Carve Away the Stone

Background and Commentary

It’s easy to tell people who keep making the same mistake to come to terms with their guilt (chip away the stone), but it’s another matter to take your own advice and apply it to your own repeated mistakes (if you could just move your stone, I could get working on my own).

There are competing interpretations of the Sisyphean myth, but the one that seems to make the most sense in the context of the song is Albert Camus’ in his book The Myth of Sisyphus. In this extended essay, Sisyphus is seen as personifying the absurdity of the human condition but is ultimately heroic because the task of carrying the stone up the hill is meaningful to Sisyphus while he’s doing it, which is about all you can ask for in life.

“The subject of idols (as in ‘Totem’) comes up in the line “make a graven image with some features of your own.’ In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a wicked king whom the gods punished by having him push a giant rock up and down a hill in Hades. Every time he’d get to the top, the rock would roll back down again.”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players

Other rock bands have tackled Sisyphus. Chicago released Stone of Sisyphus a few years ago, although the core tracks were recorded in 1993 but never released. And Pink Floyd released a four-part imstrumental called Sisyphus in its 1969 album Ummagumma.

Lyrics

You can roll that stone
To the top of the hill
Drag your ball and chain behind you

You can carry that weight
With an iron will
Or let the pain remain behind you

Chip away the stone
(Sisyphus)
Chip away the stone
Make the burden lighter
If you must roll that rock alone

You can drive those wheels
To the end of the road
You will still find the past right behind you
Try to deny
The weight of the load
Try to put the sins of the past night behind you

Carve away the stone
(Sisyhpus)
Carve away the stone
Make a graven image
With some features of your own

You call roll the stone
To the top of the hill
You can carry that weight
With an iron will
You can drive those wheels
To the end of the road
You can try to deny
The weight of the load

Roll away the stone
(Sisyhpus)
Roll away the stone
If you could just move yours
I could get working on my own

Tablature (Bass)

By Don Dianetti and Sean Jones

Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.

W w H e e q e e e e e e e e e e e
||—-9 mm—-|—-r-|—-r-|—-r-|———————-|————-
||-4:-rest—-|-6:-e-|-4:-e-|-3:-e-|-5:——————-|————-
||-4:———|-4:-s-|-4:-s-|-4:-s-|-4:-5-3-5-5-5-5-5-3-3-|-5-3-5-5-5—
||————|—-t-|—-t-|—-t-|———————-|————-

e e e q e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e q e e e q e Q Q
——–|———————|——————-|———————
——5-|———————|—————–5\|-7:——————
7-7-7—|-5-3-5-5-5-5-5-5-3-3-|-5-3-5-5-5-7-7-7—|-4:-8-8-8-5-5-7——
——–|———————|——————-|—————-7—-

q e e e q e q q e e e q e Q Q q e e e q e e e q e
–|——————|——————–|——————–|——–
–|-5:————-5-|-7:—————–|-5:—————–|-7:—–
–|-4:-8-8-8-5-5-7—|-4:-8-8-8-5-5-7—–|-4:-8-8-8-5-5——-|-4:-8—
5-|——————|—————-7-5-|————–5-3-5-|——–

e e q e Q Q q e e e q e q q e e e q e Q Q q e e e q e
————–|——————|——————–|—————–
————–|-5:————-5-|-7:—————–|-3:————–
8-8-5-5-7—–|-4:-8-8-8-5-5-7—|-4:-8-8-8-5-5-7—–|-4:-8-8-8-5-5—-
———-7-5-|——————|—————-7-5-|—————–

e e q e q e e e e e q e q e q h h w h h H q
||———————|—————-||—-7-6-|-4-|-7-6-|——|—-
||*-5:—————–|—————*||-4:—–|—|—–|-7—-|—-
||*-4:———0-0—–|———0-0-3-*||-4:—–|—|—–|——|—-
||—–5-3-5-5—–3-3-|-5-3-5-5——–||——–|—|—–|—12\|—-

For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.

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~ by rvkeeper on February 15, 2011.

 
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