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The Devil Plays Poker

by This Criminal Soul

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1.
Act One: In which we establish characters, situations, and the foreboding of dreams. I. Prologue (Lost Memories) Card Player: Blow a kiss to my grave If you remember my name Lay some flowers down If you recall the sound Of my voice
2.
The Rules 02:04
II. The Rules Mother: Don't you ever take a hand that was dealt by a blind man Unless you're dead sure you've got nothing to lose. Never see an inside straight to the end Never bluff blind, never raise your friends Never try to remember the cards in your hand Or bet something belonging to another tougher man Never let the ladies linger, or look at your cards Or try to steal a glance at another man's hand They'll shoot you blind just for looking like that They'll kill you on the spot for having something to lose Keep a twinkle in your eye, and a wrinkle in your smile And try, yes you try to make friends with strangers Because a man making friends with stranger-men Is bound to show his hand Or show a buck or two To a wiser, better hand 'Cause there's nothing that poker loves more Than a new rich idiot who likes it from the bottle So wisen up, and tough it out And don't you dare deal from the bottom! And you will make it soon enough They'll all be begging for your luck Remember these rules were meant to help But never hesitate, situation permitting To smash them all to tiny bits, Pick up the pieces, and poker chips.
3.
III. The Rain I (A Proper Goodbye) Mother: When he left, the rain came pouring down Lightning bleached the walls and thunder shook the ground My boy had packed his things, in his pocket was a deck of cards And he and his girl were about to get into the car So I said, "Why don't you come inside? You're my son, and I'd like a proper goodbye: Just a cup of coffee, before you hit the road, Just a little talk now, then I'll let you go." They came in; the rain came pouring down, Took off his boots and he placed them on the ground They sat down by the fire, I got the coffee hot And then I left my son with this last little thought: "You know they say the Devil's a gambling man, But you'll be okay if you never take that hand. Once you bet your soul, you'll be a broken man; Even if you win, you will be in the palm of his hand"
4.
Card Player 03:55
IV. Card Player Mother: You're a card player, damn good card player But don't let it go to your head You're my son, and I'll always love you You mark these words that I've said You're a card player, damn good card player But don't be an unkind man Or your mother won't be here for you If you ever come home again Card Player: And I'm on a winning streak And my luck's never gonna break Just take and take and take And never lose a dime... Vagrant: He's a card player, damn good card player He took me for all that I had And I live on the streets now outside of his house He says there's nothing wrong with that He's a card player, damn good card player, But I know he's an honest man He has a good heart and a heartbreaking smile And a bluff like my mother's loving hands Card Player: And I lost another one Riding it all on one dumb hand I guess this is my last call Go home before you lose it all... Fiancée: He's a card player, damn good card player But he's always been my true love He's a gambler, yes, and a liar, But never to me nor his family He's a card player, damn good card player But like everything, that too will pass And when he comes home, after the bars He knows that he owes it to me... I'm his luck Card Player: I'll have just one more drink A whiskey for the road No, thanks, Jack, deal me out I've gotta be heading home...
5.
The Dream 06:16
V. The Dream Fiancée: You say that you love me You tell me I'm the best And I don't know what to say So I just smile You've been so down lately Out of sorts You haven't been around lately You're out of touch Your health is waning Like the last full moon Your life is fading Years too soon But you always say After our wedding day You'll be there always Always I've been trying to stay up lately To see you come home some night But lately it's been getting colder I awake to a glance of your shoulder Disappearing up the stair The dream from my eyelids arises There looks to be nobody there So I sleep again You always say, After our wedding day, You'll be there, always Always… Wailing Souls: Blood, Blood...
6.
VI. The Nightmare The Writhing Damned: ...Blood, Blood... Fiancée: Blood on your hands Blood on my dress The wedding party Is a bloody mess A knife in your hands A smile on your face As you cut up the guests and the wedding cake The rings are razors The flowers are poisoned There're hands at the throats Of all the little boys and Girls are screaming Men twitch at the spine There's blood in the water And blood in the wine Fiancée & A Chorus of Demons: …Blood, Blood… Fiancée: Blood in the streets Guts in the gutter The sky turns a deep dark red And I shudder To think of the words That you said to me: How after today We'll always be Together And it scares the life out of me Together Yes it scares the life out of me And then blood, blood pours out of your eyes The parson is Lucifer's shrouded disguise The church is in flames While the wedding bells chime There's hundreds of screams And silence... Fiancée & A Million Cackling Wraiths: …Blood, Blood
7.
Intermission 02:34
VII. Intermission (Instrumental)
8.
VIII. Welcome To Devil's Inn Barkeep: For twenty years it seems I've been haunted by these dreams The fear, in circles, streaming down your face For twenty years it seems I've been haunting spirits' dreams The bitter sting in your tongue's embrace A little girl upstairs Holds tight a teddy bear And cries out loud her father's name Her mother runs inside The baby girl to find Fast asleep upon her bed's embrace Smile as you fall Let the devil in Let the cold in the room Become your saving sin Smile as you fall Welcome to Devil's Inn Stay as long as you like And become your sins Once here I heard a man Caught in his own bedlam Cry out loud his savior's name: "Sweet Jesus, come for me! Oh Lord, I just cant see Your light, your guiding flame!" But none would come for him He'd long been forgotten And his God was none to speak of here And he forgot that prayer You see him, standing here Welcoming you to never-where Smile as you fall Drink the devil in Iced whiskey is the taste Become your favorite sin Smile as you fall Welcome to Devil's Inn Drink up all you want And become your sins O, here's a murderer Corrupted minister And every kind of vile man And two lovers side by side Separated by suicide And doomed never to meet again So smile as you fall The Devil: Smile 'cause tonight we'll have a number of guests Let's all look alive, 'cause they ain't dead quite yet
