The Resurrectionist

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2006
Original album - Format
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - bonus track with single "I'm with Stupid"

At one time mentioned for possible inclusion on Fundamental, Neil and Chris later decided to make this truly outstanding synth-rocking track a bonus on the first single from that album, "I'm with Stupid." As with "Girls Don't Cry," they were still working on it as late as mid-February 2006. It was inspired, according to Neil, by Sarah Wise's 2004 book The Italian Boy: Murder and Graverobbing in 1830s London, itself based on an actual historical criminal case. The song takes its title from a darkly humorous nickname given to nineteenth-century graverobbers who supplied medical schools with cadavers: "resurrectionists."

Neil's lyrics assume that same darkly humorous tone, reveling in perverse wordplay, including some rather macabre puns. For example, when two gentlemen in the same trade talk shop, the narrator notes, "We talked the same body language." The chorus concludes with the recurring flawed but nonetheless apt couplet:

We all gotta earn ourselves a living
All it takes is a little bit of digging

Elsewhere "a handsome lad lay in a Hansom cab." And, at the end, the best/worst of them all:

We don't bring them back to life
But we do bring them back from the dead

Now, how many other contemporary musical acts would have dared to write and release a song on such a perversely fascinating subject? Or, for that matter, would have even thought of it?

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