"The Artist in the Ambulance" as written by Edward Carrington Breckenridge, James Riley Breckenridge, Dustin Michael Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi....
Late night, brakes lock, hear the tires squeal
Red light, can't stop, so I spin the wheel
My world goes black before I
Feel an angel lift me up

And I open bloodshot eyes
Into fluorescent white
They flip the siren, hit the lights
Close the doors, and I am gone

Now I lay here owing my life
To a stranger, and I realize
That empty words are not enough
I'm left here with the question of just

What have I to show except
The promises I never kept?
I lie here shaking on this bed
Under the weight of my regrets

And I hope, that I will never let you down
And I know, that this can be more than just
Flashing lights and sounds

Look around and you'll see that at times
It feels like no one really cares
It gets me down, but I'm still gonna try to do
What's right, I know that there's a

Difference between sleight of hand
And giving everything you have
There's a line drawn in the sand
I'm working up the will to cross it

And I hope, that I will never let you down
And I know, that this can be more than just
Flashing lights and sounds

Rhetoric can't raise the dead, I'm sick of always
Talking, when there's no change
Rhetoric can't raise the dead, I'm sick of empty words
Let's lead, and not follow

Late night, brakes lock, hear the tires squeal
Red light, can't stop, so I spin the wheel
My world goes black before I
Feel an angel steal me from the

Greedy jaws of death and chance
And pull me in with steady hands
They've given me a second chance
The artist in the ambulance

And I hope, that I will never let you down
And I know, that this can be more than just
Flashing lights and sounds

Can we pick you off the ground?
More than flashing lights and sounds


Lyrics submitted by ruben

"The Artist in the Ambulance" as written by Edward Carrington Breckenridge Dustin Michael Kensrue

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Artist in the Ambulance song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentDear God...
    This song is not strictly about "a guy who gets severely injured in a car accident, then is saved by paramedics and finds himself questioning the validity of his life"... and I can guarantee you its not about "how awesome paramedics are".

    The entire song is a metaphor. Artist and creator... same thing. When anyone says "the creator".. its safe to say they are referring to God. He uses paramedics because of the symbolism they bring of existing to help others when others cant help themselves; which is ultimately Gods role in our lives.

    The crash itself stands for any hard time in our lives that hits us hard and make us question if life is even worth continuing. This is why we need a "paramedic" to save us.

    Thrice doesn't declare themselves as a Christian band, but the fact that Dustin is a devout follower is going to show through his music. Just as Christian bands will often have one or two songs on their album that don't necessarily relate to Christianity, bands that declare themselves secular should have the freedom to write a song about God, if its what is inspiring them at the time, without their song being slaughtered by interpretations guessing that it relates to how the music industry is dying.
    The Neenjaon March 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI cant believe no one has said anything about this song, its my favorite song off this CD. the lyrics tell one hell of a story and the breakdowns are amazing.
    ------------------------------------------------------
    i'm left here with the question of just
    what have i to show except the promises i never kept?
    i lie here shaking on this bed, under the weight of my regrets
    i hope that i will never let you down
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Wow.
    weakatbeston April 08, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think this song is fairly clear cut in it's meaning
    The person gets in a car accident and while he is lying there in the ambulance he is realizing that the life he lead was not as great as he had thought and that the accident made him realize that
    "What do I have to show except the promises I never kept?"
    "Lie here on this shaking bed under the weight of my own regret."
    Then he decides that he is not going to talk without action any more
    "I realize that empty words are not enough"
    He knows there is something beyond what he is seeing and that it is good and it is for good
    "i know this can be more then just flashing lights and sounds"
    Then he is getting upset because he looks around and realizes that no one is caring about the world around them beyond the flashing lights and sounds then he decides he is going to do something about he's going to cross the line in the sand, which is an old saying about crossing the line into "non comformity" cause he knows that there is a difference between lazyness (slight of hand) and giving it your all (giving everything you have)
    DaVincion April 16, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song to be is about a person that nearly gets killed and realizes that their not leading the right life because they only have empty promises and regrets. And they realize that people in the world don't care and it gets them down but they are going to change make a difference cross that line in the sand because they know there is a difference between giving it you're all and making it look like it (difference between slight of hand and giving everything you have) And this near death experience lets them realize that there is more beyond just what their senses tell them (i know that this can be more then flashing lights and sounds) and that speaking smoothly and convincingly won't raise you from the dead or the death that's befallen you by your lack of honest and the life you've chosen
    DaVincion April 16, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song was inspired by Al Burian's book "The Burn Collector." I think song is about how Thrice hopes they can be more than just a band. (more than flashing lights and sound). They want to inspire and motivate people (can we pick you off the ground) to make the world a better place for everyone to live in.

    A paramedic physically helps people who are hurt and wounded. They are literally picking people up off the ground. It's easy to see, how everyday they are out making society a better place for us all.

    It's a little different for an Artist. An artist has to figure out a way to abstractly pick people off the ground and help them. Quite a daunting task for any Musician or Artist. But, this song is Thrice's way of telling their fans they will take on this challenge with everything thing they have. They are the artist in the ambulance and they will do their best to pick us off the ground.

    I hope this makes sense to someone.
    breakingstringson January 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirstly, a whole section of the lyrics is missing.
    "there's a line drawn in the sand, im working up the will to cross it
    and i hope, that i will never let you down, i know, that this could be more than just, flashing lights and sounds!
    Rhetoric can't raise the dead'
    and so on

    Amazing song, first Thrice song I ever heard, they are now my favourite band.
    Saw them live last time they came to Australia and met Dustin.

    These lyrics are amazing. to me they mean this

    A person, who is in a car accident, realises after his life has just been saved, his life is not as great as he thinks.
    He realises he has alot to be thankful for and there is alot that he has not done in his life.
    'Rhetoric Cant Raise the Dead' I think perhaps is Dustin refering to how, no matter how much you talk or run your mouth, it will get you nowhere,

    'i know that this could be more than just flashing lights and sounds' is dustin hoping his music can be more than flashing lights (perhaps during there shows) and sounds (the actual song)
    he is hoping for it to mean something more to people, 'can we pick you off the ground' take people some place spiritual or amazing,


    Just like paramedics literally pick people up of the ground.

    he hopes his music can be tlife changing and important to people, that of a paramedic, perhaps who was the ambulance driver 'the angel' at the songs beginning

    i dunno. my first post on this site. it easier to edxplain in words. lol
    deej35on April 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentrhetoric can't raise the dead
    i'm sick of always talking when there's no change
    i'm sick of empty words, let's lead and not follow


    i think that refers to prayer, saying like even if you prey perfectly it wont bring someone back from the dead and the words are empty because they mean nothing and we should follow our own beliefs and not other peoples
    garyebersbachon April 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalso just because thrice isnt a christian band does not mean Dustin isnt one
    garyebersbachon April 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think that this song has two levels to it the first the more obvious one is how he doesn't know how to thank this person or people who he doesn't even know who saved his life and the second i think it also talks about how the music industry is dying in some ways
    Ueleyon April 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is totally money! This song was basically written around a crazy harmonic note that Teppei's guitar made every time i touched the strings. The lyrics are based off of a short story by Al Burian in his book "Burn Collector". They said it took about 800 leads until they finally had the right one, and now the song rules! Thrice breaks em all down.
    NaMeLesson April 16, 2004   Link

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