef75@[199.4.94.111]>

Books Are Burning- Andy Partridge
G
Books are burning
          D                     E
In the main square, and I saw there
             Am D
The fire eating the text
               G
Books are burning
         D
In the still air
              E
And you know where they burn books
Am         D
People are next
Em     A              F                  G
I believe the printed word should be forgiven
Em         A           F    G
Doesn't matter what it said
Em          A           F                G
Wisdom hotline from the dead back to the living
Bb               F         C         D
Key to the larder for your heart and head
          G
Books are burning
       D                  E
In our own town, watch us turn 'round
             Am          D
And cast our glances elsewhere
          G
Books are burning
       D
In the playground
         E                   Am         D
Smell of burnt book is not unlike human hair
Em     A              F                 G
I believe the printed word is more than sacred
Em         A                F   G
Beyond the gauge of good or baaad
Em        A                 F                 G
The human right to let your soul fly free and naked
Bb               F        C           D
Above the violence of the fearful and sad
E             G
The church of matches
Bb         F              D
Anoints in ignorance with gasoline
E             G
The church of matches
Bb           F                D
Grows fat by breathing in the smoke of dreams
      D
It's quite obscene

          G
Books are burning
          D              E
More each day now, and I pray now
              Am            D
You boys will tire of these games
          G
Books are burning
       D                  E
I hope somehow, this will allow
          Am          D
A phoenix up from the flames

Repeat G D E Am D

Note: On the D chord which comes after the G in the verses, try playing it
with an F# in the bass.

Enjoy!
Glenn Siegel
Sebastopol, Sonoma County, California

Date: Mon, 11 May 92 13:34:22 -0400
From: dschmidt (at) athena dot mit dot edu
Subject: Re: Peter Pumpkinhead chords


Books Are Burning

verse:
G   D/F#  E/G#  Am D

Disclaimer: I've only listened to the album a few times and I haven't
actually tried any of these on my guitar yet.  Use at your own risk.
I'll try to figure out some of them for real, and maybe even bother
with the bridges!

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