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

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New contest #2: Easy, tiger (Ryan Adams lithograph and new album)

And here's the second contest of today, this one to celebrate the official release of Ryan Adams' ninth studio album Easy Tiger (out today on Lost Highway):

That snarly, wild piece of wall art is a limited edition Ryan Adams lithograph, hand-numbered out of 100, that I have to give away. It would fit nicely if you live in Alaska, or maybe have one of those urban-wolf decoration schemes. It also showcases (assumedly) Ryan's hand quite nicely, and . . . it's cool.

The contest also includes a copy of the Easy Tiger album, which I have been enjoying quite often these last few weeks. Although it has not risen to "absolute gem" status for me yet, I definitely think that it is a familiar step into a very good direction for Ryan. There is, as you have likely read in any of a dozen other reviews, a greater focus from Ryan here and a tighter feel to the album.

It is still Ryan, though, so it wanders some (though not unpleasantly) and feels a little bit jarring to me in places. But all nine of his albums have always varied wildly in their style and mood from one to the next. From burnished alt-country, to gorgeously sad rock ballads, to humid Southern jams, to squealing punk, Ryan doesn't stay the same and I do appreciate that creativity. I hope Easy Tiger does very good things for him; combined with a newfound sobriety, I also hope that he delivers a string of focused live shows to reinforce that talent and convert a new round of folks to his musically-winning ways.

TO WIN THE PACKAGE: Since I've been in a pensive lyric mood lately, I would like to discuss your favorite lyric ever penned by Mr. Ryan Adams. I will pick a winner this weekend, make sure to give me a way to contact you.

26 - New York, NY - Hiro Ballroom
28 - Philadelphia, PA - The Fillmore
29 - Boston, MA - Somerville Theater

10 - Charlottesville, VA - Paramount Theatre
11 - Louisville, KY - Brown Theatre
12 - Germantown, TN - Germantown Performing Arts Center
14 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theatre
19 - Los Angeles, CA - Wilshire Ebell
21 - Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst
23 - San Francisco, CA - Herbst Theatre
24 - Berkeley, CA - Berkeley Community Theater
26 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theatre
27 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre
28 - Vancouver, BC - Orpheum Theatre
31 - Salt Lake City, UT - Red Butte Garden

2 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre (AAA Records & Radio conf)
3 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Two - Ryan Adams
Everybody Knows - Ryan Adams

Labels: ,


At June 26, 2007 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you heard the news that he will also be playing at the fox theater in boulder on august 2nd. part of the AAA Radio Summit.

though you might wanna know!

p.s. my favorite song of the new album is halloweenhead.

At June 26, 2007 5:19 PM, Blogger Luke Mikalis said...

He's also just announced a show in San Francisco at Herbst Theater on July 23

At June 26, 2007 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an avid Ryan fan and have been for many years. In response to your contest posting, I would have to say that my favorite Ryan lyric is from the song "Oh My Sweet Carolina", the lyric being "May you one day carry me home"

Like you said in your recent post, I appreciate the fact that Ryan's style of music changes constantly. It keeps things interesting and it always keeps me surprised. I also feel as though that Ryan's music mimicks his constantly changing personality and style. One never knows exactly how a Ryan show is going to go, what he is going to be wearing, or what he is going to say.

However, this lyric reminds me that somewhere inside of Mr. Ryan, he hopes for the same thing that we all hope for. To find that special someone that will indeed one day "carry" him home.

At June 26, 2007 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry I forget to give my email address



At June 26, 2007 6:05 PM, Blogger Oran said...

"I wish you would come pick me up, take me out, fuck me up, steal my records"

Being a musician myself, I completely understand what he sings here, especially with the last three words. But I'm sure a lot of people can. Your record collection is more or less what defines you as a person.

At June 26, 2007 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have listened to Ryan's tunes thousands of times and it seems to me that I pick up on something new each time I hit play. That is the true beauty of his music- a song you have heard a thousand times can strike you a thousand different ways. That being said- there is one line that I can hear over and over again and it resonates with me in the same way. I get this ache , this pang, this feeling of love lost- but also of hope that even though love hurts- that is kind of the point.

Of course- as with all of Ryan's songs- to just type it does not do it justice. To hear his beautiful pain, the passion he puts into his music and yet never over sings it- it is almost like you are sitting and having a conversation with an old friend who happens to have this amazing warbling voice.

Without further ado ( okay, okay - so there was a little ado )
any line from Hard Way to Fall would be a winner for me- I mean come on- but by far my favorite is:

" I could find her in a thunderstorm, just by the way that the rain would fall"

God- that is beautiful. Not much more to say than that. Someone that knows you so completely that they could seek you out just by the change in the rain around you? Yes please.


Erin F.

At June 26, 2007 7:35 PM, Blogger Greg said...

"And if I could have my way
We'd take some drugs
And we'd smile."
Wish You Were Here (Rock n' Roll)

not a pharmaceutical-rep or anything, but these lyrics (and song) has always struck me as so so real.

seeing the man in philly on thurs.

At June 26, 2007 7:49 PM, Blogger Matt Kinniburgh said...

I think the song How do you keep love alive is absolutely beautiful. One of the near perfection moments of ryan's music. Something about the way he sings it just tears me up, Lines like "She runs through my veins like a long black river and rattles my cage like a thunderstorm" and "What does it mean to be so sad? When someone you love, Someone you love is supposed to make you happy. What do you do? How do you keep love alive?"

It's just so heart aching yet suprisingly beautiful.

At June 26, 2007 7:50 PM, Blogger Matt Kinniburgh said...

oh yeah my email addy is matt_kinniburgh@hotmail.com

At June 26, 2007 9:02 PM, Blogger mandy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At June 26, 2007 9:03 PM, Blogger mandy said...

