The Game

by Ronan Conroy

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1.
The Game 03:55
I walked along the mall And all that I could hear Was the game - game - game - game - game In the bars and in the stalls In the parks and on the walls That don’t interest me, oh no, no I lost all credibility For lying down With the lion - lion - lion - lion - lion Yeh well that’s ok with me I don’t need your faith in me It’s pretty shaky from time to time Oh no, not this place again Oh no, no, no, no Oh no, it’s the source of my shame Oh no, not your face again Oh no, no, no, no Oh no, it’s so lined with pain Faces disappear Into the fog - into thin air Into shadows - into the trees Just a memory Fading imagery Something twisting down in your gut Oh no, not this place again Oh no, no, no, no Oh no, it’s the source of my shame Oh no, not this place again Oh no, no, no, no Oh no, the streets are lined with pain
2.
How long, Kitty, could I wait for you, darling? What we had would live forever: so you said But I won’t live forever I’m dying every day Some day, baby, we will both be dead anyway I’m so lonely - can’t you understand this Oh it makes me such a fool Mistakes that I’ve made cannot be unmade Sometimes, baby, there’s a price to be paid You’ve only one life in your sweet body, babe Can’t waste your time with just anyone I don’t understand what you’re telling me With your memories, silence and mythology, baby Turn off my phone - I don’t want to hear from you anymore All I want is to be left alone Turn it on ‘case she’s calling through But I think I’m going to make her sit there like you made me do Can’t anybody ever just see things through? I’ve only one life in my body Can’t waste my time with just anyone So I don’t understand what I’m doing with her Full of memories of you and our mythology, baby, please, please
3.
I got a dream where I can see your face And I can hear your voice I can put the question clearly in the first place And we both still have a choice I go right into a cold sweat Just to think of what we said All the stupid things I told her And who she has not spoke with yet She smiled so sweetly Her arms they greet me I could not say a word Except “Oh Mercy, Oh Lord” There is no answer for these useless feelings that I burn with There is no answer for these useless things that I yearn for There is no answer for these useless questions I torture myself with There is no answer! There’s no answer! There’s no answer! There’s no! I got a place I’d like to go to Where all my sins have been absolved Break right through that speechless tension in the first place And all my problems have been solved She smiled so sweetly Her arms they greet me I could not say a word Except “Oh Mercy, Oh Lord” There is no answer for these useless feelings that I burn with There is no answer for these useless things that I yearn for There is no answer for these useless questions I torture myself with There is no answer! There’s no answer! There’s no answer! There’s n
4.
Limitless numbers of this talentless tanless thankless thoughtless whiteface Millions of mournful catholic bells toll down He’s got six cans and a bottle of liquor Man standing on the corner Fascinated by his shoes Nothing to do - his hands behind his back I got nothing to say about that Bums on the corners, sleeping in doorways Drinking in the morning Rest your head on a bag of beer-cans Flag for the city and flag for the state What are they so proud about? Fishing in the river with the baby in the pram Corpse and garbage in the water Sign reads “rats spread disease. It’s fatal so no diving please” Pathetic little gardens in the basement airshaft Block next door’s a torn-down ruin Bums on the corners, sleeping in doorways Drinking in the morning Rest your head on a bag of beer-cans Vomit in the corners, guns in the morning Knives in the evening, shooting up in the side-streets
5.
Princess in her wedding dress has taken my breath away I never believed she could be so beautiful And she won’t be coming around here any more I guess Beginning to doubt her truthfulness Sweet Magdalena - she is out there somewhere tonight Perhaps not so far from her home She doesn’t care what is wrong, what is right As she sleeps with her lover - dead Ramon What good is it to try forget? No good to remember The Princess, the coke whore, and Magdalena The coke whore is snorting from the first of her friend As the drinkers of absinthe gather again At the end of an alley, at the end of the night She’ll come to me and say “please do it right” What good is it to try forget? No good to remember The Princess, the coke whore, and Magdalena
6.
I’ve been waiting, been taking my time But now I’m losing, I’m losing my mind Trying to walk this line Trying to keep myself in line I’ve been waiting, waiting so patiently But now I’m losing, I’m losing my sanity And no I aint got what I need I’ve got everything I need I’ve got everything I need I’ve got everything I need I’ve got everything I need but I aint got what I need Oh no, oh no no Some say it’s easy to tell wrong from right Just like it’s easy to tell black from white But I do not feel like that I hope they never feel like I did last night I’ve been chasing, chasing a melody Some days it’s easy, the next it gets so slippery It’s so hard to grip I think I’m going to make a slip Oh figure it out, figure it out, figure it out! You got to figure it out, figure it out! Oh figure it out, you better figure it out, figure it out! Oh figure it out, figure it out. I’ve got everything I need I’ve got everything I need I’ve got everything I need I’ve got everything I need but I aint got what I need Oh no, I aint got what I need Oh no, I aint got what I, what I need
7.
