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Private Lives

by Adam Baratz

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1.
Did I tell you 'bout the time I couldn't take my job? There were walls all around I tried my best to hide Took Tylenol for the pain I ran my liver to the ground These are our private lives Always unseen, still they survive Did I tell you 'bout the time I couldn't make my rent? I was down on the mat I had to skimp on food But that part was alright For once I felt I wasn't fat These are our private lives Lying in wait as you arrive These are our private lives Always unseen, still they survive
2.
So Far 02:13
When it burns in your ears When it streaks on your skin When it drowns all your fears When it might fit in There's no plan of attack There's no outcome to choose There's no getting it back There's no time to lose All that you can do is trust she'll take you just are you are You can only take it so far Do I come on too strong? Do I give enough heart? Do I have her all wrong? Do I look the part? We could bring out our best We could stay 'til the end We could fail at the test We could be better friends All that you can do is trust she'll take you just are you are You can only take it so far Who know what guy you see All I know: you're you, I'm me All that you can do is trust she'll take you just are you are You can only take it so far You can only take it so far
3.
Sure enough Took the call Had to see what it was That was all You're the same Still a brat Tried a joke Never mind Came off flat You'd always laugh Just for the sound It was like you were grateful for what you found No, it didn't take much When you longed for my touch Every word Peels and flakes Blowing past Every point You would make I could cough Force a yawn You don't care You just go on and on Is it so hard? What's left to break? Is it wrong to admit even one mistake? You can push it away But the memories stay Who'd have thought We'd be here Catching up Kicking back Being clear But it's late I should go Got to work This was fun Oh, you know I took it all Fights weren't a fuss It was great when I only believed in us How were we once a pair? Was I lost in the glare? Oh, I guess you had to be there
4.
When you're feeling good Good is all you need When your days are bright Then you can succeed You don't have to show What you seem to know Sure is sure, that's what anyone can see When you ask, they will always agree You're an instant friend Welcome any place You can hold a room People trust your face Nothing clears the air Like the simple care Of a smile that doesn't ask a thing It's a lot if that's all you can bring When I started I knew I didn't know much I was right What I brought was a fire that wouldn't shrink back from the fight That's what my boss said and then he gave me this role I'd say, looking back now, I was pushed in this hole My best friends all know that I'm a prick They don't believe I want this I'm doing what I tell my team: you have to follow your bliss It's an easy tune Bringing out your best Still I'm not so sure Every day's a test I would walk away And forget the pay But I can't, there's just too much to do And I wouldn't trust it with you
5.
On The Line 04:11
You take an extra breath before good night As if you're not so sure it would be right There could be something more you want to say Before this moment stops and falls away But when it's quiet, I hear it: the beat of your heart The sound is just as soft as woven lace What's hard is reaching out to empty space I'll hold the line I have you Is that not clear? Until the sign that moves you, we'll have to wait here We'll have to wait here
6.
7.
You won't tell me what's wrong You just act like it's not You don't answer my calls You could give me a thought I can handle it all You don't need to pretend You can let me back in Let me please be a friend I don't see what's so hard I would give you my all I would tear off my clothes I would crash every wall It's not like I'm worked up What's it matter to you? I've got hands and a heart Tell me what should I do Every time there's something wrong There's something else I didn't do Something misplaced Someone I knew We went back for so long There's no time without you We shared how much, how fun, how nice, how kind It doesn't matter now that we're through
8.
Insomnia 02:50
Day's end Take off my shoes Put on a movie Switch to the news I can't think now I shouldn't drink now That's how it goes Sit still Watch for a while They're always laughing They always smile I don't feel it I can't conceal it Each stumble shows All I really need's a little space If I drop my guard I lose my head Something in me feeds on eating shit When'd it get so hard to stay straight Can't sleep Turn on the light It only buzzes Nothing is right I've tried waiting I'll keep on waiting That's all I know Clock ticks I count along It moves me forward Call it my song I will rest soon Be at my best soon Yes, soon, I'll go When I get to work I feel alright I don't have to be what I don't want I can be the jerk who stays there late They don't have to see me like this When dawn pours in My mind is clear I greet the day I have no fear
9.
Was there a change? Is there a chance? Could it be building up to what's called romance? What does she see? What has she missed? Could it be it was wrong that we kissed? She can shrug and say all she likes is me But I'll still stop and ask, "could it be?" Where do I start? What do I do? Would it be much too much to expect a cue? Why won't this stop? What's it to her? Would it be half as hard to demur? If it stared out straight, would I even see? If it was just so, would it be? I couldn't Or wouldn't But you think it's just a bluff That I'm a place to get lost That, more than good, I'm enough If I took your word and your company Would you take my doubts?
10.
Old Clothes 04:28
I used to wear squirrel coats lined with paisley print I dreamt I had fox or mink, but I had too much sense I'd leave them on, fall right asleep Now I'd say it's time to put these old clothes away I used to wear three-inch heels no matter where I went I got them as my Fuck You Pumps and made them pay the rent There wasn't any stopping me Now I'd say it's time to put these old clothes away I used to only need a purse to go out for the night Not a favor from your mom, the promise of a fight I used to only need myself Now I'd say it's time to put these old clothes away I used to only need myself, I'd keep my fingers clean I used to roll my eyes at love and think it too obscene Now I roll my eyes at you Still I'll say it's time to put these old clothes away

about

I was thinking about the stories that people don’t tell. Stories they keep to themselves. Stories that no one tells because they can’t, they shouldn’t, or they simply don’t think to. I wanted to see, as best as I could, why this happens, and how the person in question might be seen by others. Naturally, I wanted to do so by way of an unstaged musical variety show.

The set was originally conceived for the piano. It became a group effort with the encouragement of bandmates, then not again with the exigencies of pandemic living. While they‘re not on this recording, their contributions are, and I’m grateful for them.

credits

released December 4, 2020

written, performed, and recorded by Adam Baratz
arrangements by Adam, Jordan Piel, Zoe Piel
artwork by Zak Jensen
special thanks to Josh, Maggie

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Adam Baratz Cambridge, Massachusetts

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