Peter Hammill - Four Pails (chords)

Chord transcription by Mikayel Abazyan

Playing tips

In the album, soft choir in Am starts the song, singing the first line. 
However, later, during live performances, Peter used to play strong chords 
instead. Since the harmony is shown in that chord line I decided to bring it in here:

Am              Am(g)  F                  E
  Four pails of water      and a bagfull of salts.

NC (in the album version), or play as it is shown for the next verses:

That is all we are, that is all a man comprises,
chemicals alone, with no spirit, soul or ghost -
nothing so bizarre.
No amount of faith disguises 
what is true is what we fear the most

Am/a              Em/g
  Nothing can survive

F7+                    E(sus4) E7
  save the things men leave behind them.

Am/a         Em/g   F7+                   E(sus4)   E7
  Any other case   would be really too absurd -

Am/a                    Em/g
  if thoughts remained alive

F7                           E     E7
surely modern science would find them?

 G       Am      G       E     A
No, the soul is nothing but a word.

  All the wonders Man achieves

emerge from cerebral tissue.

A                              F
  Chemical reactions' ebb and surge

form that Thing that is you...

Bb               F
  It's a sad philosophy,

Gm                      F
  but better sad than wrong.

D#                   C
  Face the truth instead:

when you're dead you're dead,

when you're gone you're gone...

now she's gone.

Am              Am(g)  F                  E
  Four pails of water      and a bagfull of salts.
That is all she was, all my lover represented -
that sounds just as mad as saying she will never die.
Fools may clutch at straws
but truth must not be circumvented:
as the tree falls, so must that tree lie!
Now that sounds so odd...
once I would have preached it brightly.
Now questions appear I rationally can't ignore...
Nothingness or God,
Which of them seems more unlikely?

G       Em        G          E
Once I would have answered clearly,

Em    G      E        E7     Am
now I only think I'm nearly sure.

Russian Peter Hammill / Van der Graaf Generator Page
Sergey Petrushanko, 1998-2024