Totem

Background and Commentary

“The choruses in ‘Totem’ are really interesting. I created a soundscape by using harmonics with a kind of Celtic melody over it that’s quite distant. In the song, in terms of dynamics, it’s a really beautiful shift . . . There’s this line, “angels and demons inside my head,” that was very visual to me. It’s almost angelic. You can sort of see this imagery swirling around.” (Canadian Musician, 1996)—Alex in Merely Players

“I believe that the traditional concept of God is one that I’m not comfortable with. To borrow from Woody Allen, ‘If there’s a God, he’s an underachiever at best.’ For me, spirituality is a personal belief and I think it’s up to each person to choose a road that’s comfortable for them. I think it’s really an individual viewpoint. Having grown up in a very religious home, I find the dogma and constrictions of organized religion not appropriate for my belief system. But I’m not so arrogant as to believe that I have the answers to these questions.” (Canoe)—Geddy in Merely Players

“The line ‘Sweet chariot, swing low, come to take me home,’is from a traditional gospel song.”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players

Lyrics

I’ve got twelve disciples and a Buddha smile
Garden of Allah, Viking Valhalla
A miracle once in a while

I’ve got a pantheon of animals in a pagan soul
Vishnu and Gaia, Aztec and Maya
Dance around my totem pole
Totem pole…

I believe in what I see
I believe in what I hear
I believe that what I’m feeling
Changes how the world appears

Angels and demons dancing in my head
Lunatics and monsters underneath my bed
Media messiahs preying on my fears
Pop culture prophets playing in my ears

I’ve got celestial mechanics
To synchronize my stars
Seasonal migrations, daily variations
World of the unlikely and bizarre

I’ve got idols and icons, unspoken holy vows
Thoughts to keep well-hidden
Sacred and forbidden
Free to browse among the holy cows

That’s why I believe

Angels and demons inside of me
Saviors and Satans all around me

Sweet chariot, swing low, coming for me

Tablature

By Keith Nelson (ob1gynob@hotmail.com)

Excerpted from XGuitar.

G G5 Gsus4 Gsus2
x x x 7 8 7 x x x 7 8 10 x x x 7 8 8 x x x 7 8 5

C Csus4 C/A Csus4/A
x 3 5 5 5 0 x 3 5 5 6 x x 0 5 5 5 0 x 0 5 5 6 x

C/G Csus4/G C/F Csus4/F
5 x 5 5 5 0 5 x 5 5 6 x 3 x 5 5 5 0 3 x 5 5 6 x

D(type 2) D Dsus4add9 A/D
0 0 0 2 3 2 x x 0 2 3 2 x x 0 0 5 3 x x 0 2 2 0

Em7 Cadd9 D7sus4
x x 2 0 3 3 x 3 2 0 3 3 x x 0 7 8 8

Gtr I (C G C F A D) – ‘Acoustic’
Gtr II (D G C F A D) – ‘Electric 1’
Gtr III (D G C F A D) – ‘Electric 2’
Gtr IV (D G C F A D) – ‘Electric 3 (natural harmonics)’

All notes sound one whole step lower than transcribed (key of Bb).
Chords sound one whole step lower than notation.

Intro
Q=120
G Gsus4 G5 G Gsus4 Gsus2
4/4
Gtr I
E S S +S S S S E S S E S S E S S +S S S S E S S E S S
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
/ / / / / / / / x x / x x / / / / / / / / x x / x x

Gtr II
W W
|—————————-|—————————-|
|—————————-|—————————-|
|—————————-|—————————-|
|—————————-|—————————-|
|—————————-|—————————-|
|—————————-|—————————-|

G Gsus4 Gsus2
E S S +S S S S E S S E S S
| | | | | | | | | | | | |
/ / / / / / / / x x / x x

W
|——————————|
|——————————|
|——————————|
|——————————|
|——————————|
|——————————|

Verse
G Gsus4 Gsus2 C Csus4 C
E S S +S S S S E S S E E E S S +S S S S E S S E S S
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
/ / / / / / / / x x / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

W E S S +S S S S Q Q
|————————–||——————————|
|————————–||o-5-5-5-(5)-5-5-5-6—–5—–|
|————————–||–5-5-5-(5)-5-5-5-5—–5—–|
|————————–||–5-5-5-(5)-5-5-5-5—–5—–|
|————————–||o—————————–|
|————————–||——————————|

C/A Csus4/C/A
E S S +S S S S E S S E S S
| | | | | | | | | | | | |
/ / / / / / / / / / / / /

E S S +S S S S Q Q
|——————————|
|-5-5-5-(5)-5-5-5-6—–5——|
|-5-5-5-(5)-5-5-5-5—–5——|
|-5-5-5-(5)-5-5-5-5—–5——|
|——————————|
|——————————|

C/G Csus4/C/G
E S S +S S S S E S S E S S
| | | | | | | | | | | | |
/ / / / / / / / / / / / /

E S S +S S S S Q Q
|—————————–|
|-5-5-5-(5)-5-5-5-6—–5—–|
|-5-5-5-(5)-5-5-5-5—–5—–|
|-5-5-5-(5)-5-5-5-5—–5—–|
|—————————–|
|—————————–|

For complete tab, go to XGuitar.

Tutorials

“Totem” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 14, 2011.

 
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