9.
The Clock 01:16
IX. The Clock (Instrumental)
10.
The Deal 05:43
X. The Deal The Devil: I made him a deal I gave him a telephone call And I gave him a chance At what no man can resist Every mortal's wish And like most mortals, He values gold above his soul An easy life above true love And pretty soon, he will be in The palm of my hand Card Player: He made me a deal He made me a telephone call He said I could be anything that I wanted to be And I'd be a success He made me a deal And I took the telephone call He said all I had to do Is what I do best Yea it's what I do best It's a sure thing! So I gotta leave you darling For just a little while Don't you cry my darling, I'll be back before you know I'm gone Don't you cry, All I do I do for you my darling, darling, darling I'll be back soon Don't you cry My darling, O, my love, don't you cry! Wish me luck, with a kiss Kiss your man goodbye Wish me luck with a kiss And I'll be a success
11.
XI. The Rain II (Hospitality) Fiancée: When he left, the rain came pouring down And I saw that poor man outside upon the ground The one for whom my man was the devil with a deck of cards Spends his days at bars, his nights beneath the stars So I said, "Why don't you come inside? Warm your shaky bones by the fireside. Oh, you know, my man won't mind. And this is my house, so why don't you come in and get dry?" He came in, the rain came pouring down Took off his soggy boots and placed them on the ground I got him a towel, I offered him a chair He was so happy to sit there, then I noticed his dirty hair. So I said, "Why don't you go and wash up? The stairs are this way; there's a bathroom at the top. There's a razor by the mirror, go ahead and have a shave. You know my man don't mind, besides he's not home anyways."
12.
XII. The Devil Plays Poker Card Player: It's a dead man's hand: eights, aces, and spades A loaded gun pointed dead in your face A lonely visitor to a lonely grave The last stop before you're the blind man's slave Dark sunglasses on a hold 'em dealer Round about the table's only liars and cheaters The spirit's getting lower, and the blinds are getting higher And the card kings' smiles just keep getting wider I'm down and out So deal me in All that I got left Is the grave or the flame A warm smile spreads across the hangman's face A grin of false teeth with a poisonous taste The scars on the palms of his up-turned hands Can never cover up his sins I'm down and out So deal me in All that I got left Is the grave or the flame I'm lost and lonely So deal me in All that I got left Is a poker face I feel my head getting lighter My body's gettin weaker These shaky little fingers Can barely hold this hand I'm losing it all To dark sunglasses On seven different shades Of shady men I'm down and out So deal me in All that I got left Is the grave or the flame I'm lost and lonely So deal me in All that I got left Is a poker face I'm down and out So deal me in All that I got left Is aces and spades!
13.
XIII. Keep The Lights On, Baby! Card Player: Keep the lights on, babe I'm coming home tonight Keep that porch light on babe I'm finally coming home Don't you hear me coming, baby? I'm barely just around the bend Can't you hear me singing, babe? I'm coming home again You're gonna feel me coming, baby I'm barely just around the way Can't you feel me coming, sugar Right till the break of day You're gonna feel me coming, baby I'm just coming over that hill Don't you feel me coming, babe? I'm finally back from Hell! Fiancée: I know you're coming home I feel it in my bones I feel it in my soul But something's just not right If you come home tonight We'll both end up alone I feel it in my soul I feel it in my bones Card Player: Keep the lights on, babe! I'm coming home tonight Keep that porch light on babe I'm finally coming home Don't you hear that whistle blowin'? That steam engine's burning bright Keep that porch light on, babe I'm coming home tonight Fiancée: I know you're coming home I feel it in my bones I feel it in my soul But something's just not right If you come home tonight We'll both end up alone I feel it in my soul I feel it in my bones I feel it in my bones
14.
XIV. The Rain III (Lord Of Darkness) Fiancée: We left our bodies, the rain came pouring down I saw a man walking in without a sound He wore dark glasses, but you could feel his stare The whole world goes dark when The Devil comes upstairs
15.
XV. The Devil Comes Upstairs
16.
XVI. Lost Memories (Reprise) Card Player: Blow a kiss to my grave If you remember my name Lay some flowers down If you recall the sound Of my voice I know I promised a beautiful wedding But I guess I'd forgotten to take into account All the love I'd been waging, the soul I'd been betting And old scratch he came collecting, so here's my last goodbye Blow a kiss to my grave If you remember my name Lay some flowers down If you recall the sound Of my voice
17.
XVII. Epilogue (Breaking Dawn!) Lost in darkness Comatose Dead to all this World I've known But I see it coming The night's been so long Dreams of darkness Red on black Souls of bad men Coming back But I see it coming The night's been so long I see it coming Breaking dawn Evil visions Souls corrupt The Devil's mission Sold for dust A living fiction Fantasy True religion Inside me But it's finally over The night's been so long I see it coming Breaking dawn Asleep but dreaming Like life in death I'm alive and screaming In my head Then I awake to sunlight On my bed With ghosts and echoes Songs they sang But I see it coming The night's been so long I see it coming Breaking dawn!

