"Empty" as written by and 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 back
Of that old and rusted Cadillac
That sinks into this field
Collecting rain

Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?

And of these cut throat busted sunsets
These cold and damp white mornings
I have grown weary

If through my cracked and dusty
Dime store 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've made

Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?

Well I looked my demons in the eyes
Lay bare my chest
Said do your best
To destroy me

See I've been to hell and back
So many times
I 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 did
And 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

Will I always feel this way
So empty
So estranged?


Lyrics submitted by ewb, edited by superninjakitteh

"Empty" as written by Ray Lamontagne

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Empty song meanings
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43 Comments

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  • +4
    General Commenti think this song is about a man who was so completely in love with a woman.. now he sits and remembers their time together.. and by the lyrics its seems as if what hes remembering most are the simple times they had together, but they may have been the most amazing. like just watching her laugh n' walk through a garden, n' making love while its raining outside. now he doesnt have her, and hes miserable without her.. and hes wondering, will i always feel this way.. he doesnt think he'll ever get over her n' he feels hes always gonna be empty n' depressed without her in his life. thats the way i take it.. beautiful song. possibly my favorite of his
    megan1818on June 11, 2008   Link
  • +4
    My OpinionI just wanted to say that while the meaning of a song's lyrics are usually relatively, left up for the person to decide, unless the writer says "This is the meaning...." This song makes me cry every time I hear it because when this song comes on, I just can't control my feelings and everything I keep bottled up for the day comes out when the music starts playing.

    For me, this song is all about depression. But, that's only because that is what I've dealt with since I was 12 years old. Since I was 18, I've felt this unexplainable emptiness inside of me. Like I've no purpose, no way to find out my purpose, that everything I do is pointless and without merit. I feel useless and destroyed, beaten down again and again. I feel unloved and completely alone, regardless of whether or not I scream at the top of my lungs everyone just pretends to not hear me.

    When he talks of making quiet love, to me that is the love you make when one or both partners are so completely depressed and beaten they don't even find a connection through making love. It is purely physical, with the two looking away from each other because they know they just need to feel something good once in a while, even if it is only through sex.

    I think the verse about demons is about suicide, or death. Telling all his troubles, his sadness and emptiness, to really go ahead and eat him alive. That he has suffered through it so much that he just doesn't care enough to fight it or try and stave it off. He just wants to quietly accept his death and embraces it, in fact he WANTS it to come. The hurt I hide just fuels the fires inside me that keep me on this self-destructive path of misery, loneliness, and, hopefully, death.

    NotThereYeton March 05, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is an awesome song, one of Ray's best. A lot of his songs have this same haunting overtone. To me this song is about depression, and how "empty and so estranged" you can feel when the love in your life cannot possibly know the darkness inside yourself. I think she walks around in the garden... has flowers in her hair because she is all goodness and light, where he battles his demons and his own darkness. That's why she's plain and country- because she doesn't have the same cross to bear that he does. When he speaks those words no one can hear him- because no one understands him. Sometimes when all you've known is pain and depression, it defines who you are. Without it, he's not the same person. So I do not think he overcomes it, rather he fights it the best he knows how, but also knows that pain is the only way some can really feel alive.
    BellaVampyreon November 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is absolutly beautiful. the end.
    tbsbrandnewdcjewon March 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCorrections:

    "Yes and some already dead that walk beside me"

    The last line should read, "Well it's the hurt I hide that fuels the fires
    inside me"

    Nonetheless, this song is incredible.
    JimmyKaneon August 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"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"

    These lines get me the most, I mean they make me literally break down from pain and joy that this man has wrote this beautiful poetry that i have been searching for, for several years...Gosh-the intensity of this song, I listen to it daily.
    To me, this song represents pure human, raw emotion.
    We ALL feel empty from time to time, this is one of the most powerful songs that has ever graced my ears.

    -Hollyliz.
    holly-lizon October 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe song starts with a story about happiness (her bare feet laughing), and what should be a current pleasant experience (through the grass grown tall and brown), but the author sees only his past disappointments (I choose instead to dwell in my disasters). The Cadillac (that old and rusted Cadillac) represents the quality of a life that once was different, but is now empty and clouded (sinks into this field collecting rain), perhaps similar to the author’s life.

