Opposable Thumbs

by Adam Fromm

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A more stripped-down, intimate album, and a chance to dip into the funnier material that I usually save for the stage.


released August 20, 2012

All songs written by Adam Fromm copyright 2012

Recorded August 2012 at Sotto Voce, Gilsum NH

Cover photography and design by Jenna Adler

Thanks to Jenna Adler, Jax Goss, Shira and Adam Lipkin, Judah Sher, Peter Ellis, Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps, Catt Kingsgrave, and Rebecca Loebe, without all of whom the momentum behind this album would be approaching zero—love you guys!



all rights reserved


Adam Fromm Worcester, Massachusetts

New England transplant from Illinois via upstate New York, and a singer/songwriter who finally decided that the walls of his living room weren't a big enough audience. He is one-half of the folk band Murder Ballads, specifically the half with more facial hair. ... more

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Track Name: One By One
Maryanne the secretary never showed up
That's not like her at all
And neither did Henry, the guy with the hearing aid
Who works down the hall
I was even late myself, I had stuff to attend to
The squirrels had gotten into the feeder again
I suppose this sort of thing happens every now and then
But you can't help but start to wonder when

They start to happen one by one
One by one
They happen one by one
By one by one by one

It's been almost a week; there must be an epidemic
Hardly anyone's here
And I can't say as I mind all the overtime pay
But it's still pretty weird
And as for the feeder, it's not there anymore
It's somebody got it with a circular saw
And maybe I'm just paranoid, one never is sure
But every time I take a look outside my door

The squirrels are lined up one by one
One by one
Lined up and smiling one by one
By one by one by one

I was at work today for all of ten minutes
I was the only one in
Didn't even get my coffee, 'cause the Starbucks was closed
At least traffic was thin
And the people in my neighborhood have all disappeared
But there's a dozen times as many squirrels as were ever here
And I used to just be nervous; now it's bone-shaking fear
I saw a squirrel with a hearing aid in its ear

I lock the windows one by one
One by one
Barricade the doors one by one
By one by one by one

Well, it seems that I'm the last of the human race
The last of my kind
I've got a double-barreled shotgun, a triple-locked door
Slowly losing my mind
"Cause it's a matter of time; those squirrels ain't dumb
And they've still got all their opposable thumbs
I can't hide forever, and there's nowhere to run
Take a look around the corner, here they come

They're coming one by one
One by one
Coming one by one
By one by one
They're coming one by one
One by one
One by one
By one by one by one by—
Track Name: The Back of Your Head
I've grown quite accustomed to the back of your head
I think it's time you turned around
I've grown quite accustomed to the back of your head
I think it's time you turned around
I know that if your life were a movie I'd be
Listed in the credits "Man on sidewalk #3"
But I think it's time you
I think it's time you turned around

I've grown quite enamored with the scruff of your neck
I think it's time you turned around
I've grown quite enamored with the scruff of your neck
I think it's time you turned around
Wish I had the courage to just let it slip
It's not like I've objections to the way you move your hips
But I think it's time you
I think it's time you turned around

I'm at a loss for words,I'm lacking in charm
I don't have much to offer, I'm always flat broke
But see, I read the back of your shirt seven times
I need to know the rest of the joke

I've grown fascinated with the heels of your shoes
Won't you please turn around
I've grown fascinated with the heels of your shoes
I think it's time you turned around
I could take the crippling rejection and disgrace
If it came with a view of the expression on your face
I think it's time you
I think it's time you turned around

I've grown quite accustomed to the back of your head
I think it's time you turned around
I've grown quite accustomed to the back of your head
I think it's time you turned around
I know that if your life were a movie I'd be
Somehwre in the background, but it's still me
I think it's time
I think it's time
I think it's time
I think it's time
I think it's time you turned around
Track Name: Exothermic You
January crawls along on its belly
Like the rest of us it cannot feel its feet
It's been like this since fall, and I know it drives you crazy
You want to shake the daylight like the sheets
But Van Morrison is playing, the cat's stretched on the floor
Our dinner's on the stovetop, it'll simmer there for hours more
And I've got fleece up to my neck and blankets to my chin
But I won't be truly warm until I let you in

So let's jump in bed
Slip beneath the covers
And we'll curl right up
Like we're symbiotic lovers
'Cause the temperature's falling
There's nothing to do
Except stay right here with my sweet
Exothermic you

