The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

(Partridge)

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The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

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

  1. Album version, 5'00.
    Released on Nonsvch.
    Released on 25 May 1992 as a single in the U.K.
    Reached No. 71 on the U.K. singles chart.
    Andy Partridge - Vocals, electric guitar, harmonica & tambourine
    Dave Mattacks - Drums
    Colin Moulding - Bass guitar
    Dave Gregory - Electric guitar, hammond organ & church bell
    Gus Dudgeon, Andy Partridge & Dave Gregory - cheers

    Three edited versions of this track were also released on various singles.

    Andy: “He's every hero, every politician, every religious leader who's far too good to be true and by telling the truth becomes a martyr. Is Peter Pumpkinhead Jesus or JFK or Buddha? Actually the name's from a jack-o-lantern I carved. After Halloween, I stuck it on a fence post in my garden and every day I'd go past it on my way to my composing shed. And every day it would decay a bit more. I felt so sorry for it, I thought I'd make it a hero in a song.”
  2. Promotional video, U.K. edit, 5'00.
    Released on the Blu-ray reissue of Nonsuch on 4 November 2013 in the U.K.
    Ian Gregory plays the part of the drummer.
    Andy: “This one's about a pumpkin I carved for my kids one Halloween. Started as a Dylan/harmonica sort-of song.” Dave: “I play a Gretsch Country Club that was a gift from a fan in New York.”
  3. Promotional video, MTV bowdlerized edit, 5'00.
    Not commercially released.
    Ian Gregory plays the part of the drummer.
  4. Demo version, 4'40.
    Recorded at home by Andy Partridge.
    Released on 27 April 1992 on the Gribouillage CD-5.
    Also released on the Blu-ray reissue of Nonsuch on 4 November 2013 in the U.K.
  5. Early demo.
    Recorded in The Shed of Andy's current address, Swindon, in June 1990.
    Engineered by Andy Partridge.
    Released on 25 March 2002 on Coat of Many Cupboards in the U.K.
    Andy Partridge - All instruments and Vocals
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

#\#a href="http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=2839083" target="churl"#/#UK #\#i#/#Peter Pumpkinhead#\#/i#/# single cover art#\#/a#/#

UK Peter Pumpkinhead single cover art

USA #\#i#/#Peter Pumpkinhead#\#/i#/# CD-single cover

USA Peter Pumpkinhead CD-single cover

rice paper poster with the lyrics to “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”

rice paper poster with the lyrics to “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”

promotional poster for #\#i#/#Peter Pumpkinhead#\#/i#/#

promotional poster for Peter Pumpkinhead

12x12 UK promo flat for #\#i#/#The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead#\#/i#/# single

12x12 UK promo flat for The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead single

#\#a href="video/xtc980716.mov" target="churl"#/#A snippet of “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”#\#/a#/#

A snippet of “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”

#\#a href="video/xtc980716.mov" target="churl"#/#Andy Partridge sings “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”#\#/a#/#

Andy Partridge sings “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”

limited edition holiday casino chip from The Hard Rock Casino

limited edition holiday casino chip from The Hard Rock Casino

limited edition holiday casino chip from The Hard Rock Casino

limited edition holiday casino chip from The Hard Rock Casino

#\#a href="http://youtu.be/CWgC9KyHyRk" target="churl"#/#“The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead” promotional video#\#/a#/#

“The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead” promotional video

promotional poster for #\#i#/#The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead#\#/i#/#

promotional poster for The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

Jeff Parker, 08/19/98

Jeff Parker, 08/19/98

John Nickle, 02/18/98

John Nickle, 02/18/98

   

Lyrics

Peter Pumpkinhead came to town
Spreading wisdom and cash around
Fed the starving and housed the poor
Showed the vatican what gold's for
But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?
Oh my!
Peter Pumpkinhead pulled them all
Emptied churches and shopping malls
Where he spoke, it would raise the roof
Peter Pumpkinhead told the truth
But he made too many enemies...
Peter Pumpkinhead put to shame
Governments who would slur his name
Plots and sex scandals failed outright
Peter merely said
Any kind of love is alright
But he made too many enemies...
Peter Pumpkinhead was too good
Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
He died grinning on live TV
Hanging there he looked a lot like you
And an awful lot like me!
But he made too many enemies...
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkin
Hooray for Peter Pumpkinhead
Oh my oh my oh!
Doesn't it make you want to cry oh?

