Standin' in the shadows The man I used to be I wanna go back (Can't go back, can't go back) Melodies awaken Sorrows from their sleep I wanna go back (Can't go back, can't go back) She was just a dream maker, Dreamer of sighs Shadow on the one who used to cry A face as soft as a tear in a clown's eye I wanna go back (Can't go back, can't go back) She was just a dream maker, Dreamer of sighs Shadow on the one who used to cry A face as soft as a tear in a clown's eye I wanna go back (Can't go back, can't go back)
I tend to think that Lindsey is referring to Stevie here. He wants to go back to the fulfillment and happiness he knew when he was with her, but he "can't go back." Her "melodies awaken sorrows from their sleep" - she's always singing about their relationship and, to him, it only reopens the wound time and time again...reopened wounds can't heal. He also talks about her being a "dream-maker," and Stevie is always talking about dreams - she even had a hit called Dreams! However, their dreams of being together didn't last. Still, he "can't go back", no matter how much he wants to.
Well, he wants to go back...it's so very obvious, isn't it? He wants to go back to Stevie, but she dumped him. So he can't, end of story. I bet she was lovin' the fact that he "wanted to go back". Can you say satisfaction. Too bad Lindsey you blew it bub. Glad she didn't fall for that mushy song meaning stuff. But then again, they did look so good together. Too bad he's got that attitude problem. He couldn't tell her to her face (or maybe he did), so he said it in a song (to drive that point home). But NO ONE WANTS A DESPERATE MAN!
I think this song is about wanting to go back to how things used to be, not just with a lover, but in terms of feeling confident and happy with himself and his music. The song might have connections to Stevie, but I think it's about Carol. I don't believe Lindsey was in love with Stevie or wanted her back anymore at this point in his life. Lindsey's relationship with Carol was hitting rocky times as the band recorded Mirage, and he even said in an interview that he still wanted the Carol he fell in love with, but couldn't deal with the Carol that drugs created. I think when Lindsey says, "she was just a dream-maker," he [is] saying Carol was HIS dream-maker. She made him dream of love and happiness when things were good, and now that things aren't so good, he wonders if maybe it was only dreams, not reality.
Lindsey was disappointed with the artistic direction of the band during the Mirage period. He remembers "the man I used to be" when he was full of fire and ideas and passion for the music, and he feels that those things are lost now. He realizes it's dangerous to conjure up those feelings because, as he repeats over and over, "can't go back, can't go back." He's just torturing himself by remembering how it used to be. Remembering those times and that music just intensifies the disappointment again - "melodies awaken sorrows from their sleep." He wants to back to when he and Carol met and they were full of fire for each other and life and music. But sadly, he's painfully aware that he can't go back.