Oh, so long, insidious city of sin I can’t believe some of the states I’ve been in Beautiful stories ending before they begin Shimmering coins turned into tin But it’s alright now I’m all cried out We’ve all night, now, to make it alright I trampled so heavy, so eager on all I believed Sleeping with evil and keeping a card up my sleeve As soon as I got back I was trying so hard to leave Bury the corpses in bed - there was no time to grieve Oh but it’s alright now I’m all cried out We’ve all night, now, to make it alright The long walk The drunk talk The drink-sick morning and the race for the mic crown The adulation of the sodden pub crowd “The moon weeped; the empty heart heaved the hollow horn” The racetrack and no way back The mirrorball and the long haul The losing streak, the early peak Judgment of peers and the blind seeking of seers The Valley of Tears Little Smoke, and the Prison of Fears Oh it’s alright now I’m all cried out We’ve all night, now, to make it alright Come on my children, my passengers, time to mount up Time has been ticking, I’m picking my pieces all up Some I will carry; some I will toss in the cup that the blind city holds out to me as I climb up in the stirrup Yeh it’s alright now I’m all cried out We’ve all night, now, to make it alright Oh it’s alright now I’m all cried out We’ve all night, now We’ve all night, now to make it alright
8.
One cage or another at the end of the day One day or another and it’s always the same And I can’t quit And I don’t quit And I won’t quit because One cage or another, I’m a perfect fit I wanted to ask about the bandana on your head You were young and naive then - it’s not what I would have said But I don’t ask and I won’t ask and I can’t ask because One word or another, you’d have nothing to say I looked in your eyes today but I didn’t find anything there Made me so sad to see that - I wish that I didn’t care And I don’t know why I try to make you see things my way Because one way or another it’s all your way It’s all your way It’s all your way It this really all you wanted from life? This sham, this show, this empty shell? Because if so, then no wonder that you’re so much better at it than I’ll ever be I was singing and playing when the silence returned I had to to put the guitar down before I’d even finished the words And I can’t move and I can’t sing; I can’t play my guitar because One word or another, there is nothing in it One day or another, there is nothing in it One cage or another, I’m a perfect fit
9.
Is it right or wrong? Find it hard to leave Think I could belong Think I could believe Aching true Or meaningless Point of view Or the edge of bliss? What’s real? What’s not? They’re only talking ‘cause they haven’t got What’s right? What’s wrong? I think I knew the answer all along Seek your thief Seek him out Wake and weep When the truth comes out I’m not trying to explain Oh no - not this time If I can’t speak a word of this in sentences that can make sense How can I sing the heart of this in rhyme? What’s real? What’s not? They’re only talking ‘cause they haven’t got What’s wrong? What’s right? Oh they think everything is black and white What’s real? What’s not? They’ve nearly taken everything I’ve got What’s right? What’s wrong I think I knew the answer all along
10.
When I Was a Little Child in the cradle I saw Colours Before blue had a label On the walls of hall through which I was moving And the shade of that baby blue was so soothing When I Was a Young man At the university Late one Evening Painter Tried to show me How at sunset the colours met on the flagpoles And the colours he showed me were blue and yellow One day I showed A friend Something I’d been working on I Told her It had Taken me six weeks To show one way how I see the colours meeting And the way that she looked at me said I was crazy One day I played This song Blue and yellow They stood Listening They did Not get it all And the way that they played it made me so lonely I took it inside where it is blue and yellow
11.
Don’t you know how they are playing you? They have got you cornered And everything you think you knew They’re ripping it asunder We were going nowhere fast Now we’re going there much faster Beyond the point of pointlessness But it really doesn’t matter Let it slip away or they’ll take it, they’ll take it from you It really doesn’t matter now - don’t try to fight the truth… I’ll tell you what I know is true I’ll get a song out of this That’s something that I can do But you probably never noticed I am doing all I can To keep this thing together But maybe you don’t give a damn Perhaps that’s for the better Let it slip away… I’m giving this thing all I got But nothing lasts forever The past it catches up on you That link is hard to sever Time catches up to you He catches you in the alley He’s got a jug of cheap red wine Says “it doesn’t matter anyway” Let it slip away… Your friends all abandoned you, They left you in the valley When everything was going wrong But they are not your family Your family got nothing good To say to or about you Sadly, they don’t really care What happens to you anyway Let it slip away… The only thing they want to know What can you do for them lately And you can’t understand Why they talk to you so hatefully They are not the problem They are not to blame They are just following instructions For how to play the game Let it slip away…
12.
You: you’re younger, it’s true But are you a fool too? I said I asked not, so how can I fault you? We, right at the start, trusted our hearts Then, when we met again, spoke about how far If it’s anything to you, better take action soon You know what it conquers, but never for fools The only thing that is far is the place where I now go Not a thing I can do but pack up my sorrows If it’s anything to you, better take action soon You know what it conquers, yeh, but never for fools If it’s anything to you, better take action soon You know what it conquers, but never for fools

