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Smiling by the Fatima Mansions

From the Fatima Mansions’ 1991 Bertie’s Brochures mini-album. Written by Cathal Coughlan. Capo on 1st fret.

High Llamas - Snowbug




The [Bm7] jet plane draws a [E7] jagged wound along the [Bm7] dimming autumn [E7] sky
His [Bm7] breath steams on a [E7] head of him as through the [Bm7] tenement he does [E7] stride

To [Abm7] knock u [D6] pon some [Bm6] doors
The [Abm7] boy who [D6] asked for [Bm6] more
And who [Abm7] hid his real [D6] fears so the [Bm6] people just saw

They saw him [C#9] smiling
They only ever saw him [C#9] smiling


He [Bm7] breathes the air of the [E7] barber’s shop – the steam, [Bm7] smoke and cheap co [E7] logne
He says, [Bm7] “Old man, tell this [E7] razor blade how much you [Bm7] want to be left a [E7] lone”

Over the [Abm7] mirror [D6] to the [Bm6] left
A postcard [Abm7] girl with [D6] naked [Bm6] breasts
Brings us [Abm7] greetings from [D6] Crete to this [Bm6] ugly man’s street [E]

Just by [C#9] smiling
Look, she’s all [C#9] smiling

Yeah, she [Abm7] pouts and acts hot with James Bond on his yacht
His arching [C#9] eyebrow, his martini seed
While in her [Abm7] village in Milan, starving people stole cans
And bet [C#9] silver or the loser will bleed


[Bm7] [E9] [Bm7] [E7] (x2)


In a [Bm7] few more years the cruel [E9] boy makes his way up to [Bm7] where the real power [E7] is
Until a [Bm7] bomb in his car blows him all [E9] over a wall and his [Bm7] comrades shake their [E7] fists

We see the [Abm7] biggest [D6] killers of [Bm6] all
Who [Abm7] say they [D6] are ap [Bm6] palled
They say, “Our [Abm7] rage is ext [D6] reme,” but you [Bm6] know what they mean [E]

Upstairs they’re [C#9] smiling
Yeah, still [C#9] scared and still smiling