I sometimes cause problems for myself with deadpan delivery of lyrics intended to convey the opposite of what I actually mean. One particularly witless reviewer some years back really pissed me off by taking ‘The Gentlemen’s Game’ totally at face value – basically accusing me of racism. At risk of making the same mistake again, here is ‘Foreign Players’.
The chorus here comes from the famous line from Sartre’s ‘Huis Clos (No Exit)’ ‘L’enfer c’est les autres’ or ‘hell is other people’ – a statement which I disagree with. Most of this record is trying to articulate how much I feel other people are important to being happy. So ‘too many foreign players’ is both a little pun on the football meaning, and the song’s protagonist’s way or articulating that he believes others get in the way of him doing what he wants. He doesn’t stop to consider how important they really are to him….
Musically this is a great time to mention returning guest violinist Eleanor who plays a stunning part on this song, and Laura Roberts whose multi-tracked vocals on the chorus were so lush and gorgeous that I had to copy/paste them one more time at the end so they could be heard more clearly.