My American Guilt

by Brian Vaughn

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03:48
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credits

released February 29, 2012

Brian Vaughn: music, lyrics, performance, mixing

Special thanks to Karl Ridgeway for his guest appearance on Scattershot (guitar solo) as well as for co-writing the guitar for "Expectations & Assumptions" as well as "A Walk Without Direction"

Special thanks to Gor Narang for his help co-writing "Covered & Marked" as well as for performing drums and backup vocals on that track.

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Brian Vaughn Harrisonburg, Virginia

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Track Name: Here
I could be the last one that you had.
My mind is without conflict in only this.
Will you think about these things when you lay in bed at night and fight for rest?
Will you think about these things with my message on your telephone?

Oh..
Brace yourself for this.
It feels like nothing else could matter.
The outside world could disappear.
I'm so blinded by these feelings.
I just wish that you..

Would hear me out.
Nothing's going to go away.
Ever since I met you, we haven't been apart so long that I could turn this off.
Will you tell me not to think, when all I think about pertains to you?
Will you show me how to feel when my stomach twists and turns at the thought of seeing you?

Oh..
Brace yourself for this.
It feels like nothing else could matter.
The outside world could disappear.
I'm so blinded by these feelings.
I just wish that you were here.
Track Name: Love
Love, love, love...

Look up and down.
There are shapes in the clouds,
And ants on the ground who march in line,
To the roots of a tree,
Whose bark carries the name,
Of a girl whose boy thought her worth the mark.

Oh what it must feel like to have your surface scarred,
And for something so inconsequential as love.

Look in and out,
And don't forget your frown.
Put your hands on the places you don't like.
You can wish you were me,
But I'm in the same place,
There is no one here who doesn't have their scars.

You might not want me to say,
But let's call it what it is: love

I've got a lot of love, got a lot of love for you.

Oh what it would feel like to live your life alone?
I don't want to know.
And I swear there's something about you.
There's an energy we draw on in close proximity.
I don't want to go.
I swear I'm feeling it right now.

Love.
Track Name: No, Say it
"No, just say it", she said.
I'll give you something to smile about.
I would fall into your arms, but since I can't I'm with someone else.

Don't say it. Don't say it..

Love come back,
I remember now, how it goes.
I left my heart within your grasp and you didn't notice it.

"I'm so hungry", she said,
But there was more she suggested
You're so far away from me.
You're like a boy on the television.

Love come back,
I remember now, how it goes.
I left my heart within your grasp and you didn't notice it.

Love come back.
I'll give you a second chance.
I left my heart within your grasp and you couldn't handle it.

Don't say it. Don't say it..
Track Name: Little Girl
Hold on little girl. Don't lose hope.
Even though things seem so damn broken now,
I want you to know that it gets so much better.

My thoughts flow out, like a hurricane,
Always pressing on to you even when we are alone.
You hold a piece of this wandering heart.
I only hope it brings some comfort when you're feeling low.

Challenges show your strength

Just wait for tomorrow.

Holding on when we're weak makes us stronger.
Squeeze my hand if you're afraid.
I won't leave you.
Track Name: Expectations & Assumptions
I shouldn't have to say this, but I can't stand this silence.
And I wonder if you know what i'm going through.
It seems way too common for words and acts to disagree,
But I expected more from you.
I told you so, sitting right there.

What does it say about me [anything?] that I gave you my trust so soon?
You shouldn't have accepted.
You know what you did.

If you understand me, congratulations,
But I want more than that,
And you know where I can be found.
If you want me than pursue me.
If I'm worth it just let it show.

I can handle it.
I'm not afraid of these things.
Ask yourself am I a risk that you will take?
Just what am I to you?
I could be strong.
I could be there for you if you'll only tell me what you've been hiding

Honesty is best.
I don't care if you fall apart- I'll catch you.
But I cannot keep guessing what this silence means.

If you understand me then you should know this.
I am cut off from every one I see, but you.
You reminded me of something- a piece of me that I thought was dead.
So please don't leave.
Don't leave me like I was before.

