"The Easy Mark & the Old Maid" as written by and Kevin Patrick Devine....
Some men collapse at the racetrack
Their wrong and beat up, their eyes black
Others wilt in casinos
Roll dice and piss away speedboats
Some dissolve into bar stools
Scratched off in boxes and playoff pools
I spent myself on a psychic
I lost my way and a friend said she would find it
Man, we were wrong.
Man, we were wrong.
I asked for the future,
She only sang me a song.

Some men they go make their own luck
Grow fat from feeding on lame ducks
The easy mark and the old maid
The invalid and the ingrate
Others wait for that high sign
Some holy hoax in the tree-line
Me, I'm counting my canned food
Bunkered down waiting out our slingshot moods
But what if I'm wrong?
What if I'm wrong?
I'll open my doors up
People, come sweep me along.

Eyes are fixed and my palms are spread
Dissonance floats my shipwrecked head
God sleeps in the Gaza strip
And man alone's left alone to live with it
The coin-flip faith of the optimist
It's beginners luck in a sewing kit
What's to do when there is no fix
On the unflinching ambivalence?

But you say that's wrong
Hopeless and wrong
We re-thread your needle,
You say, "God, play along."


Lyrics submitted by derekgaughan

"The Easy Mark & the Old Maid" as written by Kevin Patrick Devine

Lyrics © THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY

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The Easy Mark & the Old Maid song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentwell he's obviously talking about luck and how it seems everyone really has no luck. The real luck comes from doing real things that don't take chance into consideration.
    johnmorision October 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe the last two lines are long. It should be "Well, rethread your needle / For your sake, I'll play along."

    I believe this is a song mourning the random, chaotic nature of the world. There's the metaphor of "the easy mark & the old maid" discussed throughout; to me it generates an image of an old lady who isn't particularly good at sewing/needling, but the point is easy enough so she can still complete the task. The line "The coin-flip faith of the optimist / It's beginner's luck in a sewing kit" is connecting the main theme to the metaphor I just discussed. Essentially, the message appears to be that life is erratic and indifferent, and that faith in an ordered universe where one achieves everything they want to is basically fooling one's self into naive optimism. The speaker notices this about whoever he's addressing in this song ("I asked for the future, she only sang me a song"), but doesn't wish to burden that person with the realistic but painful knowledge he's discovered. He expresses this heavy skepticism about order (and consequently, God - "Others wait for that high sign / Some holy hoax in the tree-line") but he also admits that as a human being, he is capable of fallacy ("What if I'm wrong?") and also realizes that his realistic point of view is considered "hopeless and wrong" to the person he's addressing, so he decides to "play along" so as to keep him/her happy. Basically, ignorance is bliss and he's going to maintain the current state of affairs.

    Man, this song is depressing. But honestly, that's *exactly* how I feel about the world. I wish I could fool myself into believing in an ordered, structured universe where everything is planned out and someone or something is watching out for all of us... but I truly feel that the universe is completely indifferent to my existence.
    SoldYourSoulon January 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe the last two lines are WRONG***
    SoldYourSoulon January 04, 2011   Link

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