• [ Vicious Cycle ]

• [ Random Respawn ]

• [ Five Star Views Included ]

• [ Tailwhips & Curb Endos ]

• [ Recycle & Repair ]

• [ Paths We Pedal ]

• [ Circling the Drain ]

• [ The Universe is Out to Fix Us Up ]

Musical Renditions:

Circling the Drain (Click for Audio)


Andy Gupta: Original music, bass

Billy Playle: Final arrangement, keyboards, synthesizers, guitars

George Williams: Lead & backing vocals

Alex Zulaika: Drums

Nick Testa: Mix/Master

M. Centra: Lyrics, original vocal melody *

* slightly altered lyrics


Lungs and legs about to give out

Still pushing with a vengeance on an incline of doubt

Not knowing or caring where it's all heading

Or even how it might end

Wind and rain hold a cruel surprise

For every rough and tumble rolling with our demise

Life chained to a shelf, ever dwindling health

Do I dare think myself any better?

Can't think of anything but the road ahead

Can't look to anyone for understanding

Can't count on any force but the naked tire tread

Can't make sense of a world uncomprehending 



Born of a vicious cycle 

All vicious and mean 

Swirling in a death spiral 

Where the vulture's scream 

Cursed heir to the prophecy 

Of a doomsday fate 

Delivered to extinction 

Born but all too late 

All too late 

All too late 

Traffic ebbs, the chaos subsides

To the pessimistic solitude of daily bike rides 

And growing concerns how the world ever squirms  

With its third degree burns out of this one

Land and Sea respond in effect

To our catastrophic arrogance, abuse and neglect

Can anyone born into such a shit-storm

Emerge wounded and worn out of this one?

Can't talk to anyone of the fear and dread

Can't fight the thought it's borrowed time I'm spending

Can't help but pedal on to clear my troubled head

Can't see life in a world so fit for ending



Nothing special from re-start 

Another player hits the mix 

Reborn into this playground of contention

A glitched-out game programmed for pain

 No line of code can fix

I keep my head down

Pedal onward

Let the rush of speed contort me

To a blur, frenetic purr

A streak of light

No the world doesn't play

Like the fantasies the software runs

When it's all just a blur of downturns

And undeserved outcomes

You get your share of laughs

Where you can

In this limited lifespan



The Universe will cycle you through 

Little you can change, little you can do 

To breathe, to speak, to soften the blows 

To be reanimated somewhere nobody knows 

As a member of some future race 

In a distant realm of Time and Space 

We randomly respawn 

We cry and carry on... 

Something dead lies in the road

Cursing cars and all the dumb luck

Our end can come from any odd direction

Each life a fact born for impact

Blind-sided, stabbed or struck

I keep my eyes peeled

Pedal onward

Let the twists of Time distort me

To a smear, a trailing tear

A fading voice

You can turn tail or face

The onrushing flood of passing cars

Like the lingering shame

In a night's foray of singles bars

You give your share of sighs

Drink and grieve

Look around depressed and leave



We randomly respawn

We laugh and lumber on...


Will you be safe, will you be hurt?

Will you be born to a full blown psycho?

Will you live well, will you live fast?

Will you be dead by the next news cycle?

Will you speak up, will you pipe down?

Will you stand firm in raw defiance?

Will you lay low, will you walk tall?

Will you concede with full compliance?


You could be the voice the people cheer 

The coward curled up in a ball of fear 

You can have your choice of luxuries 

A priceless world shattered by fierce unease 

You can win the peace all signed and sealed 

Eyes skyward, dying on a battlefield 

The Universe supplies the view 

(And it's yet to suck) 

The rest of it is up to you 

(And a little luck) 

And a little luck 

Existence gives no guarantees

I don't want you deluded

But each life holds amenities

These five star views included

These five star views included

You could work hard, you could daydream

You could live like a media starlet

You could be shown saving mercy

You could be sold at a large slave market

You could be cool, you could lose it

Never a moment to yourself alone

You could die young, you could linger

Old and forgotten in a nursing home


repeat to fade:

The rest of it is up to you

(and a little luck)


What could you do as a Cold War kid

In a life and death game between super foes?

Wondering what the hell you ever did

To inherit the nuclear threats in silos

Amy and ice cream, bare feet burning hot

Warm winds and weeping willows

Practicing stunts in the pool parking lot

Tailwhips and curb endos

What could we do?

Life was so new

chorus 1: 

Under the threat of a nuclear hell 

How could we cope but defy and rebel? 

Cutting out early from homeroom class 

Spring days too good to let pass 

Endless distractions to fill the voids 

Star Castle and Asteroids 

Learning the riffs and the drum solo

Tailwhips and curb endos 

What could you do as a latchkey kid

Coming home to an empty house after school?

Smoking the stash we so carefully hid

Organizing a band for our chance to be cool

Aimlessly daydream to hours of Rush

Signals and Power Windows

Performing our stunts in view of our crush

Tailwhips and curb endos

What could we do?

Love was so new

chorus 2: 

Watching the tide of our social decay 

Plotting escape somewhere far and away 

Born vagabonds of the neighborhood 

Always out late and up to no good 

Meet at the fields or convenience store 

Searching for gold on the streambed floor 

Time ever so quietly ticks and flows 

Tailwhips and curb endos 

(fade out):

What could we do?

