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 …