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If I Stay (acoustic demo, 2004)

by Vanessa Peters

fan club exclusive


This was recorded in the summer of 2004 by Manuel Schicchi as part of the home-recording sessions in his basement studio that turned in Thin Thread. I never taught this song to the band. It never really felt finished to me, and it still doesn't, but 10 years later, I don't think I'm headed back to it any time soon and I've had a number of folks ask for a version of it, so I decided to finally to post this one.

Random side note:
The lyrics to this song live in a folder on my computer called "The Year That I Am Here (abandoned)." That was the working title of the album that eventually became "Thin Thread" (when I wrote that song I instantly wanted it to be the the title track). Seeing that folder buried in the subfolders of unfinished songs led to the line in The Christmas We Hoped For - "This will be the year that we are here." Everything is connected. :)

Thanks to Manuel for recording this. XO


should I be surprised to find you on this bend
where the road curves then turns and straightens out again
a place where you and I have never been
did you get here on the wind
and how could I have known you’d follow me this far
where the grass has burned and the sky has filled with tar
and everything’s in flames when I’m not where you are
and I’m stuck with this daredevil heart

and if I stay or if I go
there are a thousand unknowns
and I just gotta get this down
before the next train out of town

I write you letters I don’t intend to send
and I still have a shirt I need to mend
from the time I tried to climb your fence
to wait for you to come back in
and now the time has come for me to make it right
and the only thing to do is to say goodnight
a rope around my chest is pulling too tight
and suddenly everything’s too bright

but if I stay or if I go
there are a thousand unknowns
and I just wanna get this down
before the next train out of town

the rope is pulling too tight
and everything is too bright
I think I'll leave without a sound
and take the next train out of town


released November 1, 2015
Vanessa Peters - acoustic guitar and vocals
The album photo was taken by Matt Magruder in Austin, Texas in 2004.


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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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