Only Two Can Play

by Doug Murphy/Paul Hamilton



This movie for your mind was improvised from soup to nuts in two short afternoons. Like their previous work with Bisonics, Hamilton & Murphy made this entire record up on the spot, with no rehearsal or pre-planning. In a way, this is the 'livest' record you will ever hear; not even the musicians knew what was going to happen. Everything you hear is done on the first take.


released July 4, 2011

Doug Murphy - guitars, bass, backing vocals.
Paul Hamilton - percussion, vocals.
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Jason Emberton, who also provided grandiloquent keyboardulizations on 'The Ancient Britons'.
Sleeve art by Stephanie Johnson of The Americas.
Written & Produced by Hamilton & Murphy.

Mr Potter Of Creep Street -
Someone's Got To Give -
168 -
I Was Happy Here -
Only You Can Play - (documentary)



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Track Name: Doug Murphy/Paul Hamilton - Mr Potter Of Creep St

Every Friday, 11.17, you can set your alarm
When Mr Potter is thrown out of The Queen's Arms
After ten pints and juggling the landlady's chihuahuas
Loses his balance on the kerb, squashing his bananas.
Lives round the corner on the first floor of 5 Creep Street
Only one visitor been across the threshold - Plumber Pete
To repair a boiler in '94 - in the merry month of May
He says he saw Mrs Potter that crisp and chilly day.
- He couldn't give an accurate description but no-one's seen her since
Although on the landing there's the scent of lavender and mince.

The word is Mr Potter's home is one ruled by iron-glove tyranny
And the neighbours whisper he made his pot with thin-grin villainy
Even the mites and earwigs slink about on tip-toe
Do the bathroom and kitchen taps dare to drip? No.
Even when he's out, Mrs Potter doesn't make a sound
The reason why is , despite her size, her feet don't touch the ground
No passer-by in Creep St. has ever seen her face
Poking through the curtain of tobacco-stained lace.
- Downstairs say when music's heard, fit for a rigadoon
Only one pair of feet is heard on the ceiling of their front room.

Mr Potter Saturday snoozes during the Gold Cup fixtures
As Mrs P walks through the wall to straighten all the pictures
And though the dinner table is only set for one
Mrs Potter is beside him to pass the time and parmesan.
Quinquagenarian, yes, but Mr and Mrs Potter still share the same bed
But there's no indentation on her pillow of her head
They're the half-living proof that true love is immortal
Mr Potter never speaks of it but we think he really ought to.
- He can see right through her and she can read his mind
They've got the best of both worlds; the real and undefined
Despite Mrs P passing on it was merely physically
Mr Potter never gave up the ghost; he still loves her spiritually.
Track Name: A Man For All Treasons

If I can avoid every crack in the pavement
And understand what the poems of Verlaine meant
If I can make five anagrams out of Alice B. Toklas
If I can keep my white shirt crease-free and spotless
Then she will appear to me topless
Then my situation won't be hopeless
Then she will fall in love with me
But that day will never be -

Unless I see a green car with an L reg plate
Recite the alphabet backwards with no hesitate-
Shun the unknown paper seller shouting "Wotcha, mate!"
If I keep my hands in my pockets when I open the gate
Then she will appear, not a second too late
And I'll be spared a life worse than fate
Cos she will fall in love with me
But that day will never be -

Until I count every railing on Coronation Road
Recite Derek & Clive's duologue about the Barking Toad
If I know how many times a piece of paper can fold
If I know how penicillin is derived from mould
Then she will offer her hand to hold
I'll be her action man, she'll be my doll
Then she will fall in love with me
But that day will never be -

Because I didn't catch the first leaf falling from that tree
I didn't brush up on rudimentary geometry
I never translated War & Peace into Swahili
I forgot the name of the hit song by Peters & Lee
I put my left sock on first instead of my right
I didn't charge my phone overnight
I failed to recognise the flags of all nations
I didn't take my hat off in the underground station
And that is why she
Will never fall in love with me
Track Name: The Uninvited Guest

When I walk in the park I stop photosynthesis
When I talk all you think is 'Halitosis'
The modern day Samuel Johnsons rip me out their diaries
And the professional wasters book themselves into The Priory.

The good times find the clock has stopped the second I arrive
The pro-life lobby's popularity takes a nose-dive
My threadbare yarns are ripe for cloth-ears' unpicking
And pacifists line up to give me a royal kicking.

I'm the flapping fly
Vomiting in your caviar
I make Alcoholics Anonymous
Make a bee-line for the bar

Razor-sharp witlings
Quickly cut their throats
Even the most stoic waiters
Hurry for their coats

Go to all points North, South, East and West
In the wide world party I'm the uninvited guest.

I pose for an artist and he tears out his eyes
The Worst Dressed Man hands me his treasured prize
The bent went straight and ladies turn lesbian
The internet goes dead whenever I log in.

