I took out an ad in the paper
It ran for a couple of weeks
Not overly precious or clever
But hopefully honest and sweet
But all the responses I got
And all of the people I'd meet
Said "I like your ad, and you seem really great
But I'm not interested 'cause...
No I'm not interested 'cause..."
(Insert reason here)

I went online to that one place
Where everyone else seemed to be
They all knew just what they wanted
And none of it sounded like me
'Cause all the replies that I got
Were either a joke or they read
"You seem really great and I like what you said
But I'm not interested 'cause...
No I'm not interested 'cause..."

Insert reason here:
"I've already found someone"
"We don't really want the same things"
Or "It doesn't make sense I'm here,
You're there, and it's too far to start something
I wanted to wish you luck though
You seem as nice as could be
So somebody's bound to want you
Somebody's bound to want you
Somebody's bound to
It just isn't me"

I meet someone at a party
A friend of a friend of a friend
We both have the same favorite movie
We're both really fond of that band
But they never e-mail or call
And I end up back where I've been
I suppose I could suffer through all that again
But I'm not interested 'cause
No I'm not interested 'cause...

Insert reason here:
I'm not going to find someone
'Cause nobody wants the same things
Or it doesn't make sense I'm here,
They're there and it's too far to start something
I wanted to wish you luck though
If you're out chasing this dream
'Cause somebody's bound to want to
Somebody's bound to want to
Somebody's bound to
It just isn't me


Got so sad and nostalgic last night
That I drove over to my mom's
It was late, I was kind of surprised
To see light from the TV on
She was nice when I knocked on the door
Let me downstairs to my old room
I just sat and I tried to decide
What it was that I came there to do

Then I was back in high school
Then I was back in fifth grade in my head
The years I spent in that room
The years I slept in that strange little bed

There was light through a couple of cracks
In the curtains and down from the hall
Falling onto the photos that ten years before
I had taped to the wall
And the boxes that had to contain
All my treasures from decades ago

Paper airplanes and Dungeons and Dragons
And Ranger Rick magazines
Action figures and rock band posters
And the sliding glass door with the screen
The tiny yard and my shell collection
And my very first guitar
Each one was a fiery arrow
A piece fallen out of my heart

Like the old favorite maple tree
That they had to cut down last fall
The old bedspread I cried into
Feeling overwhelmed with it all


I'm freaking out 'cause you're around
My heart does flips and I can't calm down
It's pounding now as you chat with friends in my aisle
And I about forgot to breathe when you walked by
I like your laugh and I like your eyes
The fire in them and that look you get when you smile

And if I don't write your name on my notebook
I'm going to explode
So I wrote it right there on the cover
Well, yeah, it's in code so no one will know
But it says I love you
Oh God I love you
Don't tell a soul

Have you missed me since I left the block
We used to wait at the same bus stop
I'd get my courage up every day after school
And I'd wait for you and take the long way just
To walk you part way home from the bus
You'd laugh at my stupid jokes and that was so cool

And if I don't write your name on my notebook
I'm going to explode
So I wrote it, and my best friends saw it
They're cracking my code and I think they know
That it says I love you
Oh God I love you
Don't tell a soul

They're saying if I don't tell you
Then somebody else will
So I'd better tell you

I woke up and I threw up
Stayed home sick 'cause I missed the bus
Is all of that a coincidence do you suppose?
And I'll bet by now my friends have spilled their guts
And that's the end of my dream of us
'Cause you won't want me around, I know how this goes
I know how it goes

You know I like you too much, and nobody likes that
You know I want this too much, and nobody wants that
We run from those who chase us, I hate that it's like that
Why can't you just like me back?

I'm moving to a new town
I guess that that's lucky
Don't worry, I won't bug you
I know you don't love me


I'll pick you up at seven o'clock
There's a whole bunch of friends we could see
The partying crowd will be God knows where
But that doesn't concern you or me
While they tried to sneak a drink in the sports bar
We went to the park where in daytime the kids are
We swung on the swings, looked up at the bright stars
We took off some clothes but didn't go that far

And everybody acts like I'm missing out
Like I judge everyone, like I hate hanging out
'Cause I'm always with my band or my same friends a lot
Well, I do what I like and I like what I've got
Why would anybody screw that up?
I don't want things all screwed up again
I don't want to screw this up

I always take good care of myself
No one ever worries about me
Not even when we're kissing in rooms
That are not where we said we would be
I'm almost eighteen, it's sink-or-swim time
And no one's on guard to throw me a lifeline
They just say "Relax, go have a good time
You're young and you're smart, of course you'll be just fine"

Yeah, everybody acts like there can't be a doubt
Like it's all going to plan, like it's all figured out
Well, I don't know what I'm doing or where I belong
What the hell does that mean? What the fuck's going on?!
Don't just leave me here to screw this up!
I don't want things all screwed up again
I don't want to screw this up