about

The original cast recording of Christoph Whitbeck's first rock opera, The Devil Plays Poker, meant to be played front-to-back in its entirety.

The opera tells the tale of a nameless card-player who picks up the wrong hand. Featuring all 17 songs performed by the original cast and band from the New Haven premiere on Halloween 2013.

credits

released January 31, 2013

All songs by Christoph Whitbeck
All lyrics by Christoph Whitbeck except 10 and 13 by Christoph Whitbeck and Michael Walker

Performers:
Christoph Whitbeck - Guitars
Jake Habegger - Drums, Backing Vocals
D'Andre Fontanelle - Bass, Backing Vocals
Derek "D-Rock" Currier - Saxophone

Cast (In order of appearance)
Michael Walker - Card Player
Mysti Keller - Mother
Peter Cunningham - Vagrant
Jacklyn Meeker - Fiancee
Christoph Whitbeck - Barkeep, The Devil

Alex Dancho - Assistance in all things.

The Devil Plays Poker theatrical premiere was performed at Lyric Hall in New Haven, CT on Halloween 2013

All songs recorded at a house in Monroe, CT, November 16-17, 2013.

Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Peter Recine at Greenpoint Studios

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This Criminal Soul New Haven, Connecticut

Born out of the theatrical project The Devil Plays Poker, This Criminal Soul became the vehicle for all things Rock and Roll produced by Christoph Whitbeck.

They rock stages and melt faces in the New Haven area and beyond.
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