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Afford to Pretend

from With The Sentimentals by Vanessa Peters

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This track was first released on my acoustic solo EP "Blackout" in 2006. I always wondered what it would sound like with a little bit of band along for the ride and I love what the guys did with it. I wrote most of this song in one sitting while I was driving down a lonely stretch of Texas highway. I wrote it on a notepad on my knee, keeping my eyes on the road, and it was nearly illegible when I pulled over to get gas and review my notes. It was a terribly painful song for me to write and it still chokes me up sometimes when I think about how I felt during that time. Many of my songs are fictional with a dollop of autobiographical icing on top; this one was purely from my heart.


so it seems this two lane became a four lane
and now they’re working on eight
and I half hope before too long that they obliterate
every strip of these familiar fields
this new asphalt is blinding my eyes
and right now I’m so poor that
I can’t even afford to pretend I’m fine

‘cause I can take me out of here
and move me halfway across the world
but these roads belong to a time
when I swore I’d always be your girl
and I can’t even afford to pretend
the horizon’s wavering from the hunger or the heat
cause it really ain’t that hot yet
and I’ve had enough to eat

and I’m so afraid you’re gonna stone me
and I never wanted to be a martyr
can someone please explain to me
why after all this time it just keeps getting harder
and it’s the heat that makes me faint
it’s the heat that makes me flush
it’s the heat that makes me sick to my stomach
and keeps my voice to a low low hush

and all the traffic is leaving town
and I’m the only one still headed west
and the gold rush is long since done
and I can’t even say I did my best
but it, it doesn’t matter now
‘cause what’s done can’t be undone
I’ll keep this red curtain pulled round my face
and when this song is done

I’ll quietly close the lid of the case
pack up my guitar
and run.


from With The Sentimentals, released January 20, 2015


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Vanessa Peters Austin, Texas

Indie singer/songwriter from Texas. Musician, Italophile, Virgo, coffee nerd, food lover, bossy-pants, big ol' softie.
I've released 10+ albums and played over 1000 shows in 11 countries. I'm not done yet.

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