Contact John

BFE Records
PO Box 6272
Plymouth, MI. 48170

Observations & Complaints – Lyrics & Notes

All songs (including lyrics) -©1998 by John Finan

Warm Inside
Push Me Away
Party of One
Thinking With The Wrong Head
That’s The Way
I’ll Live
I’ll Sleep Tonight
Outside Margaret’s House
Counting Down The Days
One-Way Love

Warm Inside

(Spring/Summer 1998, Hamtramck) Upbeat AND depressing…the best of both worlds? Heckuva way to start off an album, don’t you think? Matt played drums. I played acoustic guitar, bass, keys, and three vocal tracks. PS- The keys on this and the other “keyed” songs were on Matt’s Kurzweil K-2000 – very sweet instrument!

He sits out in the darkness,
His engine running low,
His hand is on the door latch-
He knew he wouldn’t go,

Frozen in the bucket seat,
Death grip on the wheel,
Wondering if this is how
A man in love should feel.

Open the door- he’s waiting,
Tired of his endless ride,
Open the door- he’s waiting,
Take him where it’s warm inside.

It’s early in the evening,
He’s not sure if she’s home,
He wonders if she’s seeing someone-
Some things are best unknown.

The night becomes a nightmare,
His face becomes his fear,
His eyelids fade his vision
And seal shut with tears.

Open the door- he’s waiting,
Tired of his endless ride,
Open the door- he’s waiting,
Take him where it’s warm inside.

He wakes up from the sunlight
Reflecting off the chrome,
A strange car in the driveway-
She isn’t home alone.

His home becomes a memory,
Fading fast to gray,
His ring falls from his finger,
His tail lights fade away.

Top of Page

Push Me Away

(Spring 1997, Royal Oak.) An ode to body language. I played guitar, bass, keys (piano and congas), and 2 vocal tracks.

Unless I’m standing behind you
You push me away,
Unless I try to remind you
You push me away,
Try to hold you- your body is tense,
Not around me- your hands are against,
Like a boat on a pier, you twist and sway
And you push me away.

I lean close to tell you I’ll miss you-
You push me away,
Might be that I’m trying to kiss you-
You push me away,
I’ve been gentle- I’ve done you no harm,
But my touches make you cross your arms,
Everybody who’s hurt you makes me pay
When you push me away.

Do I scare you with love in my eyes,
Or disgust you by asking you why
You put me off for another day
When you push me away?

No need for closer inspection-
You push me away,
If it even looks like affection
You push me away,
Should I think that fidelity’s wasted
When I want you so bad I can taste it,
And your body has so much less to say
When you push me away?

Top of Page

Party Of One

(Spring/Summer 1997) An anthem for the antisocial. Matt played drums, Kris overdubbed 2 or 3 tracks of backing and harmony vocals, and I played guitar, bass, keys, and a few vocal tracks as well. (Matt and I lost track of how many total vocal tracks made it to the final mix- there were more layers of these than we really knew what to do with.)

All these smoky bars,
With their sheets of darkness.
Leave me feeling cold and lonely when I’m there,
And the games they play,
With their drunk emotions,
Cannot fool me into thinking that they care,
Maybe I’m not a social creature-
I don’t care if I’m not much fun,
Spending my evenings attending a party of one.

On a busy street,
In a crowd of people,
Feels the same to me as entering a tomb
With the ghosts around
Telling jokes and singing-
Any words of mine are whispers in the room,
Maybe I’m not a social creature-
I don’t care if I’m not much fun,
Spending my evenings attending a party of one.

In the morning, there’s no headache or regret,
No emptiness I’m trying to forget,
It might sound like I’m knee-deep in denial,
But I’m just saying some things aren’t my style.

This is no complaint,
Just an observation-
That I’m tired of pretending to fit in,
So I show restraint
In these situations,
Till I break away and shed this phony skin.
Maybe I’m not a social creature-
I don’t care if I’m not much fun,
Spending my evenings attending a party of one.