It feels almost wrong to pick a favorite set of Ryan Adams lyrics, but since I must, I choose:

"Where do you go when you're lonely
Where do you go when you're blue
Where do you go when you're lonely
I'll follow you
When the stars go blue"

To me, this promise to follow the one he loves to the depths of her loneliness is the perfect evidence of his love and commitment to her. And I appreciate that he says he will simply follow her there -- come along side her -- not try to drag her out -- but love her in the midst of her brokenness. It's such a beautiful image of how true love functions.

email: rutherbug@yahoo.com

At June 26, 2007 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...can I still smoke cigarettes
and have my coffeeeeeee

up there in heaven
and a bottle of wiiiine...

goosebumps every time

lets discuss


At June 26, 2007 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following part of Meadowlake Street really gets me...

"I feel like a dream that's not worth having
Like a nervous joke ain't nobody laughing
Like somebody with nothing 'cause they don't know
What they're wanting
Tiny like the sand in the cracks of drift wood"

I really feel like he perfectly puts into words the complete worthlessness a beautiful girl can make you feel. Being in high school (from which i just graduated) it was tough in my town finding anyone like myself and these lines kinda sum up how I felt in regards to my own self worth when it came to the girls i was attracted to and how deserving I felt of their love.

I also think that this song and a good bit of Cold Roses are some of the most beautiful and poetic lyrics he has written. He's really been showing a vulnerability recently that he didn't show off a ton early on. A lot of Heartbreaker and Gold were him venting about what women had done to him, but his work with the Cardinals seems to have more Jeff Buckley, Mark Kozelek-esque moments of unabashed confession, which isn't considered too cool these days and it's great to hear him putting himself out there.


At June 26, 2007 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the second verse of 'Starlite Diner' Ryan's voice floats over the lines:

"is it possible to love someone too much? you bet. the drugs are in the safe and the clothes are on the couch -- intertwined -- and none of them are yours and all of them are mine."

Ryan played this number in Vermont on Sunday. 'Starlite Diner' is a beautiful and hopeful song that balances an intense fear of loneliness with relief. The anxiety in his voice in these early verses disappears when that girl comes walking in the door.

There's just something magical about this earnest and pretty little song.

At June 26, 2007 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my e-mail is max.bakke@gmail.com

At June 26, 2007 10:19 PM, Blogger kingdomforavoice said...

I saw Ryan sunday night here in Vermont, what a great mellow show. You could hear a pin drop during the first song Pleas do not let me go. His voice just cut through the room.
Any way the lyric is from In My Time of Need (I prefer the slightly faster, slightly fuller rookie OST version from Ryan Adams Sucks)"and i've got fifteen dollars hid above the stove" I get goose bumps everytime i hear it. There is so much hope in that lyric but at the same time it's so sad that he thinks that is enough.

At June 26, 2007 10:20 PM, Blogger kingdomforavoice said...

email: kingdomforavoice@yahoo.com

At June 26, 2007 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

English girls are pretty when they play guitar
Crazy like a day just a-breaking I ain't sure what for
Ain't got a mother or father or place to fall
She got a brother in the blues, but he doesn't know the blues at all
Said you didn't love me, it was right on time, I was just about to tell you but okay, alright
Said you didn't love me, didn't want a thing, English girls can be so mean

I have always fallen in love with girls who can
1. Sing
2. Play Guitar Well
3. Play the piano well
4. Girls with an accent
5. Any combination of the aforementioned.

A trance, for lack of better term, is something I fall into. He talks about how the girl has family issues, obviously paling in comparison to his own. But the real thing that gets me is

"Said you didn't love me, it was right on time, I was just about to tell you but okay, alright"

Either he was going to tell her he didn't love her or that he did. In either case its poetic how he follows up with okay, alright.

Saving face, or just being conversational its stunning, lyrically.
nknisley @ gmail.com

At June 26, 2007 11:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just something I wrote a couple of years back, after my first ever visit to New York, in winter time, where Ryan Adams was the perfect soundtrack to my first and - due to jetlag - very early morning.

New York, Friday January 30th, 6AM

I'm sitting in my hotelroom, on the bed
My girlfriend is sound a sleep beside me
peace, but no quiet, this is NYC
it's 6AM
I've been up since 4:30 (intoxicating jetlag)

The sun is gently but surely finding its way
through a maze of Manhattan skyscrapers
I scrape the rust from my eyes and soul
but am unable to touch the sky

I'm writing about New York City
How it feels like being here a first time
How it flows and how it freezes
How an unexpected smile lightens up Times Square
ten times more than all the billboards together

Meanwhile, for my ears only
Ryan Adams is softly singing,
My Blue Manhattan
singing the praises and the sorrows of his city
where I'm a first time - one time? - visitor

this is what he tells me:

My blue Manhattan
She's angry like a child, but how sweet
Fire and rain on the street
It's you against me most days
It's me against you, doll
Ah, the snows comin' down
on the cars in midtown
Stone cold in sheets with you all over me
Ain't that sweet my little gal,
ain't that sweet my little gal

My blue Manhattan
She cusses with her sailor's mouth
And fire and rain on the streets
It's you against me most days
It's me against you
Making snow angels in the gravel and the dirt
Crawling like a spider,
and I'm somewhere inside her
Too hurt to move, too hurt to move
My blue Manhattan.

I'm intoxicated.

