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Guru of the Bones

from Chines by Ian Evans

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Back in 2006, I recorded a demo of this tune which was a lot longer. I always thought the chorus was good but it needed to be in a more manageable song. This new version has fewer parts but more instruments overdubbed.

I've put the full lyrics below, even though they didn't all fit into the new version... They're a dreamlike jumble about the museums I visit. (Quite a few references came from Dr. Richard Fortey's brilliant book about the eccentric history of the Natural History Museum).


A large world of wonders, in one closet shut
What other professor than nature is met?
John Hunter’s collection
The Evelyn tables
Moved to South Ken from the Barber surgeons
Every tool has two ends working - One on the man and one on the specimen

Ga coffins in Ghana
Ellis Inhalor
Chris Curry versus Clive Sinclair, at the Baron of Beef

Bairstow was too perfectionist to publish
Stuck in a diving suit, he walked up Knightsbridge to seek help
Polite and moustached
Filing string too small to use
Peter Purves survived a fall into the stripping tank when drunk
Then lead the Tetrapod Club to the Goat pub

Peter Whitehead was full of fish bile, but seduced each and every girl
Breakfast from beyond Oxford, in first class
Took his brother to court for the Lordship and wrote a satire on the corporate masters
Discovered a lost Mozart score
Disappeared to die in Mexico with a beautiful girl
Heron Alan the violin maker and flowery novelist
Persian linguist
Keeper of the cursed, baleful amethyst

Alan Hart’s cast of the Koh-i-Noor
Never throw a thing away
Digging the guru of the bones out of Lincoln’s Inn fray
Towers of NHM are the furthest reaches of Gormenghast
You could go mad Lankester
Like the man on the Clapham omnibus

Gavin de Beers - fleeing burning breakfasts, as they say
A collapse of stout party, recorded by Richard Fortey

Denis Tucker was fired for Nessie
Anagram ploy
I was into Touchstone and Magenta a lot (although they are cheesy)
Ha ha thisaway, ha ha thataway,ha ha thisaway, my oh my!

Victoria Coren...
Harry Eastwood’s cakes...


from Chines, released October 19, 2019


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Ian Evans UK

Pop/experimental/rock musician and songwriter from London

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