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Leaving Home

by Laura K. Balke

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1.
Souvenirs 03:53
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
2.
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
3.
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
4.
Magic 04:54
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
5.
Maple Street 04:17
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
6.
Waiting Room 05:03
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
7.
Letters 04:10
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
8.
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
9.
Leftovers 03:44
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
10.
Stationary 05:10
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

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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Laura K. Balke Indianapolis, Indiana

I love winners when they cry, losers when they try, music when it's good, and life

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