That's it. Still my fav RA-song.
stefan.vanthuyne @ telenet.be

At June 27, 2007 2:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I love this bit from 'Let It Ride':

"Loaded like a sailor
Tumbling off a ferry boat
I was at the bar till three
Oh Lord, and I wasn't ready to go
I'm never ready to go"

It's a great tune, makes me sing along everytime, and lyrically it is vintage Ryan. It pitches humour side by side with sadness, and topically it pretty much sums up the Ryan we used to read about. A person not too disimlar to me a few years back, so I relate to it 100%.


At June 27, 2007 2:46 AM, Blogger MakaniMike said...

There are so many. My "favorite" lyrics basically change every few weeks. You always seem to stumble upon something new with each listen...

Right now I would pick either of these two:

Feels so good but damn it makes me hurt
And I'm too scared to know how I feel about you now

(La Cienega just Smiled)

I'm as calm as a fruit stand in New York and maybe as strange
(Damn, Sam)

I'm a sucker for melancholic, schizophrenic and oxymoronic lines. On top of that I can identify with Ryan's introverted uncertainty, or just plain his self-perceived weirdness. (at least that's my impression of Mr. Adams) :)

makanimike (at) gmail.com

At June 27, 2007 3:40 AM, Blogger evan said...

"Come pick me up, steal my records, fuck all my friends . . ."

Someone already quoted this song, though, so I don't know if my entry counts.

At June 27, 2007 4:45 AM, Blogger C. Ford said...

I believe I'm the third person to say this lyric is my favorite, but it's too damn perfect to quote anything else:

From Come Pick Me Up,

"I wish you would
Come pick me up
Take me out
Fuck me up
Steal my records
Screw all my friends
Theyre all full of shit
With a smile on your face
And then do it again"

It's a simple fact that I (and I guess I'm not alone here) have been so overwhelmingly devastated by the end of a relationship that any interaction with my ex - no matter how painful it might be - was all I longed for.

I can remember sitting at home, alone on a Friday night, listening to sad songs with a bottle of wine just hoping she would give me some sign by her words or actions, some indication that she was just as hurt as I - even if the sign happened to involve her doing what Ryan describes in Come Pick Me Up...perhaps even especially if it happened to be her doing what Ryan describes...

Somehow, at the time, I thought that would make the pain go away - or at least lessen it a bit. I'm pretty sure I was wrong, but I do love this song for so perfectly describing my feelings...

And, as a side note, isn't Dear Chicago just about the perfect happy ending to this song?? Can I combine two favorite lyrics...

Dear Chicago

The wind's feeling real these days.
Yeah, baby, it hurt's me some.
Never thought I'd feel so blue.
New York City, you're almost gone.
I think that I've fallen out of love,
I think I've fallen out of love . . . with you.

Thanks for the contest and all the great posts, Heather! *cmford at g mail . com*

At June 27, 2007 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite Ryan Adams lyric is from one of my favorite songs, "Cry On Demand":
"So, it's how the story goes,
Can we cut to the scene when I'm holding you close,
She moves, moves like a pendulum blade,
Cut, all the words that I said..."
Then later, the chorus:
"Cry on demand,
How'd you learn to?
Cry on demand,
Teach me if you want to,
Though you don't have to,
I just close my eyes and think of you."

I think that's gorgeous.
Thanks Heather.


At June 27, 2007 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my favorite RA song is definitely 'come pick me up' but since so many people have listed that one already, i'm going to pick another

how about "my winding wheel" - how breathlessly romantic is this song. 'buy a pretty dress, wear it out tonight' or the image 'with eyes that dance around without their clothes.' this is like romeo standing below the balcony, singing his heart up to you. just pleading, but not in a whiny way, with the girl....just be my winding wheel....

i also really love 'i see monsters' but that's more about the tones than the lyrics. ;)

At June 27, 2007 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. Doh! carolyn@crankymonkeybutt.com

At June 27, 2007 8:16 AM, Blogger Jimmy Diggs said...

My favorite RA lyrics would have to be from the song Monday Night:

All I want is to roll through your fingers
All I need is to make it alright
All I want is to be your connection
Win your affection, be your reflection
On a Monday Ni-hi-yi-hi-yight
On a Monday Ni-hi-yi-hi-yight

It's such a great song that will hopefully make it on his box set. I think anyone can relate to these lyrics on some level. It's such a departure for RA. It's not a depressing song for a change. Listening to this song makes you feel good, alive, ready for love, ready to take a leap for something you've been procrastinating. I love that he says Monday night, instead of a Friday or Saturday night. It really says something about wanting to be dedicated, because who wants to do anything on a Monday night? Well, after listing to this song/lyrics, I believe we all are!!!

At June 27, 2007 8:34 AM, Blogger Christian Kline said...

The impact of Ryan's lyrics run far and wide with me. But like all lyrics, I tend to rearrange them, shorten them, take only the bits to heart that impact me.

For lyrical bits that run through my head I've got to put out this bit:
i wish you would
come pick me up
take me out
fuck me up

How can you beat the starkness, the impact the power, the declarative sentence, the wanting and yearning.

Then followed up by;
i wish you'd make up my bed
so i could make up my mind

As a person who can never seem to fully decide, but always has one leg in and one leg going in and out of the circle, bouncing between what i want and what I have, that bit of lyrics hits hard. That desire to have someone else make up your mind for you, by whatever method. To just have the decision made...

and then there is the lyric that so many artists sing and still has an impact.
wish you were here.



At June 27, 2007 8:42 AM, Blogger Art Monkey said...

a challenge indeed ... to choose just a few favorite lyrics, from one of the most diverse songwriters of our time .. in my humble opinon. Ryan captures heartache so honestly you can help but slide along side.

The sun was shinin down
Down on the valley
With all the horses runnin
crushes them flowers
I would have picked for her
On the day she was born
— How do you Keep Love Alive, Cold Roses

Such a sweetly sad song, the perspective of lookinig back on what could have been, wondering how love could have survived, imagining the future while rehashing the past.

