Lyrics and descriptions of the songs on the album "Red"

Control

This song is about being in a controlling relationship that you don't want to be a part of anymore. Believe it or not, for the guitar sound on this track I was inspired by Mick Harvey's frenetic strumming on the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds song, "Papa won't leave you, Henry."

Dafni: vocals, guitar, bass

I'll tell you what you wanna hear
Only promise not to listen
I'll make up lots of pretty stories
Pretending to be honest
And if it makes you happy
I'll try not to be angry
When you are around

You can't control me
You can't control me anymore

You knew me before I was someone
Not the same as being perfect
And I can never tell you why
All my thoughts get left behind
I'm fixed in daily repetition
Day to day to day the same
And if it makes you happy
I'll try not to be angry
When you are around

Don't hate me 'cause I love you
Don't hate me 'cause I'm sorry

Words and music © 2004 Dafni / BMI

Happy day

I wrote this song during the weeks leading up to the current Gulf war. You probably couldn't tell from hearing the lyrics, but my motivation behind the words was an image that I had in my head of Mr Bush and Mr Hussein sitting side-by-side on a sofa, drinking tea, and sorting out their problems in a civilized manner.

Dafni: vocals, guitar, mellophone Dusty: bass Terry: bongos

Trying to find the good parts from the bad
Find a beating heart and mend it broken
Everything is muddled and confused
And nothing works the way it used to do

Wanna let you know I really care
Doesn't make a difference either way
I'll try to write it down tonight
Make myself a note
Nothing you can say will change my mind

Please look at me
I know you have it in you
Come sit beside me
Forgetting all we have to hide
Will you believe me
Only for a little while
Only for a moment if you try
Only if you try

All these words are crumpled in my head
Can't remember anything you said
I feel a little flustered
You a little sad
Oh, Lord, the sun is shining
And what a happy day!

Fastest little year I ever lived
Blow out all these candles make a wish
I feel so cold in all this light
And everything is lost
Forget about your worries
I push them all away.

Words and music © 2004 Dafni / BMI

Save My Dreams

This is a song of frustration, of not being in a position to do the things that most inspire you. Following the safe path in life because you are too scared to take risks. Of being told that you will never amount to anything if you follow your dreams. This song may be the most musical on the album--I tried to build up the climax at the end into a carnival-esque wall of sound.

Dafni: vocals, guitar, piano, organ, bass Dusty: djembe Terry: snare

Everyday is like playing a game and I go by the rules
Do what's expected with caution I choose every move
Each step strategically planned and everything is put into place
The people around me are happy 'cause there are no mistakes

And I'll save my dreams for another day
I'll write me a letter and I'll throw it away

Constantly try to find my place in line
My friends they're all running fast and I'm walking behind
My feet are all itchy and I'm losing patience
I don't have the energy I need to keep still
Anticipating what will happen next year

Shoot tiny arrows all in the dark
Can't seem to find my way
Keep moving forward without looking backward
Can't seem to rest my weary head
Anticipating what will happen next year
Ignoring what's in front of me for now

Words and music © 2004 Dafni / BMI

Should have forgotten all about you

One of a couple of country love songs on this album. The title pretty much sums up the message of the song. To contrast the sad lyric I tried to make my guitar sound quite sprightly, and I attempt what is probably the closest thing to a guitar solo on the record!

Dafni: vocals, guitar, bass Terry: tambourine

I sometimes waste my time from day to day
Strange the little time I think about you
But every single time I do nothing seems to matter
And it makes me feel a little sad

Trying desperately each day
Trying to turn off my feelings
And I'm working very hard at trying to love somebody new
But it only makes me think of you

And it's not supposed to be like this
And I thought everything was said and done
Should have forgotten all about you by now

My heart holds you dearly within me
And I still feel close to you
And I know things won't be the same and we're not both to blame
And there is nothing we can do

And now I find myself searching
For a pair of perfect words
Hoping one day if I find them that maybe I can tell you
And I can make you understand

Words and music © 2004 Dafni / BMI

Mr America

This song was written about a guy I met once. The sort who comes across as overly patriotic, but in reality hates everyone around him. A sign of the times!

Dafni: vocals, guitar, electric piano, mellophone Dusty: bass Terry: bongos

He's got a three-story house with a bar down in his basement
And a picture of his yacht that he keeps in his wallet
And he drives an SUV straight down the freeway
Tall in the saddle like a modern-day John Wayne

Don't dare tell him that he never had it bad
His grandpa emigrated here after the First World War
Daddy worked his way to the top and he don't believe in handouts to the poor
That's what Reaganomics was instituted for

Here he comes, Mr America
Pledge allegiance to the flag

He is elated
His accountant has figured out a way for him to pay no tax
And he will give a large donation
To his favorite congressman his way of giving back

Here he comes, Mr America
Pledge allegiance to the flag
But he'd never help a starving man
And he'd never help a dying man
And he'd never lend a helping hand
If only he could understand

He's got a three-story house
With a bar down in his basement
And a picture of his wallet that he keeps in his yacht

Words and music © 2004 Dafni / BMI

Red

For a change of style, I don't play guitar on this track, but rather the piano. This song is another one, like "Control" and "Hope", that deals with dreaming and hoping and wishing for a better tomorrow.

Dafni: vocals, piano Dusty: bass Terry: snare

Something's telling me inside
Better days they lie ahead
As I paint my name in red

Shine a light upon my face
And I'm gonna be a star
No matter where you are

A circus running wild and free
Deep inside a tiny dream
I call my fantasy

And in the morning if I wake
I'm gonna make believe
That everything is real

I will remember you
When I'm living in my castle
And I'll try not to forget
Baby, please don't ask me why

I won't say a single word
If I know I won't be heard
Now don't that sound absurd?

