Song of the Day #3,753: ‘Bartering Lines’ – Ryan Adams

‘Bartering Lines’ is probably my least favorite song on Ryan Adams’ solo debut album, 2000’s Heartbreaker.

I don’t mean that as a slight to this song, which is fine, but as praise for the rest of Heartbreaker. This is one of the greatest alt-country albums, indie rock albums and break-up albums of all time. Adams followed this record the following year with Gold, an equally good album, and never topped either of those achievements again.

While Heartbreaker was inspired by a recent break-up, the album’s title has a more whimsical origin. Adams recalls, “My manager called and said, ‘You have 15 seconds to name this record,’ “My eyes focused on this poster of Mariah [Carey] wearing a T-shirt that said HEARTBREAKER. I just shouted, ‘Heartbreaker!'”

Here’s the poster:

Hold me up, hold me down
Leave me in the withering pines
Steal my love, steal my kisses
Take ’em to the bartering lines

Ten cents up, two bucks down
Ship it out and turn it into fuel
Three bucks shy
Leave it on the table ’til somebody else with money’s got a use

Spinnin’ so hard
I can’t stand
Shadow of a shadowy man
Hold me up, hold my hand
The treasures that she misses makes the man

Ten cents up, two bucks down
Ship it out and turn it into fuel
Three bucks shy
Leave it on the table ’til somebody else with money’s got a use

So hold me up, tie me down
Leave me in the withering pines
Steal my love steal my kisses
Evaluate the differences in life

Ten cents up two bucks down
Ship it out and turn it into fuel
Three bucks shy
Leave it on the table ’til somebody else with money’s got a use

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,753: ‘Bartering Lines’ – Ryan Adams

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    They should have gone with an album cover that looked like the Mariah Carey poster – would have sold more records.😊

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