It's best to think of me as a cautionary tale
The boy who tried to love you, the boy can only fail
Don't fall in love with me, let cooler heads prevail
This boy is not sane

'Cause in my heart there is a sound
Like every note at the same time
I ache until I'm numb, I panic 'til I'm blind
So tape it on my back yeah, someone make a sign:
"This boy is not sane"

And won't somebody please tell me if I love you?
'Cause I don't want to leave you, but terrified
Is not how I thought love was supposed to feel
There are a hundred different things people call "love"
And I just don't know which of those is real

I don't know who to believe or ask for their advice
So you get Plan B "run and hide" to be precise
Someone get a pen and write it on my head:
"This boy is not nice"

I really want to tell you that I love you
And that I'll never leave you but will I?
How am I supposed to tell if you're The One?
You can call anything you want "love"
But then you have to live with what you've done

Now at danger's slightest hint, I dive back in my trench
And so the sweetest girl is left sitting on the bench
Someone get a wrench and stick it in my brain
'Cause this boy is all good intentions
But this boy is not sane


I played computer solitaire
Until the crack of dawn
'Cause sleep is for the weak of will
And so I carried on
I would not break or bend an inch
Until my quest was won
So sure that I would win it soon
Now my whole weekend's gone

The tree outside my windowsill
Is dead as dead could be
I know 'cause I'm responsible
Oh woe, oh woe is me!
With ribbons and with lacy things
I caught my lover's eye
And buried him beneath the tree
Before the boy did die

We'll start off with my line of eight
Then one of six from you
And back and forth, we'll alternate
Like this until we're through
We'll sing it to "The Yellow Rose"
The scansion is the same
I bet that Emily'd approve
She came up with this game


Alone again, just you and me
How can you not feel the tension?
I want to scream 'cause it's just so dense
Like someone here I could mention
You know my secret fears, you know all my inside jokes
But you don't get what I'm thinking
You've got a mental block that says all we are is friends
No, you don't see

It's not a date but we're going out
And my frustration is showing
I told my friends I was going nowhere
Cause nowhere is where this is going
You like me as I am, I swear we're the perfect match
Except you're not going to kiss me
You'll sit here and you'll sigh about how you just can't find
Someone like me

Someone you really know and love
And always want to be near
Well if those are the things you want
Then what you want is me, dear
Oh, but you don't see it and I can't stand it
How can I make you understand it?

I can't believe you'd fall for her
And stand in line with the others
She's such a cute and sweet iceberg
Why doesn't anyone love her?
Your ship is going down as soon as she's had her fun
And when you finally hit bottom
I know you'll come around to cry on my shoulder
But you still won't see

The one you really know and love
And always want to be near
Cause if those are the things you want
Then what you want is me, dear

The one who really knows and loves you
And would always be near
And if those are the things you want
What you want is me, dear

Oh, but you don't see it and I can't stand it
How can I make you understand it?
No, you don't see it, it's infuriating
I can't give up, I can't keep waiting


You've always been too hard on yourself
It's tough to say what's best, it's hard to find your way
I understand now and you don't need to apologize
Though that was kind of you to say

You'd really like this person I love
We have the kind of conversations you and I used to
I think that part of why it's working out so well
Is thanks to what I learned from you

So don't you worry 'cause I'm doing fine
It hurt, but no, you didn't mess me up or anything
And I don't regret the way we felt, we just weren't ready for it
And maybe weren't as good a match as it seemed

Yeah, I was mad at you 'cause I wanted you to stay
And I felt like you just left and wouldn't try
I had hoped to be a good thing in your life
I thought that I had failed
So what you said was quite a nice surprise

It's good to hear you're doing what you love
I admire how you stay true to who you want to be
Please don't look back and think you screwed everything up
No, it seems we're both doing just fine to me

So let's declare the loose ends all tied up
But call me up sometime if you'd like to say hello
I know everyone must wish good things for you
I do too, just so you know

Study Abroad

Backpack and Eurailpass
Jet lag kicked my ass
I'm on a train awake and it's dawn
Journal's out, headphones are on
I write a mile a minute

And tell myself this is better than my bed
Or my friends going back to school
Instead of thinking about me
They go on without me

Hilltowns and coliseums
Stone walls and art museums
I didn't know that cathedrals were so cold
I've never been somewhere 900 years old
I took a thousand pictures

30 days on the road will spoil you fast
Now I'm mad that I have to go to class and stay in one spot
But I love the girls on my floor and the guys downstairs
They call me "Yank" and they tease me about my hair
I call them "Limey"
I think they like me

