Where do we go from here now that all of the children are grown up
And how do we spend our lives if there's no-one to lend us a hand

I don't want to live here no more,
I don't want to stay
Ain't gonna spend the rest of my life,
Quietly fading away

Games people play,
You take take it or you leave it
Things that they say,
Aren't right
If I promise you the Moon and the Stars,
Would you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Where do we go from here now that all of the children have grown up
And how do we spend our time knowin' nobody gives us a damn

I don't want to live here no more,
I don't want to stay
Ain't gonna spend the rest of my life,
Quietly fading away

Games people play,
You take take it or you leave it
Things that they say,
Just don't make it right
If I'm tellin' you the truth right now,
Do you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Games people play,
You take take it or you leave it
Things that they say,
Aren't right
If I promise you the Moon and the Stars,
Would you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night

Games people play,
You take take it or you leave it
Things that they say,
Just don't make it right
If I'm tellin' you the truth right now,
Do you believe it
Games people play in the middle of the night


Lyrics submitted by Ice, edited by RobotechMaster

Games People Play song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

19 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General Comment

    Since "The Turn of a Friendly Card" is a concept album dealing with gambling, this song isn't about any relationship. It's about why people begin to gamble. Everybody else has grown up and you still haven't achieved anything because you always wait for destiny to solve problems for you.

    Ihlenamon August 21, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think it's more about a couple that has lost the feelings towards each other a long time ago, but kept together for their childs sake.

    Now that they've grown up, and maybe even left home they wonder what to do now. They have been left to themselves, the kids won't even call them (how do we spend our lives knowin' nobody gives us a damn)

    Should they try to revive the long lost sparks? But how could they, if they've come to know each other so well, so they can't even lie about it (If I promise you the Moon and the Stars, Would you believe it?).

    The only thing that's clear is that he's not willing to Quietly fade away, so he want's to leave.

    Don't think he'll do it, dough. Inertia is a powerful state.

    Prometeoon August 30, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    The lyrics never indicate whose children. Where do we go from here now that (all other) (all of the) children... It may be a couple that never had children. Now that they are reaching their twilight years they are filled with sadness that (there's no one to lend us a hand) (nobody gives a damn). A lonely death is surely a sad one.

    (Ain't gonna spend the rest of my life, Quietly fading away) Could it be related to "do not go gentle into that good night"?

    Not sure how all this relates to (Games people play) or (Honor Brite).

    BoyRDeeon February 05, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    This was the first APP song I heard and fell in love with, which I do associate personally with being a kid, but I remember loving this song, then and now. And at the time, "games" to me, meant board games.

    As I grew older, this song to me, along with the casino theme of the album, seemed like it was from the point of view of an aging black jack dealer or floor manager of the casino - someone who has been an employee there for several years, having seen a lot over the years, and being tired and burned out, wanting out of casino life. I imagine someone in that role would be like the furniture or a fly on the wall, unnoticed but an observer to the unsavory side of casino life (knowledge of illicit affairs, high profile clientele, prostitution, drug deals, other illegal activities, watching people come and go) and I took the "all the children have grown up" to mean he has seen generations of people come and go, either children of his co-workers, or seeing fathers, sons, and their sons come and go in the casino. In the song, the singer seems to be at a point in his life where he wants to walk away from it all, which may not be so easy to do, with everything that he knows. He seems a bit jaded, "where do we spend our lives knowing nobody gives us a damn?" He's unappreciated, overworked, and has been keeping secrets and doing his job for years in an unfulfilling job, and it has sucked the life out of him. He doesn't like the fact that these types of activities and this lifestyle is part of "business as usual".

    I could be totally wrong, but the fast-paced synth of it brings to mind that this song is from the point of view of an observer, not someone who is necessarily involved in the activities.

    Great song. Always loved it.

    IceVampon October 16, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I like to think this song is about an artistic couple who moved out to the suburbs 20 years ago to raise their children. When the youngest one graduates from High School the husband immediately realizes they are out in a big lonely house with each other-having lost each other long ago while being tied up in soccer games, school activities, potluck dinners...maybe even a country club.

    He is asking the wife what they should do as he'd like to move to a small townhome in the city and feel creative and flourish, realize his dreams, now that all of the children are grown up. The wife, on the other hand, enjoys the suburban life, her bridge games with the other wives (that go late into the middle of the night because the housewives get real drunk and gossip about each other)

    The husband feels that if he stays in the deadly boring burbs, he will fade away and perhaps die faster than if he had an active life in a more stimulating environment. So he doesn't wanna stay there no more..

