Leaving Home

by Laura K. Balke

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1.
03:53
2.
3.
4.
04:54
5.
04:17
6.
05:03
7.
04:10
8.
9.
03:44
10.
05:10

credits

released December 26, 2007

Written and performed by Laura K. Balke
Recorded and mixed by Mike Adams, with the exception of track 9, recorded by Ryan Starkey

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about

Laura K. Balke Indianapolis, Indiana

Brought up in a small town amongst the fields of Northern Indiana, Laura K. Balke has been crafting songs from her surroundings and inner workings ever since she picked up her mother's guitar at the age of 13. On the heels of her third full-length record, Rumors & Legends, Balke's time is split between touring and the welcome juxtaposition of residing in Indianapolis. ... more

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Track Name: Souvenirs
I don't know where I belong
But I know this isn't it
Indiana wants my life
But I don't want to give it
I've got a lot of things I promised myself
I'd do before I die
But deep down I know I could be back
To raise a family in that small town
Next door to mom and dad

I will hoard up all the things
That make me want to quit
And pass them out as souvenirs
On the day I finally make it

And I wonder what's wrong with me when
I'm the only one laughing at the movies
And why I couldn't shed one tear
At my grandpa's funeral
But I bawled my eyes out
To a stupid country song

I will hoard up all the things that
Make me want to cry
'Cause sometimes I'm too happy
For all the sorrow in this life

I'm beginning to think that I
could marry you
I can't wait to hold your hand
Once your hair has turned grey
And when everyone else
Jumps off board your dreams
I want to be the one who stays

I will hoard up all the things
I could use to break your heart
And we'll start a bonfire with them
In our backyard
Track Name: Quit Your Job
You said "I think I lost a baby,
The stress from work keeps coming home with me"
Still newlywed, but clocking out a grouchy wife
This job hasn't been good
For your marriage or your life
I've got to get my two cents in,
I hat to see sadness, especially among friends
You could quit this job
and work with your sister at the coffee shop

You were the first to say that someday, someday
We'll sit around and talk about happier things
I won't let you forget that

I'll be moving soon, starting a new life
But first tearing the old up by the roots
I've got an awful lot to leave
It's so easy to get by here but this town
Is putting me to sleep
The road ahead looks awfully hard,
But if I get discouraged I look a little farther
To say five years from now
I'm back to visit my home town

I'll stop by your place
and we'll sit in the kitchen and talk about happier days
That's why I've got to leave

'Cause someday we'll sit around and talk about
Happier things, happier things
You'll have a better job
A job that's got more to it than money
And I'll have found my city
But I'll come back as often as I can
For the wonderful someday that we have planned
Track Name: Bricks and Mortar
Today I bought a welcome mat
placed it by the front door
And I want you to know I mean that
If you ever need a place to be alone
Or a friend away from friends
Or a little slice of home
I'd be honored if you pick me

One of my goals in this life is to be grateful
And last night eight hands were willing
To help unbox my life
Home is something that you make
And you, my friends, are bricks and mortar
In the walls I create

My strength is not equal
To what I plan to do
But it's still hard for me to say
"I need you"
Though I couldn't count the times
that I, myself was taken in
To a building made of people
And cared for as one of them

One of my goals in this life is to be worthy
Of the friends and family that are
All around me
It's a lofty aim but I will strive
To take good care of you
And to make sure you know:
It's yours if it's mine
Track Name: Magic
Life gets in the way of so many things
There's only one place I want to be
But want gets eaten up by need
You always say that I'm a young lady with priorities
To get me out the door to those places I need to be
You've got the best of intentions
So how do I tell you
Your name is climbing that list

What kind of magic have we made
That the rest of the world seems so minute?
Can it save me from today
'Cause I don't want to go without you
Will you love me either way
I'm not sure if I'm dreaming when I'm you
Or finally awake

I always said
I'm shaking the dust of this town
But it's like I inhabit another city
Whenever you're around
With tears in my eyes
I said I can't promise you that
You said don't cry, not now
When we've got so long to figure this out

What kind of magic have we made
That we would merge our plans and dreams
Can it save us from tomorrow
And the paths that would separate our
Two sets of feet
Will you love me either way
'Cause I'm not sure if I'm crazy when I'm with you
Or finally sane
Track Name: Maple Street
Second to the right and straight on to morning
Still I can't find my way
To these images of home
It's green and spinning
Drop to the ground now my eyes are closed
I've reached this summertime and I've got say it's nice
But I know spring is never again coming in this life

It's a precious thought but an elusive conclusion
Used to freely come and go
What made this time an intrusion
They say that home is where the heart is
Well I've got one in myself
But it's too busy keeping me alive
To be anywhere else

