...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Friday, January 20, 2006

New-ish Ray LaMontagne

This is a previously unreleased track from Ray LaMontagne. He started playing it live at several shows last summer, including this version from Bonnaroo 2005. "Empty" has become one of my favorite of his songs (although picking a favorite Ray LaMontagne song is like picking favorite children). I love the rolling folk sound and the beautiful lyrics, with that bittersweet harmonica that just cuts through the middle. Someone compared it to Ryan Adams' "Winding Wheel" and I do see the grounds for comparison. One thing is for sure, this man knows how to write a song. Take a look at the lyrics, preferably while listening to this gorgeous song.

"Empty" - Ray LaMontagne

She lifts her skirt up to her knees
walks through the garden rows
with her bare feet laughing.
I never learned to count my blessings
I choose instead to dwell in my disasters

I walk on down the hill
through grass grown tall and brown
and still it’s hard somehow to let go of my pain

On past the busted backs
of old and rusted Cadillacs
that sink into this field collecting rain.
Will I always feel this way?
so empty, and estranged

And of these cutthroat busted sunsets
these cold and damp white mornings I have grown weary.
If through my cracked and dusty country lips
I spoke these words out loud
would no one hear me?

Lay your blouse across the chair
let fall the flowers from your hair
and kiss me with that country mouth so plain

Outside the rain is tapping on the leaves
to me it sounds like they’re applauding us
the quiet love we make
Will it always feel this way?
so empty and estranged ...



At January 20, 2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Just discovered your blog this week, and it is already one of my favs. Keep in up, love the Ray tune.

At January 21, 2006 12:10 PM, Anonymous Kristy said...

Wow, that's just an amazingly moving song. He seems to have loosened up a bit in performing, and that suits him well. I love the lyric "Outside the rain is tapping on the leaves, to me it sounds like they’re applauding us
the quiet love we make." So beautiful.

At February 05, 2006 5:36 AM, Blogger Martin said...

Lovely song, thanks for posting.

At June 09, 2006 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first heard that song about a year ago at Bush Hall in London and it blew me away then and still does every time i listen to it.
'I never learned to count my blessings..I choose instead to dwell on my disasters'
Stunning song. Another great Ray tune is Can I Stay - check it out!

At June 12, 2006 8:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He left out his best verse on the Bonaroo version; how any third verse could be better then the two before I don't know. He's one of the greastest lyricists of out time.

Empty: Third Verse

Well I looked my demons in the eye
Laid bare my chest said do your best destroy me, See I've been to hell and back so many timesI must admit you kinda bore me

There's a lot of things that can kill a man there's a lot of ways to die; Yes and some already dead who walk beside you
There's a lot of things I don't understand; why so many people lie
Well it's the hurt you hide that fuels the fires inside you
Will I always feel this way
So empty, so estranged

At September 16, 2006 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'and kiss me with that country mouth so plain'...the heart melts it really does.

At December 01, 2006 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

omg this song is amazing, thanks for the lyric! i was looking for it!! ;)

At January 26, 2007 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya Heather
I stumbled on your blog searching for the Empty lyrics; thank you! He's such a brilliant singer, and as other comments said, the most beautiful of lyricists; his melody in Empty is amazing and pulls at my heart. Just yesterday I appealed to the better nature of one of our better radio presenters here in Ireland to play that song, and I hope he'll do so tonight.
Love your blog...
Heather G, Cleggan IRL

At February 02, 2007 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Joe here.

I did the same, looking for LaMontagne lyrics. But hey! What about the rest?!

well I looked my demons in the eyes, laid bare my chest, said do your best to destroy me
you see, I been to hell and back so many times
I must admit you kind of bore me
there's a lot of things that can kill a man
there's a lot ways to die, yes and some already dead that walk beside me
there's a lot of things I don't understand, why so many people lie,
it's the hurt I hide that fuels the fire inside me

genious! I'd recommend both of his studio albums!!

and in case you want, and I think you do, check out Ryan Montbleau, if you haven't heard of him. This is no joke.

random but hey!

more where that came from!

At October 01, 2007 10:12 PM, Blogger Trent said...

Lay you blouse across the chair

Let fall the flowers from you hair

and kiss me with that country mouth so plain

Amazing. If there is a better lyricist around I don't know who they are. What is really amazing though is the total package. Not only do these lyrics mezmerize and captivate, but they come to life in a voice that is so real that I am sure sometimes I can see the sounds... Pretty amazing for a guy like me that doesn't do acid!

I asked a musical friend of mine recently if he could cover empty. He looked at me, furrowed his brow, and said, "No one can sing that song but Ray."

I agree.

At March 12, 2008 2:36 PM, Blogger Christopher G. Barnes said...

I just heard this song for the first time today. It's played during opening of Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode called "Renewal".

I love the deep and nostalgic lyrics.


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