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This is my first post-retirement song and, naturally, concerns getting old. In fact, it is an extended metaphor on getting old based on the game of chess — specifically, the "endgame."

Words and music © Jonathan Ochshorn 2022

Verse 1

A rook moves on a gridded board
Cleared of all distractions
A knight protects his frightened lord from
Unwanted interactions
All the pawns have left the field
Emptied and depleted
The queen was just a human shield
Her sacrifice conceded
While all the others tactically retreated
For the endgame

Verse 2

The bishop's staring down the king
Demanding retribution
The knight with its maneuvering
Stays the execution
But the knight is pinned in retrospect
The king's defense is shattered
His strategy once seemed correct but
None of it has mattered
All paths lead whether straight or scattered
To the endgame

Bridge 1

Now's the time to make your play
Let the chips fall where they may
No one knows what lies ahead
We're all flying blind instead

Verse 3

Seasons clamor for attention
Winter worries spring is here
Summer sweats with apprehension while
Fall starts yet another year
As days rush into their tomorrows
Someone's born someone dies
Other people and their sorrows
Flash before my eyes
Not unexpected but still taken by surprise
In the endgame

Bridge 2

Don't waste time by taking stock
Just make your move and hit the clock
Grab the wheel and make it spin
Time to let the end begin

Verse 4

The knight is scanning the horizon
He's searching for a flaw
The king considers compromising
He's hoping for a draw
But the pressure's as intense as ever
There's nowhere else to go
When each and every last endeavor
Just might bring the final blow
As we wait for the final act in the final show
Of the endgame

Production notes:
Music arranged and produced by J. Ochshorn
Recorded with Logic Pro X software
Video edited with Final Cut Pro software
Vocals: J. Ochshorn
Guitars (rhythm and finger-picking both played on my Ibanez "lawsuit" fake-Gibson): J. Ochshorn
Software instruments played live on midi keyboard: J. Ochshorn (drums, bass, organ)
Recorded at home in Ithaca, NY, September 2022.