What Was I Going To Say?

by John Stuart

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This is one of those pretentious pieces of literature, sometimes included with an album in a feigned attempt to make what would otherwise be a random, haphazardly assembled bunch of songs into something resembling a cohesive work of art. Perhaps I've given away too much. The truth is that this is a somewhat haphazardly assembled bunch of songs. In fact, most of the songs are haphazardly assembled themselves. I've come to terms with it; in a way that may just be the unifying trait to this collection of songs. Our everyday communication is not much more effective or cohesive than this music is though. We struggle to find the words we are looking for, or to express our ideas and feelings in the right way. I’m experiencing that as I write this preface to the album. I face this struggle often and even worry or fear that my words might be lost on others or misread. Sometimes I’m not even sure if my words have any meaning at all. At the end of the day the best that you can do is try and hope that it’s not a waste of time. Despite being plagued by these same difficulties, music can be a powerful form of communication. The fact that I've been blessed with the ability to say something through it is as humbling and scary as it is exciting. I know there are lots of people who have had things worth saying, but never got the chance. I think I have been given the chance to say something, but I’m not quite sure what that is just yet. So it is with gratitude, humility—and a little bit of shame at my inadequacy—that I embrace the opportunities I've been given. Honestly, I think most people don’t really know what they hope to say with their life, and those that do are probably lying or miserable because their hopes of ever doing so are slim. My days might be spent trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do with my life and never being quite sure, but at least I can chronicle that experience for other people to listen to and hopefully find enjoyment in.


released 01 January 2014

All songs written, performed, produced, mixed, and mastered by John Stuart.




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John Stuart Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Track Name: Kublah Can't
My pen begins to trace those tired lines,
Like roads we've walked before,
Or rowing in a circle
Like a boat with just one oar.

My fleeting muse still goads me down this road,
Although she's gone too far;
I'll keep my distance and maybe
I can blame her for my faults.

Who said that if I had a way with words
I'd say something of worth?
Maybe I got an artist's brain,
But never learned to paint.

And self-effacement is just a funny way
Of trying to save face.
I think I've got an honest mind
That's used to telling lies.

What was it I was going to say?
My train of thought has jumped the tracks.
I thought I heard a dulcimer play,
But then distraction steered my fate.
The song I had dreamed soon grew faint
And I forgot the way back.

I might not build my castle in the air,
Or catch my train of thought.
I may just waste my life
Pretending I am what I'm not.

The human race extends a grasping hand
To reach for something more
And, if I can, I'd like to help
And maybe guide its course.
Track Name: Koi No Yokan
A crooked smile,
Caught inside the corner of my eye
Across the room
From where I thought I saw her looking at me there.

Perhaps my chance
Is purely misconstrued and happenstance
Please don't mistake
Coincidence for what is surely not our fate.

If I could ever make my way into your heart,
I'd find an empty place where I could be a part.

Head over heels,
Exposed and self-aware so I concealed
As I surmised it best
To veil my naive feelings from her eyes.

And now I find
I must have been the last thing on her mind,
But I don't mind.
I'd rather be the last on call than not at all.

If I could ever find a way into your head
Then I might finally say the things I wish I'd said.

I was confused,
A rookie in this game that we call love.
So I struck out
And missed the signs you left to let me know the score.

I'll never know
Just what may have transpired, even though
We've since found love
Among the ashes of the bridges we had burned.

If I could ever find a way into your head,
Then I might finally hear the things you left unsaid.
Track Name: Giving Up The Ghost
There is a ghost inside my head,
Who comes back from the dead,
To show me everything I fear
And make my thoughts unclear.

I'm so afraid I try to hide
My guilt and shame inside.
I know that I have lost my way,
Despite what I may say.

I have become
Estranged from the ones
That I'm supposed to know,
To keep, and to love.

For each pathetic tear I bled
A drop of blood was shed,
As my self-pity led to sin
That fed the ghost within.

I tried to wipe away the stains
Of a past that brings me pain
With my own damned and bloody hands.
This was not what I planned.

And now I know
Why we all hold our breath.
Everyone is just
One step from their death.

If I could drown my hate and fear
The ghost would disappear
And I'd be left with no one else
To blame but myself.

I've sunk beneath the waves of guilt.
The boat that I built
Was never strong enough to sail.
I know that I have failed.

And now I see,
So clearly, that we
Would rather face a ghost,
Than face our own demons.
Track Name: Mistakes
If you could make me believe
That everything has changed,
I'd let it go,
And turn the page.

But I still feel all the scars
That led to where we are.
Sometimes mistakes
Are just what it takes.

When I'm tired and it's late
Nothing feels the same,
And so,
My heart leads me to shame.

If I could just hold my tongue
And tame my wandering mind
I'd finally see
That I've been blind.

But I have failed from the start,
And all the pain I've brought
Has left me nothing
I have sought.

When I'm tired and it's late
Nothing feels the same,
And so,
My heart leads me to shame.

There's no need to mind my doubts.
I just don't know the cost
That I might pay
For being so lost.

But if there's one thing I know:
That it'll be okay,
Despite ourselves
And come what may.

When I'm tired and it's late
Nothing feels the same,
And so,
My heart leads me to shame.
Track Name: Not Opposite Day
Today is not opposite day.
Today is the day all my dreams came true,
The day I told you that I love you.
Today is the day we forgave all our debts
Forgot our regrets, and we all found our way.
Most definitely not opposite day.

Today was the most perfect day.
I finished all of the things I began.
Everything went according to plan.
Today is the day that I made my amends
For all of the things that I've done to my friends.
It was by the most perfect day.

Today is not opposite day.
Today is the day all my dreams came true,
The day I told you that I love you.
Today is the day we forgave all our debts
Forgot our regrets, and we all found our way.
Most definitely not opposite day.
Track Name: What Was I Going To Say?
Today I went to a funeral for someone I don't know.
It was my birthday, but I pretended not to care they all forgot.

And why should I, when she was part of the equation and I'm not?
I'd guess without me all the real important things would still add up.

I am ashamed of my self-pity.
It's a shame 'cause I can't quit it.
I'm staring blankly in the mirror
And everything's become so clear.

I have grown fond of what I see.
The mask that's staring back at me
I've worn so often and so long
That I've forgotten that it's wrong.

I've heard the truth so many times,
Sometimes I wish that it were false.
My mind no longer seems to work,
But if you look I've got a pulse.

I still don't know what I am trying to say,
But I'll keep talking till a find a way.