Top of Page

Thinking With The Wrong Head

(Summer/Fall 1998, Hamtramck) C’mon folks… do you REALLY need an explanation on this one? (Hint: Clinton’s the poster boy for this ailment!) This actually started as an edgy acoustic-only number, but evolved into this version in the recording process. Matt played drums and guided me through some of the arrangements. I played acoustic and electric guitars (apologies to George Harrison on the lead!), bass, and two vocal tracks.

Maybe it’s just the mood you’re in- you’re thinking with the wrong head,
Maybe it’s just the feel of her skin- you’re thinking with the wrong head,
The thoughts are fun, but they’re not too smart,
When you’ve raised your libido to a form of art,
Mistaking your boner for a broken heart,
Cos you’re thinking with the wrong head,
Thinking with the wrong head,
Thinking with the wrong head again.

Maybe it’s the lighting, turned down low- you’re thinking with the wrong head,
Maybe it’s the dancing, long and slow- you’re thinking with the wrong head,
You love how she moves and how she feels,
And you love all the parts that she keeps concealed,
But you wouldn’t know love if it kicked you in the heel
Cos you’re thinking with the wrong head,
Thinking with the wrong head,
Thinking with the wrong head again.

Instead of saying hi and being kind,
Both your eyes and your mind are on her behind,
You’d sell your soul just to see her in the nude,
But you don’t have a clue how to get her in the mood.

Maybe you can blame it on stress from work- you’re thinking with the wrong head,
Maybe it’s just that you’re being a jerk- you’re thinking with the wrong head,
Rationalize it till your conscience bleeds,
Tune your excuses so they fit your needs,
By dawn, you still won’t have done the deed,
Cos you’re thinking with the wrong head,
Thinking with the wrong head,
Thinking with the wrong head again.

Top of Page

That’s The Way

(Spring 1997, Royal Oak) I was going to call this “Tenderness at a Moment’s Notice”, but it seemed too long. The guitar and lead voice were recorded live, direct to DAT, and intended to be left that way. During playback, Matt and I started humming harmony lines… and on several occasions he ended up saying “Get back on the mike…!” – hence the honkload ‘o’ harmonies.

I see you looking in my eyes
And wonder what you see,
A kindred spirit, grounded,
But still trying to break free.

We move a little closer
Our fingers intertwine,
And even from that smallest touch
The spark could melt my spine.

You touch my face with softest hands,
I tremble and I sigh,
Knowing that this feeling is just
Minutes from goodbye.

Some would think it’s not enough
And wouldn’t understand,
But that’s the way we make love
And I’m happy that we can.

Top of Page

I’ll Live

(Hamtramck, Spring/Summer 1998) A little optimism, but a complicated song. Matt did all the cool percussion stuff here, including djembe, shaker, and something called African Bones (which is actually a square wooden box with reeds cut into the top). I played guitar, bass, keys (that cheesy whistling solo), sang, and did the weird “whooping’ noises throughout (apologies to Julio).

Daytime’s getting shorter,
Nighttime feels strange,
Saving up my quarters, ‘cos I’m
Living on loose change,
But I’ll live, I’ll live.

Must be getting colder,
Shorts are feeling light,
Must be getting older, ‘cos I
Can’t stay out all night,
But I’ll live, I’ll live.

My CD rack began to sag
And something’s going to give,
The cat whizzed in my travel bag-
It’s leaking like a sieve.
But I’ll live.

Closet space is smaller,
Can’t quite shut the door,
Laundry pile is taller
And it’s eating through the floor,
But I’ll live, I’ll live.

Can’t afford possessions,
Can’t afford the bills,
I’d leave ’em all to someone, but I
Can’t afford a will.
So I’ll live, I’ll live.

My body shows my old age,
My belly’s getting round,
Walked out last night on the stage-
Forgot my fly was down,
But I’ll live.

Sometimes, I”m not sure it’s
Not too rough too live.
But I still prefer it
To the alternative.
So I’ll live, I’ll live.
Yes, I do prefer it
To the alternative.
So I’ll live.

