Broadway Lyrics
Take me to the bottom...

1 The Story of Chess Gregor 1:50
2 Where I Want to Be Anatoly 3:24
3 How Many Women Florence and Freddie 1:41
4 Chess Hymn Company 0:46
5 Quartet (A Model of Decorum and Tranquility) Molokov, Florence, Arbiter, Anatoly 3:35
6 You Want to Lose Your Only Friend? Florence and Freddie 2:22
7 Someone Else's Story Florence 3:34
8 One Night in Bangkok Freddie and Company 3:52
9 Terrace Duet Florence and Anatoly 4:57
10 Nobody's Side Florence and Company 3:53
11 Anthem Anatoly 3:18
12 Hungarian Folk Song Company 1:57
13 Heaven Help My Heart Florence 3:29
14 No Contest Freddie and Walter 2:26
15 You and I Florence, Anatoly, Svetlana 4:51
16 I Know Him So Well Florence and Svetlana 4:17
17 Pity the Child Freddie 4:53
18 Lullaby (Apukád erós kezén) Gregor and Florence 3:26
19 Endgame Anatoly, Freddie, Company 7:40
20 You and I (Reprise) Anatoly and Florence 3:39

The Story Of Chess

Each game of chess means there's one less
Variation left to be played.
Each day got through means one or two
Less mistakes remain to be made.

Not much is known
Of early days of chess beyond a fairly vague report
That fifteen hundred years ago two princes fought,
Though brothers, for a Hindu throne.

Their mother cried
For no one really likes their offspring fighting to the death.
She begged them stop the slaughter with her every breath
But sure enough one brother died.
Sad beyond belief
She told her winning son
"You have caused such grief--
I can't forgive this evil thing you've done."

He tried to explain
How things had really been
But he tried in vain.
No words of his could satisfy the queen.

And so he asked the wisest men he knew
The way to lessen her distress.
They told him he'd be pretty certain to impressd
By using model soldiers on
A checkered board to show it was his brother's fault--
They thus invented chess.

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Where I Want To Be

Who needs a dream? Who needs ambition? Who'd be the fool
In my position?
Once I had dreams,
Now their obsessions.
Hopes became needs,
Lovers possessions.

Then they move in
Oh so discreetly.
Slowly at first,
Smiling too sweetly.
I opened doors.
They walked right through them.
Called me their friend.
I hardly knew them.

Now I'm where I want to be and who I want to be
And doing what I always said I would
And yet I feel I haven't won at all.

Running for my life and never looking back
In case there's someone right behind to shoot me down
And say he always knew I'd fall.

When the crazy wheel slows down
Where will I be? Back where I started.

Don't get me wrong,
I'm not complaining.
Times have been good,
Fast, entertaining.
But what's the point
When I'm concealing
Most of my thoughts
All of my feeling.

Now I'm where I want to be and who I want to be
And doing what I always said I would
And yet I feel I haven't won at all.

Running for my life and never looking back
In case there's someone right behind to shoot me down
And say he always knew I'd fall.

When the crazy wheel slows down
Where will I be? Back where I started.

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How Many Women

How many women would drive themselves crazy
By arguing over a game of chess?
Not very many--the way things are going
There'll soon be one less!

Don't believe you sweetie pie--

Listen, Freddie--I too had ambitions.
How did I get waylaid?
How can such a flower
A sensitive soul, a delicate child
Wind up as nursemaid
Respectably set for the glittering prizes
Instead of which I landed you--

You'll get your prizes!
I'm ninety percent of the way to the top of the heap.

Thanks--ten percent you got me cheap.

No, no, Florence--I meant we are ninety percent of the way.

How many women--articulate women
With something to shoud about--
Spend their time
Playing a game in which silence is golden
And speaking a crime?

Maybe if he moved his king...

All of my struggles for qualifications,
My nights with Goethe and Proust
Breathlessly abandoned
For you who thinks Chekhov is king to G3
And Joyce my college roommate!
But then when I show you a move you can't fathom
I have to admit it feels great--

Great news for chess fans!
Yeah, that's how he did it--yeah, that's how the Communist plays!