I'm not desperate.
I'm not begging.
I just wish that you could see the potential in between us.
All the things that this could be.
Tell me what I'm going through [word for word].
You can repeat what I just said.
I don't care.
Just something to remind me that I'm not alone in here.
Track Name: My American Guilt
My American guilt crouches in the corner.
Watches me for hours without moving at all.
Anorexic. Unapologetic.
It's just waiting for me to get up and turn on the TV.

Don't back down from this.
You are on to something here.
It's been way too long since you've felt anything.
And all that you have done, the thoughts you've brought to life, this isn't healthy at all.

When did you get so quiet? (my American guilt)
I've kept you in no short supply of reasons to sing.
We're all so comfortable here,
There's no motivation, or emotion, or movement, or breathing..

My video heart picks up on nothing.
Conveniently wired not to receive.
When life is just a story, it's easy to forget,
That you're not the only person who is acting.

Don't back down from this. Finally a little truth.
It's been way too long since you've used your brain.
And all that you have done, the thoughts you've brought to life, this isn't healthy at all.

Just sit back.
There's nothing to see here.
Eat. Sleep. Watch.
We'll take care of everything.

Don't make a sound.
(My American guilt.)
Track Name: Scattershot
Shorty, you have weapons and you use them without hesitation.
Don't pretend you're helpless when you're not.
You've taken something that you never had a right to ask for
A girl like you gets everything she wants.

You are only offering your hand because you want to prove you can care for someone other than yourself.
Or maybe I am just a lucky sucker, in the right place at the wrong time.

And you know that you could tell me anything at all that's on your mind.
I have always been here to support you.
You tell me that you miss me and I really wish I could believe you,
But I recall the last time.

You have nothing you could offer.
I've already offered more.
This is how I'm really feeling, if you're wondering.

Woman this is something I don't want to have to say again.
You're going to have to trust me if we're ever going to act as friends.
And words are not enough,
I want your actions to agree with them.
You can't just ask me to believe you.

I remember thinking you were different than the ones before you.
Don't go proving my suspicions wrong.

I'm sorry for the things I say.
Sometimes I speak before we think.
Should think I would have learned by now,
But I'm still figuring out what drives me.

My mind is there with you.
You're the only place I am.
My lungs they burn for you.
Its forever.
Track Name: Your Eyes
Long time love always hit the road running.
Got a hairpin trigger and a problem with drinking.
You brought your mouth to a gun fight darling.
Automatic mind got the last word coming around.

And if you didn't know, now you know.

Your eyes- [I'm finally listening]- have got something to tell me.
Your eyes- [What are they trying to say?]- are as vacant as the sky.

Ready set go, you can cuddle with a pillow.
Got my mind on you honey but you're wasting my time.
Talking may be cheap but I'm not a beginner.
Always got my eye on the exit door when you're around.

Fooled me once baby, but not again.

Your eyes- [I'm finally listening]- have got something to tell me.
Your eyes- [What are they trying to say?]- are as vacant as the sky.
Your eyes- [Not hiding anything]- can probably see through me.
Your eyes- [Will never go away]- make me naked inside.

In a western state, all's quiet now.

Listen I think you and me have got a problem.
And I'll shoulder the blame, if that's what it takes to get to solving it.
I've got a whole lot of time's been wasted on this.
No I'm not trying to say that you promised me anything.
When you didn't. You didn't.

Don't look at me that way. Your eyes burn into me.
And I lose my mind. It's hard to concentrate.
I thought I knew this game. Your eyes dismantle me.
And I compromise, like it's reason I came.

Your eyes- [I'm finally listening]- have got something to tell me.
Your eyes- [What are they trying to say?]- are as vacant as the sky.
Your eyes- [Not hiding anything]- can probably see through me.
Your eyes- [Will never go away]- make me naked inside.

On the open road, I'll be quiet now.
Track Name: Parts of You
Love is trying to find a way around,
Somebody else who's laying down,
Right in the way of where I want to go.

These words have many meanings.
I'm not just walking blindly any more.
And if you'd lend me your ear, I want to tell you something.