Top of Page


(Spring/Summer 1997, Royal Oak) I started writing an erotic seduction poem, and it turned into a love song. Too bad I really suck at dancing… I played 2 acoustic guitars (6- and 12-string), bass, keys, and lotsa vocals.

Turn off the lights, kick off your shoes,
Light up the fire and open the flue,
Put on the coffee or pour us some wine,
And put on some music in three-quarter time,


And dance with you slow by the light of the flame,
I don’t know the steps, but it still feels the same,
Your chin on my shoulder, my arms around you,
If dancing’s for lovers, I’d love to be dancing with you.

Candlelight flickers and shadows collide,
I reach out my hand and you’re there by my side,
Pressed against you in your long silky gown,
I’ll stay with you here until morning comes round,


Pink glow of sunrise and dew in the air,
Clothes intertwined on the back of a chair,
Don’t know where the dancing will lead us by then,
But I’ll be here waiting to step up again,


Top of Page

I’ll Sleep Tonight

(Summer 1998, Hamtramck) Yes, we put the loudest song on the CD on right after the softest. What’s yer point? I was trying to write a Creedence- type song, but parts of it came out sounding more like ZZ Top. In addition to drums, Matt also played the cool slide guitar stuff in one speaker. I played the dirty lead in the other speaker, as well as the acoustic rhythm guitar, bass, and vocals.

I’m in it deep again, I’m at a loss for how,
Somebody answered wrong, somebody had a cow,
I wish I could recall what started all the fight,
It doesn’t matter now- the bedroom’s cold tonight.
But there’s no blanket on the couch or on the chair,
And the bathtub’s too small,
So I’ve no idea where I’ll sleep tonight.

I came in late again- she waited up for me,
I didn’t watch the time, and now it’s half past three,
I didn’t try to lie- she’s heard them all before,
And now I’m locked again outside the bedroom door.
But there’s no pillow on the floor or on the stair,
And there’s no doghouse,
So I’ve no idea where I’ll sleep tonight.

Can’t sleep on the front porch,
Last time, I almost froze,
Next time, critters might start
Chewing on my toes.
Can’t sleep in the crawlspace,
Can’t sleep on the john,
Can’t sleep if I hang around,
Can’t sleep if I’m gone.

I’m moving out today- she’s had enough of me.
I’m not just tired, now I’m also feeling free.
I wish I knew the words she wanted me to say,
I’ll keep on guessing while I search my Chevrolet.
But all the seats are full of boxes, packed with care,
And there’s no trunk space,
So I’ve no idea where I’ll sleep tonight.

Top of Page

Outside Margaret’s House

(Spring/Fall 1997, Royal Oak) Based on a true story. As with 2 songs elsewhere on the CD, this was recorded live to DAT with just guitar and vocal. After Genevieve sat in with me for this song at the Lavender Moon (where she improvised her part), I invited her to the studio several days later. A few months later still, I added two Kurzweil-ed oboes.

I rode my bicycle in circles
Along the dirt road where she lived,
Trying to think of reasons
And excuses I could give.
I wanted to meet her casually
If she were to step outside,
And ask her how her summer was
Or join her for a ride.
Circling like a buzzard,
Quiet as a mouse,
Outside Margaret’s house.

I finally got the courage up
To knock upon her door,
She answered, looking like a girl
I’d never seen before,
Her hair up, wearing glasses,
Looking slightly less than fine,
But her blue eyes looked at me
And formed stalactites in my spine.
Like a window minstrel
Waiting for the douse,
Outside Margaret’s house.

I stammered out an invitation
To spend an afternoon with me,
She said she had to stay and practice
And that her days were seldom free.
So I walked back down her driveway
Though it could’ve been a mile,
I looked and saw her through the window,
And I’d swear I saw her smile.

Top of Page


(Summer 1997, Canton/Detroit) A polite ode to vulgar initials. Can be played on the radio without risking hair growth on the palms, or attacks by outraged clergymen. This was recorded in my humble 4-track studio in the basement. Kris and I did the background vocals- I did two extra tracks of “wayo-ing” during mixing. In addition, I played guitar, bass, drum machine, and alto sax.

