Early Game

from by Colin McGrath

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Imagine for a second that Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, by some quirk in the fabric of the same time continuum, was not Irish but Turkish. Then imagine that the movie takes place during the 1960’s in Sau Paulo. Perhaps they don’t have a lot of docks in Sau Paulo, but they do have rail yards and they’re undoubtedly mob controlled. So. Moving on. Gilberto Gil and Terry are friends from the rail yards. One early morning finds Gilberto playing guitar and Terry tending to his birds on his rooftop. That very day Terry intends to testify against the local mob boss, Joao Friendly. Terry opens the birdcage. The birds, the symbol for the part of Terry’s soul that he hasn’t yet compromised, fly away, finally free. The pattern of their winging is expressed musically in the
alternating bars of 7/8 and 6/8 to the new ditty that Gilberto is strumming on his guitar.
-W. Berlind


Birds awake
Wide awake
Night leaves
Fly away
Play the early game (ahh, haa)

I don’t want to wait
Until tomorrow
Wide awake
Play the early game

No one here will know
Where I’m going
Fly away
Play the early game (ahh, haa)

Early game
You’re free, you’re free to
Fly away
Play the early game...


from Yellow Brick Man, released November 11, 2011
Colin McGrath- vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, bouzouki, claps
William Berlind- organ
Ian Riggs- bass
Dana Lyn- violins, viola, string arrangement
Katie Kresek- violin
Robert DiPietro- drums, metal lampshades



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Colin McGrath Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn based songwriter Colin McGrath mines the crossroads of American music from the Appalachian Mountains to Tin Pan Alley. A storyteller with a tendency for the theatrical, McGrath inhabits his characters with his rugged, earthy voice and nuanced guitar playing. McGrath won first place in The Wildflower! Songwriting Competition, and The Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival Competition. ... more

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