The Big Picture (2005)

by Sean Michael Dargan

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1.
A Note from the Heartland (Dargan) Hey, you by the sea Way out there in sunny California You may remember me I met you half asleep in spectacles Waist deep in bicycles Second night of camp: Black River Falls You slept in the van Two hours outside of Chicago Drive as fast as you can I never felt such giddy urgency Damn all this geography! Madison is a long, long way from Portland Wheeeeeeee! We knew in a week We made omelets in the morning Rode around while the town was warming Nothing says “hello” like a note from the heartland (c) 2005 Slightly Charred Music
2.
The Big Picture (Dargan) I held the glass up to my eye But I can’t find the target No matter how I try You swore it wasn’t hard to see I believe that I’d be braver If you still were standing next to me I have walked this stretch alone And I still smell the ocean Every time I skip a stone Now you’d walk again with me I don’t know where you’re looking I have never known just what you see Take one step back… My feet would find their way back home Running right beside you Or walking all alone To pour the sand out of my shoes A picture postcard morning In November pinks and blues Take one step back Look at where you’re going Take one step back Think of where we’ve been Take one step back Try to see it coming back… I don’t think I’ll ever find a day Dawning quite so perfectly As that we threw away But in my mind I hold the scene Standing on that beach there We will always be nineteen Take one step back Look at where you’re going Take one step back Think of where we’ve been Take one step back Watch it now, it’s coming back again (c) 2005 Slightly Charred Music
3.
Paint a Target on My Heart (Dargan) Pull my shirt off in the cellar Paint a target on my heart Push me down to reach me better Set me up to fall apart… I collect these little things You say they make you nervous As if any little thing ever gets to you at all You select these little rings As if you could preserve us Then you remain the only one to save yourself a fall Pull my shirt off in the cellar Paint a target on my heart Push me down to reach me better Set me up to fall apart Feed my tiny hopes Hungry to the marrow Leave my little world lying fractured on the floor Twist my favorite words Till they rifle down your barrel Wrap me up in ribbons, baby, shoot me out the door Pull my shirt off in the cellar Paint a target on my heart Push me down to reach me better Set me up to fall apart Make an ashtray of my wineglass Throw my records on the floor Tell me gently with your chainsaw You don’t love me anymore Dodging bullets in slow motion Till your feet don’t touch the ground Instant rag doll with your penknife No one ever hears a sound I drew first but you drew faster I drew first but you drew blood Set the record straight, you bastard You will never brave the flood (c) Slightly Charred Music
4.
Headed Back Out to Sea (Dargan) Baby you never let me go Maybe more than you’ll ever know Almost standing beside you Almost hoping to guide you Almost what you need Are we down for the count this time? Or are we over the uphill climb? I flew back to the ocean Never harbored the notion You might walk away Slowly headed back out to sea Lowly, nearer my god to thee Two miles deep in the ocean One last beautiful motion Almost all the way Should you happen to see them Won’t you tell them I need them? Don’t you walk away… Don’t walk away! (c) 2005 Slightly Charred Music
5.
Before the War (Bonner) It’s been years and years and years and years and years But I counted every minute until you Now a cold wind blows right through the house and past this couch Is that silence on the phone really you? Now the days have cut me short, I feel us dying Remember watching leaves fall from trees before the war All you do is sit there sending love by semaphore But I read through it like a first-grade reader’s easy book I know you try, I know you write, I know you telephone But is that silence in the bed really you? Now the years have left me short, I feel us dying How about we take a walk the way we did before the war I never meant for us to die… I’d like to trick you into giving things another chance But you’ve finally got me figured out, I fear I’ve got as many hearts as the floor of any slaughterhouse And you know I keep them to myself Where the ocean meets the rocks you’ll find me dying Trying hard to find that shirt I wore before the war And if we ever meet again after the dying I kept your letters in a box, painted up before the war (c) 1992 North Sea Spaceport Music
6.
7.
Little As I’d Planned (Dargan) The words came falling from your lips Like candy spilled behind a chair A chocolate carpet Hershey’s kiss Just to prove that you were there I tasted every line you wrote Savored every letter sent You sang a song with just one note I knew exactly what you meant I dreamt you took me by surprise But when I opened up my eyes I could feel you standing there See how much you cared And tell myself these lies Distance helps me clear my mind And free of these distractions find Though I swore it wasn’t true Seems I never cared for you Quite as little as I’d planned… A pilgrimage to taste your voice A holy wafer on my tongue Two thousand miles without a choice Fading though the night is young The words came falling from your lips Form in pools around my chair But I recall there was no kiss Words are all that you left there I dreamt you took me by surprise But when I opened up my eyes I could feel you standing there See how much you cared And tell myself these lies Distance helps me clear my mind And free of these distractions find Though I swore it wasn’t true Seems I never cared for you Quite as little as I’d planned… (c) 2005 Slightly Charred Music
8.