    But in fact, neither of them really know what they want to do with themselves now that all of the children have grown up................................................ and gone away.......and don't help them...and don't think about them......sad....

    allisonkendallon May 23, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The album is about a man who goes off to gamble it all. This song sounds like his break from his family....his realization that now the children are gone, he doesn't see any future. So off he goes to gamble...and ultimately loses it all.

    paulbarkon November 10, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    No it's not.

    inpraiseoffollyon September 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    yea. the people dont want to live just because kids are growing up?

    that's ridiculous.

    impaKton September 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Seems like they're just realising their eventual mortality to me, don't know what left to do with life, feel like they've done everything.

    mickal555on December 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    sounds like the above to me - but in relation to me the games people play, that people don't know about - 2 faces

    waddingtonphilipon January 18, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Ave Grave
Thee More Shallows
So this has been.my favorite song of OTEP's since it came out in 2004, and I always thought it was a song about a child's narrative of suffering in an abusive Christian home. But now that I am revisiting the lyrics, I am seeing something totally new. This song could be gospel of John but from the perspective of Jesus. Jesus was NOT having a good time up to and during the crucifixion. Everyone in the known world at the time looked to him with fear, admiration or disgust and he was constantly being asked questions. He spoke in "verses, prophesies and curses". He had made an enemy of the state, and believed the world was increasingly wicked and fallen from grace, or that he was in the "mouth of madness". The spine of atlas is the structure that allows the titan to hold the world up. Jesus challenged the state and in doing so became a celebrated resistance figure. It also made him public enemy #1. All of this happened simply because he was doing his thing, not because of any agenda he had or strategy. And then he gets scourged (storm of thorns) There are some plot holes here but I think it's an interesting interpretation.
Album art
Love in a Vacuum
'Til Tuesday
Well, in my opinion this song is about being a young & maybe a little naive &/or introverted girl and finding yourself loving a man who is at first very charming, carefree & outgoing, and seems at first to be without limits, as in "There was a time you opened up every doorway you didn't mind if everything wasn't your way" then that man starts to gradually become more introverted & shows their more possessive/obsessive side to you as the relationship progresses, even while they keep up the appearance of being carefree & outgoing to everyone else, "Don't pull away that goes against what you told me I look in your eyes I realize what you've sold me is love in a vacuum" so you confront them about the way they're acting and of course they deny it, "I think you've changed but you insist that that's not true" quite possibly they are an addict of some sort, my guess would be cocaine, &/or showing very obsessive behavior towards you (early on in the video for this song we see the man hanging a picture up, it is a very large portrait of Aimee & it is prominently displayed in his/their apartment for the duration of the song), thus their "love in a vacuum", "You look so strange, so distant that you're hardly you Now I can see how you have been acting different You say it's me but I know that it isn't it's love in a vacuum" but still you are in love with them and don't want to leave them and you know that they are truly in love with you and they don't want you to leave them either, maybe they are convinced you can save them from themself, maybe they are so broken that the possibility of an overdose &/or suicide attempt is very real and you want to get through to them that their behavior not only dangerous but it is also just pissing you off and if they don't wise up they run the risk of loosing you, as in the lines "You will be lonely if you leave me alone", so you want to save them but can't get through to them due to the addiction &/or emotional problems they have, "Love in a vacuum and that's not enough love in a vacuum You will be lonely you'll be the only one who feels this way You will be lonely if you leave me alone You will be lonely you'll be the only one who feels this way it's just not enough" you want them to understand that the love they are giving you is not enough when it is filtered through the vacuum of their drug addiction &/or emotional impairment, "You will be lonely you'll be the only one who feels this way it's just not enough and just wait you will be lonely Love in a vacuum Love in a vacuum and that's not enough Love in a vacuum". 'Love In A Vacuum' for me is a hauntingly truthful acute argument on the loneliness of obsession and almost inevitable loss of love that follows people who are broken in some way or another; the obsessives, the coke heads, the drunks, addicts or the just-plain-old emotionally broken; a razor sharp, lyrically driven, deceptively poppy, yet ultimately-depressing-in-the-best-way song. Quintessential Aimee Mann.
Album art
Battle Royale
Word Alive, The
This song is def a twin to "Unfair" (a song she has been quoted as saying is about falling in love with someone who is already in a relationship) so it is presumably about the same person. Given the references to buying an apartment and not being able to see her love interest "after tonight," it's most likely that she's moving away and she'll "wait a day to break the bad news" (i.e. notifying him that she's leaving once she's already gone). And, of course, the fact that she sees in him a fellow "idealist" and "dreamer" (terms commonly given to people with the INFP personality on the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)) portends that she'll always be left wondering if they would've been perfect together.
Album art
Techno Ted
Audioslave
Techno Ted may be a person who caused Chris incredible emotional pain & trepidation as well as moments of peace & happiness but now is removed and awaiting his fate. Darling may be a different person who is also free of him and can live her life free of Ted's tyranny. "In between all the laughing, and daydreams ... lies: a desert of truth" Lies are like a desert or the omission of Truth: Where there were Lies then Truth was absent. The song, "Techno Ted", may be a cathartic celebration of the downfall of this person.
Album art
Fast Car
Tracy Chapman
"Fast car" is kind of a continuation of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." It has all the clawing your way to a better life, but in this case the protagonist never makes it with her love; in fact she is dragged back down by him. There is still an amazing amount of hope and will in the lyrics; and the lyrics themselve rank and easy five. If only music was stronger it would be one of those great radio songs that you hear once a week 20 years after it was released. The imagery is almost tear-jerking ("City lights lay out before us", "Speeds so fast felt like I was drunk"), and the idea of starting from nothing and just driving and working and denigrating yourself for a chance at being just above poverty, then losing in the end is just painful and inspiring at the same time.