Human Alchemy

(Partridge)

#\#i#/#Mummer#\#/i#/#

Mummer

Recordings
XTCfans interview with Andy Partridge
Art
Lyrics
Chords and Tablature
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Recordings

  1. Album version, 5'10.
    Released on Mummer.

    “Slavery, that was a kind of alchemy for White folk, or so they reckoned. They calculated a way of turning each bead of a Black man's sweat into gold and each moan of despair from a Black woman's throat into the sweet clear sound of a silver coin ringing on the money-changer's table. There was buying and selling of souls in that place. Yet there was nary a one of them who understood the whole price they were paying for owning other folk.” — Prentice Alvin, by Orson Scott Card
  2. Promotional video, 5'10?.
    Recorded in July, 1983.
    Broadcast as part of XTC Play At Home on 16 October 1984 on Channel 4 (C4).
    Not commercially released.

  3. Demo version.
    Recorded at Tudor Studios, Swindon.
    Released in September 2004 on Fuzzy Warbles Volume Six in the U.K.

    Andy: “From the same session at Tudor Studios that produced ‘Jacob's Ladder’ (see Warbles 5). I seem to remember this growing in the studio, with all the dubbery played, or not played, live, as the mixing desk was far too primitive to allow for competent deconstruction later. It's me acting the lobotomised Ringo on studio owner Terry ‘Fatty’ Alderton's drums. He and his Mrs., Kay, played in decent local group Green Steam.”

Art

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/TIvBapIAn64" target="churl"#/#“Human Alchemy” promotional video#\#/a#/#

“Human Alchemy” promotional video

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Lyrics

An alchemy, human alchemy
We stole them from their freedom to be sold
To turn their skins of black into the skins
Of brightest gold
An alchemy, human alchemy

We stoked the fires of trade with human coals
And made our purses from the flailed skins of
Purest souls
An alchemy, human alchemy

Other lands became a larder full of all the good things
All we had to do was go and take
Blood the colour of the rain that grew our wicked harvest
Black the colour icing on our cake

We stole their babes and mothers, chiefs and braves
Although we held the whip, you knew we were
The real slaves
To alchemy, human alchemy

Alchemy, human alchemy
alchemy, human alchemy
alchemy, human alchemy

© 1983 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.


Chords and Tablature

Date: Fri, 26 Jul 1996 18:21:55 -0400
From: Kevin Brunkhorst <KB305 (at) aol dot com>
Subject: here's Mummer, plus some B-sides
Message-ID: <960726182155_246529032 (at) emout08 dot mail dot aol dot com>

Get your guitar, cue up the CD.
Proud to be on the website, looks good there.
What's next?

Human Alchemy

Dave voiced many of the chords in this song in 4ths
I've tried to duplicate those voicings where I could
if you know how, add lots of 6ths and 9ths in parallel

   G#m xx1122 xx0011 G#m xx1122
An alchemy,   human  alchemy
B xx4455                         A
We stole them from their freedom to be sold
B                              A
To turn their skins of black into the skins
Of brightest gold
G#m   (xx13,13,14,14) Am (xx14,14,15,15) G#m
An alchemy,           human              alchemy

We stoked the fires of trade with human coals
And made our purses from the flailed skins of
Purest souls
An alchemy, human alchemy

Am            G             F               G
Other lands became a larder full of all the good things
Am            G             C
All we had to do was go and take
Am               G         F                       G
Blood the colour rain that grew our wicked harvest
Am               G            C      F#7b5  F#7
Black the colour icing on our cake

An alchemy, human alchemy

We stole their babes and mothers, chiefs and braves
Although we held the whip, you knew we were
The real slaves
To alchemy, human alchemy

Alchemy, human alchemy

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