It’s a Mugs Game

It’s a Mugs Game” is a song by Soft Cell. I’m guessing it was written by the oh-so-underrated Marc Almond. I downloaded it tonight and listened to it for the frist time in over 20+ years. This song is something else—it’s brilliant! There’s no way I could have truly appreciated a song like this as a teenager.

It’s unique, has a casual groovy beat, is out-of-control but somehow manageable, incorporates different sounds and noises, and tells a crazy crazy crazy story that totally reminds me of Miss Things.

This song came to mind when I was watching the film Withnail & I at a friend’s house recently. < See previous blog post >

< Listen to IT’S A MUGS GAME now! >


Oh god its another night
And your head is feeling
Like a lump of lead
You should never have drunk
Those party-fours
You should of been home being good instead

Ever been in a deja vue
and the end is the same again
You ran out of your silver thins
And you’re trying to be so high class
Though you need a bath and your hair’s looking like string
And though you’re nearly broke you end up paying for all the drinks
And you tell them ‘Oh its nothing
There’s a million where those come from’
And then you whisper to your longest-suffering friend
‘Please lend me a few quid’

Oh god it’s another day
And your stomach’s feeling
Like a blown-up balloon
You should never have eaten that greasy food
The doctor told you that chili was bad for your blood

And you’re standing at the chemist in Boots
Coughing up your guts like you’re at deaths door
All this for a packet of Do-Do’s
And the assistant gives you a wink and you turn bright red
It’s at time like this that you wish you were dead
And you take the whole packet and you feel like you’ve drunk
A bottle of bleach
And you tell yourself ‘Never, never again
Well, not until next week anyway’
And you were never one for holding drink
And you stagger off to the toilet
And you throw up like it was Christmas
And you miss the bowl and you hit your shoes
And there’s no paper towels
Now what else can go wrong for you
It’s a choice between a cab fare home
And a packet of cigarettes
So you choose and the money sticks
In the machine and the manager says
‘Tough shit – drink up and leave’

Oh god it’s another disease
And you just got rid of the last
You were beginning to feel OK
And the friends you gave it to
Were speaking to you again.

And you find yourself having sex
In the back of a car
And the girl underneath
Doesn’t care who you are
And you’re nearly there
And she still doesn’t care
And her chewing gum
Is getting stuck in your hair
And there’s something wrong
Something that you forgot
Oh Shit, you’ve forgotten the rubber
And you don’t want a kid
Well, deny it was you
If your dad finds out
Then he’ll make you stay in
And do your homework
And cut your hair
And wear your school uniform
Out in the street
Oh what a fate worse than death
Oh well he can’t hit you
You can hit him back
And play your records so loud
All the ones that he especially hates
Deep Purple in Rock, Led Zeppelin II
Well even you hate those
Well on second thoughts
I think I’ll leave home
And go and live in America
Because they earn more money there
And they can get away with murder – Yeah!

Oh this is a Mugs game
I can’t wait until I’m twenty one
And I can tell them all to sod off.


One Response to “It’s a Mugs Game”

  1. Jason Says:

    Yes. This is one of the best songs ever. I heard it on the radio in my suburban bedroom at 16. Ex-girlfriends were having babies, the one’s I liked rejected me, dad was a pain, and I was blasting records screaming at the top of my lungs to purge and annoy. I wasn’t a 12″ guy and never could remember the title. So it was really just that one listen that stayed with me, “well even you hate those….” That was my favorite aside until Morrissey said “that’s nothing, you should hear me play piano!” Anyway was just inspired to look up that line (20+ years later!) and your post helped me find the title. Thanks.

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