Little Dawn
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Lyrics


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Well Little Dawn walks on,
and she thinks she don't belong under the starry heights
So take a sigh as long as the war's been going on in your heart tonight
And if you want to make that light, go on and swim across the ocean
And if you want to make it right, go on and put your plan in motion
The gap is only as wide as the hollow of the sky between you, my dear
And the truth, absolute,
adding naught more profound to it than that you are here
And if you want to make it bright, well you might have to burn the candle
And if you want to keep it tight, well you might have to learn to handle
But on the days and nights it's hard to breathe
And you can't believe you still walk the streets
Stretch out your weary hand to me-it's alright
And if you're not content to just believe
And if you don't consent to just let it be




Stretch out your legs and dance with me all night, tonight
It's alright

Overall Meaning

The song "Little Dawn" is a motivational piece that encourages the listener to pursue their goals in spite of perceived obstacles or doubts. The lyrics suggest that the titular character, Little Dawn, feels insignificant in comparison to the "starry heights" above her. However, the singer reassures her that these self-doubts are unfounded, and that the truth of her presence is "absolute" and profoundly meaningful in and of itself. The song encourages the listener to take action towards their goals, whether that means "swimming across the ocean" or "putting their plan in motion." The lyrics advise that success may require hard work and sacrifice ("burn[ing] the candle" to make it bright, or "learn[ing] to handle" to keep it tight), but that the end result is worth it. The song also offers support for difficult times - on days and nights when it's hard to breathe and one feels disillusioned, the singer offers his/her hand to Little Dawn, assuring her that "it's alright."


Ted Leo has described the song as being about "the enormity of having to move forward in life when nothing seems to make sense," and has spoken in interviews about the influence of 1960s protest music on his work. The song's title is a reference to Leo's daughter, who was a toddler at the time of the song's composition. "Little Dawn" was released on the album "Hearts of Oak" in 2003, and has become one of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists' most beloved tracks.


Line by Line Meaning

Well Little Dawn walks on,
Little Dawn moves forward in life


and she thinks she don't belong under the starry heights
But she feels like she doesn't fit in with the grandeur and glamour of the world


So take a sigh as long as the war's been going on in your heart tonight
Take a deep breath and calm your inner turmoil


And if you want to make that light, go on and swim across the ocean
If you want to achieve your goals, take the risk and go beyond your comfort zone


And if you want to make it right, go on and put your plan in motion
To make things right, come up with a plan and take action


The gap is only as wide as the hollow of the sky between you, my dear
The distance between what you want and where you are is not insurmountable


And the truth, absolute,
The truth is simple and unambiguous


adding naught more profound to it than that you are here
There is nothing more profound than the fact that you exist


And if you want to make it bright, well you might have to burn the candle
To achieve success, you may have to work hard and make sacrifices


And if you want to keep it tight, well you might have to learn to handle
To maintain your success, you need to learn how to manage it


But on the days and nights it's hard to breathe
On tough days and nights, when life gets difficult


And you can't believe you still walk the streets
And you feel like you're barely making it through


Stretch out your weary hand to me-it's alright
Reach out to me for support, it's okay


And if you're not content to just believe
If you're not satisfied with just having faith


And if you don't consent to just let it be
And if you don't want to accept things as they are


Stretch out your legs and dance with me all night, tonight
Let's enjoy life and have fun tonight


It's alright
Everything will be okay




Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: THEODORE F LEO

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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