Arthur Ashe LYRICS

Arthur and me, we’re out playing class 3

And we’re losing all the weight that

The world bequeaths

Keeping you unbelievers

On the edge of your seats

Because love means nothing

Until you’ve held control

Then thrown it away

And then something magical

Reveals itself in recklessness

I work for the state, I commute, I eat late

And there’s so much life

I’ve chosen not to investigate

But here on court with Arthur

Is where I’ve tasted greatness

And love, which means nothing

Until you’ve held control

Then thrown it away

And then something magical

Reveals itself to be love

To mean something

It means something

To Arthur Ashe and me

Let those inches decide

If the ball’s in or wide

It’s nothing to Arthur and me

We elect to be free

Of the flail and the strain

We just play every game

And each point and each shot

Like it’s all that we’ve got

To enjoy and to prove

That we live and we move

Hit a true and free ball

Let it fall where it falls

And we’ll never play easy

No, never play easy

Easy’s the enemy

Of Arthur’s beauty

In dark I drive home

I don’t switch on my phone

I just sit there aching

On my couch alone

Then Arthur sits down beside me

And we talk about love


8 Responses to “Arthur Ashe LYRICS”

  1. Tom Conway Says:

    Don’t do a thing with this arrangement. It’s perfect as it is! :o)
    Great to hear these new songs from you!

  2. gestationproject Says:

    Thanks for that – really appreciated. (But let’s see if we can’t get it even perfecter…)



  3. Sarah Morrison Says:

    A very beautiful and interesting song, and I love the presentation of it just now. I’m afraid I don’t know enough about songwriting, so apologies if this is a dumb question, but is it structured as it stands for a particular reason? The rhythms are wonderful but I wondered if the passage beginning “Let those inches decide” should be broken up throughout the song.


  4. gestationproject Says:

    There are no dumb questions when it comes to songwriting! It’s a pretty instinctive process for me, and also somewhat superstitious – believe it or not, it’s taken me 15 years to get these lyrics where I’m happy with them! The break-through for me was when I realised that the only way I could write about what it was like to be Arthur Ashe that made sense to me was in the voice of a mediocre Dublin Leagues tennis player, trammelled in every other area of his life (like Arthur was) who only feels free when he steps on the tennis court (and senses the ghost of Arthur Ashe on his shoulder). I think that the section you’re referring to is the consummation/explanation of all the hints that the previous two verses have given – it feels like a triumphant statement of selfhood to me from a person otherwise without power or position. It’s not so much a middle eight as a middle thirty-two, which I guess is a little unusual, but it just felt (and feels) right to me like this. I think that the intensity of that passage should grow and grow with each line, so that’s how I’ll be trying to perform and record it, I reckon (unless I have a better idea, of course…)

  5. Chris Rigg Says:

    Hi Nick

    I’m looking forward to getting the chance to sit down and go through all these songs… It would be good if they were available to download so I could listen to them on my stereo / in the car etc… I hate listening to music through my computer! But I understand why you haven’t done that.

    It must be taking a lot of guts from you to put these songs up here in such a bare form, and I applaud the idea. Hope this whole scarey process works out well for you, and I can’t wait to hear the finished product next year.

    Thanks a million


  6. gestationproject Says:

    Thanks for that Chris – it is a bit terrifying sticking up the raw demos, but also strangely liberating. I feel like they’ve started their journey now, and who knows exactly where they’ll end up. But the trip should be fun, I think.

  7. Sarah Morrison Says:

    A middle 32, eh? Hmmmm. Sounds interesting. There is a lovely sense of a rally and of the shots and returns becoming stronger and stronger, surer. Well, I’ve trusted you since Hothouse Flowers at the Barrowlands, Glasgow (an appallingly long time ago) so I look forward to the next version. : )

  8. gestationproject Says:

    Thanks Sarah – actually I’ve no idea how long that bit actually is, always been a bit hazy / lazy about beats and bars. Your comment about the rally is very interesting, hadn’t occurred to me before but I think that you’ve got a point (sic). Perhaps yet another example of my subconscious having way more elaborate plans than my conscious during the lyric-writing process.

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