I'll focus high, I'll focus low
If it's just another show
And I'll even say hello

And she remembers how it used to be
And he remembers how it used to be
When they were living life less glamorously

Words and music © 2004 Dafni / BMI

Temperance

I wrote this song based on the Temperance card of the tarot deck. There's a lot of tarot imagery in the lyrics, such as the golden cups and the foot in the water. I wrote this song at a time when I was a huge Led Zeppelin fan--well, I still am!--particularly their "Led Zeppelin III" album. It's my attempt at writing something in a similar bluesy vein. Jimmy Page--eat your heart out!

Dafni: vocals, guitar, bass

I'm at a crossroads a dime and four cents to my name
These fourteen issues and every one of them the same
One foot in the water is trying to set me free
One foot on dry land is gently guiding me

All these voices are leading me astray
Trying to frighten me from calling out my own name

The final road must be crossed
The final choice must be made
When temperance calls my name

Pour the water from these two golden cups
The stream of knowledge that I seek will slowly liberate me
Must strike a balance and choose the right direction
I see this yellow light of wisdom up this winding road behind me

The final road must be crossed
The final choice must be made
When temperance calls your name

Words and music © 2004 Dafni / BMI

Hope

I wrote this song on the weekend after I heard that Elliot Smith had committed suicide. I wasn't a big fan of his at the time, but it disturbed me that someone so talented and loved would want to end his life. I wrote and recorded this song on the same day and played all the instruments on this track (acoustic guitar, piano, synth strings, bass).

Dafni: vocals, guitar, bass, piano, synth strings

And it makes me mad
I don't understand
'Cause I don't even know you
And I wonder why
And it must be hard
But do you feel regret?

Can you take it back?
Are you happy now?
Are you where you wanna be?
Is it all a lie
There's nothing you can find
In the darkness that you see

Hold on a little longer
Please hold on a little longer
Hope might find you some day

And the days go by
And we read your name
And we all hold hands and prey
And the candle drips and the lily wilts
We have nothing else to say

If I could take you by the hand
If I could make you stay
Would you listen to my cry?
Can you take it back?
Are you happy now?
Are you where you wanna be?

Can you feel the love
When you're so alone
Although you're not forgiven
And it makes me mad
All the time you had
Has quickly gone away
Hope could have found you.

Words and music © 2004 Dafni / BMI

To her door

This is the one cover song on the album. Believe it or not, I recorded this song before I had ever heard the original version! My husband, who is from Australia, was trying to teach himself to play the guitar and chose this relatively simple (and very popular, I was told!) song by his fellow countryman, Paul Kelly. I was intrigued by the melody and snatched the guitar away from him (hah!) and played around with the chords. Because I had never heard Paul Kelly's version, I arranged the song in "waltz time" and came up with an original guitar melody. I have had the pleasure of meeting Paul Kelly twice since then and he was very kind to accept a copy of my album.

Dafni: vocals, guitar

[The lyrics to "To her door" are available on Paul Kelly's web site, which also includes a brief discussion of the song's meaning. In my version, I don't sing the contoversial lyrics---I've relpaced "The Buttery" with "rehab" and "Olympic" with "Greyhound", and I skip the "Shove it, Jack" line.]

Words and music © Paul Kelly / ASCAP

So long

I wrote this song in honor of my mother's best friend who had died of leukemia. At the time I was learning some jazz chords on the guitar and this was my first attempt at writing a song that incorporated them. The title sums up the sentiment of the song in its dual meanings--"farewell" and "it's been a long time."

Dafni: vocals, guitar, piano, bass Terry: snare

I came in to town to see you
But I heard you weren't there
The same old place where we used to sip our coffee
Now has no familiar face

Do you know sometimes you're on my mind
Sadly now you're very hard to find

But if I listen hard enough
I can hear you laughing
And if I focus hard enough
I can see your smile
And how have you been?
Do you remember me?
It's been a long, long time

Thought I saw you yesterday
And I almost called out your name
For a moment I was walking by your side
Like the way it used to be

And if I listen hard enough...

Words and music © 2004 Dafni / BMI

Never Make Me Cry

This was the first song I ever wrote on guitar--almost eight years ago! Its amazing how fast time does go by. This is the other love-lost country song on my record. At the time it was my attempt to write a bluesy number, but it ended up sounding like something Patsy Cline would sing more than Billie Holiday.

Dafni: vocals, guitar

You made me love you
I never knew I could fall
I fell so deep, can't you see
Baby, just like a little girl

It might have been your smile
That little look in your eyes
That made me want to believe
Baby, that your love was true

Darlin', you don't know who you're dealing with
You don't know who I am
You'll never make me cry

I waited all night for you to come home
But when I finally realized
That you had left me for somebody new
Darlin', please tell me why

Words and music © 2004 Dafni / BM

Error -9073

Five minutes before my percussionist and bass player -- Terry and Dustin -- left my apartment after recording their tracks we wrote and recorded this impromptu percussive jam -- all with one microphone (who needs a complicated set-up anyway?!). Error -9073 is titled after an error message that became all too familiar to me during the recording of my album onto my iMac using ProTools Free.

Dafni: tambourine Dusty: djembe Terry: bongos Peter: African shakers Instrumental

Music © 2004 Dafni / BMI