Maybe I deserve a raise.

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Chess Hymn

We are one united family Black and White
The game our one true guiding light
Sweeping through the darkest corners to express
Countries, classes, creeds as one in love of chess.

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Quartet (A Model of Decorum and Tranquility)

We wish--no, must--make our disgust
For this abuse perfectly clear.
We're here for chess--
Are the U.S.?
If so why foul the atmosphere?

I must protest--our delegation
Has a host of valid points to raise.

It's not just black and white
If I may coin a phrase
As any neutral would attest.

Though we concede
The fact your masters bend the rules is maybe not your fault.
If they withdraw their psychological assault
Then under protest he'll proceed.

If your man's so sweet
Then why his fighting talk?
If he says we cheat
Then why on earth did he go take a walk?

I am not surprised he wanted fresher air
Once he realized there was no hope
Of your guys playing fair.

How sad It's very sad to see
To see The ancient and distinguished game that used to be

A model of decorum and tranquility
Become like any other sport
A battle ground for rival ideologies
To slug it out with glee.

I would say with regard
Him it is hard to
Ever-growing suspicions
My oppostion's
A nut.

I would have said
You'd understand the strain and pressure getting where he's got.
But then you'd simply call him highly strung and not
Imply that he was off his head.

But how on earth can someone even
Half as civilized and nice as you
Be part of such a self-destructive
Point of view?
I hope he pays you what you're worth.

I call this tune.
No one's immune to my power
Once in that hall.

In that case I
Must ask you why
You now preside
Over a brawl.

I'm not getting rich
My only interest
Is in something which
Gives me the chance
Of working with the best.

I can only say
I hope your dream comes true.
Till that far-off day
I hope you cope
With helping number two.

How sad It's very sad to see
To see The ancient and distinguished game that used to be

A model of decorum and tranquility
Become like any other sport
A battle ground for rival ideologies
To slug it out with glee.

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You Want To Lose Your Only Friend?

FLORENCE You want to lose your only friend?
Well, keep it up, you're doing fine.
Why this humiliation?
Why treat me like a fool?
I've taken shit for seven years
And I won't take it anymore.

I'm only teasing Soviets
With gentle bonhomie.
And you've a better reason to be anti-them than me.

There's a time and there's a place.

Well how about here and now?
Are you for me or for them?

There's a time and there's a place.

1956--Budapest is rising.
1956--Budapest is fighting.
1956--Budapest is falling.
I'd have thought you'd support
Any attack on these people.
On the people who ran
Mindlessly over your childhood.
Don't let them fool you for
Thirty years on--they're the same.

1956--Budapest is fighting.
1956--Budapest is dying.

They see chess as a war
Playing with pawns just like Poland.
If you walk out on me
You're really betraying your father!
Were he alive now
He'd surely be dying of shame.

You know that there's nothing I've done
That he'd be ashamed of in my whole life!
Why'd you have to do this to me?

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Someone Else's Story

Long ago
In someone else's lifetime
Someone with my name
Who looked a lot like me
Came to know
A man and made a promise
He only had to say
And that's where she would be
Although the feelings run just as deep
The promise she made has grown impossible to keep
And yet I wish it wasn't so
Will he miss me if I go?

In a way
It's someone else's story
I don't see myself
As taking part at all.
A girl that I was fond of
Finally could see
The writing on the wall
She realized she'd left him behind
And sadder than that she knew he wouldn't even mind
And though there's nothing left to say
Would he listen if I stay?

It's all very well to say you fool it's now or never
I could be choosing no choises whatsoever.

I could be
In someone else's story
In someone else's life
And he could be in mine.
I don't see
A reason to be lonely
I could take my chances
Further down the line
And if
That girl I knew should ask my advice
Oh I wouldn't hesitate
She needn't ask me twice
Go now!
I'd tell her that for free
Trouble is, the girl is me
The story is, the girl is me.

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One Night in Bangkok

Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don't know what the city is getting
The crčme de la crčme of the chess world in a
Show with everything but Yul Brynner.