© 1992 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.


Chords and Tablature

From: jws5 (at) ns1 dot cc dot lehigh dot edu
Subject: XTC - The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

Here it is, long awaited (?) and hopefully accurate.

Some notes:

    (1) I figured this out without having the tape player going, so though the
chord pattern is accurate (pretty much all I-IV-V) I've put this in the key of
G, which may be different from that on the album.  The important thing is that
_I_ can sing it in this key.  So there.
    Seriously, though, transposing this would not be a big deal.

    (2) There is a surprise A chord (or II chord, made major) in the last
chorus.  I really feel like there is another "surprise" chord in the rest of
the choruses, but I can't quite put a finger on it (ha, ha).  The way I've
printed it here sounds pretty good, though.

The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead
       by Andy Partridge
     Album:  XTC "Nonsuch"
===============================

G                C
Peter Pumpkinhead came to town
G                   C
Spreading wisdom and cash around
G       G/B          C
Fed the starving and housed the poor
G          G/B    C
Showed the Vatican what gold's for

        C      D             Em
CHORUS: But he made too many enemies
        C      D                Em
        Of the people who would keep us on our knees
        C          D
        Hooray for Peter Pumpkin,
        C               D
        Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkin-
        G     D/F#  C/E  D  C  G/B  D/A  D/F#
        head?

Peter Pumpkinhead pulled them all
Emptied churches and shopping malls
When he spoke it would raise the roof
Peter Pumpkinhead told the truth

(CHORUS)

Peter Pumpkinhead put to shame
Governments who would slur his name
Plots and sex scandals failed outright
Peter merely said, "Any kind of love is all all right"

(CHORUS)

Peter Pumpkinhead was too good
Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
He died grinning on live TV
Hanging there he looked a lot like you, and an awful lot like me!

        C      D             Em
(CHORUS)But he made too many enemies
        C      D                Em
        Of the people who would keep us on our knees
        C          D
        Hooray for Peter Pumpkin,
        C               D
        Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkin-
        G     D/F#  C/E  D
        head?       Ah-ah-ah
        C          D
        Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
        C               D
        Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkin
        C          Dsus4  D    C/D    D
        Hooray for Pe  -  ter - Pump - kin -
        G     D/F#  C/E  D
        Head!
           C      G/B          A                D/F#
        Oh my, oh my, don't it make you want to cry, oh!
        G
        (ending)

Date: August 12, 2003
From: u9343164 (at) qub dot ac dot uk   (Paul Hutchinson)
Subject: The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead chords

This is taken from the soundtrack of Dumb and Dumber. There are a few places
where I can't make head nor tail of the words - speak English, woman! Hence, I
would appreciate it greatly if anybody could fill in the gaps.
Enjoy!

THE BALLAD OF PETER PUMPKINHEAD - Crash Test Dummies with Ellen Reid
===============================

Guitar Riff-

  +     +  +   +   +     +  +   +   +     +  +   +   +     +  +   +   +
         (Stab)           (Stab)           (Stab)           (Stab)
0-0-2-|----2-----2---2-|----2-----2-2---|----3-----3---3-|----3-----3-3---|
0-0-3-|----3-----3---3-|----3-xxx-3-3---|-3--3-----3---3-|----3-xxx-3-3---|
0-0-2-|----2-----2---2-|----2-xxx-2-2-0-|-0--0-----0---0-|----0-xxx-0-0---|
0-0-0-|----0-----0---0-|----0-----0-0---|-0--0-----0---0-|----0-----0-0-0-|
----0-|----0-----0---0-|----0-------0---|----------------|--------------0-|
------|----------------|----------------|-3--------3---3-|----------3-3---|

(x = Left-hand-muted percussive note)

This is played four times as an intro (drums come in the second time, and
harmonica and Hammond come in the third time). Although the chords for the
links between the verses are different, I think the riff is played over these
as well. It's kind of hard to tell what the guitar is doing after the intro,
since it disappears in the mix.
.............

