At Least There Will Be Love

by Sam Steffen

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released July 31, 2016

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Sam Steffen Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Track Name: Would You Love Me Then?
If I wasn’t such a miserable failure—would you love me then?
If I looked more like Elizabeth Taylor—would you love me then?
If I was handsome and brave and strong and lean
Had my face on the cover of Time Magazine
If I was really as nice as you say that I seem—mm, would you love me then?

If I had a more agreeable personality—would you love me then?
If I had better hold of reality—would you love me then?
If I had a corporate job and made a lot of money
If I was smart, sensitive, sweet or funny
If I didn’t call you baby, dear, darling or honey—mm, would you love me then?

If I drove you around in a pink Ferrari—would you love me then?
If I swallowed my pride and said I was sorry—would you love me then?
If I gave you my word that I would always be true
And then whenever you called me I came running to you
If I didn’t have to ask you what do I gotta do?—mm, would you love me then?

If I went ahead and just did what you told me—would you love me then?
If I said I was yours, you could have and to hold me—would you love me then?
If I showed you I could act like I was older than five
If I put in the effort, if I actually tried
If I was the last human being alive—mm, would you love me then?

If I gave some time to think it over—would you love me then?
If I tried again later, maybe when I was sober—would you love me then?
If I wasn’t so lazy, so dumb, so slow
If I only had somewhere, anywhere to go
If for all of these years I had just something to show—would you love me then?

If you told me something and I didn’t doubt it—would you love me then?
If I told you I loved you and sang about it—would you love me then?
If I had influence, title, rank, or position
If I changed my name, my race, my religion
If I told you I was eager to hear your decision—would you love me then?

If I promised to leave you alone forever—would you love me then?
If I told you we didn’t have to be together—would you love me then?
If I took your advice, your offered suggestion
If I swore I wouldn’t make any public confession
If I promised not to ask you anymore questions—mm, would you love me then?
Track Name: (The Way That) I Will Always Love You
If the sun tomorrow should rise and find me gone from your side
If my life should transpire so quick as to fit to within the blink of an eye
If all of the dust of my days should be scattered in ten different ways
And the ocean complains that nothing remains to answer the one who asks why
Please know that the sky and the sea
Will not always be blue
That nothing will always be
The way that I will always love you

If all of my cries should fall short of the home t’where they fly
If they shatter and break on the walls of the gate that proves too strong and too high
If word of me never returns, and my whereabouts never get learned
And I’m somehow forgot despite how I fought to never surrender, but try
Please know that things as they seem
Will not always be true
That nothing will always be the way that I
Will always love you

If your heart like an overripe pear should grow sour and sore
If time should strengthen your will and you vow not to think about me anymore
If one day your forgetting succeeds, and your wounds, they no longer bleed
And no time’s left to waste, you’ve taken first place, but you just can’t remember what for
Please know that the ways you can see
Will not always be few
That nothing will always be
The way that I will always love you
Track Name: Tell Me Something I Don't Already Know
You woke me with a question from your distant past you said it was not urgent but it would require some attention soon
I followed up by askin what you meant by that but this was later some time long after you had already left the room
The times we’ve tried have not been few, although communication has perhaps at times been rare
And tho I’ve said, it’s up to you, it’s clear to me that you’d prefer that it remain unshared

And that’s alright, if that’s your style
You’ve got that right, you’re not on trial
I’d appreciate it if the next time tho
You’d tell me something that I don’t already know

I recall that you returned to me, eventually, with an apology you said you couldn’t write but had to say to me
That spoke of things that never were, that tried to be, that might have been perhaps if only it hadn’t been for me
You called me names, suggested lies, pretended I had only been your enemy
You said, “Love is born, it lives and dies, and people change and are a challenge to their destiny—”

And you’re not wrong, that’s not quite it
Cause you don’t belong with me I’ll admit
But the next time that you come to say you have to go
Tell me something that I don’t already know

We’ve covered all this ground before, there’s nothing new to speak of with regards to where it leaves us, where we must remain
I know you’ll go on hoping I’m a wound to you while I’ll go back to dreaming at the drawingboard, my windowpane
And all that’s left of all that was in me will linger faintly as a residue
And looking down, from up above, perhaps at last you’ll catch the contrast in our points of view

But if you don’t because you choose
And say you won’t because you’d lose
The chance to tell the mighty that they’ve fallen low
Well tell me something that I don’t already know
Track Name: I'm Yours
Sky’s gone cloudy and the sun’s been dim
It seems the stars these days are always late
And it won’t be long now fore the rain sets in
But all there is to do is wait

Please take my picture when you go from here
As it will help me not to feel so far from you
And I’ll try less often to wish you near
When, or rather, if, I do

And if I should survive, as I think I probly will
As I only ever have before
It will not be because of me
It will be because you know I’m yours

