The Good Me

by Candlepower

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1.
i got a floodlight burning inside of my head i’ll take a candle inside of my hands instead i want soul leaking out between my teeth want my feet on the ground and clouds beneath you said come, i said yes everything since is just one big mess i’d sell off diamonds for sand if you let me so please i’m asking just come here and get me i’m always out looking for something new looking past the world’s most beautiful you now dreams and angels sound good in a song i want them in our life, back where they belong why should i ride this flat lifeline as it rises ten feet a mile you wouldn’t waste a life like mine i know it’s not your style it was easier to give you my soul than one short day i want to control i think that’s all i’ve got left to say wanna get on the road while it’s called today
2.
well i walk a road of rough stone and foolish pride on my back my failed glory i know i have a second chance, but i want a first one i just want another way to tell our story thank God life’s not lived by playground rules and we could will ourselves to love some more i threw it all away and you came back like a boomerang you said baby what else are promises for rock burns a hole through paper dulls the blade of scissors cut the rock in two everywhere i turn i see a new horizon and i always think i’m gonna pass the test cause you’re the only place the sun will rise in and it always seems like i wake up facing west so i’m still walking with my foolish pride it’s still too big to carry alone if i ever thought i could deserve you i could not love this rough stone you put your hand in mine, i reached out for another and all i touched was you
3.
05:04
ten pm, 60 degrees and a 20 knot wind whitecaps all go quietly in the moonlight two kids choose between cigarettes and baby food tonight they get it right come back let me in be my second skin by tonight the tourists are all gone every time they leave it brings you down every year you change your prayer a little make it so you’ll grow to love this town out on the pier tonight there’s christmas lights and they sprayed all the bars with snow you had a chill all day but out in the bay there on the water something glows out the door by the dance hall floor and you’re running just then the band counts out sweet jane your heart opens like a parachute and you’re turning we just need a tiny word to love again is it the holiday that makes us this way just how lost we are but there’s something farther inside us to say it’s a perfect world we’re in you’re my second skin
4.
when i fell asleep the neighborhood dogs were barking they’d picked up the trail of the hope that came here to die and the airplanes circled like fireflies in the twilight sky now it’s long after midnight and i can’t go near the bedroom i’ve broken the deal with myself that i would not cry but just like every night, tonight the flag will fly and i can’t leave things behind me like you do so i only have two options left tonight and i choose pity and surrender over voodoo and pledge allegiance to my flag of white on white on white i know what i said about the highest mountain i know i said i’d swim the deepest sea thought I’d rescue my coins from the fountain and wish for free but you always put those poetry promises behind us you only wanted the person that i could be you only wanted a glimmer of kindness and that was too much for me i have a plan to get you back for sure stick a needle in my heart and hope it’s breaking yours
5.
(for daguerre) an image inside a box everything a blur time erases anything that walks anything but her experiments in the night a fading face summoned by candlelight he brings to the bedside a black case “mama i cannot expect that you will understand that this is not a miracle but a mystery of science just a little gas and silver, no sleight of hand” then he stands and throws apart the curtains wide everyone’s gone home the ticking clocks father and son he pulls an image from a box “papa i know how cruel it was to lose her by degrees but it gave me time to find a way to keep her here beside us it’s only gas and silver and our memories” and he presses down the truth into an open hand
6.
03:26
you knew mom when she was still a girl a grain of sand waiting patiently inside a pearl mercury to my moon, shining bright every day it’s kisses, tears and dynamite you’re the gut punch, pop gun, upper case e you’re the window back into the good me you’ve got angels baby singing harmony little grace bomb aimed at me mirrors only hang on the wall and show your skin but you follow me everywhere and show me all the way in some days i’m a hero, burning red some days i’m the monster underneath the bed whatever time in this life we’re apart you have to know you always had my heart no doubt you’ll break it time and time again i’d rather tell you now than tell you then one snowy night we’ll take a walk downtown see that baby in a manger with a tiny crown look into his eyes, does he look like you he should, he loves you more than we do
7.
