Solitaire

Posted on June 5, 2013 by Robert Ringer Comments (8)

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There was a man, a lonely man
Who lost his love, thru his indifference.
A heart that cared, that went unshared
Until it died within his silence.

And solitaire’s the only game in town,
And every road that takes him, takes him down.
While life goes on around him everywhere,
He’s playing solitaire.

And keeping to himself begins to deal,
And still the king of hearts is well concealed.
Another losing game comes to an end,
And he deals them out again.

A little hope goes up in smoke;
Just how it goes, goes without saying.
There was a man, a lonely man
Who would command the hand he’s playing.

And solitaire’s the only game in town,
And every road that takes him, takes him down.
While life goes on around him everywhere,
He’s playing solitaire.

And keeping to himself begins to deal,
And still the king of hearts is well concealed.
Another losing game comes to an end,
And he deals them out again.

And solitaire’s the only game in town,
And every road that takes him, takes him down.
While life goes on around him everywhere,
He’s playing solitaire.

By Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody — Michael Masser and Gerald Goffin
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, EMI Music Publishing

 

My take:

There are at least a couple other versions of the words to this masterpiece (the Carpenters’ is well worth checking out), but I’m biased toward the original lyrics both written and sung by Neil Sedaka.

Like all great lyrics, they bring a clear picture to the listener’s mind — an image of a lonely man, sitting at a table, playing game after game of solitaire.  The songwriters nailed it with this stanza:

And keeping to himself begins to deal,
And still the king of hearts is well concealed.
Another losing game comes to an end,
And he deals them out again.

The subtle double meanings and metaphors in this song are nothing short of brilliant.  My favorite is “And still the king of hearts is well concealed.”  What a remarkably creative mind it takes to come up with something that clever.

At his peak, Sedaka, judging from his songs, must have been an incurable romantic — in addition to a musical genius.  At the age of eight, he won a scholarship to attend the famed Julliard School of Music’s Preparatory Division for Children.

If you’ve recently parted ways with the love of your life, you may want to take an antidepressant before listening to this classic.

With that caveat, here’s Neil Sedaka’s rendition of his gripping ballad, “Solitaire.”

Robert Ringer

+Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

8 responses to “Solitaire”

  1. Glenn says:

    I saw him years ago at Lake Tahoe and it was one of the greatest performances I ever had the pleasure to see. My mom, who went with me and was confined to a wheelchair, and I met him hours earlier in the elevator. I had my hands full trying to juggle our suitcases and as the doors closed, Mr. Sedaka said he'd be glad to guide her for us, which he did. Unbeknownst to us he also arranged for her (and I) to have seats front and center for his show that evening. The next afternoon we were surprised by a knock on the door and there was Mr. Sedaka with an autographed copy of the sheet music for "Laughter In The Rain"' mom's favorite song. It still brings tears to my eyes to remember this kind, generous, and unpretentious gentleman.

    • Ann Cappola says:

      Wow, Glenn. Thank you so much for sharing that story. I always liked Neil Sedaka and sensed something deep and kind about him…but now know for sure. Wish there were more people like him…in every walk of life. Thanks againa

  2. johanberger519 says:

    One of the last songs that Elvis recorded was precisely 'Solitaire'.
    The King was mighty depressed after his divorce from Priscilla Beaulieu, but though he was often on uppers and downers – to carry on as an artist – he had an unfailing good ear and hardly ever picked meaningless material..
    Sedaka's heritage will last – as will much of the King's..

  3. Helen Spingola says:

    Heart-tugging melody….brings on the tears somehow.

  4. giorgio says:

    Sedaka was truly great and ahead of his time. He never got the respect and credit that he truly deserved. How can you explain a talent like this that not many people today ever heard of, nor would ever appreciate. Yet, we see record sales that are astronomical with such 'untalented people' such as all the rap artists, hip hop thugs, and their likes. Of course there are the few within that bunch that are talented, but the majority of them are thugs and illiterate. Hooray for Neil Sedaka, Elvis, Paul Anka, Neil Diamond, stevie wonder, Frank Sinatra, Pavarotti, and on and on and on. Compare this talent with what we have today. It is sad.

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