Rook

(Partridge)

“Rook” vignette from #\#i#/#Nonsvch#\#/i#/# Recordings
XTCfans interview with Andy Partridge
XTCfans interview with Dave Gregory
Art
Lyrics
Chords and Tablature
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Recordings

  1. Album version, 3'45.
    Released on Nonsvch.
    String arrangement by Andy Partridge.
    Dave Gregory - Piano & synthesizer
    Andy Partridge - Vocals, tambourine & shaker
    Guy Barker - Flugelhorn & trumpet
    Stuart Gordon - Violin
    Gina Griffin - Violin
    Florence Lovegrove - Viola
    Rose Hull - Cello
    Gus Dudgeon - Tambourine
    Andy: “I was frozen with writers block. Then suddenly this song came out. I was really frightened. I mean, I couldn't even finish the demo because I was in tears. It felt like seeing yourself in a mirror and recognising your own mortality. Maybe it's something in the chord changes. I don't understand the lyrics, which is rather exciting.”
  2. Demo version.
    Recorded on 6 September 1990.
    Released in September 2004 on Fuzzy Warbles Volume Five in the U.K.
    Also released on the Blu-ray reissue of Nonsuch on 4 November 2013 in the U.K.
    Andy: “There is a more primitive demo of this with acoustic guitar only, the instrument it was written on, but this fleshed out piano version from 6th Sept. 1990 was the one that literally reduced me to tears. One of the few times in my songwriting life where I've genuinely surprised myself, a great occurrence when it comes along, but one you obviously can't plan for. Inspiration doesn't come by the glass unfortunately.”
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

“Rook” vignette from #\#i#/#Nonsvch#\#/i#/#

“Rook” vignette from Nonsvch

Josh Sierles, 12/12/95

Josh Sierles, 12/12/95

 

Lyrics

Rook, rook
Read from your book
Who murders who and where is the treasure hid?
Crow, crow
Spill all you know
Is that my name on the bell?
Rook, rook
Gaze in the brook
If there's a secret can I be part of it?
Crow, crow
Before I'll let go, say is that my name on the bell?
Soar up high, see the semaphore from the washing lines
Break the code of the whispering chimneys and traffic signs
Where's the message that's written under the base of clouds?
Plans eternal, I know you know, so don't blurt out loud
Rook, rook
By hook or by crook
I'll make you tell me what this whole thing's about!
Crow, crow
Why can't you show
If that's my name on the bell?
On the wings of night, I fly too, above field and stream
My head bursting with knowledge 'till I wake from the dream
If I die and I find that I had a soul inside
Promise me that you'll take it up on its final ride
Rook, rook
Gaze in the brook
If there's a secret can I be part of it?
Crow, crow
Before I'll let go, say is that my name on the bell?
Is that my name on the bell?

© 1992 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.


Chords and Tablature

Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 19:05:50 -0800
From: "Darrell C. Harvey" <Darrell (at) theharveys dot net>
Subject: Rook
Message-ID: <20081228190550.z8ewi0c94wc4owgg (at) webmail dot theharveys dot net>
Hey! Please delete my transcription for "Rook" and insert this instead.
Thanks!
Hope all is well, take care.

- Darrell (aka Jeff Truzzi)

ROOK by Andy Partridge
transcribed by Dave Gregory


Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 09:43:42 EST
From: GnrlKrull (at) aol dot com
Subject: Chords for Rook
Message-ID: <7f.e7e164.25e0061e (at) aol dot com>


rook
by xtc

||: 3/4 Aquartal/F | Bquart/G | Gq/A | Aq/B :|||: 6/8 Asus4  :||
rook, rook read from your book
who murders who and where is the treasure hid?
crow, crow spill all you know is that my name on the bell?
rook, rook gaze in the brook
if there's a secret can i be part of it?
crow, crow before i'll let go, say is that my name on the bell?

||: 4/4 C/Bb/ |           | Ab/Bb/ |           | Gb/Abm/ |           | Gb/E/ |
      :||


soar up high, see the semiphore from the washing lines
break the code of the whispering chimneys and traffic signs
what's the message that's written under the base of clouds?
plans eternal, i know you know, so don't blurt out loud

rook, rook by hook or by crook
i'll make you tell me what this whole thing's about!
crow, crow why can't you show if that's my name on the bell?

on the wings of night, i fly too, above field and stream
my head bursting with knowledge 'til i wake from the dream
if i die and i find that i had a soul inside
promise me that you'll take it up on its final ride

rook, rook gaze in the brook
if there's a secret can i be part of it?
crow, crow before i'll let go, say is that my name on the bell?
is that my name on the bell?

Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 21:44:02 -0700
From: Dave Blackburn <dblack (at) access1 dot net>
Subject: Amendment to Rook transcription

Greg Beecher supplied the correct chords to "Rook" up to the bridge back in
summer 1996. He requested help with the bridge itself. Here are the
remaining changes to the tune, for posting in the transcription pages of
the site:

        First, the chords are all polychords (triad over triad) which
descend in whole steps. They outline a Maj7th #11 chord but the 6th is
substituted for the Maj 7th.
        The first half of the bridge goes C triad(RH)/Bb triad(LH), Bb
triad/Ab triad, Ab triad/Gb triad, Gb triad/E triad. The second half is
identical but a half step higher, ending on G triad/F triad.
        Next, the fingering is indeed two hands alternating; you have to
intertwine your fingers a bit as the triads are voiced closely together.
        Lastly, the rhythm: we are in 3/4 and the piano triads alternate
within 8th note triplets, making the rhythm of the piano part effectively
9/8, although one would notate it as 8th note triplets in this context.

        Quite a tricky piece for a pop tune, but of course we're talking
XTC here. The piano part is "shape derived" as you would expect from
guitar players. The right hand and left hand at the verse play the same
shapes moved around to fit the melody. The bridge is harder,probably a bit
of Dave Gregory magic!

                                                Cheers,

                                                Dave Blackburn
                                                dblack (at) access1 dot net

Dave Blackburn/Robin Adler; dblack (at) access1 dot net

Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 21:31:52 -0500
From: DrBeat1 (at) aol dot com
Subject: Rook Redux...
Message-ID: <960310213152_165385859 (at) emout04 dot mail dot aol dot com>


Chalkhillians,

Thanks to Ben for posting the changes to Rook. It inspired me to learn
this tune, it truly is one of my favorite songs.

WARNING - this is for the musically inclined, please ignore if this is
not your cup o' tea!

My ears tell me that the chord voicings Ben posted are *close*, but not
quite right. Here is what I get:

(1)                (2)            (3)            (4)
Bb  F  Bb        C  G  C        D  A  D        E  B  E
D  E  A           A  B  E        B  C  F        A  D  G

(9)
D  A  D
DEG DEG DEG DEG DEG DEG DEG DEG (together)

Notice the "E" in the first chord (BbM7#5), this gives the chord it's
character. Try out these voicings and see for yourself. Also notice that
the little triads at (9) are three notes, not two. They get their sound
from the clash of the D and E played together.

I need help with the bridge. Ben posted the changes as Bb-A-Ab-G...but I
don't think it's quite this straightforward. Unfortunately, I can't grok
how to play what I think they're doing. It sounds like two chords are
being played, one in each hand, in alternating sixteenth notes. Any piano
players, PLEASE tell us how to do this!! It seems to me that the chords
are all a whole step apart, something like:

C/Bb - Bb/Ab - E/D - D/C

but I'm not sure on the last two.

Anyhoo, let's figure this out together fellow MusicHeads!

-Greg Beecher
 aka drbeat (at) apple dot com

BTW: I don't mean to slam Ben at all by this! Indeed I appreciate his
efforts. I think it would be cool if we worked out some of this stuff
together and put it up on Chalkhills for all. For me, figuring out these
tunes is a blast, I've done a lot of it for folks on the Steely Fan
Digest. :o)

Date: Sat, 02 Mar 96 17:04:00 est
From: Ben Gott <BENG (at) hotchkiss dot pvt dot k12 dot ct dot us>
Subject: Rook chords
Message-ID: <3138C799 (at) pentium3 dot hotchkiss dot pvt dot k12 dot ct dot us>


Here are the "Rook" chords, as best as I can figure them. They might be a
little off, because I don't have the album in front of me, but they sound
good enough. Also, if I've mucked up the words, sorry - hooray for selective
listening!

Here's how I'll denote them:

(chord ID number)
bass notes (played together)
treble notes (played together)


(1)                (2)            (3)            (4)
Bb  F  Bb          C  G  C        D  A  D        E  B  E
C   D  A           G  D  E        A  D  F        G  A  D

(5)                (6)            (7)            (8)
Bb  F  Bb          A  E  A        Ab  D#  Ab     G  D  G
D  F  Bb           C  E  A        C   D#  Ab     B  D  G

(9)
A  E  A
AE AE AE AE AE AE AE AE(together)

********

(1)   (2)  (3)            (4)
Rook, rook read from your book
(1)        (2)     (3)           (4)
Who murders who and where is the treasure hid?
(1)   (2)  (3)           (4)
Crow, crow spill all you know
(1)        (2)         (9)
Is that my name on the bell?

<Repeat chords for second bit>

(5)                                     (6)
Climb up high from the semaphores to the washing lines
(7)                                            (8)
Break the codes of the whispering chimneys and traffic signs
(5)                                        (6)
What's the message that's written under the base of clouds?
(7)                                    (8)
Fires eternal I know you know so don't blurt out loud...

<Repeats 'til the end; play with that ending "bell" bit...>

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