Absolute brilliance.

Luke Flowers

At June 27, 2007 8:44 AM, Blogger Art Monkey said...

if you don't want to contact me through my blog, you can use luke@lukeflowers.com

Would love to display a smushed lip wolf and ryan adams hand in my cubcile!!

Thanks for stopping in to the show. Hope you can make the next!


At June 27, 2007 8:49 AM, Blogger Art Monkey said...

OK, at this point, i had forgotten my contact and then interpretted the orginal lyrics slightly ... well, there go my chances of winning this one (unless you can find it in your heart to look past my morning mind). Still i wanted to make right ... Here is the correct spelling/wording:

the sun was shining down
Down on the valley
Riddled with horses running
Crushing them flowers
I would have picked for her
On the day she was born


At June 27, 2007 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eisenhower sent him to war;
He kept her picture in his pocket that was closest to his heart;
And when he hit shore;
Must have been a target for the gunman

Houses on the Hill


At June 27, 2007 9:08 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

"oh baby why
did I treat you like I did
honey I was just a kid
bubblegum on my shoe
but you loved me
and I loved you
call me on your way back home, dear"

that's my favorite lyric by ryan. who doesn't have that one person that they think back about and reminisce about being young and in love but fucking it all up?

i think it pretty much sums up all of his songs that aren't about whiskey.

At June 27, 2007 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I wanna see you tonight
Dancing in the endless moonlight
In the parking lot in the headlights of cars
Someplace on the moon
Where they moved the drive-in theater
Where I left the car that I can't find but I still got the keys to...
Let it ride"

I especially love the part at the end where the music stops right before he says "Let it ride". Then it goes into the chorus, which I really love with the soft piano in the background.


At June 27, 2007 9:31 AM, Blogger Stephen Kuykendall said...

These are my favorite lyrics of his:
Don't worry up your mind
People are sick and mean sometimes
Don't worry up your mind
They're only words
It's only words
It's only words

- Words.

Well, that and "Come Pick Me Up"

At June 27, 2007 9:41 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

"The sunsets just my light bulb burning out
I miss KENTUCKY and I miss my family
All the sweetest winds they blow across the south"

I'm neither from Kentucky or from the south, but this was the perfect lyric at the right time for me. I moved to North Carolina four years ago from Philadelphia where I lived my entire life. I left 30 years worth of friends and family to start fresh in Carolina. It was a rough adjustment, as anyone knows who packed up their bags and entered into a location with a different zipcode, bad cheesesteaks, and a funny way of talking. I put Oh My Sweet Carolina on a mix cd for driving back and forth to work. I never really listened to the song, it more or less played in the background. Then one day on what seemed to be a normal drive I started thinking, "What I am doing here?" Then the song came on and I listened. It got to the part listed above and you know that feeling when you see a work of art or hear a phrase or see a scene in the movie when your knees buckle and you just want to hold on to that moment for as long as you can because for that brief moment everything just makes sense and while a piece of your feels like its dying another piece of you is being reborn. That's what it was like when I finally heard that lyric. Needless to say home is my sweet Carolina and while this may be blasphemy I'd choose BBQ and hush puppies over a cheesesteak and fries any day.

At June 27, 2007 10:15 AM, Blogger zut said...

We're never far from home
That place where we all go
Now I can't wait to get there sometimes
Sometimes it's such fun to be alive.

From "Oh my sweet Valentine"

Go hear this song. The songs he did with Gilian Welch awhile back are some of his best, imo. And check out his cover of "Dreams" by FM. Sooooo good. How about a list of RA best covers!!!

Oh and if anyone is getting an extra tix for the Boulder show, please contact me zutmon@aol.com. I'm gonna be out of town this weekend, of course.

At June 27, 2007 11:12 AM, Blogger c said...

wow, what a bunch of romantics. obviously the best lyrics come from "..Look who got a website"

my favorite:

"Kevin Bacon Makin Waterworld 3
They ain't even made 2 yet
Yo that was Costner partner"


At June 27, 2007 11:29 AM, Blogger Maloney said...

My favorite is from way back in his Whiskeytown days....

(from 'Houses on the Hill' on "Strangers Almanac")

'Eisenhower sent him to war,
He kept her picture in the pocket
that was closest to his heart
And when he hit shore,
it must've made a target for the gunnerman...'

Don't know why, just has a very strong nostalgic feel for me, even though I was far from alive when Eisenhower was running the Big Show. There's just something very sweet and sad about the realities of a soldier holding a picture of the girl he loves across his home-lonesome heart.


At June 27, 2007 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From "Factory Girl":

All the kids would laugh at her because she seemed so sweet and pure/I took this shift because of her

And though I never said a word, I once smiled and looked at her/till the shift boss said get back to work

For me, those lyrics represent the ache of a love not realized. An opportunity not taken. A hole that may never be filled.

rodneyhargrave3 at yahoo.com

At June 27, 2007 12:06 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Please do not let me go off of LIH pt. 2...

"I'm all alone now and I feel just fine...
I don't feel much like doing anything
True love ain't that hard to find
Not that either one of us will ever know... Would you lay here for awhile?
Please, do not let me go "

it was a cold day in allston, in november of 2004 - the rain was turning to snow and the the trees were barren - i was newly single and confused about whether or not i wanted to move to LA... so i just sat in my room and drank heavily while listening to this song - when nothing else made sense, this did.

At June 27, 2007 12:14 PM, Blogger Andy said...

The best Ryan lyric comes from “Answering Bell”:

Let your tears fall and touch my skin / then your thunderclouds could rage and wail/ I will collect them all for you in butterfly jars

This is only made better by the fact that lovely, lovely Adam Duritz is singing the harmony.


