FOR MUSICIANS
-- Tabs, Chords & Tunings: When You Give It Away --
Transcribed by Jonathan Tieszen, jjtieszn@intelos.net

Tabs Index


Disclaimer: The following tab is intended for private enjoyment and educational purposes and should not be read as an encouragement for members of the general public to play the song live. The lyrics and music of "When You Give It Away" are the intellectual property of Bruce Cockburn, his management, and record companies, etc,.


INTRODUCING THIS TAB

When You Give It Away was transcribed from the Breakfast in New Orleans Dinner in Timbuktu album. This is roughly what I am hearing, and I'm sure there are things I'm missing. Any corrections or suggestions are welcome. Tuning is Drop D (D A D G B E).


INTRO

     ,   .   ,   .   ,   .  ,   .     ,   .   ,  ..   ,   .   ,   . 
e| |---------------------------------|---------------------------------| 
B| |----------7-------------------7--|------x---7----------------------| 
G|*|----------7-------------------7--|------x---7----------------------| 
D|*|----------7-------------------7--|------x---7----------------------| 
A| |--------------------------0------|--------------------------0------| 
D| |--0-----------0-h-5--------------|--0-----------0-h-5--------------| 
 

    ,  ..   ,   .   ,   .   ,  ..     ,   .   ,   .  ,   .   ,   . 
e|---------------------------------|---------------------------------| | 
B|----------7-------------------7--|------x---7----------------------| | 
G|----------7-------------------7--|------x---7----------------------|*| 
D|----------7-------------------7--|------x---7----------------------|*| 
A|--------------------------0------|--------------------------0------| | 
D|--0-----------0-h-5--------------|--0-----------0-h-5--------------| | 

VERSE

    ,  ..   ,   .   ,   .   ,  ..     ,   .   ,   .  ,   .   ,   . 
e|---------------------------------|---------------------------------| 
B|----------7-------------------7--|------x---7-------------------7--| 
G|----------7-------------------7--|------x---7-------------------7--| 
D|----------7-------------------7--|------x---7-------------------7--| 
A|--------------------------0------|--------------------------0------| 
D|--0-----------0-h-5--------------|--0-----------0-h-5--------------| 
           Slid out of my dreams... 
 
 
 
 
 

    ,  ..   ,   .   ,   .   ,  ..     ,   .   ,   .  ,   .   ,   . 
e|---------------------------------|---------------------------------| 
B|------x---7-------------------7--|------x---7-------------------7--| 
G|------x---7-------------------7--|------x---7-------------------7--| 
D|------x---7-------------------7--|------x---7-------------------7--| 
A|--------------------------0------|--------------------------0------| 
D|--0-----------0-h-5--------------|--0-----------0-h-5--------------| 

Repeat 2nd stanza until chorus 
 

CHORUS

    ,  ..   ,   .   ,   .   ,  ..     ,   .   ,   .  ,   .   ,   . 
e|---------------------------------|---------------------------------| 
B|---------------------------------|---------------------------------| 
G|----------4--------------2-------|----------4-------4-p-2----------| 
D|----------4--------------4-------|----------4---------------4------| 
A|--2--------------2---------------|--2------------------------------| 
D|---------------------------------|---------------------------------| 
    Iíve got  this  thing  in  my  heart    I must give you today... 
 

    ,  ..   ,   .   ,   .   ,  ..     ,   .   ,   .  ,   .   ,   . 
e|---------------------------------|--2-------2---0------------------| 
B|----------2----------------------|--3-------3---3-------3----------| 
G|---------------------------------|------2-----------0---2----------| 
D|---------------------------------|----------------------4----------| 
A|---------------------------------|---------------------------------| 
D|---------------------------------|---------------------------------| 
   ..... 
 

    ,  ..   ,   .   ,   .   ,  ..     ,   .   ,   .  ,   .   ,   . 
e|---------------------------------|---------------------------------| 
B|------------------2--------------|----------2----------------------| 
G|------------------2--------------|----------0----------------------| 
D|------------------2--------------|----------0----------------------| 
A|--0------------------------------|---------------------------------| 
D|---------------------------------|----------5----------------------| 
         It only lives when you                give it away. 
 


LYRICS

Slid out of my dreams like a baby out of the nurse's hands
On to the hard floor of day
I'd been wearing O.J.'s gloves and I couldn't get them off
It was too early but I couldn't sleep
Showered and dressed and stepped out into the heat
The parrot things on the porch next door
Announced my arrival on Chartres Street
With their finest rendition of squealing tires

Down at Kaldi's Cafe, the newspaper headlines
Promised new revelations about Prince Charles' Amex account
A morose youth in old-time Austrian drag
Stared past his moustache at the floor
And last night's punks and fetish kids
All tattoos and metal bits
And in the other corner (wearing the white trunks)
Today's tourists, already sweating

Deep in the city of the saints and fools
Pearls before pigs and dung become jewels
I sit down with tigers, I sit down with lambs
None of them know who exactly I am

I've got this thing in my heart
I must give you today
It only lives when you
Give it away.

Languid mandala of the ceiling fan
Teases the air like a slow stroking hand
Study the faces, study the cards
Study the shadow creeping over the yard

I've got this thing in my heart etc...

Trouble with nations
Trouble with relations
Where you gonna go to find
Illumination
Too much to carry, too much to let go
Time goes fast, learning goes slow

I've got this thing in my heart etc...



Tabs Index

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