I know that you had plans, 'cause I saw your to-do list
Even free days never manage to be free
So you're stuck with idle hands, and that makes you gnaw the curtains
But why don't you put your idle hands 'round me?
'Cause the sidewalk's been shoveled, I piled it in the yard
And Turner Classic Movies is playing Sunset Boulevard
And yes, my toes are freezing when they're tucked against your skin
But I won't be truly warm until I let you in


So join me in the bedroom, there's no better place to be
You bring the bag of Chips Ahoy, I'll bring the pot of Earl Grey tea
Don't even think of going out—the air is far too thin
Let me lift the corner, let me let you in

Track Name: Second Sight
I heard all the rumors that surrounded you
You must have heard the ones that surrounded me
And we both could have guessed that this would be unavoidable
That it would have to be
That someday I'd come slipping in through your window
To taste what ran beneath your clairvoyant skin
And laugh at the myths that all told you that I
Would have to wait until you had invited me in

So if the rumors were true, you must have known I was in
Before I even made it as far as the stairs
And you didn't flinch when I flashed my serpent's smile
Bent to kiss your throat and drink what was there
But why had you never told anyone
It was the sort of thing you must have understood
That your second sight, it wasn't in your eyes
It wasn't in your mind, it was all in your blood

It never was in my nature
To make amends or apologize
But I made the mistake of letting myself
Take a look at me through your cold eyes
And now everyone who ever called me a monster
The ones I took before I melted back into the night
I know that they were right
Every one of them was right

So how long did you know I was on my way
To hunt you down there behind your own doors
And did you read my mind as I broke the skin
The way you made sure that I could read yours
And did you know that you'd linger here in my veins
The ghost of a woman too far gone to save
You know, this must be how those poor bastards felt
As they wept into the mud of their loved ones' graves

Now I spend my nights walking these streets
The ones that I've walked countless times before
But everyone that I meet, it's like their eyes are mine
Staring at this creature I don't know any more
Well, they say we can never see our reflection
That's just another myth that never was true
It's just sometime we can't bear to look at ourselves
Now I can see nothing else thanks to you, thanks to you


Now it's two months gone since I took your soul
I thought I could steal it like change from a purse
But I still bear the stain of your second sight
This curse of a gift, this gift of a curse
And I still the thirst and that never will change
But I can no longer say that I'll do as I must
So it's here I will sit and here I will stay
Cursing your name 'til I tumble to the dust

Track Name: Kessel Run
Well, I hope you don't mind me interrupting you miss
What's a girl like you doing on a planet like this?
I really wouldn't mind spending time with you
My name might be Solo, but I'm built for two
A little bit o' booze, a little bit o' nookie
And a little joy ride with a seven-foot Wookie
Gonna run

See, I've got the Millennium Falcon fired up
She's hotter than hell and too crazy to catch
I've got a double-barreled warp drive running the engine
And half a pound of ganja in the smuggling hatch
Fuzzy dice hanging from the hyperspeed button
Hang on to your hat, girl, 'cause here goes nuthin'
Gonna run
Gonna run
Gonna run
We're gonna run
Fill up my glass, ain't gonna say when
'Cause tonight we're gonna do the Kessel Run again
Gonna run

Yeah, we're gonna do the Kessel Run, looking to score
It's something I've only done a thousand times before
I've got one hand on the throttle, the other in the stash
You count up the parsecs, I'll count up the cash
Stormtrooper slugs ain't gettin' any nearer
'Cause they're just a little freckle in the rearview mirror
Gonna run

So strap yourself in, I'll show you what she's got
We're only breaking the law if we ever get caught
See, I don't care much about Imperial ships
'Cause she's specially designed to give 'em the slip
Ten times faster, three-quarters lighter
And a hundred times a sexy as an X-wing fighter
Gonna run
Gonna run
Gonna run
We're gonna run
Fill up my glass, ain't gonna say when
'Cause tonight we're gonna do the Kessel Run again
Gonna run

And if there's time, we can stop at a little cantina
'Cause I'm working up a powerful thirst
Or a no-tell motel that we can check into
'Cause the bedroom is the only place I don't shoot first

