Only Two Can Play

by 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.
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
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.
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...
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
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
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
[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.]
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 ROLL UP, ROLL UP, ROLL UP, JOIN THE ANCIENT BRITONS ROLL UP, ROLL UP ROLL UP, JOIN THE ANCIENT BRITONS


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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