At June 27, 2007 12:15 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

also - ryan will be playing in berkeley on Tuesday, July 24th.

At June 27, 2007 12:50 PM, Blogger MJS said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At June 27, 2007 12:53 PM, Blogger MJS said...

"I feel just like a map / without a single place to go of interest"
- My Winding Wheel

Nothing that Adams says conveys the feeling of ineptitude that's present in so many of his songs more than this line, plain and simple. Couple it with "If I could shut my mouth she'd probably like this" and you have the perfect irony: he's with a woman who's interested, but he's so stuck in his head with the notion that she's uninterested, he keeps talking and talking to cover up his own insecurities. Very reminiscent of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" in that the main character is a complete fatalist, practically giving up before things even begin because he lives in his head.

At June 27, 2007 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm Jamie.

My favorite Ryan Adams song has to be Nuclear. I love all his stuff (even Rock n Roll has a few good tracks) but Nuclear is it for me. There is so much hope in the track about first meeting someone and realizing you just want to be with them. In certain situations this song will literally make me cry. It has more than once and I don't care what you think. Ha.
Anyways, my favorite lyric is...

"Goin nuclear, goin I saw her and the Yankees lost to the Braves."

The thing about this is that it really isn't a reference to baseball. You don't have to be much of a sports fan to know that you just don't beat the Yankees and in the context of the song you (Ryan, me, whoever) just don't meet girls like the one he's singing about. I think its gorgeous.

Cool Contest, Heather, there's so much good stuff.

Jamie Williams


At June 27, 2007 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, no matter who wins, I'm tickled by these responses, as I'm sure Heather is, too. Ryan obviously has a lot of "Fuel-reading" fans, and we're all fans of Heather's too, aren't we? Nicely done, everybody.
"Guitar solo!"

At June 27, 2007 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know it is a long one and I love all his songs but this one makes me hit repeat every time. It is an abrupt change in the middle of rock album but fits perfectly.

Everybody's cool playing rock n roll
Everybody's cool playing rock n roll
I don't feel cool at all
I don't feel cool at all
Send all of my best out to the band
I don't think I'll make it out to the show
There's this girl I can't get out of my head
There's this girl I can't get out of my head
And I don't feel so cool at all


At June 27, 2007 2:35 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

"So I went on to Cleveland and ended up insane. Bought a borrowed suit and learned to dance. I was spending money like the way it likes to rain. And I ended up with pockets full of 'caine."

the line where he bought a borrowed suit and learned to dance gets me every time. its sweet and cute and the delivery is so sincere. never have i heard a line where i could feel the emotion in every breath.


At June 27, 2007 2:37 PM, Blogger Emilie said...

Oh, it's so hard to pick a favorite Ryan lyric, but if there is a sadder, more perfect line than "I was born in an abundance of inherited sadness" (from "Jacksonville Skyline"), I don't know what it is. That one line -- those nine words -- manage to convey a whole childhood of hurt and struggle. That one line says what some people take albums to say.

emiliesommer at gmail dot com

At June 27, 2007 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, my name is Parker. I just wanted to say you run a great blog :)
My favorite line comes from Love Is Hell's "English Girls Approximately." I think it's very hard to summarize anyone's musical career, let alone one as gifted and voluminous as Ryan Adams', but this line has always stood out to me. I think it's got a certain sentiment that generally flows through the best of his songs, one that is romantically twisted around the fallbacks of relationships. Where there is spite there is hurt, but also the sense of surviving comes out through his words.

"Said you didn't love me, it was right on time
I was just about to tell you, but ok, alright"

At June 27, 2007 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops, I forgot to leave my addy.



At June 27, 2007 2:59 PM, Blogger Brent said...

I think it is hard to beat these lyrics from My Sweet Carolina

"Up here in the city feels like things are closing in
The sunsets just my light bulb burning out
I miss Kentucky and I miss my family
All the sweetest winds they blow across the south"


At June 27, 2007 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My fave ryan lyric would be....drum roll.......stomach drops.......What, what are the words they use when they know it's over, we need to talk, or
I'm confused, maybe later you can come over."

Everyone can relate to those words, and that song is so beautiful. gut wrenching, and everyone can relate.


goblel2@winthrop.edu (that's L)

At June 27, 2007 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We're still livin' here, how come nobody can tell"

The thing that I love about this line is that it evokes two different kinds of feelings in me.

The first one: Taken from the lyrics of the song, I would say that the song is discussing a death of two people living together who love each other. They've entered a new and exciting phase of their lives (buying a home together, etc) and have died together in a car accident. I see the song as the viewpoint that they are both dead and don't quite realize it. They demand that they're living in the house that they just bought and are confused as to why other people can't see it (howcome nobody can tell). The reason this line gets me is because it's as if these people are so in love and enjoying everything yet they don't realize it's actually over.

The second one: The other meaning I see in the idea of the song is that these two people have fallen out of love but haven't admitted it to themselves. In their minds, they're still occupying (living) each others thoughts and feelings, yet they're completely gone/detached from one another. They feel that everyone else views them as in love, but nobody does. The lyrics get me because these two people want to be together so bad and truly have the loving feelings back, but they can't and everyone else sees it but them.

This line from "This House Is Not For Sale" is my favorite because it can evoke the feelings of love/death and then the feelings of love/loss. It's such a versatile lyric that can bring up so many real feelings in the listener.


At June 27, 2007 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from "Pa" ...

"like a joining of hands"

the line itself isn't beautiful. but taken in context, it is utterly heartbreaking.

Describing the news of his father's death, which came shortly after his mother's ...

