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My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist Chords

version 1
version 1

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excellent!
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"My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist"
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Contributor
Difficulty
intermediate
This is one of my favourite Decemberists songs and I was disappointed that there wasn't 
tab yet, so I listened to it about 10 times and figured out the chords. There are some 
and things that I didn't have the time to figure out but here are the basics of the song:

Intro:
Am Am/E Am Am/E (x4)

Am       Am/E      C      D          G
My mother was a chinese trapeze artist
   Em       D
In pre-war Paris
Am        D             B      Em   Emadd9 Em
Smuggling bombs for the underground.
Am              D
And she met my father
      B                C
At a fete in Aix-en-Provence.
        Cadd9                  D
He was disguised as a Russian cadet
                     Em   Emadd9 Em
in the employ of the Axis.
     C
And there in the half-light
      C
Of the provincial midnight
      G
To a lone concertina
      G
They drank in cantinas
      C                D
And toasted to Edith Piaf
                     Em   Emadd9 Em
And the fall of the Reich.

C D Am

Am             Am/E      C       D       G
My sister was born in a hovel in Burgundy
      Em          D
And left for the cattle
Am             D          B     Em   Emadd9 Em
But later was found by a communist
Am                 D
Who'd deserted his ranks
      B         C
To follow his dream
        Cadd9             D                Em   Emadd9 Em
To start up a punk rock band in South Carolina.
  C
I get letters sometimes.
  C
They bought a plantation
    G
She weeds the tobacco
    G
He offends the nation
                 C                     D
And they write, "Don't be a stranger, y'hear."
                   Em   Emadd9 Em
"Sincerely, your sister."

C D Am

Am       Am/E
So my parents had me
               C      D          G
To the disgust of the prostitutes
       Em       D
On a bed in a brothel.
Am             D         B        Em   Emadd9 Em
Surprisingly raised with tender care
Am                  D
'Til the money got tight
         B         C
And they bet me away
          Cadd9             D
To a blind brigadier in a game
                 Em   Emadd9 Em
Of high stakes canasta.
       C
But he made me a sailor
       C
On his brigadier ship fleet.
   G
I know every yardarm
       G
From main mast to jib sheet.
    C                      D
But sometimes I long to be landlocked
                   C
And to work in a bakery.
    Em        C         Em
Ahhhhh    Ahhhhh    Ahhhhh

C D Am

Listen to the recording for the rhythms. I love this song. Hope you do too.
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2 comments total.
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darylstewart wrote on February 12 2010, 03:00 pm

B is B7 or something. X-2-1-2-0-2.

0 reply
nerds_assemble wrote on June 29 2015, 07:52 pm

thanks for the tab. i do love this song and this sounds pretty spot on to me. :)

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