"The Great Pretender" as written by and Buck Ram....

(Cling-cling-cling piano intro.)

Oh-oh yes, I'm the Great Pretender (ooh-ooh ooh-ooh),
Pretending that I'm doing well.
(Pianist goes manic.)

Singer: [Spoken] Just a moment, PLEASE! You on the PIANO, what are you DOING?
Pianist: Well man, I just play a little oo-ba-ba-doo, like oo-ba-ba-ba oo-ba-ba-ba... see, I think there's a mistake on my part, I've got the same chord over and over like, er, cling-cling-cling cling-cling-cling cling...
Singer: [Spoken] That's right! That's RIGHT!
Pianist: You want me to play the same thing all through the song?
Singer: [Spoken] You catch on FAST!
Pianist: Wow... (plays cling-cling-cling again)

My need is such, I pretend too much,
I'm lonely but no one can tell...
(Pianist plays very duff chord.)

Pianist: Man, you scared me, don't do that.

OH-OH, yes, I'm the Great Pretender (ooh-ooh ooh-ooh),
Adrift in a world of my own.
(Pianist goes melodic again.)
Watch it! (Pianist reverts.) That's BETTER!
I play the game and you'd better play it too,
Or we're gettin' a new piano man.
Pianist: [Sung] That's all right with me... (ooh-ooh ooh-ooh)

Too real is this feelin' of make-believe (ooh-ooh ooh-ooh),
Too real what I feel, what my heart can't conceal.
Oh-oh-oh oh-oh-oh oh-oh-oh oh-oh-oh yes, I'm the Great Pre---
(Pianist goes manic again; singer whistles; pianist reverts.)
---tender (ooh-ooh ooh-ooh)
Just laughin' and gay like a clown.
Pianist: My hand is fallin' off, man.
I seem to be what I'm not, you see,
I'm wearing my heart like a crown.
Pianist: Ah, what a drag.
Pretending that you're still around.
(Pianist goes all oo-ba-ba-doo once again.)

Singer: [Spoken] Well, just a moment! Just a moment, PLEASE!
Pianist: I thought you were through, man.
Singer: [Spoken] No, NO!
Pianist: Well I won't play that lick no more, man. I come from a different school, like shearing Erroll Garner style, (he plays) dig man oo-ba oo-bi-ah-bi-oo-bi-ah...
Singer: [Spoken] Hold it! That's not gonna sell the records!
Pianist: Man don't bug me, I don't wanna play that cling-cling-cling jazz.
Singer: [Spoken] You play that cling-cling-CLING jazz, or you won't get PAID tonight!
(Pause; pianist plays cling-cling-cling.)
Singer: [Spoken] Well all RIGHT!

Too real is this feelin' of make-be-e-lie-ie-ie-ie-ie-ve (ooh-ooh ooh-ooh),
Too real what I feel, what my heart can't concea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-eal,
Oh yes, I'm the Great
Singer: [Spoken] You see how lovely that turned out now? That's a DARLING part!
I 'PREciate it!
(Pianist plays cling-cling-cling faster and faster.)
---and gay like a clown,
I seem---
Singer: [Spoken] Hold it!
I seem---
Singer: [Spoken] Slow down!
I seem---
Singer: [Spoken] RETARD!
Pianist: Don't stop me now, man, I got to where I like it.
Singer: [Spoken] Stop it! Stop it, I say! I'm gettin' OUT of here!
(Door shuts.)
Singer: [Spoken] He ruined the ENDING, one of the LOVELIEST parts in the whole---
(Door opens; brief snare drum run; door shuts again.)
Singer: [Spoken] ---PIECE!
Backing: The whole piece...

Lyrics submitted by JohnnyLurg

The Great Pretender song meanings
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