They play bands I've never heard before
And take me down to the castle for the bonfire
They draw Pearl Harbor on my door
I draw the sun setting on their empire
I go on a day trip every weekend
Run around with the other JYAs here
We hang out at the pub on the canal
And try to think up ways that we could stay here

Take my leave of the queen
God save the village green
I'm going to sleep on the train to catch my flight
I was up on the Internet all night
Chatting with a certain person

I'll miss you all and I hate to have to go
But things are getting really interesting back home
It may never happen
But we'll see what happens

Let's see what happens
We'll see what happens (when I get back home)
I want to see what happens (when I get back home)
Let's see what happens

While You Were Out

I bought that sugary cereal you hate
Been wearing my favorite jeans now 8 days straight
I put the Christmas tree up again
And finally watched those movies you never want to rent
Well, you're not here for it to bother you
I'm doing better than I expected to
But the cat is sad and she thinks you should come home

Been drinking all of your favorite Belgian beer
Been playing songs it would drive you nuts to hear
Been letting my clothes pile up on the chair
And I've been talking to people who aren't really there
Well, you're not here, it doesn't bother you
I know you're doing what you've got to do
But I'm inclined to agree with the cat, you should come home

I could pretend you're asleep on the couch
Or out at the bar, you drunken lout, you
Or I could pretend all this freedom is fun
And I'm having such a great time here without you

Remind me why I thought that any of this was a good idea
I should have grabbed you by the ankles
To stop you from leaving here
And if that's childish or co-dependant, well, I don't care
Cause what was so important that kept me here
And sent you out there?
I fixed up the house just like we've wanted
I still sleep on my side of the bed

So like I already said, you should come home

Desu Ka?

Watashi wa gaijin desu
Watashi wa amerika-jin desu
"Maku donarudo" wa doko desu ka?
Fuji-san wa doko desu,
Ginza wa doko desu,
"Maku donarudo" wa doko desu ka?

Chikai desu ka?
"Maku donarudo" wa doko desu ka?
Chikai desu ka?
"Maku donarudo" wa doko desu...

I am an American
I am visiting Japan
Can you tell me where the McD*&@%#$ is?
Mount Fuji is over there
The Ginza district's over there
Can you tell me where the McD*&@%#$ is?

Is it nearby?
"Maku donarudo" wa doko desu ka?
Chikai desu ka?
"Maku donarudo" wa doko desu...


Tollbooth Girl

I'm in love with the tollbooth girl
But I don't have time to ask her name
I'm in love with the tollbooth girl
Though I highly doubt she feels the same
She must see a thousand people every day

I'm in love with the coat check guy
He takes my stuff, and then that's that
But I'm in love with the coat check guy
So I'm back in line with my claim check
He says "but you just got here" and I laugh
Perhaps in half an hour I'll come back

There isn't any way I can talk to her
She's got all these other people lining up in back
I only ever see him for 15 seconds
And he's probably forgotten me right after that
What kind of romance is that?

(I don't mind...)

I'm in love with the checkout girl
"Is that card debit?" "No, it's credit"
I'm in love with the checkout girl
But I'm not asking her out like this, forget it
"Did you find what you were looking for?" You said it!

I'm in love with the ticket taker
I'm in love with the cappuccino maker
I'm in love with the dim sum waiter
I'm in love with the ski lift operator
I'm in love with the tollbooth girl

Watching The Trees

One smell of the wood smoke and I'm back to that fall
After five minutes walking to town
It wouldn't feel so cold after all
Used to have a cup of hot chocolate
After tromping round through the leaves
Tease my friends about hogging all the marshmallows
Now it's just me sitting here watching the trees
They're off in amazing places, doing outrageous things
They've waited a long time
For a chance to chase those dreams
And I'm so proud of them right now

Thought an old friend from out of town was going to
Surprise me the other day
Well she never showed up but I was excited all day anyway
Hey you know it's all right
It taught me some things I needed to know
I learned I still have hope
I still have faith that I'm not, not alone
And that the most amazing things can tiptoe up on you
And then act like they've been there the whole time
Right in front of you
I wonder what's sneaking up on me right now

I'm trying, but an empty house is hard to feel like home
And I can think of a thousand reasons why it's fine to be alone
But I can't fool myself, no I can't fool myself
The time always comes to hang up the phone

Hey thanks for listening, wherever you are
I made you a cup of hot chocolate

But I don't think you can drink it from that far
It's a wistful consolation, a comfort in a bittersweet sort of way
And to know that you're hearing my voice
Makes me wish all the more I could see you face to face
Meanwhile, back over here, life keeps going and
I'm gonna walk until I've seen a whole lot of leaves
Before I go back home
And in a way you're with me right now

These lyrics appear by permission, and are
(C)2005-2010 Scot Ninnemann except
"The Emily Dickinson Game",
(C)2006 Scot Ninnemann and Jenifer Parks.
All rights reserved.