I love parts of you, but some of the rest I could do without.
Do you feel the same way about me?
You're so beautiful,
Except the lack of personality.
But I think I could overlook that.

Thinking of the future shows you're living in the past.
Sometimes it's best to just let it go if you love someone.
Isn't that what it's all about?
Isn't that what this song's about?

I saw the first star tonight,
And I made a wish upon it,
While I was driving around.
Trying to make up my mind.
What I'm going to say to you.
When did I get so timid?
Why can't I make a move?
I've been living under your shadow for such a long time.

Sit back and tell me you want me half as much as you did a year ago.
I won't think this is just me til you convince me so.
I've got nothing to stay for any more.

This place holds nothing, but we don't want to talk abou it.
I'd leave with nothing but the shirt on my back.
Track Name: The Shepherd
Just follow them little lamb.
They will show you the way to find rest.
Open up your heart and close your mind and they will guard the nest.
I promise you.

And still you're watching from the wall, but your face is as cold as stone.
And if you love me, as she tells me, why do I feel all alone?

We're only guessing truth be told
Even those who walk the narrow
And if I have to guess I will, but how it haunts me
How it haunts me

Cast your nets into the water.
Today's the day you fish for something real.

I will watch you only,
Guard you from this family.
Track Name: A Walk Without Direction
I can feel her slowing down.
She turns her head to me, and I know her mind.
No words are said as I lay down.
We'll be safe together here.
It's all I have.

Can't you see I'm tired?
I can't tell another lie.
I only want to hide until morning comes.
I wish I could be your hero.
It haunts me while I sleep.

Footsteps fall on quiet ground.
We walk without direction, without conversation.
I still remember when I thought that if we worked together we could find a way out.

Do you still think that I'm the one?

Can't you see I'm tired?
I can't tell another lie.
I only want to hide until morning comes.
I wish I could be your hero.
It haunts me while I sleep.
Track Name: Revolutions
In time I'll fall apart,
And you can watch it all with dried up eyes.
Our life revolves around a worsening reflection of how helpless we are.

Lights out.
I don't want to talk about how every day just leads us to the same place.
I don't know if we can take it or if we'll both just fall apart.
Lights outs.
I don't want to see your face
We've aged and I can't really handle it.
Just another revolution out here in the dark.

I laugh for all the times I've failed to form connections with the world outside
And you react to me.
We push ourselves together in an effort to see.

Lights out.
I don't want to talk about how every day just leads us to the same place.
I don't know if we can take it or if we'll both just fall apart.
Lights outs.
I don't want to see your face
We've aged and I can't really handle it.
Just another revolution out here in the dark.

You can press your body against mine,
But you can't see behind these eyes.

Oh, revolution.

All this solitude- we're not handling it so well.

You can rest your body against mine.
Track Name: Revolve
Yesterday, she fell apart,
And I watched it all through dried up eyes.
Now everything revolves around this mirror.
And we are helpless.
There's no escape.

But if I had the chance, I'd change it all.
All this aging, I'm not handling it so well.
And the truth remains that some day everyone of us will stand alone.
I don't if I can take it, or if I'll just fall apart.

I guess it's funny that after so many miles,
I still haven't made contact with the outside.
And sure, you can press your body against mine,
But you can't reaching behind these eyes.
We're not connecting.

But if I had the chance, I'd change it all.
All this solitude, I'm not handling it so well.
And the truth remains that some day everyone of us will stand alone.
I don't if I can take it, or if I'll just fall apart.
Track Name: Oh, My Mind
Grey fisted clouds in the sky. Plaid skirt and innocent eyes,
And I am no longer sane.
Small road, stop sign ahead. Slow intersection. Big hotel bed.
Oh, my mind seems to have drifted away.

If you call for me I'll know this is a dream,
And as stupid as it seems- I'll wake.

Bright blue sky all around. Cows on the highways and fire on the ground.
And I've come here but I don't know why.
Misguided grasp on the truth. Gold and silver but nothing for you.
I have better things in mind.