I'm the flapping fly
Vomiting in your caviar
I make Alcoholics Anonymous
Make a bee-line for the bar

Go to all points North, South, East and West
In the wide world party I'm the uninvited guest.
Track Name: 168

Ticket number 156
Please go to counter 7
Ticket number 157
Please go to counter 4
Ticket number 158
Please go to counter 1
Ticket number 159
Please go to counter 5
Ticket number 160
Please go to counter 12
Ticket number 161
Please go to counter 3
Ticket number 162
Please go to counter 11
Ticket number 163
Please go to counter 2

I am number 168
How much longer must I wait?

Ticket number 164
Please go to counter 8
Ticket number 165
Please go to counter 10
Ticket number 166
Please go to counter 6
Ticket number 167
Please go to counter 9
Ticket number 167
Please go to counter 9
Ticket number 167
Please go to counter 9
Ticket number 169
Please go to counter 7
Ticket number 170
Please go to counter 4

I am number 168
How much longer must I wait?

Ticket number 171
Please go to counter 11
Ticket number 172
Please go to counter 7
Ticket number 173
Please go to counter 2
Ticket number 174
Please go to counter 1...
Track Name: Someone's Got To Give

Through the hole cut in the fence
No land of happy accidents
Scratch the shopping-, waiting-lists;
Resounding screams and pounding fists.
- Houses for sale
Bad news in the mail
Someone's got to give

Down the winding village lane
Through ornament-strewn window: pain
Quiet lives like candles snuffed
By the hand of injustice rough.
- Gardens need doing
Cups of tea are stewing
Someone's got to give

The urgency for things they wished
Are suddenly extinguished
The wallpaper, the holiday
Go with them into the clay.
- Homework unwritten
The pair of winter mittens
No-one needs to give

In the House they demand the facts,
And shout about the nut that cracked.
But there's no hero, no villain
Whitehaven, Dunblane, Enniskillen.
- It's so hard to make it
In the end you can't take it
And someone's got to give
Track Name: I Was Happy Here

Work is work and play is work and a child is work and love is work
Relaxing's work and shopping's work and food is work and thinking's work
Walking's work and talking's work and understanding's work and sleep is work
Communicating's work and hate is work and sex is work and nothing's work.

Ambition's work and failing's work and moving's work and staying's work
Strength is work and fear is work and the past is work and the future's work
Smoking's work and drinking's work, unemployment's work, enjoyment's work
Crime is work and driving's work and war is work and freedom's work

I was happy here
I was someone
I was no-one
I was happy here
I was happy here
I knew where I was going
I knew where I was staying
I was happy here
I was happy here
You were my friend
I was your friend
I was happy here
I was happy here

I was happy here
Track Name: Special

I was thinking of nothing special
the way I always do
when I recalled the bare room and the mattress
and spread across it was you
wearing my black Swedish navy long coat
and nothing underneath
trying to light my ancient Zippo
a joint clenched between your teeth
and I freaked out at the spider
as big as Tyson's fist
you casually tossed him out the window
with a flick of your wrist
and that bastard kept on phoning you
cos he knew you were with me
and you'd told him in lurid detail what we were doing
so he'd be wanking furiously
a bottle of Bombay Sapphire
rice and sushi on the floor
tasted, wasted, we embraced
new worlds to explore
we fell deeply in bed
that's how the cynic goes
but revelation is much more
than taking off your clothes
there was a deeper connection
more than I ever felt before
or since, if it comes to that
you touched me to the core
when I was broken down and used up
burnt out like an old light
you saved me when you held me
and got me through the night
three years we lived together
in maximum insecurity
but you finally had enough
of my possessive jealousy
I didn't ever want to lose you
but that's exactly what I did
I stopped treating you as an equal
but as a temperamental kid
and there's hardly a day goes by
that I don't regret
my catastrophic stupidity
but I won't forget
the gladness, madness and sadness
all tied up in you
I'm thinking of something special
the way I rarely do
Track Name: No Father, No Son
[No lyrics this time. Most often, a song is better said than read. It'll be more fun for you to try and decipher what's being warbled here.]
Track Name: The Ancient Britons

That old song you played, Used to make you feel great,
Used to shout it with your mates, Now only alienates
Isolated... Backdated
And all that pie in the sky, Well, you never got a slice
You got old before you died, There's so much you never tried
The dreams of youth - They've gone, just face the truth

First they laughed with you, then at you
Now they don't laugh at all
How do you feel after a lifetime climbing the ladder
And you're still so small
And asking, "Is that all?"

Stopwatching every step, Clocking who you met
Stacking up the debt, The hands of time are round your neck
And the mind state police - Choose when to say 'Release'
Friends one by one fall away, Were they friends anyway?
Your kids couldn't wait to escape, There's no return to yesterday
Just a cul-de-sac to travel on - Inching towards oblivion

Fly in any direction but all roads
Lead to an old jokes home
Stick your gods in the ground and stop crying
Over what you could never own
It's worn you down to the bone