Burning With Optimism's Flames

(Partridge)

#\#i#/#Black Sea#\#/i#/#

Black Sea

Recordings
Art
Lyrics
Chords and Tablature
« Previous Contents Next »

Recordings

  1. Album version, 4'15.
    Released on Black Sea.

  2. Live version, 4'24.
    Released on BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert.
    Also available on Transistor Blast.

    Andy: “I didn't get to play the intro . . . properly tonight as some one threw a jumper at me, the distracting ‘dreadful knitwear’ in question. Dave's having Fender fun, how the hell he sneaked in that perky run after the line . . . ‘Littlest finger’, I'll never know. By the time we get to the ‘Every bird and bee’ middle bit I'm smiling so hard I can hardly sing.”
  3. Live version.
    Mixed by XTC and Jeremy Allom.
    Recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon, May 1981.
    Released on 19 September 1983 as a B-side to the Love On a Farmboy's Wages 12" single in the U.K.


Art

“Burning with Optimism's Flames” performed live at Markthalle, Hamburg, West Germany, February 10, 1982, broadcast on #\#i#/#Rockpalast#\#/i#/#, WDR

“Burning with Optimism's Flames” performed live at Markthalle, Hamburg, West Germany, February 10, 1982, broadcast on Rockpalast, WDR

[THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK]  

Lyrics

Never seen her glowing
all that bright she's throwing
like some aurora
from her head it's growing
reaching to the ground and all around
like a Navaho blanket

Never heard her singing
now she's gently ringing
like copper wind chimes
what on earth is bringing up this stream
the cat who got the cream is licking her lips
and smiling like her Cheshire cousin
She claims she's found a way to make her own light
all you do is smile, you banish the night

She says she's burning with optimism's flames, away away
she says she's burning up all her guilts and shames, away away
she says she's burning with optimism's flames, away away
she says she's burning up

Now you see I'm smiling
back to juvenile'ing
I learnt her lesson
in like flint and styling
all the world is neatly curled around my littlest finger

I can't stop this grinning
so assume I'm winning
threw pessimism
in the air it's spinning
crashing to the floor and nevermore
will it lure me away with sweets
and shiny things just like a magpie

Now every bird and bee just fuel the fire for me
now every closing door just fans the flames some more

(Now I'm thinking okay)
(I'm turning night into day)

© 1980 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.


Chords and Tablature

Date: Wed, 17 Jan 1996 23:33:03 -0600
From: jh3 (at) cencom dot net (JH3)
Subject: Burning With Optimism's Chords
Message-Id: <9601180533.AA05936 (at) ns dot cencom dot net>

I seem to recall someone asking about this one recently...
Maybe they only meant it as a figure of speech. Oh well,
what's done is done.

+----------------------------+
BURNING WITH OPTIMISM'S FLAMES
by Andy Partridge

+----------------------------+
Here's the opening riff thingie:

---8----8--8----8--8----8--8----8--8-
---8----8--8---10--8----8--8---10--8-
---9---10--9----9--9---10--9----9--9-
--10---10-10---10-10---10-10---10-10-
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------
For the sake of simplicity, let's just
call this "C"; though the C6 referred to
here in the verse is the same XX10-9-10-8.
-----------------------------------------

C
Never seen her glowing all that bright she's throwing
Like some aurora from her head it's growing

C6              Gm (355333)
Reaching to the ground and all around like a Navajo blanket

C
Never heard her singing now she's gently ringing
Like copper windchimes what on Earth is bringing

C6             Gm
Up this stream the cat who got the cream is licking her lips
and smiling like her cheshire cousin

A#                F                           A#
...She says she's found a way to make her own light

              F                 G       Gmaj7 (3544XX)
All you do is smile, you banish the night...

-----------------------------------------------------
The parts that Dave does on the G and High-E strings when
Andy sings "Away! Away!" look sort of like this, but
they only sound authentic if you keep your middle finger
on the fretboard the whole time...and play fast, of course.

E ----1---3---5---7---8----10----12--
B -----------------------------------
G --2---3---5---7---9---10----12-----

E -----17----13----15----12----13----10----12-
B --------------------------------------------
G --17----14----15----12----14----10----12----

(Good luck with that.) Then there's the bridge lead part,
which I think is just 0-8-0-10-0-12-0-14 on the high-E
string, done as a rapid-fire succession of pull-offs.
----------------------------------------------------

Chorus:

C              G            F
She says she's burning with optimism's flames -- away, away

C              G          F
She says she's burning up all her guilts and shames -- away, away

C              G            F
She says she's burning with optimism's flames -- away, away

C              G              F#                          E
She says she's bur- bur- bur- bur- burning... up- up- up- up....

G              F#                          E
Bur- bur- bur- bur- burning... up- up- up- up....

(repeat verse and chorus)

Second verse:

C
Now you see I'm smiling back to juvenile-ing
I learnt her lesson in like flint and styling
C6          Gm
All the world is neatly curled around my littlest finger

C
I can't stop this grinning so assume I'm winning
Threw pessimism in the air it's spinning
C6          Gm
Crashing to the floor and nevermore will it lure me away with sweets
And shiny things just like a magpie

A#              G                          A#
She says she's found a way to make her own light (etc.)

--------------------------------------------------

Middle bit (C6: X35555; Bb6: X13333):

C6  (though it sounds like a Cmaj7 might be nice here...)
Now every bird and bee just fuels the fire for me

Bb6  (same here, with Bbmaj7 and also Bb6: X1303X.)
No no no no no no... Yes yes yes yes yes yes

C6
Now every closing door just fans the flames some more

Bb6
No no no no no no... Yes yes yes yes yes yah yah yaaaaah...

--------------------------------------------------
Then there's the sort-of lead break, another "found a
way to make her own light" part, another chorus, which builds
into the double-time bit at the end, which goes C, D, Em...
and then the big final chord: C5 (X35555). (Don't forget to
use the whammy bar.)

As for the middle bit, I've noticed that Andy plays a lot
of 6th chords, but I think that's laziness more than anything
else; it's easier to play a 6th than a "pure" A-barre chord,
since you can just let your forefinger cover all four of those
high strings. Back then, you recall, he was setting 'em up so
they'd be relatively easy to play live.

So, until next time, it's...

--John H. Hedges III, Inc.

« Previous Contents Next »

Go back to XTC Reel by Real.

9 January 2016 / Feedback