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The Clash Songs - The Card Cheat Lyrics

The Card Cheat Lyrics By The Clash Songs Album: London Calling Year: 1979 There's a solitary man crying, hold me It's only because he's a-lonely If the ke

The Clash - The Card Cheat
The Clash - The Card Cheat


The Clash - The Card Cheat Lyrics and Youtube Music Videos

Album: London Calling
Released: 1979

The Card Cheat Lyrics


There's a solitary man crying, hold me
It's only because he's a-lonely
If the keeper of time runs slowly
He won't be alive for long!

If he only had time to tell of all of the things he planned
With a card up his sleeve, what would he achieve?
It means nothing!

To the opium den and the barroom gin
In the Belmont chair playing violins
The gambler's face cracks into a grin
As he lays down the king of spades

But the dealer just stares
There's something wrong here, he thinks
The gambler is seized and forced to his knees
And shot dead

He only wanted more time
Away from the darkest door
But his luck it gave in
As the dawn light crept in
And he lay on the floor

From the Hundred Year War to the Crimea
With a lance and a musket and a Roman spear
To all of the men who have stood with no fear
In the service of the King

Before you met your fate be sure you
Did not forsake your lover
May not be around anymore

There's a solitary man crying, hold me
It's only because he's a-lonely
If the keeper of time runs slowly
He won't be alive for long!

Writer/s: JOE STRUMMER, MICK JONES, PAUL SIMONON, TOPPER HEADON
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

The Card Cheat
  • Lead singer Joe Strummer, who wrote the lyrics to the song, noted in promotional interviews for the album that he had been reading the poetry of Sylvia Plath, and the darkness of her writing could well have been an influence on the dark lyrics of "The Card Cheat."
  • The song was recorded late in the London Calling sessions, and by this time according to reports, producer Guy Stevens was so inebriated he was unable to work most of the time, so guitarist Mick Jones was producing the recordings along with engineer Bill Price. It was Mick's idea to have everything in this song double-tracked, to create a Phil Spector-style "wall-of-sound" feel to the instrumentation ("That's the secret, two of everything" he said in a 1991 interview).
  • The lyrics continue the same themes of an outsider in society as other songs that proceeded it on the album, notably "Jimmy Jazz," "Rudie Can't Fail" and "Wrong 'Em Boyo." Contrasting to those other songs, however, "The Card Cheat" is incredibly downbeat, with the jaunty piano tunes contrasting with the lyrics about a lonely gambler finally running out of luck and being murdered in a card game ("The gambler is seized and forced to his knees and shot dead. He only wanted more time away from his darkest door, but his luck, it gave in").
  • The song features a horn section written and performed by The Irish Horns, who recorded all of the horn instrument sections on the London Calling album.
  • Due to the complexity of the backing track compared to the band's very spartan stage show, the song was never performed live by the Clash.

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