Bangkok, just another stop in
The chess world circus--masters drop in,
Play, checkmate, check out and then you
Move on to another venue.

Like Iceland--or the Philippines--
Or Hastings--or--or this place!

One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you're lucky then the god's a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me.

One town's very like another
When your head's down over your pieces, brother.

It's a drag, it's a bore, it's really such a pity
To be looking at the board, not looking at the city.

Whaddya mean? Ya seen one crowded,
Polluted, stinking town, ya seen 'em all.

Tea, girls, warm, sweet
Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham suite.

Get Thai'd! You're talking to a tourist
Whose every move's among the purist.

I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine.

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your company.
I can feel the devil walking next to me.

One Night in Bangkok

Siam's gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
This grips me more than would a
Muddly old river or reclining Buddha.

I don't see you guys rating
The kind of mate I'm contemplating.
I'd let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we ue would not excite you.

So you better go back to your bars, your
Temples, your massage parlors...

One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you're lucky then the god's a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me.

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your company.
I can feel the devil walking next to me.

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Terrace Duet

This is the one situation
I wanted most to avoid
Nothing I say will convince him this isn't a trick.

A drink on a clear moonlit night--
I relax, she smiles
There's something peculiar going on.

So, through no fault of my own,
I'm in it way over my head.
Embarrassed, outnumbered, marooned.

Now she can't be working for them--
I mean us--
She seems to know what she's doing--
But where is he?

He has to show up.
It can't come to nothing.
Perhaps it can!

Maybe he's scared--
Though he didn't seem scared in the game.

Oh, I just couldn't care less
He can go right ahead
Go and wreck his career
I know I've done my best.

Well, at least she's a good looking spy.

What if my Russian friend thinks
That my plans have nothing to do with the chess?
If I don't say something and soon
He'll go--maybe I'm on nobody's side.

Listen, I hate to break up the mood
How do you say, begin the beguine
Haven't you noticed
We're still one character short
In this idyllic, well-produced scene.

How could I not? Miss Vassy regrets
Anything goes, with your opponent.

Never mind him--
I haven't missed him so far.
Maybe it won't do any harm
To struggle on without his charm
Funny how all at once I feel
Nothing about that meeting matters anymore.

This is the one situation
I wanted most to avoid.

My dear opponent--
I really can't imagine why.

You think I'm the dangerous kind--
Well I am!

You, you're not dangerous--
Who could think that of you?

You--you are so strange--
Why can't you be what you ought to be?

You should scheming, intriguing, too clever by half.

I have to hand it to you--
For you managed to make me
Forget why I ever agreed to this farce.

I don't know why I can't think of anything
I would rather do
Than be wasting my time with someone like you.

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Nobody's Side

What's going on around me
Is barely making sense
I need some explanations fast.
I see my present partner
In the imperfect tense
And I don't see how we can last
I feel I need a change of cast
Maybe I'm on nobody's side.

And when he gives me reasons
To justify each move
They're getting harder to believe
I know this can't continue
I've still a lot to prove
There must be more I could achieve
But I don't have the nerve to leave.

Everybody's playin' the game
but nobody's rules are the same
Nobody's on nobody's side
Better learn to go it alone
Recognize you're out on your own
Nobody's on nobody's side.

The one I should not think of
Keeps rolling through my mind
And I don't want to let that go
No lovers ever faithful
No contract truly signed
There's nothing certain left to know
And how the cracks begin to show!


Never make a promise or plan
Take a little love where you can
Nobody's on nobody's side
Never stay too long in your bed
Never lose your heart, use your head
Nobody's on nobody's side.

Never take a stranger's advice
Never let a friend fool you twice
Nobody's on nobody's side
Never be the first to believe
Never be the last to deceive
Nobody's on nobody's side
And never leave a moment too soon
Never waste a hot afternoon
Nobody's on nobody's side
Never stay a minute too long
Don't forget the best will go wrong
Nobody's on nobody's side.

Better learn to go it alone
Recognize you're out on your own.
Nobody's on nobody's side.