credits

released February 28, 2015

SONG CREDITS
Music and lyrics by Ronan Conroy
Vocals by Ronan Conroy
Guitars by Ronan Conroy, except #1 (lead guitar by Ronan Conroy, rhythm guitars by Ronan Conroy and Charles Nieland)
and #12 (lapsteel guitar by Charles Nieland, other guitars by Ronan Conroy)
Virtual church organ on #1 by Charles Nieland
Virtual hammond organ on #2, #5 by Charles Nieland
Synths on #6, #7 by Charles Nieland
Virtual mellotron on #6 and #12 by Charles Nieland
Virtual rhodes and piano on #8 by Charles Nieland
Virtual harmonium on #11 by Charles Nieland
Rhodes piano on #2 by Charles Nieland
Piano on #4, #6, #7 by Charles Nieland
Harmonica on #2, #5 by Ronan Conroy
Bass guitar on #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #8, #9, #10, #11, and #12 by Charles Nieland
Percussion on #1, #3, #4, #8, #9 and #10 by Charles Nieland
Drums on #1, #3, #5, #6, #8, #10 and #12 by Justin Wierbonski
Drums on #2 and #11 by Charles Nieland
Drums on #4 and #9 by Chealsea Conroy

PRODUCTION AND MASTERING CREDITS
Produced and engineered by Charles Nieland at Capture Sound Studios, Brooklyn, New York between April 2013 and August 2014
Mastered by Fred Kevorkian at Avatar Studios, Manhattan, New York in October 2014

Thanks to the artists who appeared on the album:
Charles Nieland, Justin Wierbonski and Chealsea Conroy
Thanks to Fred Kevorkian for another stellar mastering job
Special thanks to Charles Nieland for your continued inspiration and support

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