"I heard the news through the floorboards
like a long sullen moan
like a wreck on the road
like a joining of hands"

THAT is beauty.


At June 27, 2007 4:36 PM, Blogger LauraJ said...

whoa...really hard to choose.

this one sticks in my mind:

Nothing moves out here in the cold.
Nothing breathes or even smiles.
I've been thinking some of suicide.
But there's bars out here for miles.
Sorry about the every kiss.
Every kiss you wasted bad.
I think the thing you said was true,
I'm going to die alone and sad.

That line, "I've been thinking some of suicide, but there's bars out here for miles" really resonates with me.

Especially after seeing him in SF April 2006 looking on the verge of substance-suicide. I'm so glad he's been able to turn the corner.


At June 27, 2007 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay - this might seem odd but, since leaving my email address for a previous competition, I have suddenly been targeted by a series,seemingly unending,of spam emails trying to defraud or manipulate.This saddens me because I really enjoy the 'open' nature of 'Fuel for Friends'.Can I suggest that people send you a contact Heather, as exposure here might be being taken advantage of?

Sorry for the down note.

Favourite lyric:Shadowlands

Reach out into the darkness
And find my little girl
Because she's angry like a salesman
That couldn't make a sale

Why? Great couplet;selfless and loving in tone,the song is like a prayer for salvation from loss.

Seems to be the guy's theme.

At June 27, 2007 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RYAN ADAMS and the movies!

"Is it snowing in space?"
- from "City Rain, City Streets"

(Bill Murray said this in "Groundhog Day".

That's why it's also one of my favorite lyrics of his.

Also, the lyrics to "This House Is Not For Sale" have to be about Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis in "Beetlejuice", right? RIGHT?!?!?!

I love this blog.


At June 27, 2007 8:07 PM, Blogger The Seth Window Blog said...

"And I'm not strong enough to let you go, and I have tried everything, but that, Elizabeth."


Elizabeth, You Were Born To Play That Part

At June 27, 2007 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And raise my glass 'cause either way I'm dead
Neither of you really help me to sleep anymore
One breaks my body and the other breaks my soul

"la cienega just smiled"

women and booze. my man got it right.


At June 28, 2007 2:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My fav would have to be from the unreleased "Today"

"When you face up to him and you're face down again, wake up and know you're not okay"

I've always thought that was a powerful line.


At June 28, 2007 7:17 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

The title track from "rock n' roll" (a gorgeous gorgeous song) shows his vulernability:

"Everybody's cool playing rock n roll
I don't feel cool at all"

Don't we all?

( my email is jessica (dot) costello (at) gmail (dot) com )

At June 28, 2007 10:57 AM, Blogger Maloney said...

I already made my 'conteest' entry, but I keep remembering lines of his I love, and I wanted to add one that I haven't seen posted yet. It's from 'September' on JCN.

Laura lays on the foot of the bed,
mimics a noose with the telephone chord,
Doctor's on the phone, she hangs up and says
'I ain't never gonna see the winter again'
And I don't know how but she smiles


They carved your name into a stone
and then they put it in the ground,
I run my fingers through the grooves
when no one's around

Drink till I am sick and
Then I talk to myself
in the dog days of the summer
Then I feel you coming but I don't know how...

A few things about these verses kill me. One is just the rhythm and flow of his words are just flawless in this case. The other is the content. I've had young friends diagnosed with a terminal illness, and it's just about the most terrible thing ever. This song REALLY cuts to the core of that experience. It's also very visual -- you can really see the girl smile, you can see the guy drunk at the graveyard. Powerful stuff.

At June 28, 2007 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not so much a lyric (because i can't beat "come pick me up" or "la cienega just smiled"), but i think it's cool that he put the "argument with david rawlings concerning morrissey" in the side 1/track 1 spot on "heartbreaker". followed by the "he's got a mouthful o' cookies" intro to "to be young".

actually, my favorite thing he wrote may be the improv song he did at his infamous 1st ave show where he called out paul westerberg. something along the lines of "i'm so tired of having influences and writing so many f-ing songs". good times.


At June 28, 2007 4:36 PM, Blogger Concrete Circles said...

"Well, everybody wants to go on forever
I just wanna burn up hard and bright
I just wanna be your firecracker
And maybe be your baby tonight"

Love this song.

At June 28, 2007 6:25 PM, Blogger JKW said...

gotta go with one of my favorite songs from when he was in Whiskeytown.

"Well excuse me if I break my own heart. It's mine from the finish, I guess. It was mine from the start."


At June 29, 2007 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this lyric-

Up through the alley, take the door under the stairs
My head ain't feeling nothing but cats and rocking chairs
Bad nights lead to better days
It never happens but I think about it anyway
-Easy Plateau
Haven't heard the new album yet as I am in Africa for the summer, but will be picking it up as soon as I get back to the States.


At June 29, 2007 9:51 AM, Blogger Kelli said...

