The Intake Room by Cathal Coughlan

From Cathal Coughlan’s 2006 Foburg album. Written by Cathal Coughlan. No capo.

High Llamas - Snowbug


[A7] Look! – See the shadows that cover the floor
[A7] I no longer mind – I barely see them at [D] all
[D] And not the blood
[D] Between my [Gm] feet
[Aaug] Marks of transformers which hung from the walls
[Aaug] Power mad – great massive things, my hands
[Aaug] Numb and blue-black
[D] Tied behind back
[Ab6] Nara says she is sorry and [F7] smiles
[C#7/E#] How she took on all comers
[Cm7b5] How good value was shown
[Ab6] Debts she had
[Cm6] Cash and blood
[C] She regrets
[Fm] The upset [Edim]

[Am7] Now the evening’s growing ancient, and the light is amber [E7] red
And the city’s tense and silent, and the city wants me [Am7] dead
And I hear some children’s voices in an echo up the [E7] hill
Angry like a [D] guard dog, questioning, [A7] shrill [E7] [Am7] [E7]

[G7] “Now, [A7] do you know what must happen?” she says
Nods, hook dangling there
Sharpened, “a painless e [Cm] scape”
She coaxes, sweet
“Take this re [Gm] lease”


[Ab] He looks at the hook, then back, and she’s gone
[Ab] His hands are free
[Ab] He stands and faces the hook
[Ab] Reaches out one arm, either side of him
[Ab] And feels a breeze behind him
[Ab] And a supporting shoulder under each hand
[Ab] Raising him into the air

[Fm] [Ab] [Fm] [Cm] [Bb7] [Fm]

Note: The next four lines are spoken, no chords until the word “certain”

Still he rises, comes to rest just above the hook
He rests the cold metal in the hollow of his collarbone
The point of the hook is sharp
The hook is heavy and [C#maj7] certain [Ab6] [C#maj7] [Ab6] [C#maj7] [Ab6]


[Bdim] One, two, three
[Bdim] The arms are unsupported now
[Bdim] The arms are out in empty space
[Bdim] The hook is tearing its way up inside the neck
[Bdim] The floor beneath is splashing red
[Bdim] The legs are jerking

[Bdim] DON’T LET THE LEGS MOVE! but the legs are jerking
[Bdim] DON’T LET THE LEGS MOVE! but the legs are jerking

[Bdim] Out! Out! Out! Out!

And then they hang [C] still (“…still…still…”)