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Click here to hear Anthem (7k). The lyrics start approximately 21 seconds into the song.

No man, no madness
Though their sad powers may prevail
Can posess, conquer, my country's heart
They rise to fail.
She is eternal.
Long before nation's lines were drawn.
When no flags flew
When no armies stood
My land was born.

And you ask me why I love her
Through wars, death and despair
She is the constant
We who don't care
And you ask me will I leave her--But how?
I cross over borders but I'm still there now.

(Musical interlude)

Anatoly during Anthem

How can I leave her?
Where would I start?
Let man's petty nations tear themselves apart
My land's only borders lie around my heart.

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Hungarian Folk Song

Minden vágyam visszaszáll
Oda hol az édes hazám még
Zöld erdó virágos rét
S áll a régi régi házam még

Tudom egyszer visszetérek én
Vissza még, vissa még
Bujdosásom véget ér
S itt vagyok ujra
Szép hazámban én.

Nem csábit a messzeség
Nem csábit a nagyvilág
Elmult minden kisértésem már
Bujdosásom véget ért
S itt vagyok végre
Szép hazámban én.

All my dreams go back
Where my sweet country is
Green woods, flowery meadows
And stands my old, old country home

I know I shall return
Return, return
My wanderings will end
I'll be there again
In my beautiful country.

No faraway lands lure me
No glimmering cities
I am free of temptations.

Finally I am home I know
Finally, finally
My wanderings are over
At last I am here
In my sweet homeland.

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Heaven Help My Heart

If it were love I should give that love every second I have
And I do
Did I know where he'd lead me to?
Did I plan
Doing all of this for the love of a man?

Well I let it happen anyhow
And what I'm feeling now
Has no easy explanations
Reason plays no part
Heaven help my heart
I love him too much
What if he saw my whole existence
Turning around a word, a smile, a touch?

One of these days, and it won't be long, he'll know more about me
Than he should
All my dreams will be understood.
No surprise
Nothing more to learn from the look in my eyes
Though I know that time is not my friend
I'll fight it to the end
hoping to keep this best of moments
When the passions start
Heaven help my heart.
The day that I find.
Suddenly I've run out of secrets.
Suddenly I'm not always on his mind

Maybe it's best to love a stranger
Well that's what I've done--
Heaven help my heart.

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No Contest

You take care you don't let
Their shenanigans blind you
And you're wrong to forget
You've got your country behind you.

You're a fool if you think you can wave a flag
And inspire some dramatic action
If I want bad enough then it's in the bag
If I don't you're a mere distraction.

You taught me, baby
How the few who win acquire
What their hearts desire
It ain't practice, it ain't skill
They'll help but not as much as wantin' will.

No contest, baby!
Pay no mind to reputation
You want concentration?
When they pick him off the floor
It's cause I wanted it a little more.

You can win, you can lose
Take or be a possession
You taught me how to choose
And the key is obsession.

See my eyes, are they safe, are they even sane?
Are they warm when they seem to greet you?
You don't know, you can't tell, but it should be plain.
These are eyes that are gonna beat you

Don't ever tell me I don't know the way to play it
Do I have to say it?
Doesn't matter what he tries
I have him, you can see it in the eyes.

No contest, baby!
Barely any point in playing
When it's just delaying
What we both already know
He lost it a woman and a half ago!

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You and I

This is an all too familiar scene
Life imperceptibly coming between
Those whose love is as strong as it could or should be.

Nothing has altered--

--Yet everything's changed.

No one stands still--

Still I love you completely and hope I always will.

Why do we need to put love into words?
Causing confusion.
We protest, explain
Reassure, in vain
Come to no conclusion.

I'd give the world to stay just as we are
It's better by far
Not to be too wise
Not to realize

Where there's truth there will be lies.

You and I--

We've seen it all
Chasing our hearts' desire
But we go on believing
Nothing can harm us
This is forever.

Florence and Anatoly

You knew better than me
Where your ambitions would take us
I knew sooner than you
That those ambitions would break us
You would not believe me
Why should you believe me?
I held you back
You and your dreams.

