Release Date: 9/04, 3/08





I can't do this anymore

...confess my soul to a room of strangers

hoping to find a warm safe place to lay there,

but I canít do this anymore.


For a moment, for an hour Iíd linger

spinning yarns so nimble and light fingered

but thereís no rest for the lonely torch swinger

and I can't do this anymore.


I never thought I'd be this bitter,

I never thought I'd become a quitter,

but you found garbage in the pick of my litter

and I can't do this anymore.


Well I broke my back on this rock one more time,

strangely compelled to cast a pearl before a swine

and you might well ask whose fault is that? Mine.

And I can't do this anymore.


Here's a little number that I like to call pain:

it's got a chorus, a chorus, a chorus and a refrain,

and it goes round and round until you're half insane

and I can't do this anymore.


Friends with sad and tender words to share

and I was too self-absorbed to care,

because I'd never known defeat, never tasted despair,

thatís why I never found a home.


So excuse me,

I got too immersed in this part,

this isn't commerce and you've made it clear itís not art,

itís just some jackass pouring out his heart --

what the hell is up with that?


I've got nothing to say to you,

it was my decision to play to you,

so c'est la vie and c'Ètait adieu,

I can't do this anymore.


Adam - vocal, piano
Robbie Rist - vocal
Evie Sands - acoustic guitar
Casey Dolan - electric guitars
Severo - bass
Kurt Medlin - drums
John Perry - synthesizer
Sanda Beane - cello
Jacqueline Grad - violin

Adam sez:

This song and "The Big Bear" were both written during a depressed, exhausted day in the middle of a long solo tour, and reflect the burnout from playing endlessly to people that, quite often, were not listening and did not care. Every touring musician experiences this to some degree, but being by myself for long periods of time left my mental state particularly vulnerable to bad gigs; there's just no one around to encourage you and tell you no, you don't suck. Actually, as a solo performer I was pretty successful; the problem was that, until I went back to solo touring in 2008, I was more successful as an entertainer than I was at getting people to listen to my songs, which were usually a little too demanding (or overly complex?) to get at first listen. Still, "I Can't Do This Anymore" marks the point where I stopped pandering to my audience in any way, and this was good. From this point onward, I acquired the backbone to stand up to the room and demand attention. No one loves you if you kiss their ass and beg for love. That's what this song is about.

For a long time I felt like I had ripped off the string arrangement on the outro from some other band but I could never remember who. On the day we were mixing it, Steve Refling suddenly says, "Dude! This is from a Negro Problem record." Then we started really rushing the session because Stew was due in the studio to sing in less than an hour and we did not want him to walk in and hear us mixing a part we'd stolen from him! We barely got it done in time. Later that night I went home and listened to the record in question and found out that for once, Steve was wrong, and I hadn't ripped off Stew's arrangement. Phew! That would have been awkward. I still don't know where I ripped it off from, though.

Like a number of songs on YOU DON'T KNOW ME, "I Can't Do This Anymore" gave me a chance to put my talented friends in different musical situations than they were known for. In this case, Robbie Rist's impassioned background vocal makes the song. It's a storyline that he's very familiar with, and he sings/wails it like he wrote it himself.

Despite being seven minutes long and a slow piano ballad to boot, usually death at a bar gig, this song always went over live, helped in no small part by Evie's great acoustic guitar playing and a solo vocal turn on the outro that does not appear on the record.

©2003 by Adam Marsland (BMI)

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