"I want to be the bluebird singing
Singing to the roses in her yard
The roses in her yard her father grew for her
It's been raining that Tennessee honey
So long I got too heavy to fly
Ain't no bluebird ever gets too heavy to sing"

Born and raised in Tennessee, of course I love the “All the sweetest winds, they blow across the south” line, but the above lyrics from Magnolia Mountain are even more important to me. My dad and I, from the start, have shared a strong love of music (even though he subjected me to the first music I remember – the Bee Gees). When I go home to visit, he’s always asking me if I’ve heard so and so, and I do the same to him. He’s one of a kind…never met a stranger, very sentimental and a great artist, even though he never sketches anymore. He has struggled with depression for many years now. Several years ago when I was home, he told me that he knew he would commit suicide one day – he just didn’t know when. Unbeknownst to him, after that confession, I have had more nightmares than I can count…mostly consisting of me struggling to get the gun away from him…and succeeding. When I first heard the above lyrics, they made me cry and still do almost every time I hear them. I don’t know what Ryan was thinking when he wrote them, but, to me, it means that my dad, no matter how heavy things get, always has a reason to keep going. He hasn’t mentioned suicide for years now and seems to be doing a lot better, in general, thank goodness. :)

At June 29, 2007 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"i thought maybe i could be some kind of shelter
but oh, your storm how it raged
you know your kisses, they like lightnin' and thunder
and your smile is sweet and come down like rain

i never wanted to be your dancin' shoes
i just wanted you to love me
i just wanted you to love me
touch, feel & lose
and cry, cry, cry
i just wanted you to love me, honey
cry, cry, cry"

Ryan adams can write songs like no other. This is an awesome song about lost love. Not only are they great lyrics, but Ryan always seems to match the intonation of his voice perfectly to the tone of every song he sings. It is EUPHORIA when ryan sings "cry, cry, cry". it makes me want to break down and CRY. I wish I was cool enough to hang out with him and Adam, but alas, I'd be like Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 3...


At June 29, 2007 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sort of like choosing my favorite grain of sand, if it was magical, poetic sand that made me cry sometimes.
But here's a try:

From "Starlite Diner"
Have you ever slept it off to the bones,
And woken up at night, my love
Having dreamt you called them all
Every person you could never love?

This piece is something I can imagine seeing in an english literature book, one of those giant ones with the best-of-the-best of poetry in it for english majors to drool over. Who would ever think to say "slept it off to the bones"? And yet, everyone can feel what he means, can feel exactly how deep that goes.
Everyone has people in the past that they couldn't love, for whatever reason, and that kind of regret or guilt can haunt dreams, no doubt. He paints the picture perfectly, of a moment we've all had...that moment when you lie awake at night and can't get the past out of your head.

It's beautiful, strong, slam-the-wind-out-of-your-chest kinda stuff. Relatable and perfect, at the same time.


At June 29, 2007 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's harder now that it's over
Now that the cuffs are off
And you're free
You're free with a history, im sorry"

I think this is one of the most amazing lyrics I have ever heard. Gives me shivers everytime I hear it. I feel like with all the woman troubles that he has had over the years that this best describes how heartbroken he gets over failed relationships. To be the one in love in the relationship, and knowing the other person wants out...heartbreaking. But not out with any scuffs, free with a history. kills me eveyrtime.


At June 29, 2007 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that I wanna cheat or anything, but choosing one, or even two or three, is just way too hard! So here's ten. ;) (I've tried to come up with ones that nobody'd mentioned yet.)

#10, from Meadowlake Street:

there's something about you that reminds me of all those times
when i wasn't sorry, when i wasn't blue
the cherry moon it shone down on us
under the stars, shining down - every one for you
if i could count them all i would circle the moon
and count 'em back to nothing 'til i got to you

#9, from The Ballad of Carol Lynn:

when you need a friend to be there for you
i won't be one who can help you out
when you need someone you can let you in
you can count me out, oh carol lynn

#8, from Billy Joel:

well i don't know if i've got the cash
to cover a car
but i sure as hell know i ain't got the money
to fix your house

#7, from To Be The One:

i don't know which is worse
to wake up and see the sun
or to be the one
to be the one that's gone

#7, from 1974:

it's raining like the bombs in my room when i'm alone

#6, from City Rain, City Streets:

taking bullets for a team of bad poets - how is it up there?
taking bullets for the team...

#5, from The Hardest Part:

the hardest part is loving
somebody that cares for you
so much

#4, from Hallelujah:

and every night i throw you out
leave you stranded on the boulevard
you love it how i use you up
how i use you like i use them all
with the band singing hallelujah
... you're all gone

(check this!: http://www.archive.org/download/ryanadams2006-10-17.sbd.flac16/ryanadams2006-10-17.sbd.d1t03_vbr.mp3)

#3, from Excuse Me... (Faithless Street version):

if the rain falls down on a trailer park town
let your eyes slip easy into mine

#2, from Halloween:

snowflake eating
she is mildly self-defeating
and the secrets that she's keeping
they are really only dangerous to her
ships ain't sinking...

#1, from What Sin:

wanna kick love right in its gut
beat it and leave it for dead
go and wash my hands in the river
lie down and die in your bed

PS: what's those lyrics again from Dead People Unite And Take Over? "Meet me tonight at the mall..."? lmao - would've made my top 10, had i only remembered them better. Oh and i forgot Tractor Beam, damn. And Statuettes With Wounds.


At June 29, 2007 10:33 PM, Blogger kevinscott said...

"see her smile and say come on..."
dance all night

to me this lyric is a great addition to the man's beautifully depressing catalog. he has so many great songs and wonderfully penned lyrics about depression and loss and this one always leaves me smiling. very hopeful and uplifting. i love everything about this track and, as lame as it sounds, i think i would like to play it at my wedding.

so yeah. thats it.

At June 30, 2007 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I would say the best Ryan lyrics have an 'ache' the you can feel through his voice and the images he creates with the words.

An example would be 'Call me on your way back home' which (when I first heard him sing it live) main the hairs on my neck stand up -

"honey I was just a kid, bubblegum on my shoes, but you loved me and I loved you". Fantastic.

The best example however is my entry - 'How do you keep love alive" - the image:

"she runs through my veins like a long black river and rattles my cage like a thunderstorm" is a favourite as is

"I would've held your mothers hand on the day you were born".

The best is

"What, what are the words
They use when they know it's over
"We need to talk," or
"I'm confused, maybe later you can come over"

It has that ache.