I watched your shadow as you weaved the loom
Your clothing lay draped over the chairs
A Casanova with a pink balloon
Waiting like a child on the stairs

Please take me with you when you go from here
As it will help me not to feel so far from you
And I’ll try less often to feel the fear
If, or rather, when, I do

And if I should survive as I think I will,
As I only ever have before
It will not be because of me
It will be because you know I’m yours
Track Name: The Only Girl I Love
Shes the sun at dawn, shes a dream you drawn
She’s a train you’ll chase forever that don’t never let you on
She’s beautiful, she’s both hands full
She’s cautious as a fledgling calf, and fragile as a fawn

She knows her bounds and your hopes she’ll drown
Her eyes are like the well you cast your lonesome wishes down
She’s a misplayed chord, she’s a two-edged sword
She’s a bird that’s fallen that never even left the ground

She cant be held, contained nor quelled
And she don’t reside even where she says she’s dwelled
She ain’t coming soon, but I wish she was
For she’s the only girl whom with all my heart I love

She’s a ragin tide, downright dignified
A wildfire wadin through a callow countryside
She’s my favorite song, my whole life long
She’s the failure I was faced with every single time I tried

She’s a waving flag, she’s a boundin stag
Free as a feather floating down a canyon crag
She’s a broken soul, she’s a lost-sheep’s wool
She’s a priceless linen mixed-in with a beggar’s bandage rag

She can’t be reached through spoken speech
And she breathes in vapors near the boundary’s breach
She ain’t comin soon but I wish she was
For she’s the only girl whom with all my heart I love

She’s a quiet smirk, she’s full of quirk
She’s like ivy growin upwards through the garden lattic-work
Her voice is sure, and her heart is pure
She’s a soothing salve for every wound you’ve got that’s hurt

She’s full of tricks, she’s too fair to fix
She’s a churchmouse crawling cross the crucifix
She’s a wisp of smoke, she’s a wooden spoke
She’s a spur upon a bootheel that’s never learned to kick

She can’t be caught, revealed nor wrought
She’s a matter of fact, upon a second thought
She ain’t coming soon, but I wish she was
For she’s the only girl whom with all my heart I love

She’s a friendly face, she’s a saving grace
She’s a trap-door hinged upon a hiding place
She’s a standing cliff, she’s a hieroglyph
She’s a strong defense that doesn’t have no case

She’s a windin brook, she’s a chance that’s took
She’s the same old story in a brand new book
She’s an ocean wave, she’s a shallow grave
She’s the knight that left the bishop to defend the rook

She can’t be known, can’t be left alone
She is my journey, my friend, my home
She ain’t coming soon, but I wish she was
For she’s the only girl whom with all my heart I love
Track Name: In Love With You
I must be cursed; the fates must be against me
She’s taken no interest; she can’t even sense me
I’m a face in a crowd that’s well neath her status,
That’s an audience to her, that she’ll never notice
She don’t even know me, but that ain’t the problem
The one thing we share’s having nothing in common
A stranger with whom I wish I were familiar
If only so that I could finally tell her
That I’m helplessly, hopelessly, endlessly, openly,
Neverthelessly in love with you
Brokenly, quietly, quite unrequitedly
Somehow inspite of me, in love with you
I’m boundless and depthless and restless and breathless
And it’d be a short list to name what I wouldn’t do
To show you how sweetly, how madly, completely,
How badly, how deeply, I’m in love with you

Whenever she’s near, I can feel my pulse racing
Every minute she’s gone feels like time I’m just wasting
To somebody’s dreams she must be the native
But she’s just in my world—I’m not that creative
If I could imagine her daily and nightly
And all on my own, however unlikely
I’d probably need never roam any further
There’d be no cause to alarm or alert her
That I’m visibly, viably, undeniably
Certifiably in love with you
Joylessly, lucklessly, sorely, reluctantly,
It’s not even up to me, in love with you
I’m weary and woeful, I’m inconsolable
And from the depths of my own soul I wish it weren’t true
But I’m clinically, cynically, consciously, critically
Admittedly—in love with you
Track Name: Might've Spoke Too Soon
I looked all round the world for a love of my own
Now I’ve been everywhere and I’m still all alone
Just when I started thinking true love can’t be found
Who but I should start falling when who but you turns around
When I said that it takes time for new love to bloom
It might be that I might’ve spoke a little too soon

You know what they say, it ain’t good to presume
It might be that I might’ve spoke a little too soon

Well the first thing you told me is that youd be all mine
Next thing I know I’m half out of my mind
Feel like running and hiding, feel like walking right out
You say you just want to know what I’ve been thinking about
When I said as long as I had you I would never be doomed
Well it might be that I might have spoke a little too soon

