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Kings, Queens, Jokers & Jacks
©2024 Stephen A Schuster

I’m just a guitar player playing at a day job
Took an elevator to the rooftop where I got robbed
Kings, Queens, Jokers and Jacks
Crocodile stole my axe
Only had one, now I got none
Those are the facts

When the Ritalin kicks in, I get my work done
My brain is sizz-a-lin’, I’m in deep groove, I’m on a hot run
Kings, Queens, Jokers and Jacks
Nothing gonna fall in the cracks
Never outshone, I’m in a speed zone
Cranked to the max

I’m pinching pennies
I’m popping bennies
And I’m firing every cylinder
Like a born and a bred North Englander

I’m pinching pennies

I’m popping bennies

And I’m firing every cylinder

Like a born and a bred New Englander

Red hot bloodshot nights will shoot the moon down
Boomtown high-watt lights light up the meltdown
Kings, Queens, Jokers and Jacks
Working class under an axe
They never signed up, they always wind up
Paying the tax

Kings, Queens, Jokers and Jacks
Stopping all the boys in their tracks
Inside of prisons, nobody listens
So don’t even ask


"Kings, Queens, Jokers & Jacks" unfolds as an inscrutable anthem, layered with rich wordplay and vibrant imagery that aims to capture the essence of a society caught in the throes of hustle, substance dependency and the stark realities of socio-economic disparities. The song's opening lines immediately set the stage for a narrative that straddles the realms of daily grind and the escapism sought in the highs of performance and drugs.


The lyrical journey navigates through the experiences of a protagonist who embodies the dualities of existence—playing the roles demanded by society while yearning for the freedom and exhilaration found in music and the temporary escape offered by stimulants like Ritalin and Benzedrine. The mention of a "crocodile" adds a layer of grit, introducing Mexican Spanish slang (“cocodrilo”) for “cocaine junkie” that immediately anchors the song in cultural context and social commentary.

Through its energetic rock vibe, "Kings, Queens, Jokers & Jacks" serves both as a reflection on battles with conformity and addiction and as a broader critique of a system that often leaves its most vulnerable behind. The refrain challenges listeners to consider where they might fit in the grand scheme of life's deck of cards, shuffling between personal narrative and societal introspection.

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