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  1. Playing the Game

From the recording A Salt and Battery

Lyrics

Playing the Game

There’s a sickness running through the land
A buttoned-down mind with an open hand
Here to spread the wisdom of the ancient
To cure the ill, you’ve got to bleed the patient
But the doctor here is a double agent

Stepping on hands as you climb the ladder
Telling yourself that it does not matter
You’ve gone too far, too far to stop
And if you stroke ‘em right, they will carry you up
But can you keep your balance when you get to the top?

And it’s oh, so far for a body to fall
If you’d just played it straight, you could’ve had it all
Oh, how it breaks your father’s heart to know you bear his name
But that don’t mean much to you – you’re only playing the game

Fat on blood wrung from alimony,
Ambulance chases and palimony
The bottom line is what it’s all about
The money’s there, if you can sniff it out
You just play on fear and doubt for a percent of the gate

And it’s oh, so far for a body to fall
If you’d just played it straight, you could’ve had it all
Oh, how it breaks your father’s heart to know you bear his name
But that don’t mean much to you – you’re only playing the game

Can you remember back to the beginning?
Oh, baby, was there ever more to life than winning?
You know the angles and the dirty tricks
And if the cards fall right, there’s always politics
But if they catch you and it sticks, you’ve got the piper to pay

And it’s oh, so far for a body to fall
If you’d just played it straight, you could’ve had it all
Oh, how it breaks your father’s heart to know you bear his name
But that don’t mean much to you – you’re only playing the game

© 1989, 2006 Robert M. Shaffer, William J. Fowler