(Let's begin)

D                 G
 Peter Pumpkinhead came to town
D                    G
 Spreading wisdom and cash around
D                    G
 Fed the starving and housed the poor
D                  G
 Showed the (?---?) what gold's for

G       A             Bm
 But he made too many enemies
G       A                Bm
 Of the people who would keep us on our knees
G           A
 Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
G           Gm/Bb A/C#   D   D/C#  D/B  D/A  G  G/F#  Em  A
 Hooray for Peter Pumpkinhead

Peter Pumpkinhead brought to shame
Governments who would slur his name
Lusts and sex scandals failed outright
"Be a min," he said, heading down (?----?) alright

But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Hooray for Peter Pumpkinhead

Peter Pumpkinhead was too good
Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
He died grinning on live TV
Hanging there he looked a lot like you and an awful lot like me

But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
G           Gm/Bb A/C#   D    D/C#    D/B
 Hooray for Peter Pumpkinhead
G           A
 Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
G           A
 Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
G           Gm/Bb A   Bm  A/C# D    D/C#   D/B   D/A
 Hooray for Pe   -ter Pumpkin -head
  G        G/F#      C                A/C#       D
Alright, alright - I make you want to cry out (?)

Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 12:20:53 -0400
From: Jamie Kowalski <jamie (at) allhands dot com>
Subject: chalkhills.org and tablature
Message-Id: <3.0.32.20010525122028.006a2eb8 (at) www dot allhands dot com>


To whomever manages the tablature pages at chalkhills.org (please forward
if necessary),

I have some comments on the guitar tabs you have, and would appreciate if
you posted them.

Balled of Peter Pumpkin head:

RE: the mystery g6 chord, give this a whirl:

E:-0-
B:-3-
G:-0-
D:-0-
A:-x-
E:-3-

RE: the freaky diminished chord stuff:

The *basic* chords are: c#dim7 - A7

BUT there are moving lines in the melody and harmony, so if you really want
to duplicate this on guitar alone: ("Pe - ter - Pump - kin...")

E:-3---3---3---3---|
B:-3---2---0---2---|
G:-3---3---0---0---|
D:-2---2---2---2---|      voila!

Technically this is c#dim7sus4 - c#dim7 - A9 - A7

Hope this helps!

Jamie Kowalski

http://www.allhands.com

Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 15:02:21 -0500
From: Ava Wilson <wilsona (at) library dot vanderbilt dot edu>
Subject: The Ballad of Peter Pumpkin Head
Message-id: <39930A4D.C2C9A50F (at) library dot vanderbilt dot edu>


I've just looked at some of the entries regarding the chords to this
tune. Seems like most of the chords are correct except one addition I'd
like to make. The tune is definitely in D, drop your ax on the floor
before beginning-- Here's what I hear:

D        D/F#add 9        G6add9 (this is the one!)

string    654321            654321
fret      2oo23o            3x223x
finger    1oo23o            2x113x

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>

The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

INTRO (plug in your Telecaster!)
D   G6   D   G6  Let's begin!

D                 G6
Peter Pumpkinhead  came to town
D                    G6
Spreading wisdom and  cash around
D                    G6
Fed the starving and  housed the poor
D                  G6
Showed the vatican  what gold's for
G       A             Bm
 But he made too many enemies
G      A                Bm
Of the people who would keep us on our knees
G          A
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
G               Asus4,b9 (x02333)   A            D  D/C#  D/B  D/A
Who'll pray for Peter               Pumpkinhead?
G  G/F#  Em  A
Oh my!

