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 …

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

    Jason — January 20, 2006 @ 9:51 pm

  • 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.

    Kristy — January 21, 2006 @ 12:10 pm

  • Lovely song, thanks for posting.

    Martin — February 5, 2006 @ 5:36 am

  • 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!

    Anonymous — June 9, 2006 @ 7:21 am

  • 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

    Anonymous — June 12, 2006 @ 8:04 pm

  • ‘and kiss me with that country mouth so plain’…the heart melts it really does.

    Anonymous — September 16, 2006 @ 10:38 am

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

    Anonymous — December 1, 2006 @ 4:55 pm

  • 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

    Anonymous — January 26, 2007 @ 4:02 am

  • 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!

    Anonymous — February 2, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

  • 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.

    Trent — October 1, 2007 @ 10:12 pm

  • 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.

    Christopher G. Barnes — March 12, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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