The Ride For the Roses (Dargan) Haven’t we been here before? Well it doesn’t get easier, that’s for sure No kiss, no cuddle Permanent paramour Waited an hour at the door And the flight up from Austin to Baltimore You missed: big trouble Slept on the airport floor Dreamt you were riding Fond futures coinciding On The Ride for the Roses Sliding sideways through the open window As another door closes One glance behind you Is all you need to see your race is won Haven’t we been here before? For the time of your life in the great outdoors True bliss with stubble What are you waiting for? Resting in clover Chain-ring tattoo, one leg over On The Ride for the Roses Sliding sideways through the open window As another door closes One glance behind you Is all you need to see you’ve won On the Ride… (c) 2005 Slightly Charred Music
9.
Corner Kick 03:29
Corner Kick (Dargan) The Café on the Corner where we sit and recover Looks like December and feels like July Huddled in the corner, you’ve never looked stronger I’m gone for the summer and you wave goodbye Have you noticed how the days we’re together The forecast is thunder and clouds fill the sky Don’t you know by now that it’s not about the weather The sun I live under never sets in your eyes I’ll stand in the corner, ‘cause I’m no one’s go-getter But you lay the guidelines then I’ll play along You kick from the corner where the angle is better I’ll stick to the sidelines and hurry back home Have you noticed how the days we’re together The forecast is thunder and clouds fill the sky Don’t you know by now that it’s not about the weather The sun I live under never sets in your eyes (c) 2005 Slightly Charred Music
10.
If You Came To Me Now (Dargan) If you came to me now I don’t know what I’d do But wait for words that you might say Like maybe we’re not through That’s a hope I might allow If you came to me now And if you came to me now I could say I never knew That the hands I hold Could crease and fold Till my heart snapped in two I could make believe somehow If you came to me now That’s not the sound of your car outside Or the sound of your key in the door That is the sound of you coming around no more And if you came to me now There’d be nothing left to do But trade these rings for a box of things That’s all I’ve left of you One perfect, broken vow If you came to me now (c) 2005 Slightly Charred Music
11.
Eyes Full of Christmas (Dargan) Jeanne moved down from Lancaster Sophomore year became a blur Eyes Full of Christmas She made moves I had never seen With mistletoe, in Sassoon jeans Eyes Full of Christmas On the football field, after Junior prom In a velvet dress, with an atom bomb Jeanne loved me like a cyclone Blue tuxedo strewn across the end zone A late, light lunch where the legs entwine A big back seat and a box of wine Eyes Full of Christmas Now it's six a.m., there's a foot of snow I’m wide-awake, all systems go Jeanne’s sleeping in my tee-shirt She says we’re in love, and she’s the expert It's one thing to say that you plan to stay Another to wake up everyday Eyes Full of Christmas (c) 2005 Slightly Charred Music
12.
Twelfth Night at Payne Street (Dargan) Hey, what you wanna do tonight? Looks like the Birchmere’s closing down Traffic’s crawling, snow’s falling Two feet says the weatherman downtown I know you hate to miss this show But there’s nothing we can do Hot Rise and the Trailblazers are snowed into Kalamazoo It’s bonus time at home tonight With quite a list of things to do String changing, rearranging Bath and bedrooms, basement ballyhoo! The party’s just a week away And we’re nearly up to speed Sometimes Twelfth Night is all the party you need Twelfth Night at Payne Street is really quite the party indeed They’ll be magic in the music room A private concert from the tomb of gloom A twisting tale, two pints of ale With Elvis and RT But there’s a fracas on the phonograph Bruce Cockburn in a hovercraft Touching down to the sweet, sad sounds Of 3 Mustaphas 3 So what you wanna do tonight? I was hoping we’d stay in Snow’s falling, pups are sprawling New strings on the octave mandolin All the music in the world tonight Is at your finger tips, indeed Sometimes Twelfth Night is all the music we need Twelfth Night at Payne Street is all the music we need (c) 2005 Slightly Charred Music
13.
You’re the One (Dargan) You’re the one who likes the change of season Prefers to go by bicycle Loves to see the snow And I had fun in Southern California But you’re the reason I believe That I might choose to go Should I trade my favorite ocean For two lakes and your devotion I don’t know… You’re the one who painted quite a picture In willing words and watercolor Tent beside a tree And everyone would see a perfect picture Wrapped inside a tiger blanket Dancing in the sea And that one specific ocean Never lacked for my devotion Until now… You’re the one who moved to California But only for a week Until we found a better way Now I’ve begun to like the change of season And you’re the very reason I choose you today (c) 2005 Slightly Charred Music

credits

released January 1, 2005

Slightly Charred Records, Madison, WI
All songs by SMD except "Before the War" by Christopher James Bonner (North Sea Spaceport Music, BMI)
Produced by SMD
Recorded by SMD, Rob Greenhalgh, Nick Koch, and Jennifer Dargan at Studio 202, Madison, WI
Mixed by Tony Sanfilippo at Oxide Lounge Recording, Bloomington, IL
Mastered by J.J. Golden at John Golden Mastering, Ventura, CA

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Sean Michael Dargan Madison, Wisconsin

Sean Michael Dargan is almost too tall, standing six feet, four inches in his favorite black-and-white saddle shoes. On a good day he writes and plays pop rock in the vein of Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann, and the Gin Blossoms. Guitar and voice are his main instruments, but if you’re not nice he’ll go get out his bagpipes. ... more

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