Mermaid Smiled

(Partridge)

#\#i#/#Skylarking#\#/i#/#

Skylarking

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

  1. Album version, 2'26.
    Released on Skylarking.
    Percussion by Mingo Lewis.
    Also available on Rag & Bone Buffet.
    Andy: “This was briefly on Skylarking but when ‘Dear God’ - which wasn't on the album at first - became a hit something had to go and so I took off the shortest song.”
  2. Mermaid Explanation.
    Released in September 2004 on Fuzzy Warbles Volume Five in the U.K.
    Andy: “You are now entering the aquatic corner of the disc, put your flippers on for the next three tracks. This is me, telling me a new tuning I've stumbled on and slamming down some nice chords before I forget. Brain of a guppy.”
  3. Demo version.
    Released in September 2004 on Fuzzy Warbles Volume Five in the U.K.
    Also released on the reissue of Skylarking on 14 October 2016 in the U.K.
    Andy: “So I had some chords in a new tuning and I'd found a melody (that's the thing that goes duh, duh, duh), but I didn't have any words, apart from ‘smiled’. I knew I wanted it to be about the sea, that was all at this stage. So I slapped the back of my acoustic in lieu of bongos and made white noise waves, but what the hell was it about? I posted this (almost) instrumental to producer Todd Rundgren and in the meantime plundered a poem I'd written about lost childhood innocence, which I think was called ‘Book Full of Sea’, to supply requisite text. So here with mirror in hand is the one word, 99% finstrumental.”
  4. 2016 stereo mix.
    Mixed and produced by Steven Wilson from the original multi-track tapes.
    Released on the reissue of Skylarking on 14 October 2016 in the U.K.
  5. 2016 5.1 mix.
    Mixed and produced by Steven Wilson from the original multi-track tapes.
    Released on the reissue of Skylarking on 14 October 2016 in the U.K.
  6. 2016 instrumental mix.
    Mixed and produced by Steven Wilson from the original multi-track tapes.
    Released on the reissue of Skylarking on 14 October 2016 in the U.K.
  7. Explanation version.
    Released on the reissue of Skylarking on 14 October 2016 in the U.K.

Art

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Lyrics

From pools of xylophone clear
From caves of memory
I saw the children at heart
That we once used to be
Borne on foaming seahorse herd
Compose with trumpeting shell
From lines across their hands
A song as new as new moon
As old as all the sands
Shrank to stagnant from Atlantic wild
Lost that child 'til mermaid
Smiled

Summoned by drum rolling surf
As laughing fish compel
The young boy woken in me
By clanging diving bell
Breakers pillow fight the shore
She wriggles free in the tide
I'm locked in adult land
Back in the mirror she slides
Waving with comb in hand
I was lucky to remain beguiled
Grown to child since mermaid
Smiled

© 1987 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.


Chords and Tablature

Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2007 17:48:11 +0200
From: "Mats Fagergren" <mats.fagergren (at) roxling dot com>
Subject: Mermaid Smile..again..
Message-ID: <000901c77abe$7b864340$63d8e055 (at) NYA>
Mermaid Smiled.
 
After having read the tabs from Mike, I have really tried to learn how to play this fantastic pice of music. Mermaid smile is one of the best songs ever...!
The only small remark I have is the last chord played before going back to the verce..
where Mike suggest :
lost that child 'til X32030    mer X22444    maid X33555 ....... X55777.
It is the last chord that I think that can be slightly adjusted. My proposal is that last chord shall be.. X55757 (G6). Coments ...?
 
 
I also propose an alternative way  of playing the chords (notes), when singing "Born on foaming sehorse herd" , see below:
....Born     on            foa-------------ming         se -------------horse       herd...............................................
(XX067X)   (XX045X)   (XX0910X)   (XX067X)   (XX045X)  (XX045X)     (XX0222)   (XX0222)  (XX0222)   (XX0222).
 
 
From a Swedish XTC fan.
 
Mats Fagergren
2007-04-08
Kungalv-Sweden.

Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2006 18:04:34 +0000
From: "randall johnson" <ahordeofrand (at) hotmail dot com>
Subject: mermaid smiled chords redux
Message-ID: <BAY106-F2335B1717F27772AFABB06CA490 (at) phx dot gbl>

i love this song with every fiber in my oatmeal, and i must give extreme
kudos to mike golvach for the most pristine, thorough, and, frankly,
beautiful tablature on this website.  ...but i found a small glitch in the
tablature.  andy says in the above paragraphs that he had discovered a new
tuning.  i found a few very obscured notes in the part where he sings the
actual word "mermaid".  in the sheet music it shows the lowest bass tones
played on the A string as being a B (22444 mer...  33555 maid...  55777...)
the root note begins as an A, so i checked the demo.  that's where i found
the alternate tuning!  the guitar should be detuned as such...  DGDGBE  both
the E and A strings are dropped down.  it's only minor adjustments from
there for chord shapes.  in the verses that show the progressions of 002
004  006  007  006  004  002  it now becomes  0202  0404  0606  0707  0606
0404  0202.  if you listen to the demo you can hear that one octave spread.
  everything stays the same until the words "shrank to stagnant"  where the
new chords are shaped like this: instead of 133211 and so forth it is...
shrank to 3X3211    stagnant from at 3X3200    lantic wild 767600    lost
that child 'til X02030    mer X22333    maid X33444  X55777.  note that the
shape remains the same for some notes, but the dropped strings change the
sound.  still, mike, you are amazing.  i wouldn't have figured out any of
this without you having such a very thorough tab.  i wouldn't have figured
out most every chord, in fact.  thank you.

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2003 15:40:39 -0500
From: "Mike Golvach" <golvach (at) unext dot com>
Subject: Mermaid Smiled
Message-ID: <000001c37000$23b8a440$6501a8c0 (at) unext dot com>
This song has long been a favorite of mine, despite its relegation to
obscurity by the coming of Dear God.  I hope this tab helps you enjoy
the piece even more and would welcome any comments regarding it, as
most of the acoustic guitar, although integral to the mood, was very
hard to distinguish from the plethora of horns, xylophones,
wave-crashing and other sounds that make it what it is.  Enjoy and
Cheers! - Mike


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