Chris Jacques Tottington (and Edinburgh)

P.S. it would look grat in my Edinburgh flat.

At June 30, 2007 7:06 AM, Blogger SauriSteph said...

My lyrics come from my favorite Ryan Adams song--Rescue Blues.

"And everybody wants to see you fall
That's why they always love to get you high
And everybody knows you need the pain so much, lady
Well, keep in touch, baby
Just don't charge me with your rescue blues..."

To me, these lyrics are very personal. They remind me of 'life after high school.' All of my friends stayed back home, while I went away. When I'd come home, we'd always get together, for my first semester away. After that, they began to use me and toy with me for their amusement--I'm still not sure why. They were nice to me for one phone call, and then awful for my next visit. It was a constant state of high and low. By the end of everything, I felt like the only reason they were nice to me was to see me crash and fall when they weren't.

So there's my take on the lyrics!

email: monarchmajesty@hotmail.com

At June 30, 2007 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whiskeytown's song "Avenues" just demolishes me every time--I really think it's one of the saddest but most beautiful songs ever written. My favorite lines are "all the sweethearts of the world / are out dancing in the places / where me and all my friends go to hide our faces."

Of his solo lyrics, I think the first verse to "Cry On Demand" is my favorite:

So, it's how the story goes.
Can we cut to the scene where I'm holding you close.
She moves, moves like a thin dulling blade
Cuts, all the words that I said.
The only difference is,
The only difference is,
The truth...
The truth is I miss you.

Aside from maybe Lucinda Williams, I don't think there's any American songwriter who can write about heartbreak the way Ryan Adams can. He's got so many sad, lonely, miserable songs that are just so pretty, too.

My email is bonoismymuse (at) gmail.com

At July 01, 2007 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Somewhere the night sky hangs like a blanket/I shoot it with my cap gun just to make it seem like stars"
Jacksonville Skyline

I love the image that this line invokes.

I think this line has a touch of childlike innocence (cap gun, trying to change something as vast as the sky.) Ryan has said that Jacksonville Skyline is pretty autobiographical about his life growing up. While the song paints a somewhat dismal picture of his childhood, I think with this line it ends on a happier, somewhat hopeful note. No matter where Ryan ends up, Jacksonville will always remain his home, and he'll always have the same night sky to sleep under, gaze upon, and the hope that he can change things for the better.

That's at least how I want to see it.


At July 02, 2007 2:41 PM, Blogger Joe Z said...

"I've been thinking some of suicide.
But there's bars out here for miles."

i cant think of another line that seems as "ryan" as that one. Especially the non-sober ryan.


At July 02, 2007 2:47 PM, Blogger feilfs01 said...

So many solid lyrics already posted, some more obvious than others, but I really like some lyrics that are usually completely overlooked or under-rated in a more obvious song. Everybody knows and loves "Oh My Sweet Carolina" (If you don't you may be a communist). But if you look at what Ryan Adams has done here...its really genius:
"I ain't never been to Vegas but I gambled up my life
Building news print boats I raced in sewer mains"
This is such a classic line because it shows the weight of gambling versus the weight of life, and how you don't have to go to Vegas to lose it all. The newsprint boats seal the deal for me, becuase you can actually picture a humbled loser sitting on the corner after a good rain with nothing but yesterdays newspaper making little boats and watching them drift away down the "river" and eventually down the drain like his life and his dreams. Under-rated lyrics from an obvious song!


At July 02, 2007 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Mockingbird, Cold Roses.

At July 02, 2007 3:09 PM, Blogger Cold_Roses said...

My favorite lyrics are from the song Tomorrow:

"A million miles of nothing
Yeah, you're driving on the moon
I can smell you on the pillow
Of the hotel room
Baby, make it and call me soon
Ohhh, my baby's going home
My baby's going home
Ohhh, my baby's going home
My baby's going home

this is what ryan said about that song in particular:"I wrote that with a friend of mine, a playwright called Kerry Hamilton, who has since died of cancer. I was living in Room 1034 at the Hollywood Roosevelt, and it was written the day before she was going back to Colorado. It was the last time I was to see Kerry healthy. I'm still going through it and haven't been able to touch it in a song."

A close second From JCN "The End"

"I don't know the sound of my father's voice i don't even know how he say's my name...but it plays out like a song on a jukebox in a bar in the back of my head till its worrying machine."

contact me at:


At July 02, 2007 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If we were nothing, we were only the best, I'm just lonely inside I guess...You gave me everything, you really tried...Thanks."


At July 02, 2007 3:59 PM, Blogger Cold_Roses said...

Pretty sure this blog test can't be had until these lyrics are entered...i've already entered mine but these are some of my fave lines

Ain't it strange, I see your face in the window of a store
Holding me back from throwing my bottles out at the cars
Sha la. Sha la la la
So hey there, Mrs. Samuels
Hey Laura, I'm thinking of you
Would you take an old drunk as-is
If he was sweet to you
And tomorrow, you'll probably give up on me
I won't blame you, hell I'll celebrate
'Cause despite anything you may have said to me
The bar is a beautiful place. . . . sha na na na, sha la la

At July 02, 2007 5:55 PM, Blogger heather said...

And Rod....those are possibly my favorite lyrics from one of my all-time favorite Ryan Adams songs. Perfect note to end on.

By the way, folks, the contest is now closed, but thanks for playing and feel free to keep commenting if you want but there is no more booty to be had. I just found out the lithograph is SIGNED. Dah! I want one.

At July 10, 2007 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know the contest is over but...

"You're just a nobody, girl, with a radar to the scene"


Post a Comment

<< Home

Stats tracked by StatCounter