Peter Pumpkinhead pulled them all
Emptied churches and shopping malls
Where he spoke, it would raise the roof
Peter Pumpkinhead told the truth
But he made too many enemies...
Peter Pumpkinhead put to shame
Governments who would slur his name
Plots and sex scandals failed outright
Peter merely said
Any kind of love is alright
But he made too many enemies...
Peter Pumpkinhead was too good
Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
He died grinning on live TV
Hanging there he looked a lot like you
And an awful lot like me!
But he made too many enemies...
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkin
Hooray for Peter Pumpkinhead

D  D/C#
Oh my oh my oh!
           C                A/C#        D
Doesn't it make you want to cry oh?

Date: Tue, 12 May 92 17:31:08 -0400
From: dschmidt (at) athena dot mit dot edu
Subject: Nonsvch chords, Vol I

Okay, first some disclaimers.  In many places I did not try to figure
out Exactly what was going on - I listened to the music and tried to
figure out what chords I would play if I were to accompanying on on
the piano.  So probably many of the guitar chords are simpler than
I've made them out to be.  Also, in some places where I've indicated
how to voice chords, it is just how I find it convenient, and not
necessarily what they are doing on the record.  I also left out lots
of bass stuff, only including it where I thought it was important.
But everything should be pretty close.  Comments and corrections are
welcome!

Voicings are notated with low E on the left, high E on the right.

                   THE BALLAD OF PETER PUMPKINHEAD

Intro:  D  G6  a few times.  G6 is 320000.

Verse:  D     D/F#  G6   4x
        G     A     Bm   2x
        G     A     G  A#dim7 A7/C#
        D           G6  (descending D scale under this in bass)

The end: D (instead of the last line of the verse)
        G     A     G     A
        G     A#+   A   G/B   A7/C#
        D           G   D/F#   C   C#dim   D

 - Dan

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

   Date: Thu, 7 May 92 15:21:47 BST
   From: Toby Howard <toby (at) computer-science dot manchester dot ac dot uk>
   Subject: Peter Pumpkinhead chords

   Hi, here's an initial quick stab at the chords for Peter Pumpkinhead. I'd
   welcome any improvements! Anyone else have chords to other songs to post?

This is dangerous because I never bothered to figure out the chords
while I was actually listening to the song, and doubly so
because I'm correcting someone else's chords, but hey, why not?

   Verse
   D     D/F#        G
   Peter Pumpkinhead came to town...

I thought maybe it was a F#min7 instead of a D/F#.  And the G is
probably a G6 (you can hear the E at the top of the chord - just leave
the first string open).

   G               Bbdim C#dim  D
   Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead

The C#dim might be a A/C#?  I'm not sure, but from memory I remember
that chord being "sweeter" than a diminished chord.  The Bbdim is
definitely right though.

   C#m   Bm   A   G    F#m   E   A

My take on this (again from memory) starting from the D is:
D   A/C#   Bm7   D/A   G   F#m   Em7
The A/C# might be something more like a F#m/C#.  And the F#m might be
a D/F#.

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!

Dan

Date: Mon, 11 May 92 00:26:08 -0400
From: cutter (at) silver dot lcs dot mit dot edu (she returns to sand)
Subject: Peter Pumpkinhead chords

I immediately pulled out my trusty acoustic (always by the terminal
when reading interminable netnews posts)...

>Verse
>D     D/F#        G
>Peter Pumpkinhead came to town

How about:

D     F#m         G
Peter Pumpkinhead came to town

>Chorus
>G               Bbdim C#dim  D
>Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead

How about:

G               Bb    C      D
Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead

>Ending
>   G     F#m         C                C#dim    D
>Oh my oh my don't it make you want to cry

How about:

   G     F#m         C                A     D
Oh my oh my don't it make you want to cry

Dass all...
/joe

"Notice the extreme anger!  The urge to commit a drive-by shooting!"

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