Brad's Paul Simon Guitar Tablature Page (www.bradpriddy.com/paul_simon)

............................ A Church is Burning ..........................

Copyright  1965 Paul Simon

From the Paul Simon Songbook.

Transcribed by John McGann.

Although this is played on a 12 string guitar in the recording, it sounds
quite nice on a six string guitar too, though not as full sounding.

% indicates a repeat of the previous measure.


Capo 1st fret, 12 string guitar  (see tuning info on main page)

     D
e:|--2----------0-0-|--2---0h2----0-0-|--2----------0-0-|--0h2--2-2-0-0-0-|
B:|--3----------3-3-|--3---3-3----3-3-|--3----------3-3-|--3-3--3-3-0-0-0-|
G:|--2--strum---2-2-|--2---2-2----2-2-|--2--strum---2-2-|--2-2--2-2-0-0-0-|
D:|--0----------0-0-|--0---0-0----0-0-|--0----------0-0-|--0-0--0-0-0-0-0-|
A:|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|



     A                 G                 D
e:|----5------------|-----------------|----2--0---------|-2-----------0-0-|
B:|----2------------|-------0-----0---|----3--3---------|-3-----------3-3-|
G:|----2---strum----|-----0-------0---|----2--2--strum--|-2--strum----2-2-|
D:|----2------------|-----0-----0-----|--0-0--0---------|-0-----------0-0-|
A:|--0-0------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|--3-------2-(0)--|-----------------|-----------------|



    D                                 *  D                 A
e:|-2-----------0-0-|--2--------------|--2--------------|-----------------|
B:|-3-----------3-3-|--3--------------|--3--------------|--2--------------|
G:|-2--strum----2-2-|--2----strum-----|--2----strum-----|--2----strum-----|
D:|-0-----------0-0-|--0--------------|--0--------------|--2--------------|
A:|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|--0--------------|
E:|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|

                                   A    church           is         burn -


     A                 G                 D
e:|-----------------|-----------------|--2----------0-0-|--0h2------------|
B:|--2--------------|--0--------------|--3----------3-3-|--3-3------------|
G:|--2----strum-----|--0----strum-----|--2--strum---2-2-|--2-2---strum----|
D:|--2--------------|--0--------------|--0----------0-0-|--0-0------------|
A:|--0--------------|--2--------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|--3-------(2)----|-----------------|-----------------|

       -       -         -        -     ing                            the


     D                 G                 D
e:|--2--------------|-----------------|--2------------0-|--0h2-0h2--2--2--|
B:|--3--------------|--0--0-----------|--3------------3-|--3---3----3--3--|
G:|--2----strum-----|--0--0-------2---|--2--strum-----2-|--2---2----2--2--|
D:|--0--------------|--0--0-------0---|--0------------0-|--0---0----0--0--|
A:|-----------------|--2--2-------0---|-----------------|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|--3--3----2------|-----------------|-----------------|

   flames   rise         high   -   -    er                           like


     D                 F#m               Em                G
e:|--2--------------|--2--------------|-----------------|--3--------------|
B:|--3--------------|--2--------------|--0---0----------|--0--------------|
G:|--2----strum-----|--2----strum-----|--0---0--strum---|--0----strum-----|
D:|--0--------------|--4--------------|--0h2-2----------|--0--------------|
A:|-----------------|--4--------------|--0h2-2----------|--2--------------|
E:|-----------------|--2--------------|--0---0----------|--3--------------|

    hands   that are            pray  -  ing          a - glow      in the


     Asus4             A                 D
e:|-----------------|-----------------|--2------------0-|--2---0-2--------|
B:|--3--------------|--2--3-2---------|--3------------3-|--3---3-3--------|
G:|--2----strum-----|--2--2-2--strum--|--2---strum----2-|--2---2-2--strum-|
D:|--2--------------|--2--2-2---------|--0------------0-|--0-0---0--------|
A:|--0--------------|--0--0-0---------|-----------------|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|

    sky                           like hands that are praying       the


     G                 D                 G                 D       $
e:|-----------------|--2--------------|-----------------|--2--------------|
B:|-----------------|--3--------------|-----------------|--3--------------|
G:|----0-0----------|--2----strum-----|----0-0----------|--2----strum-----|
D:|----0-0----------|--0--------------|----0-0----------|--0--------------|
A:|----2-2----------|--0--------------|----2-2----------|--0--------------|
E:|--3------2---0---|-----------------|--3-------2---0--|-----------------|

    fire        is    saying   you can  burn   down my    churches    but


     A                 D
e:|-----------------|--2----------0-0-|--2----------0-0-|-----------------|
B:|--2--------------|--3----------3-3-|--3----------3-3-|-----------------|
G:|--2----strum-----|--2--strum---2-2-|--2--strum---2-2-|--------%--------|
D:|--2--------------|--0----------0-0-|--0----------0-0-|-----------------|
A:|--0--------------|--0--------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|

