Monday, August 3, 2009
Here's a synthpop song about body snatchers, which appeared as a b-side to the Pet Shop Boys single I'm with Stupid, from their 2006 album Fundamental (though "The Resurrectionist" does not appear on the album). "It's inspired by this book I read called The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830s London by Sarah Wise, which is about how, in the early nineteenth century, people called resurrectionists used to dig up corpses and sell them to hospitals for medical research," Neil Tennant told the PSB fanzine Literally (as quoted on Pet Shop Boys at dead of night). "That was the only way they could get bodies to dissect them. . . . When we work in our London studio I walk from the tube through Smithfield Market; there's a fantastic description of Smithfield in the book, and there's a pub where the resurrectionists used to go and there's actually a plaque now which mentions them." The song mentions two real-life pubs that were notorious resurrectionist hangouts, the King of Denmark and the Fortune of War. The lyrics are macabrely witty (We've all got to earn ourselves a living/All it takes is a little bit of digging) and concludes with the observation We don't bring them back to life/But we do bring them back/From the dead.