I saw the railway master and I looked him in the eye
I said, "Would you go much faster if you thought that you would die?"
He said, "Not me sir, I could not care, in fact, I would not try.
For protest would not take me far.
It's different, me not being a star."
I lock my feelings in a jar until another day

Oh, comfort me, dear brother, won't you tell me what you know?
For somewhere in this paper world is a place where I can go
Oh, long awaiting mother, is it time to make a show?
And take your babies to your breast
No, we never passed the test
And all our sins should be confessed before we carry on

Oh, don't refuse me
If you choose me, you'll follow my shame
No, don't confuse me
For I know it's the name of the game

I got up off my pillow and I looked up at the sun
I said, "You can see quite clearly, now, the things that we have done
We burned your sacred willow and our battles we have won.
But did we get so very far?
It's different, me not being a star."
I lock my feelings in a jar until we go away

Lyrics submitted by richie

"Name of the Game" as written by Peter William Ham

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Name Of The Game song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentStick to your beliefs. We all mistakes in life. If you're a star, you're not immune to having feelings of regret. Get off your pedestal and be a real person and take those feelings out of that jar and wear them on your sleeve and be a real person. Otherwise, living a lie will get you no where.
    lennonmccartneyon December 02, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis is really a great song that should be more widely known.

    It starts with the famous rock star having a conversation with a common working man, showing the contrast as to how their actions are looked upon by society. The worker doesn't benefit from going out on a limb to express himself by standing up to "the man" like someone in the performing arts would. He keeps his feelings and views to himself, as he will only do himself harm should he buck the system while doing his job. The rocker, on the other hand, is free to express himself however he sees fit to the adoration of his fans. But this doesn't seem right. Shouldn't we all be free to express ourselves? Would we not have a better world if we took the time to understand one another instead of bottling up our frustrations?

    The second verse is a lament about the condition of the modern world, which questions the intelligence of propagating our species in light of our sinful nature and our failures. We are not only destroying the planet, we haven't learned to live peacefully amongst ourselves... yet it doesn't stop us from introducing new humans into this heartless, painful world every second of every day. Perhaps we should fix what humanity has destroyed before making it worse by mindless reproduction.

    Finally, it ends with the rock star looking up at another star, the sun. In an attempt to receive forgiveness for the problems expressed in the earlier verse, he confesses to the heavens that any victories won on any battlefield haven't solved anything - they've only scorched the earth. He feels insignificant, powerless and small compared to the master of the solar system - so really, what's the point of it all? The game of life is a paradox. We want to live, to speak our minds, to have others understand and agree with us. But ultimately each one of us, no matter what we've accomplished or solved, will encounter the great leveler of death. Every one of us, good or bad in life, will decompose is the same manner, succumbing to Mother Nature. And this my friends, is the name of the game.

    Toadlyon December 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnice take on the song lennonmccartney. you really know your stuff and it's pretty neat you're taking a second to dissect so many great songs from badfinger
    Freddie77on January 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentToo bad Pete Hamm isn't around to explain this one. I believe it describes Pete's problems with how his manager and record company were handling the financial affairs of the group. These guys worked themselves to death and recived next to no financial compensation. When they attempted to get these issues worked out they were essentially advised to live with it. So, as he looks around and sees all other music personalities doing well from his perception he realizes that he will be treated differently because he is a 'star'. So, once again they work and work and were actually getting quite the following in the early 70s on both sides of the ocean. Yet, they continued to not reap financial rewards. They also had disputes about how their product should be handled and ended up finding that they weren't going to get any say-so there either. The final straw came when their last actual group record was ready for distribution and it was found that their escrow account had somehow lost a couple of hundred thousand dollars. Then the brakes caused the distribution of this record to a grinding halt until this could be resolved. As far as I know - it never was. The record never came out and in a fit of total depression Pete ended his life. (Of course there is the conspiracy that Pete actaully went to present an ultimatum to his manager who apparently had organized crime ties - and because they didn't like what Pete had to say decide that they had made plenty of money off of him already and helped him die.)
    HungFaoon November 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst of all,
    Peter Ham and Tommy Evans will ALWAYS be missed by everyone!

    I MET Tommy twice,
    in 1982 and then in 1983 a few months prior to his death!!
    It was so sad to hear of his passing later that year in November 1983!

    I've always loved this song of theirs for years and years but I never really understood it's meaning, not until very recently prior to coming back to this great website!
    It's been way too many years since I've been signed in here!!
    I understand the comments posted here and it's appreciated!!
    Thanks all -CHEERS!

    davesdayon June 05, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not going to try and interpret--the song says what it says. I just want to say, what a great song!
    dave688626on December 30, 2016   Link

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