Who needs a dream?
Who needs ambition?
Who'd be the fool
In my position?
Year after year
I'm still denying
Anything's changed
Anything's dying.

But then--

You and I
We've seen it all
Been down this road before.

But I go on pretending
Stories like ours
Have happy endings.

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I Know Him So Well

Nothing is so good it lasts eternally
Perfect situations must go wrong
But this has never yet prevented me
Wanting far too much for far too long
Looking back I could have played it differently
Learned a little more before I fell
But it took time to understand the man
Now at least I know I know him well.

Florence and Svetlana

Wasn't it good? Oh so good
Wasn't he fine? Oh so fine
Isn't it madness?
He can't be mine? He can't be mine?
But in the end he needs
a little bit more than me
More security He needs his fantasy
And freedom.
I know him so well.

No one in your life is with you constantly
No one is completely on your side
And though I move my world to be with him
Still the gap between us is too wide.

Looking back I could Looking back I could
Have played things Have played it differently
Some other way Differently
Won a few
More moments
I was just a little Who can tell?
But I was
Ever so much
Now at least Younger then.
I know him well. Now at least

I know I know him well.

Wasn't it good? Oh so good
Wasn't he fine! Oh so fine
Isn't it madness

He won't be mine? Didn't I know
How it could go?
If I knew from the start
Why am I falling apart?

Wasn't it good?
Wasn't he fine!
Isn't it madness
He won't be mine? He won't be mine?
But in the end he needs a
Little bit more than me
More security He needs his
Fantasy and freedom
I know him so well
It took time to understand him
I know him so well. I know him so well.

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Pity the Child
Click here to hear Pity the Child (17k). There is no intro.

When I was nine I learned survival
Taught myself not to care
I was my single good companion
Taking my comfort there
Up in my room I planned my conquests
On my own--never asked for a helping hand
No one would understand
I never asked the pair who fought below
Just in case they said "No."

Pity the child who has ambition
Knows what he wants to do
Knows that he'll never fit the system
Others expect him to
Pity the child who knew his parents
Saw their faults, saw their love die before his eyes
Pity a child that wise
He never asked "Did I cause your distress?"
Just in case they said "Yes."

When I was twelve my father moved out
Left with a whimper--not with a shout
I didn't miss him--he made it perfectly clear
I was a fool and probably queer
Fool that I was I thought this would bring
Those he had left closer together
She made her move the moment he crawled away.

I was the last the woman told
She never let her bed get cold
Someone moved in--I shut my door
Someone to treat her just the same way as before.

I took the road of least resistance
I had my game to play
I had the skill, and more--the hunger
Easy to get away
Pity the child with no such weapons
No defense, no escape from the ties that bind
Always a step behind
I never called to tell her all I'd done
I was only her son!

(Musical Interlude)

Pity the child, but not forever
Not if he stays that way
He can get all he ever wanted
If he's prepared to pay
Pity instead the careless mother
What she missed,
What she lost when she let me go
And I wonder does she know?
I never call. A crazy thing to do
Just in case she said "Who?"

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Lullaby (Apukád erós kezén)

Aludj kicsi lanykam
Hunyd be szemecskéd
Almod edes szarnyan
Suhanj konnyeden
Apukad eros kezen.

Elaludt a parnad
Elalszik a feny
Suhanju kicsi lanykam
Almod kek egen
Apukad eros kezen.

Sleep, my little girl
Keep your eyes closed
On the wings of sweet dream
Fly undisturbed
On your daddy's strong hand.

Your pillow is asleep
Soon the lamp will sleep
Fly, my little girl
On the blue sky of dream
On your daddy's strong hand.



Apukad. That means "father," doesn't it?
I remember that.


Jatekaid arvan
Varnak szerteszet
Egyelten bogarkam

Your little toys
Are asleep around you
Sleep my little angel

Aludj konnyeden
Apukad eros kezen.

Sleep gently lulled
On your daddy's strong hand.