Chorus

I know how to want you just as well as the next
Its remaining happy once you’re mine I don’t get
I know that you told me I was all out of tries
But that you weren’t kidding I guess I didn’t quite realize
When I said that nobody’d ever make me change my own tune
Well it might be that I might’ve spoke a little too soon

Chorus

When I told you I loved you unconditionally
I was under the impression you felt the same way about me
When I asked if you wanted to come be my wife
I thought it meant that I would be the only man in your life
But you got one in the stairwell and one up in your room
Well it might be that I might have spoke a little too soon

Chorus
Track Name: Do You Have Me Now?
Bout the hour the sun goes down, I get to thinking of leaving town
The trains and traffic they make their sounds, a blood within me begins to pound
She calls to tell me she’s on her way, she knows I get round that time of day
Feeling like I’d be stuck to stay, better off just a goin way

I feel my feet start to leave the ground
I step away and I’m fallin down
I feel your arms they’re around me now
But tell me, babe, do you have me, now?

I’m hardly home and I’m highway bound
I’m known to run at the smallest sound
I’m known to hide where I won’t be found
So tell me, babe, do you have me, now?

Lifted out of the mangled mess, I’m back out on the top, I guess
Just wrestling the restlessness, I won’t win but I’ll do my best
She’s sturdy as frozen stone, does alright when she’s on her own
The kindest of the kind of known, the closest I’ve ever been to home

I think I’d live if she left me now
And if I left would I be allowed
I could love if you’d show me how
But tell me, babe, do you have me now?

I feel your kisses against my brow
I hear you say that we should and shall
I hear you say you don’t need no vow
But tell me babe do you have me now?

She keeps me close and she holds me tight, walks me through each and every night
She ain’t afraid to put up a fight, makes it seem like it’ll be alright
But in the morning she leaves again, and tho she says she’ll come back again
And tho I tell her I’ll see her then, I always hope I’ll still be here then

I spread my wings and she holds me down
I try to swim and she helps me drown
I start to cry and she calls me clown
But tell me babe do you have me now?

Cause I can fly without leavin ground
And I can dive without goin down
And I can kid without foolin round
So tell me babe do you have me now?

About a mile down the railroad track, I get to thinking of thinkin back
I wonder if she would take me back, if she knew I was comin back
Left a note in her dresser drawer, sayin how I just wasn’t sure
Sayin how I would lock the door, but not to wait up for me no more

Tell me babe, would you have me now?
Now that you know that I’m broken down?
Now that you know I don’t wear no crown?
Now that you know I won’t stick around?

Tell me babe do you have me now?
Now that I’m somewhere behind you now?
Now that at least I can’t hurt you now?
Now that I can’t desert you now?
Track Name: Nobody's Fault
She may not even remember me now, it was so long ago
I recall when she left it was winter again, her footprints had trailed in the snow
And when spring came around they had melted away and by then I had learned to forget
That it wasn’t because she didn’t love me enough that she had been so upset
And I know it don’t do nobody no good to say it now after all this time
But it’s nobody’s fault, it’s nobody’s fault, it’s nobody’s fault—but mine

There’ve been so many others since her, but she was the first
And maybe it’s just cause I loved her the most, that losing her hurt the worst
And maybe I am still just holding on cause I’m lonesome with everyone else
And maybe I only want her back cause I’m so tired of myself
But whatever it is that’s causing all this, there’s one thing to which I’m resigned
It’s nobody’s fault, it’s nobody’s fault, it’s nobody’s fault—but mine

This morning I found an old letter of hers in my desk’s bottom drawer
It contained a long list of things that she missed about me and loved me for
At the end of the note she apparently wrote I will always love only you
And after all of these years what makes me afeared is thinking that it might still be true
I wish I could say I was sorry now, how could I have been so blind
But it’s nobody’s fault, it’s nobody’s fault, it’s nobody’s fault—but mine

Now as I sit here in familiar solitude, unvisited even by noise
I like to pretend that it had to be so, that neither one of us had any choice
Its easy to feel like she did it to me, like nothing I said was believed
But sometimes the truth creeps in through the roof and says you aint lyin, you’re just self-deceived
Cause she was the one who wanted to stay, and I told her to go, now she’s gone
And its nobody’s fault, it’s nobody’s fault, it’s nobody’s fault—but my own
Track Name: I'm Sorry
For all of the lies that I told
For getting away with the fast ones I pulled
Persisting, even when it got old
For leaving you standing alone in the cold
For holding back when you asked me to share
And for wrecklessly leading you on
For promising you I would always be there
The list, I suppose, it goes on—
For all of our planning on things working out,
we’re just not very lucky, are we?
That it won’t make it up, I haven’t a doubt,
I just want you to know—that I’m sorry

