Peter Hammill - Faint-Heart And The Sermon (chords-2)

Chord transcription by Jose Javier Glaria <>, 17/10/97. Comments and corrections welcome, though fast response not promised.

Notation: Modifications to the nominal chord by indication of the string (1 is high E) and fret. Examples: E(3-0) would be Em. Em(2-3) would be Em7.

When a chord is played on a different fret to the nominal (the lowest), I write it the first time as in this example: G on 3rd fret= G(f3). From there on, it's played on that new fret until another fret change is indicated.

Faint-Heart And The Sermon

With my face drained of colour

         A        E
and my brain of blood

      E     D
like Billy Budd

     D                A    Bm
I'm lashed to the grating;

[same as 1st]
with senses growing duller
and with quaking heart
I make a start
at temperature equating

        Dm        F       Em
and my lungs suck useless air.

[same as 1st]
Like paraplegic dancers
in formation team
my understanding seems
hiidebound in its movements,

[same as 1st]
contemplating answers
that could break my bonds-
to be half wrong
would be, in me, improvement...

            Dm        F               Em
but my comprehensive faculties are impaired.

        Am                   C
And it seems absurd, but now all I've heard [learnt]

         F                   Em
fades in empty words and is worthless

        Am                    C
as the Human Laugh rocks the cenotaph

         F                      Em
but the joke is half-true, and mirthless.

Trying to trace a reason

           D       A
from the spinning words

but all I've heard

                            D    Em
seem at odds with their meanings,

Am C G Am [short instrumental]

phonetically pleasing

       D                      A
but delivered in [with] such haste

that in their place

my mind commences screaming.

        Am                     C
On the verge of belief I crash onto the reef

       F                       Em
and a cynical thief steals my senses,

       Am                     C
so I cling to the pew with dimensions askew,

          F                      F#
and recognition refuses present tenses.

         Bm                         D
All the lives of the saints demonstrate that my faint

      G                       Bm  F#
is a minor complaint, but the end is

nowhere in sight,

             Em               C  G  A# Am D# Bm A#
why can't I find me a way to go_ o?

   A#                       F
I don't want to die in the nave,

        G#                         D#
but I know it may be with me some day

         A#                      F
so I've got to find a way I can save up

     G#                            D#
my energies, and find a cause to pray

    F#   C#       F    C
to something for something

                         A#    A#(2-4)(=A#sus4) A# F A# F A# Cm A#... [smooth]
to which I can give my creed...

( (D# F)x3 (C# D#)x3 )x2 (C# D#)x3

D#                         A#
I'd gladly succumb to the wave,

       C#                               G#
if I thought the water taught a way to light;

      D#                     A#
I'd gladly succumb-I'm not brave,

         D# F  C# D#C#     G#               A#
and it's easy to believe what the preacher says

   A#   Cm      D#  F    D#A#              Cm
except for the conflict raging between my head

and my brain.

I don't want to die, but just the same-

some day...

Waiting for that moment

         A        E
that I know will come

when I'll have to run

                     A    Bm
and find another sermon...

Everyman and Norman

         A        E
and the talking priest-

still [well], I am at least

                        B  Bm
holding all the doors open.

Dm            F            Em
Inside me all outside is shared.

      Am                          C
As the cracked bells peal it all seems unreal

         F                 Em
but the seventh seal stays unbroken

        Am                        C
and the Offertory plate tenders no escape-

         F                     F#
still I refuse to scrape up a token

of esteem for these false

alleyways of the course;

         G                        D  F#
I must try to divorce sense from sensing.

Tell me again,

Em                  C G  A# Am D C#
tell me the way to go.

C#         Fm
So when I talk to myself

D#m                           A#
although I take good care to listen

B              F#
my heart grows ever more faint-

                   A#      A#(2-1) A# A#(2-1) ...
there's something missing?

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