    Regardless of the sunsets, new morning, flowers, and “quiet love we make,” the author asks if he will always feel disconnected (Will I always feel this way?) (Still somehow it is hard to let go of pain) (So empty, so estranged?).

    Verse 3 signals his intent to change by confronting the emptiness (Well I looked my demons in the eye, Laid bare my chest said do your best destroy me). Note the present tense and confronting tone (I've been to hell and back). He has decided to not go there again (you kinda bore me).

    The things that can kill a man are not having the courage to stand up to your demons (it's the hurt you hide). The use of the word “well” indicates the author’s personal answer to the emptiness, and how to “let go of his pain” (Well it's the hurt I hide that fuels the fires inside me).

    I am not sure I agree with the interpretation of depression as much as an event that caused the pain. I have the feeling that the author was lied to (There's a lot of things I don't understand, Why so many people lie) and that may be the source of the pain.

    While there is little support for this interpretation, the author may be speaking to the person that hurt him ( I have grown weary … If, I spoke these words out loud would no one hear me?). (Yes, and some already dead who walk beside you.) However, this runs contrary to the overall tone of the song and the “applauding rain,” verse that indicates someone new. The use of "rain" as representing the loss of a past quality life (Cadillac ... collecting rain) and the next use as encouraging the change (tapping of the rain ...applauding) indicates a potential change that is occurring.

    I do see the song as somewhat redemptive in that the author has confronted the demons and found that they "fuel the fires inside him."
    wildasuon April 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationMy interpretation of this is quite personal. (I think you often see/hear what you want in a song unless it is absolutely explicit in meaning).

    Personally I couldn't be happier in my love life. Married to a woman who makes me SO happy inside. YET... I still feel quite down in various ways at various times. I see too much negative in a lot of things even though, actually, my life is pretty good.

    "I never learned to count my blessings
    I choose instead to dwell in my disasters"

    ...

    "Walk on down the hill
    Through the grass grown tall and brown
    *And still it's hard somehow to let go of my pain*"

    Things are good yet you can't help but mourn the things that aren't good.

    This is the kind of thing I do all the time, even though I'm aware of it. (Although it is better now I'm aware of it). But I have a mild depression going on... so yeah - agree that this song is about depression. And the two sides of life. Even though things are great (as he talks about a lover here) he still feels empty and estranged from his siutation. I know the feeling exactly.

    The song itself (even without meaning) is amazing. Beautiful melody and softly sung by Ray. The imagery is fantastic and the lyrics stand out an album filled with strong lyrics.

    Thanks Ray, keep up the good work!
    nidanon August 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRay LaMontagne knows how to write music that speaks to the soul. I honestly never get tired of listening to his songs. I just love this song so, so much, but in all honesty, I can't decide which of his songs are my favorite because they are all just so great.
    I am fond of Empty for the simplicity of the actual music and how it intertwines with some deep words. And I can definitely relate to some of the words...
    "I never learned to count my blessings, I choose instead to dwell in my disasters" "Will I always feel this way, so empty, so estranged" "I've been to hell and back so many times, I must admit you kind of bore me" "It's the hurt you hide that fuels the fires inside you"...
    Such great music. Ray's music is a diamond in the coalmine with all the so-called music that's coming out these days.
    nwc13on November 17, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI feel the song is about how some people are extroverted and some are introverted. It is a great difference and he describes it so well. Extroverts take life easy, and are kinda shallow and happy go lucky and make small talk easy, laugh easy, etc. Introverts are very deep and take life quite seriously and contemplate over and over. They can never understand how extroverts are just so happy go lucky and act as if life is just so simple.
    You know, like on say Facebook. Someone I know is always posting,(to me it's just stupidity), but they always post "think positive and good things will come". I'm thinking, yea right, hello reality is. Well Ray is wondering why these people lie and pretend that life is so easy and so simple, because to his type it just is not. The two types just don't get each other.
    Anyway I cannot put it into words like he does, but I adore this song and have a great appreciation for such beauty.
    chilloftenon November 10, 2011   Link

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