all she can hear is voices in the house and her mother welcoming a guest ceiling fan spins, cicadas sing and two hearts beat inside her chest all she can see is a graduation gown and a tiny pink line that left her no doubt high stakes, long odds and a very short list of ways out just a boy and a girl, and a good enough chance when the music stops, somebody still stands someone’s always standing the minister’s wife knocks on her door she has a famous nose for the scent of sin a couple of words and an elegant smile closes the door and comes in there in her room and face to face she’s ready to hear about heaven & hell the minister’s wife can read her mind she says i have another story to tell the minister’s wife reaches into the past and pulls out her secret little A same sounds, same list in a bedroom forty years away all she can see is the snow on the sill doctors and nurses and the minister’s wife all she can hear is the machines going still and the perfect sound of another life
8.
03:50
five lines i would not cross five vows i’d stand behind in the morning there’s a breath where the day’s not lost and then i’m looking back at my five lines i would never take your name in vain never make her sleep alone again never spend a whole day wrapped in fear never follow a thought so far i can’t come back again and you’d never take your hand away from here i’m gonna love comfort less than the truth remember what the truth is anyhow and always cherish honor love protect and obey half as proud and twice as brave and you’ll see me like i really was that way now lines and vows don’t come at any cost quick to draw, cheap to make, and easy to leap across two hands folded above two knees you’d think i could do it with ease i know it’s been a long time since i prayed i can only keep the promises you made
9.
03:57
will gets up the nerve and blows the candle on his wishes all he knows about her is the rumors and her honeymoon skin but two a.m. tears, four p.m. lunch and desperate midnight kisses and the get out of life free card wears thin safe boys and dangerous girls always seems so right at the time but you’ll never be the one to change her no matter where you sit down and look into those troubled eyes you know you’re looking back at a stranger he decides to put the dangerous girl in its place and the safe one inside lily is the one for him he can see it there like a jewel in a bulletproof case but every time he touches it, the guards close in till one long night it all comes down, predictable surprise jet fuel running in his veins and roadmaps in his eyes talking all about a wall, he never could break through it she stopped hearing miles back and says “i never ever dreamed that you would do it” will and lily haven’t seen each other for awhile he rolls down the window with a trembling hand, do you need a ride she watches the need in his penitent eyes and she smiles says “trouble is, sweet william, too much dangerous boy inside”
10.
i know you don’t expect this letter just say you’ll read it to the end i cannot explain my leaving, this silent year it took the time and space to make it clear life with you is true and this is lies all the girls in london have sad eyes how does it feel around our house now that the place has one less fool i stopped in the street to hear a busker play i saw it in her face when she played “yesterday” i crossed at the waterloo, the wind blew off the thames st. martin’s sighing in the night with the sound of hymns i looked around the side of the dream there in my mind only a hotel room and two lives left behind don’t tell mom what’s in this letter want her to hear it all from me there’s no more denial in me, no more disguise not even the way i like to keep things a surprise
11.
you’ve been pointing your heart away from me telling me what i wanted to hear now i know what you’re going to say to me let me find another way out of here i’ve felt the chill in a judas kiss planted a dream and watched it die please don’t leave me alone like this i’m not ready for that kind of goodbye i can’t catch the rain in your promises if you won’t look me in the eye i can’t rest my head on your memory if you go with that kind of goodbye i didn’t want to follow you everywhere you didn’t want to clip my wings nothing has ever been said before now it all comes down to one of two things i’ve been left standing in the falling light seen the river of love run dry please don’t leave me alone tonight i’m not ready for that kind of goodbye

credits

released October 1, 2002

produced by matt goldman and scott kauffmann

scott kauffmann: vocals, acoustic guitar
kenny hutson: acoustic guitar, parlor guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel, lap steel, mandolin, dobro
troy stains: acoustic guitar, electric guitar
danny stephens: organ
alex peterson: bass, electric guitar, vocals
matt goldman: drums, percussion, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
lydia peterson, angie booker, michael johnston, terri evans: vocals
mike thompson: e-bow electric guitar, keyboards

all songs by scott kauffmann © 2002

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Candlepower New York, New York

Scott Kauffmann and friends.

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