Sufjan Stevens - The Mistress Witch from McClure

From The Avalanche

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This song is another very simple yet captivating song from the man, the myth, the legend: Sufjan Stevens. Because it has such a simple and almost joyful melody it exudes the essence of innocence and youth. Yet the song itself deals with very adult themes such as lust, deceit and even murder. The kids in the song are dealing with very mature issues while still trying to keep their childhood intact. It is this playful scene that Sufjan backs with the beautiful banjo.

When you are playing, really try to give it a happy, go-lucky feel to contrast the lyrics. Try strumming closer to the neck of the banjo to make the sound warmer and softer. Or you could have a different interpretation of the lyrics. Playing the banjo in style that reinforces that interpretation is a great way to improve your own "artistic expression". It gets you thinking about how other artists do it and how they do it well. It is a very interesting idea once you begin to think about it. Hmm... deep thoughts with alternativebanjo. Well, enjoy!


This tab was sent in by Phil C. Thanks Phil!

 
capo 6
Part 1:

C F Am G
D:-2-|-3-|-2-|-0-|
B:-1-|-1-|-1-|-0-|
G:-0-|-2-|-2-|-0-|
D:-2-|-3-|-2-|-0-|

Part 2:

F C G D
D:-3-|-2-|-0-|-4-|
B:-1-|-1-|-0-|-3-|
G:-2-|-0-|-0-|-2-|
D:-3-|-2-|-0-|-4-|

At the end of part 1 Sufjan does this: (little riff thingy)

D:---------|
B:-1p0-----|
G:-----2-0-|
D:---------|

An example line (part 1):

C F
v ^ ^ v ^ ^ v ^ v ^ ^ v ^ ^ v ^
D:-------2-2-----2-2-2---2-|------3-3-----3-3-3---3-|
B:-1-1---1-1-----1-1-1-1-1-|1-1---1-1-----1-1-1-1-1-|
G:---0---0-0-----0-0-0-0-0-|--2---2-2-0h2-2-2-2-2-2-|
D:-----------0h2-2-2-2-2---|--------------3-3-3-3---|

Am G
v v ^ ^ v ^ ^ v ^ v v v ^
D:---2---2-2-----2-2-2---2-|--0---0-0---------------|
B:-1-1---1-1-----1-1-1-1-1-|0-0---0-0-1p0-----------|
G:-2-2---2-2-----2-2-2-2-2-|0-0---0-0-------2-0-----|
D:-2---------0h2-2-2-2-2---|0-----------------------|

C F
And the winter moves about Illinois
Am
When my sister picks a fight
G C
With the Alexander boy
F
And my father locks the car
Am
By the store
G
Still we figure out the keys
Chorus: F
And follow him once more

C
Oh my God
G
We see it on the floor
D
The woman on the bed
F
The ankle brace she wore
C
Stones and sled
G
It could have been some other
D
The mind that knows itself
F
Has a mind to serve the other
C
And we run back
G
Scratching at the door
Scratching at the door 
 
(end with the little riff thingy)

----Play part 1 twice----

C F
If I'm hiding in the sleeves
Am
Of my coat
G
When my father runs undressed
C
He's pointing at my throat
F
And my brother has a fit
Am
In the snow
G
And the traffic stops for miles
Chorus: F
We take him by the elbow

C
Oh my God
G
The shuffling at the floor
D
A mind that knows itself
F
Is a mind that knows much more
C
So we run back
G
Scrambling for cover
D
A mind that knows itself
F
Has a mind to kill the other

C
Oh my God
G
He left us now for dead
C
He left us now for dead


----Play part 1 twice----