Your words say you miss me
But your face says you can't come back
I've seen too much of this world
To tie myself here
But I've learned enough to mourn that
These days, every night before I fall asleep
The last thing I feel is alone

I keep her in my heart
That little girl who lives to play in the backyard
But she's afraid,
She's afraid of the dark
I keep her locked away
Track Name: Waiting Room
I’ll never forget that phone call
My mother’s voice, melting in to tears
Usually so strong
She said “things aren’t looking good
The whole family’s flying in”
To say goodbye to the best
Father, grandpa and friend
I’d just started a new job
But I think they understood
You’re the only father of my mother that I’ve got
I packed a black skirt and dark gray sweater
All the while entertaining
Thoughts that you’ll get better

Hospital waiting room
We are waiting for you
But god covered your face
You’ve got things left to do
I have questions to ask you
I don’t hope but I pray

“I hate to see him like this”
Those words, they burned your daughter’s lips
But I saw your will to live
I know you’ve got plenty of reasons
And I know that getting to know me better
Was on that list
In a month from now
If you recover, I know
You’ll help me find that last
Plastic, coin-filled Easter egg
In your backyard in Kansas City
And you’ll say
“You’re the best, doll face”

Hospital waiting room
We are waiting for you
But god covered your face
You’ve got left to do
I have questions to ask you
I don’t hope but I pray

Hooked to a machine
After 77 years our love surrounds you
I kissed you on the cheek
Those tubes make you breath
After 77 years your lungs were tired
God put them to sleep
Track Name: Letters
The mailman’s here and gone
Is there something in my box
Anticipation builds as I fumble with the lock
To find a bunch of nothing
Just like the day before
I’ve got a stack on unanswered letters
But I guess I wanted more

I could use a lesson from
My ten-year-old brother
On Christmas morning he said
“Mom I don’t think I’m able
To give as much as I receive”
A thought so obvious
That it never struck me

There’s a blue mail receptacle
For my apartment complex
That I pass at least twice a day
Well the post hasn’t gone out yet
I could recycle my self pity
In to a letter for someone else
I could do a lot of things but usually act on
What benefits myself

God I know I'm not able
To give as much as I receive
And I take advantage of that
Help me pick up pen and paper
To put the focus on
Something that's not addressed to me

And I don’t think I’m able
To give as much as I receive
But I’ll give it a shot
Like it’s Christmas eve
Track Name: Dinosaur Bones
The broken trees in the river look like dinosaur bones
Or the toothpicks of a giant, cast down from his cloudy home
The ducks gather to socialize as I observe alone

I want to make friends with a brontosaurus in prehistoric days
I want to be Jack of the beanstalk with a goose laying golden eggs
Can I come to your party? I ask those friendly ducks
After beatin’ around the bush the answer’s always
You’re not one of us

Enough staring out the window, I’ve got to get back to work
There is silverware to polish and money to be earned
Goodbye Mississinewa, hello cigar smoke
The more I see of that river the more this place looks like a joke


I want to make friends with a brontosaurus in prehistoric days
I want to be Jack of the beanstalk with a goose laying golden eggs
Can I come to your party? I ask those friendly ducks
After beatin’ around the bush the answer’s always
You’re not one of us
Track Name: Leftovers
Thanks for the cold shoulder
Hello how you been?
But you don’t want to talk to me
You’d rather talk to him
Thanks for the leftover dinner
Such a welcome sight
Lukewarm, half-spoiled
My apple’s missing a bite

And life shows us who our friends are
Oh time teaches us to settle for subpar
But I’m not eager to learn these lessons
I see a future filled with antidepressants

I never returned her letter
Amidst a change of an address
It was so easy to forget her
Oh I never returned his phone call
It’s just so awkward to say anything
Anything at all

And life shows us who our friends are
Oh time teaches us to settle for subpar
But I’m not eager to learn these lessons
You gotta learn the hard way but I’d just as soon
I’ll just as soon forget ‘em
Track Name: Stationary
I have fallen with the leaves
Down from the source of life
I have let the scorching sun
Drink my soul dry
I have become a wanderer
With the wind
And let the cold become me
From the outside in
All the while you were whispering
I had only to listen

You said don’t let the world
Buffet you about
There is a higher path
than to become
A product of circumstance
You’ve crossed oceans
But the journey has just begun

I saw you in
The smile of a stranger
Offered whether or not
I reciprocated
I heard you in my mother’s voice
It was not her victory
But still she was elated
I felt you in the first day
That I felt spring
The winter tried to hold them back
But the flowers are rising
How I long to be
Consistent like that

Will you fix me to a mountain
Unshaken and unmoved
Will you fix me like a star
Shining you, shining you