     I         shall  be              free


     D                 Em                                  D
e:|--0h2-2----------|-----------------|-----------------|----2-----2------|
B:|--3---3----------|-----------------|-----------------|-----3------3----|
G:|--2---2--strum---|------0----------|------0----------|----2-------2----|
D:|--0---0----------|--------2------2-|--------2--------|--0-----0--------|
A:|-----------------|----2--------2---|----2-------2----|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|--0--------0-----|--0--------------|-----------------|

                            Three hooded men through the  backroads did


     D                 Em                                  D
e:|--2-----2--------|-----------------|-----------------|----2-----2------|
B:|-----3--3--------|-----------------|-----------------|-----3------3----|
G:|----2---2-strum--|------0----------|------0----------|----2-------2----|
D:|--0-----0--------|--------2------2-|--------2--------|--0-----0--------|
A:|--------0--------|----2--------2---|----2-------2----|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|--0--------0-----|--0--------------|-----------------|

    creep              torches in their hands while the    village lies


     D                 G                 D                 G
e:|--2-----2--------|-----------------|--2--------------|-----------------|
B:|-----3--3--------|-----0------0----|--3--------------|-----------------|
G:|----2---2-strum--|-----0------0----|--2----strum-----|--0----strum-----|
D:|--0-----0--------|-----0------0----|--0--------------|--2--------------|
A:|--------0--------|-----2-----------|-----------------|--3--------------|
E:|-----------------|--3------2-------|-----------------|-----------------|

    asleep               down to the   church where just hours


     D                 G                 D
e:|-----2-----------|-----------------|--2--------------|-----------------|
B:|-----3-----------|-----0------0----|--3--------------|-----0------0----|
G:|-----2--strum----|-----0------0----|--2----strum-----|-----0------0----|
D:|--0--0-----------|-----0------0----|--0--------------|-----0------0----|
A:|-----------------|-----2-----------|-----------------|-----2-----------|
E:|-----------------|--3------2-------|-----------------|--3------2-------|

    before               voices were    singing     and      hands were

 
     D               [These two measures, 1st time only]   A
e:|--2--------------|-----------------|--2--------------|-----------------|
B:|--3--------------|-----0------0----|--3--------------|--2--------------|
G:|--2----strum-----|-----0------0----|--2----strum-----|--2----strum-----|
D:|--0--------------|-----0------0----|--0--------------|--2--------------|
A:|-----------------|-----2-----------|-----------------|--0--------------|
E:|-----------------|--3------2-------|-----------------|-----------------|

    beating               saying        I won't    be a   slave       any-


     D
e:|--2----------0-0-|--0h2-2----------|
B:|--3----------3-3-|--3---3----------|
G:|--2--strum---2-2-|--2---2--strum---|
D:|--0----------0-0-|--0---0----------|
A:|-----------------|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|-----------------|

    more                        and a


Return to * for the chorus and verse two.
Then return to * again for the chorus and verse three.
Finally return to * for the last chorus and take the $ jump to:

$:
     Bm                                  G
e:|--2--------------|-----------------|--3--------------|-----------------|
B:|--3--------------|-----------------|--0--------------|-----------------|
G:|--4----strum-----|-------%---------|--0----strum-----|--------%--------|
D:|--4--------------|-----------------|--0--------------|-----------------|
A:|--2--------------|-----------------|--2--------------|-----------------|
E:|--2--------------|-----------------|--3--------------|-----------------|

                                 but     I


     A         Asus4   A                 D
e:|-----------------|-----------------|--2----------0-0-|-----------------|
B:|--2----------3---|--2--------------|--3----------3-3-|-----------------|
G:|--2--strum---2---|--2----strum-----|--2--strum---2-2-|--------%--------|
D:|--2----------2---|--2--------------|--0----------0-0-|-----------------|
A:|--0----------0---|--0--------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|

                              shall be  free


     D                 D
e:|-----------------|--2-----2--------|
B:|-----------------|--3-----3--------|
G:|--------%--------|--2-----2--------|
D:|-----------------|--0-----0--------|
A:|-----------------|-----------------|
E:|-----------------|-----------------|


Lyrics:

A church is burning.
The flames rise higher.
Like hands that are praying a-glow in the sky.
Like hands that are praying the fire is saying,
"You can burn down my churches, but I shall be free."

Three hooded men through the backroads did creep,
Torches in their hands while the village lies asleep,
Down to the church where just hours before,
Voices were singing and hands were beating,
And saying, "I won't be a slave anymore."

(chorus)

Three hooded men, their hands lit the spark.
Then they faded in the night and they vanished in the dark.
And in the cool light of morning there's nothing that remains,
But the ashes of a bible and a can of kerosene.

(chorus)

A church is more than just timber and stone.
And freedom is a dark road when you're walking it alone.
But the future is now and it's time to take a stand,
So the lost bells of freedom can ring out in my land.

(chorus)