For all of the pain that I caused
for burning the map and then getting us lost
for refusing to pay what it cost
for helping them nail your hands to the cross
for hearing you loud and clear when you cried
and keeping myself hidden from sight
for never once ever taking your side
even when I knew you were right
I know it’s too late to take anything back
And for new words it may still be too early
But for whatever it’s worth, if it has any impact,
I just want you to know—that I’m sorry

For leaving it all up to fate
For devising the trap and laying the bait
For offering too little too late
For destroying the plans that you tried to create
for being the one who was never around
and accusing you of disappearing
for ruthlessly kicking you when you were down
and afterwards trying to be so endearing
The time of the day I don’t even deserve
But I don’t need it, I’m in no hurry
I know that you think that I’ve sure got some nerve
But I just want you to know—that I’m sorry

for wanting you to be like you were
for acting so childish and so immature
for expecting you to be pure
and treating you like you were part of the tour
for letting you fall when you needed a hand
up from the floor you were sweeping
for pretending that I could not understand
the language in which you were speaking
I know that my efforts have not been enough
A gentleman I have been, hardly
But before you go writing me entirely off
I just want you to know—that I’m sorry

For totally wasting your time
For being unwell, saying that I was fine
For feeding you all the old lines
For failing to make you a priority of imine
For doing the absolute least I could do
And not even without complaining
And for taking even your umbrella from you
The minute that it started raining
If you don’t ever want to see me again
And if you never ans—wer me
I’ll understand, but I might as well then
Tell you now fore I go—that I’m sorry

For making you miss the last train
For keeping the torch lit for an old flame
For driving you slowly insane
For making you guess instead of saying it plain
For treating this all like no more than a fling
As you asked: O why must you tease me?
And then when it came time to do the right thing
For doing instead what felt easy
I know in the past, when I’ve said this before
Your silences have frequently scarred me
I know you can’t put up with me anymore
I just want you to know—that I’m sorry

For utterly failing to learn
For leaving long fore the meeting adjourned
For making you wait for your turn
To be treated decent, like it was something you’d earn
For salting the wound, and fueling the flame
Adding insult to your injury
for whimpering whenever saying your name
And making sure that you heard me
Your more patient with me than anyone else
I’d’ve featherd and tarred me
But this time I ain’t gonna ask for you help
I just want you to know—that I’m sorry

For throwing you under the bus
For staining your pride and abusing your trust
For making you feel that you must
For ditching you in a cloud of my dust
For gorging myself, meanwhile letting you starve
like some well-wishing judas
For handing you over to the people in charge
While you kindly mistook me for Brutus
And nevermind silver, nevermind gold
I’d’ve done it for thirty denari
And if it’s the last thing I ever tell to the world
I just want you to know—I’m sorry
Track Name: You Been A Good Friend To Me
You been a poor wife to your husband, you been a bad mother to your child
You ain’t been much to speak of to your folks in some long while
You been something of a let-down to your whole family
Aw, but you know you been a good friend to me

You been bad news to your landlord ever since you signed that lease
The only visitors you get in here are either junkies or police
You been wanted for a while now, everyone’s your enemy
Aw, but you know you been a good friend to me

You been a disgrace to your people, you’ve exhibited no pride
When the spies came you went to them and you invited them inside
You’d be called a traitor back in your home country
Aw, but you know you been a good friend to me

Everybody says you’re crazy, when you look they all turn around
Nobody seems to like you much you’re just too hard to be around
That’s the same way that people talk when they’re talkin about me
Aw, but you know you been a good friend to me
Track Name: I Will Still Love You Anyway
Should your laughter turn to tears, and should your smile straighten out
Should the minutes turn to years, and your assurances to doubt
And should there be only half as much love here as you say
If you never leave the path
You tell a joke and no one laughs
If you never learn to do the math,
I will still love you anyway

And should the ease become a strain, and should the work become a toil
And should our happiness be plain, and inseperable from soil
And should the tune become so flat which we always used to play
That the music won’t come back
We only hear it as a lack
Both because of and despite that
I will still love you anyway

And should your looks begin to go, and should your wits begin to dim
And should your age begin to show, through the wrinkles on your skin
And should you become so old that your hair has all turned gray
When your stories have been told
And your teeth have all been pulled
And when you’re far too frail to hold
I will still love you anyway

And when you are not here, and when I am by myself,
And when the future isn’t clear, and when you seem like someone else
I will not find you strange, nor will it be to my dismay
For in spite of how you change,
you come in and out of range
It can’t be helped, you won’t be blamed
I will still love you anyway

And if we never aren’t poor, and if I discover that you’re flawed
And if we always aren’t sure, and leave it mostly up to God
At least there will be love, when all else has passed away
And when pushing comes to shove
When I’m no longer who I was
And when nobody else does
I will still love you anyway