I don't wanna stay around here any more
Let's meet down at docking bay 94
We'll turn the lights down low, get things rollin'
Then you and me can—Hey! Where're you goin'?
Don't run away, you can't do this to me….
[sigh] Looks like it's you and me again tonight, Chewie
Gonna run
Gonna run
Gonna run
Gonna run
Track Name: Carnival Down
In my pocket I have a note you stuck to the mirror once
It's one I'm fairly sure you won't recall
It said, "The interview went fine,I should be home by nine
If I'm going to be much later, then I'll call"
I keep trinkets and ephemera from each corner I've turned
I have boxes full I can't seem to throw away
Now I have hotel reservations half a block from 12 Street Station
And that's all that you need to know today

And the photographs are cracking in the heat
And the letters that you wrote are turning brown
This ticket's done me no good
This ticket's done me no good
Ever since they took the carnival down
They took the carnival down

I have boxes of magazine clipping that I've never read
I have my birthday shoes and my graduation pen
I have four old pairs of glasses, I have souvenirs from Kansas
I have a taste for whiskey that's cropping up again
And I have the paving stone we stole down in Philadelphia
I have snapshots of the ocean in every room
And I have soot trapped in my lashes and a half-full book of matches
And a vicious streak that's wider than the moon


I have ten years beneath my belt in your company
We love three years, we cared for seven more
And I have boxloads of remorse and no desire to stay the course
And I have dwindling time to settle up the score
And I have four thousand dollars in a deposit box
And here, I have a copy of the key
And I'm giving this to you 'cause you know what to do
If they ever bring you bad news about me

Track Name: 88 Lines About 44 Fangirls
Dana thought she lived on Dune
She called her crystal meth "melange"
Fran was stuck in Middle Earth
Built hobbit holes in her garage

Wanda craved a Highlander
For her, there could be only one
Jane the Trekkie beamed me up
And kept her cleavage set to stun

Anna only loved the Doctor
Four and Nine and Five and Ten
Elizabeth was user-friendly
Plaything of the Midwest fen

Mary-Catherine wrapped me up
Like Katamari Damacy
Marcy needed better stats
Charisma: 20, Wisdom: 3

Colleen was from a comic book
Her spandex bursting at the seams
Belinda dressed up all in brass
Fulfilled my Princess Leia dreams

Connie turned me on to Sandman
Death had never looked so fine
Gretchen was a vampire slay'r
Showed me her stake, I showed her mine

Jessie hitchhiked down from space
I told her, "Thanks for all the fish"
Hannah cosplayed Princess Bride
All I could say was, "As you wish"

Cheryl donned a schoolgirl skirt
And begged me for my tentacle
Kim was like Excalibur
Forever swinging, never dull

Ellen told me she was Batgirl
Turned out she was only bats
Tanya was a wonder woman
Lassoed me in nothing flat

Lana let me in her Stargate
Sent me 'cross the galaxy
Victoria was an X-Files freak
The truth was out there; so was she

Elaine watched too much Battlestar
She had a thing for one-eyed men
Peggy slipped her fishnets on
We did the Time Warp once again

Cindy had the cell phone number
Gwen looked like Hermione
She always made me levitate

Andrea could LARP 'til dawn
She played her part with verve and glee
Pat had Firefly on the brain
In her, I found serenity

Sammi had a Warcraft habit
Left when I ran out of cash
Prue already had a boyfriend
Put my name behind the slash

Allie loved her Magic cards
Red mana was her favorite drug
Vera was a cyberpunk
The doctor helped her get debugged

Quinn read manga night and day
She had me turning Japanese
Joanna played a slave of Gor
She had the cuffs, I had the keys

Chris stood like a monolith
I met her in 2001
Tricia lived for Matrix flicks
We very nearly jumped the gun

Laura's dates were like Sin City
Always ended with a bang
Lucy dug Anita Blake
She wouldn't fuck without the fangs

Val collected Darkover
She got an MZB tattoo
Kate was horny for Lestat
We skipped right past the interview

Susie liked Vallejo art
She dressed in chain mail lingerie
Morgan was a furry girl
I shouted, "Fetch!" and ran away

Gail read Spider Robinson
Thought every bar was Callahan's
Marjorie wrote filk by day
At night, made me her biggest fan

Paula searched for Narnia
We did it on the closet floor
But Jenna's saner than the rest
That's why she's Fangirl 44