I live in the suburbs-
A town I really like,
When it’s time to go to work
It’s a thirty mile hike,
Folks at work renamed my town-
My town did not tell me,
Cos when you ask them where I live
I’m living in BFE.

I’m too polite to say
What BFE stands for,
Just think of pyramids
And someone whose cheeks are sore,
What that has to do with miles
I wouldn’t want to see,
So I just smile when someone says
I’m living in BFE.

What’s wrong with “The Boondocks”?
What’s wrong with “The Sticks”?
What’s wrong with “Far Boonieville”
Or more creative picks?
Can’t you say “it’s far away”…?
It sounds OK to me-
Just don’t gross me out and say
I’m living in BFE.

Maybe it’s perspective
From your end of the tracks,
It’s just the way you look towards me
When you’re not looking back,
But my home is still my home-
You’re just as far from me,
Maybe, then, it’s really YOU
That’s living in BFE.

Top of Page

Counting Down The Days

(Spring 1997, Royal Oak) Written for Lori and Caitie while they were on vacation with my in-laws. This was the first song recorded for the album, and was recorded live, direct to DAT, with guitar, voice, and no overdubs. (I was more interested in capturing the feel of the song, rather than a pefectly flawless performance. That’s why you can still hear my voice crack a bit, and my fingers flub some of the guitar parts.)

You’re somewhere on the road now,
Maybe counting up the cars,
Watch the world become a blur
And find it takes you far,
But nothing moves around here
Except the dust and me,
And every time I turn my head
There’s nothing new to see,
But I’m OK and passing time
While I’m here all alone
By counting down the days ’till you come home.

You’re someplace unfamiliar,
Maybe just another town,
Perhaps you’ll meet a friend
To help you find your way around,
But everything’s familiar here,
And the doorbell chime is still,
It should be ringing off the wall
With all this time to kill,
But I’m OK and passing time
While I’m here all alone
By counting down the days ’till you come home.

Your head is on a different pillow,
Miles away from mine,
No snoring from beside you
So you fall asleep just fine,
But there’s no snoring here tonight-
he night lamp burns away,
Music, books and TV keep me
Busy ’till the day,
But I’m OK and passing time
While I’m here all alone
By counting down the days ’till you come home.

Top of Page

One-Way Love

(Fall 1997/Detroit) Congratulations if you’ve already found this song on your own – or are you one of those folks that doesn’t let the CD play out until it ends…?!? I was trying to write a Byrds-style song, and hadn’t intended this for a CD- but the vocal arrangement came out as well as anything from the studio, so here it is. Recorded on the 4-track- includes 12-string electric guitar, bass, Casio keyboard (for harpsichord and the cheesy drum track), and three vocal tracks.

By now, you should know better-
It’s a one-way love,
You’re never going to get her-
It’s a one-way love.
Your lucky she’s a friend,
Don’t ruin it and spend
Your hours chasing love-
‘Cos it’s a one-way love.

You say you’ll have some more words
With your one-way love,
How can you look forward
To a one-way love?
She’s never going to say
She thinks of you that way
Because she’s not in love,
‘Cos it’s a one-way love.

Just take a walk instead
Of playing with her head,
Don’t make waves if you can’t swim.
If you’re afraid she’ll laugh
Just take a different path
Where lovelight doesn’t burn so dim.

There’s no need to be hurting
From a one-way love,
If you’re really certain
It’s a one-way love.
Look close and you will see
You’re never going to be
The one man she’s dreaming of,
‘Cos it’s a one-way love,
She’s not in love
‘Cos it’s a one-way love,
She’s not in love
‘Cos it’s a one-way love.

Top of Page


Except as noted, all songs were recorded, mixed, and mastered digitally on a Roland VS-880 8-track HD recorder. BFE and One-Way Love were recorded on a Tascam 286 4-track, but were digitally transferred to the VS880 for mixing and mastering.