Don't reach for me. Things are never what they seem.
I'd kiss you if I could but it'd only be a dream.
And don't call my name from any other state,
As pointless as it seems- I'd wake.

Oh, my mind. My mind.

Broom handle twins in the sky.
Two pairs of mean little eyes.

If you hold onto me I'll know this is a dream.
Invite me in your room and I won't stay asleep.
If your behavior should change, I'll know that it's fake
And though I won't want to,
Though I'll fight to stay,
Though it's unfair- I'll wake.
Track Name: Three
Three come down looking for a little shelter.
(All God's people have something they can give away.)
Rain on the heels like a love-struck daughter.
(Don't look at me. I have less than my neighbor.)
Knock, knock, knocking on the doors of the boro.
(Settle down, settle down. Maybe they'll just go away.)
Curse on the lips for an avaricious people.
(Sorry now or sorry soon. Who knows what tomorrow brings.)
Track Name: Dichotomy
Just repeat what they say to me.
Assume I'll automatically agree, and I-
You expect I'll nod my head,
Or shut-up if I don't agree with
We love inventing our dichotomies
Who gives a shit about reality-
When he who talks the loudest is considered right.

Again it goes, and again you downplay,
Anything that doesn't work to your advantage.
Again it goes, and again you hide your true face.
And our concerns, fade onto the second page.

Deny my credibility and tear me all to pieces
I am all alone and I don't have the resources
To play your games~
To debate this way.
Time is on your side.
You can weather this storm, (and be here long after)
I have blown away
Starved or defeated by every day things.

Again it goes, and again you downplay,
What we say, when it goes against your message.
Again it goes, and again you take everything.
Increase the gap that lies between us.

Don't pretend to sympathize.
When this is just the way you wanted things to be.
You talk out both sides of your mouth.
If you really wanted this to change,
This would be over.
Shut up don't deny it we know better.

America, America.
My country, 'tis of thee,
Land of dichotomy,
Of thee I sing.
Track Name: Covered & Marked
Cold hands.
I held them in.
I gave you my warmth like a child gives his laugh.
Free fall through the night air.
Near the train tracks there's a field,
And I'll meet you there.

Straight road into the night.
You'll call in time before I drift away.
Sun peeks down on my face.
Another night without sleep.

If you were to wake alone,
Would you note the place where I lay?

Back in this hole, I hide away.
Memories for each mistake that I've made.
Song in the air, floating your way,
Covered and marked with your name.

If I were to call you, would you come for me?
I am going under with the thoughts of you and me.
Track Name: Warming Up to You
I try to stay focused, but there's just something about warming up to you.

Like a warm breeze in my hair
The summer sun of a childhood memory
Walking bare foot into the grass

The best part of an average day
A bright spot in an otherwise gray world
Warming up to you
Track Name: Red Light, Green Light
Stop.
Don't say another word to me.
You can see it on my face.
I've got nothing but time.
When it comes to you, I'm so weak.
I can't stand on my own feet.
I can't walk away.

Stop taking over my thoughts again.
I can't focus when you do.
You know I've got my own life.
But when it comes to you, I'm a child.
I lose sense of what is real.
There's no harmony here.

And if it's come to this again, I know That you hate to say I told you so.
And I hate to hear it.
But it is what it is and what it's always-been,
And so we'll have to deal with it.

Start moving now.
Don't stand~still.
Before it changes our minds.
Or changes mine.
These seconds thoughts can kill.
When it comes to bad intentions, it's better not to question.
Let your body do the talking.
I'm listening with mine.

Oh hallelu this is the proof I needed,
Not some secret chord.
Your beauty overthrows me when I'm most vulnerable.
And this is all I've ever learned of love.

We should stop, but your eyes say no.
Oh reign it in before it goes any further.
I don't know who's in control, but it sure isn't me.
My mind's in slow motion.

Don't keep me waiting.
Just do what you're going to do.
My mind's in slow motion.
There's a certain something in the air.
I can't remember if I was touching you the moment before.
Oh hallelu...

Red light.
Green light.
Stop.
Don't keep me waiting.