Time ever so quietly ticks and flows

What could we do?

Tailwhips and curb endos

What could we do?

Learning the riffs and the drum solos

What could we do?

Warm winds and weeping willows

What could we do?


When it comes to Evolution

They sow the seeds of doubt

But when the subject turns to God

They know Him inside out

And so they stand self-righteously

Refusing to be moved

God is not up for debate

But the Big Bang must be proved

Cue the quantum flux

And cosmic permutations

Countering the text

Of ancient incantations


All the living left for dead - hope springs eternal still - 

If a god won't resurrect us the Cosmos surely will 

No fate to fear forever, no permanent despair 

The Universe will rectify, recycle and repair 

By way of healing recipes hatched in stewing galaxies 

Pulling life out of thin air and exotic atmospheres 

Religion claims monopoly

On all of resurrection

But the forces that give rise to life

Remain a burning question

Creationists insist that it's

Intelligent design

But if it's not, the matter moves

To just the work of Time

Elemental forms

Spur physical attractions

Activating bonds

Spark chemical reactions



Perhaps in their own way each side is correct

And maybe in truth we are wasting our breath

Religion and science might both intersect

In no better way than transcendence of death


The Universe will rectify, recycle and repair

By way of secret recipes born in stewing galaxies

Breathing life out of thin air and exotic atmospheres


A mechanical method of motion

Biological source of energy

The most efficient form of propulsion

The black beauty of modern industry

Three piece cranks, saw-tooth pedals

Propelling you forward with a vengeance

Precision alloy of aircraft metals

You fall into the rhythm of the cadence


A journey unrivaled to ride through life 

From the perch of vehicular traction 

Portable freedom, a breeze to maintain 

With the barest of brute interaction 

Society connected, environment respected 

On painstakingly perfected paths we pedal 

Shifting your weight into onrushing curves

Dizzying blur of roadside scenery

Pushing the speed to the edge of your nerves

A marvel of modern machinery

Dual disc brakes, churning belt drive

Relentless attraction to the danger

Silent momentum, life coming alive

And in tune with the rhythm of Nature



Swerve around the chaos in the corresponding lane

Rest along the roadside taking shelter from the rain

Push hard to make good time and pedal through the pain

On paths we pedal - from teeming streets to lush terrain

On paths we pedal - kick in gear the old drivetrain

On paths we pedal until we're all smoothed out and sane


Planets dart and dance

Move in unison

Vibrate to the rhythm

Of the cosmic hum

Lightning in the sky

Splashes on the waves

Echoes in the forest

Firelight in caves

Are there jealous worlds watching afar?

Do they have no inkling where we are?

Dim dots across a star

Exotic and bizarre


The glint of an alien telescope 

Skims the galactic plane 

When our ticking time bomb floats into view 

While circling the drain 

The signals fly in vain 


Neurons multiply

Ideas circulate

Discourse growing toxic

Toxicity of tongues

Viralizing hate

Figureheads emerge

Weapon-wielding hands

Displaced populations

Confiscated lands

Will the better worlds reach us in time?

Will our pale blue dot rot on the vine?

The limb too far to climb

The jewel robbed of its shine



(In recognition of Adela Florence Nicolson)

Took my eyes off for a second

Lost you for another trillion years

One life grants me all my hopes

The next delivers all my fears

A glimpse of you on one world

Imprinted on my gaze

Your voice vibrates through lifetimes

Like echoes in a maze

A brief affair on a busy planet

Lifetime alone on the next

Two lost souls en route to where

Our existence redirects

Was I one of your many suitors

Rejected in your last life?

Did you, a ghostly face in the crowd,

Long in vain to be my wife?

chorus 1: 

We can scorn each other 

Squander sweeps of time 

Taunt or toy with dreams - 

Defying all design - 

We can dodge our destiny 

Summon all our strength to let it be 

We can sit content with our empty cup 

But the Universe is out to fix us up 

In one life we were close classmates

And we never even knew

The next life you were standing right there

To slip right past my view

Another time showed growing promise

But our tempers proved a wall

You reappeared not three lives later

With no eyes for me at all

Next we resumed it was love at first sight

On some cratered war-torn moon

But in the debris of a mushroom cloud

It was over much too soon

Are we the now divided souls

Of a long lost former romance?

Each life a quest to reunite

Against the twists of circumstance?

chorus 2: 

We can mock the notion - 

Deplore the prospect - 

But the right lifetime 

Our eyes connect 

The floodgates of love are breached 

The singularity of presence reached 

A spirit can stir in the coldest cup 

And the Universe is out to fix us up 


Off we go on our separate quests

Wherever our being manifests

Will our rocky roads collide?

Our deepest passions coincide?


From a quantity of atoms

Inhabiting deep space

Who knew such lonely stardust

Would one day form your face?

From a pattern of genetics

As complex as the weather

Who knew we would assemble

To stand here now together?

(chorus 1+2)


All songs are copyright protected. The right of Michael Centra to be identified as the author of these works has been asserted by him in accordance with Copyright, Design and Patent Acts.

All rights are reserved. No part of any lyric published may be reproduced, stored or transmitted by any means without the permission of the author.