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Endgame (Broadway cast)
Did you make it clear
That he has to be here?
Does he understand
He will lose his title?

How straightforward the game
When all its rules are respected...

Did you make it clear?
There are no exceptions?

...And these rules are the same
For a champion or for a novice.
No show, no dice, no appeal, no exception, no way!

Do you think he knows
What it's gonna cost him?

Does the player exist
In any human endeavor...

Do you think he cares
What it's gonna cost us?

...Who's been known to resist
Sirens of fame and possessions?
Threaten to cut off supplies and he'll come out to play.

He's a broken man;
Good as back in Moscow.

It's the weak who extol
Tawdry untruths about freedom...

What a way to learn
Home is where the heart is...

...Prostituting the soul
Chasing some spurious starlight
Trinkets in airports sufficient to lead them astray.

Selfish little creep
Everybody suffers

I'm no expert in chess
But hazard this prognostication...

Selfish little creep
Everybody suffers.

That the late Mister "S"
Has better chances of winning
The Kentucky Derby than keeping his title today.

Selfish little creep
Everybody suffers
We don't see the jerk
Even coming second...

We are all aware of reputation
But one empty chair is condemnation
Of a man who blew it scuttled with dishonor.

No one gives a damn
For his dilemma.
Just another scam
We're sick of them, a
Lot of jobs at stake
With Russia's prima donna.

We can hardly begin to
Imagine why he'd risk all he's put into
His calling through the years
The blood, the sweat, the tears
The late, late nights the early starts

Of course the effect is
Exactly what observers would expect viz.
The world is set to cheer
The only one who's here
The bad guy's gone and won their hearts.

Is he still in bed?
Or in the shower?
Even if he's dead
They won't allow a
Man to show up after the appointed hour.

They all think they see a man
Who doesn't know
Which move to make
Which way to go
Whose private life
Caused his decline
Wrecked his grand design
Some are vicious, some are fools
And others blind
To see in me
One of their kind.

So he's gonna fight
This situation
Where's my appetite
For concentration
Why is he so focused
When my thoughts are straying?

Looking at this man
It's her I'm seeing
Once my greatest fan
And now her being his
Still gets to me
And screws the way I'm playing.

Here I see a man caring
About a minor sporting triumph, sharing
A show with esoterics,
Paranoids, hysterics
Who don't pay attention to
What goes on around them
They leave the ones they touch
The way they found them
Is this the life I lead?
A childish, selfish greed
Whild those who love me bleed to death.

When I think of her
Her and her father
What would she prefer?
I know I'd reather live my life alone
Than feel that I had harmed them.

At last! He's made a mistake!

I cannot go on hurting
All the people who have trusted me.

He cannot escape from here!

Well here we are
The final stages of our soul-destroying game
The sacrifice of someone I will
Never find again.
Never! Check!
Never! Check!
Never! Check!
Never! Check!
Never! Check!

Backed the losing side
Florence Vassy
Took you for a ride
Florence Vassy
You just haven't got the
Instincts of a winner...

There is nothing more to do
No hope, no way to save the game
The end of play
So I lose today
And tomorrow?

We have just witnessed history made
Power moves West, ending an era
This is a great day for American chess

Freddie wins!

Some lyrics in Endgame have been changed without the authorization of Tim Rice.
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You and I

Knowing I want you
Knowing I love you
Cannot compare
With my despair
Knowing I've lost you.

I've been a fool to allow
Dreams to become
Great expectations.

How can I love you so much
Yet make no move?

There will be days and nights
When I want you more than I want to
More than I should
Oh, how I want you.

You and I
We've seen it all
Chasing our hearts' desire
But we go on pretending
Stories like ours
Have happy endings.

You could not give me
More than you gave me
I don't know why
I've standing by
Watching this happen.

I won't look back anymore
And if I do--just for a moment.

I can't imagine a time when I won't care.

But here we are today, and it's over
Hold me and tell me
We'll meet again.
Why is it over?

You and I
We've seen it all
Chasing our hearts' desire
But we go on pretending
Stories like ours
Have happy endings.

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