A good man doesn't drink,
And I've been drinking alone.
So what does that make me?

My hands they always shake,
And no one's calling my phone.
So what does that make me?

And I know the kid with his guitar so drunk and anxious,
has been done to death but tell me what hasn't, I'll try it.
Because I'm selfish enough to want to get better,
But I'm backwards enough not to take any steps to get there.

And when you realize it's a pattern and not a phase,
It's what you've become and it's what you will stay,
That's ballgame.

Cause I don't got room in my life for anyone else.
And I've driven away all the people that could help.
And I still don't even know what I need to do to fix myself.

And there's a clamp around my chest
That tightens every time I lapse into another sorry story,
About my miserable collapse;
A bronze box I keep encased in glass and dust off whenever I want your pity.

Cause lately I've had to come to grips with scope and figure.
How my problems stack up in a world two steps from ruin,
or maybe it's rapture.
Well either way I realize that my shit's about as small as it could be,
but that makes me feel worse for even feeling this bad in the first place.

Cause there's a war starting soon and all the flags will be waving,
Daniel's twenty year old friend will be ready, and willing, and waiting.
He's a marine and he told me.
And it makes me sad, really really fucking sad,
But at least he'll act.

I'll just bite my tongue and then say
"Daniel you wish him luck, I'll pray that he comes back for his mother's sake,"
And then I'll drink those thoughts away,
I've gotten good at that.

Cause when you realize it's a pattern and not a phase,
It's what you've become and it's what you will stay,
That's ballgame.
Yeah when you realize it's a pattern and not a phase,
it's what you've become and it's what you will stay, that's ballgame.


Lyrics submitted by jessay, edited by kayceejayree

Ballgame song meanings
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35 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentBecause i'm selfish enough to want to get better,
    but i'm backwards enough not to take any steps to get there.
    And when you realize it's a pattern and not a phase,
    it's what you've become and it's what you will stay,
    that's the ballgame.


    I love these words so much.
    this song makes me sh sh sh shake. i love it.
    <3.
    singingyoushipwreckon May 27, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThere's nothing in this song that needs to be weighed out. Take what he's saying, feel it out, and leave it go. This song is ABSOLUTELY beautiful, equal to Bright Eyes - Laura Laurent, Brand New - Untitled #1.Simple, true, and honest. Simply put, stop making stupid assumptions about things that aren't even yours to talk about in the first place.
    cadencebrhon March 11, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentman, i just love how he can be brutally honest about himself in this one. i mean he makes it clear that hes messed up in the first part, and then in the second part he lets you know that its purely self-pity and that its lame for him to ask others to pity him as well, but he does it anyway. and just the main line is so wise. man, kevin devine is one of the few true lyrical geniuses out there.
    theguy77on September 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti'm not going to quote any lines or making this long and drawn out. but i feel the need to say this song will forever be laid as one of kevin's shaky most defining songs.

    he deserves more recognition.
    drinkliquidclockson July 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with the above comment totally. I should also add that the lines about Daniel's friend going to war is less about politics and more about a bigger picture, which is that there are problems far greater than his "own shit", and he knows it. He acknowledges them, and it definitely makes him sad...but he forgets all that once he's back to his old 'pattern' of drinking and self-pity again and again.
    deadfinchon October 25, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti just love how honest kevin is. that's a big strength, being able to be so self aware and honest with yourself. i think it's a big part of what we love about his music.
    invertedcompasson November 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentis a downward spiral

    you're f*cked, so you start feeling f*cked for being f*cked, and that just f*cks you more.. so, you're f*cked

    is a chronic disease, you can't get out and nobody can get you out..

    have to be there to comprehend
    calskiaon April 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Well either way i realize that my shits about as small as it could be, but that makes me feel worse for even feeling this bad in the first place."

    amazing line, nice boy.
    jessayon April 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I know the kid with his guitar so drunk and anxious,
    it's been done to death but tell me what hasn't, i'll try it."

    Anyone else aware of Kevin's former band, Miracle of 86? I have a feeling that this song is about him deciding to go solo and the dilemmas that go with it.

    It took a while for this song to grow on me, but it did. The whole "Daniel's twenty year old friend" line just grabs you... Yep...
    helenripson May 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfavourite kevin devine song. so good.
    RuthLesson August 25, 2005   Link

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