Empty City (Music)

by Dave Rideout

it’s been dark for hours,
i just wish i could find some rest
instead i’m walking the city
looking to clear my head
it’s like i haven’t seen anyone for days
in a lot of ways, i guess that’s how i like it

there’s been a lot on my mind
and these empty streets got me thinking
there must be more to this life
than just trying to make it through

i walk like my heart’s whole
but when it comes out in the wash
pale and hollow
cold water filling up the sink
face pressed down underneath
gut wrenching on the drink
like the sum of these parts don’t matter

i’ve been here for so long
and i feel like i’ll never change

let’s go back several years, ship sinking,
i’m drinking, she’s drinking,

imbibition meant no inhibitions
we were vicious, i was listless
didn’t know what i was missing
i’d been gone for so long by then

a few more back, i was livin lonely,
chest heavy with a heart that’s frozen
but even before, all i wanted to say
would instead always be stored
deep in my core
somewhere i’d ignore

where it’d start to shape-shift
send chills across my skin
that crept like a sickness
through sad songs about suffering

i’m sorry for coming all this way
while really staying put
i know it’s hard you

but i’m tryna get my head right
no ‘left for dead’, right?
we’re thick and thin right?
i need to hear it again
that you think i can win

Dear Love EP (Full Lyrics)

Below are all of the lyrics I composed for DEAR LOVE’s 2014 EP album. Listen to and learn more about the band on my music page.


the clock counters itself, like we’re caught
trapped playing your games when I just want you to talk
was it something I said, or something you’ve gone and done?

cause baby we’re a wreck if I’ve ever seen one
so twisted and sick, and hard to believe in
something seems so wrong here
what’s going on here?
don’t you see what this does to me?
the way you’re making me bleed?

is this what you wanted?
is this how you wanted it to be?
(just think about it)
tucked down in the back of your mind
by things you don’t want me to find
you’re shaking and shivering

next to the wrongs you’ve done. You’re overrun
and hoping that I never miss the brakes
my adrenaline’s high and I think I just might
leave you like a hit and run

it’s so fitting
tangled up steel and misery
uptight around the collar, you’re colder
all those nights when you’d call, I’d come hold you
and try to figure out what you’re missing
turns out you’re never missing me
why you never listen?
deep down you had a mystery
one I’d been solving for so long, I’d almost forgotten
if I was ever really yours cause you seemed to have lost it


the sky keeps on pouring
and i keep on pouring
whenever i hit the bottom
unless you say you got it

do you forget why we do this?
i forget quite a few things
once the night becomes morning
i don’t know how we got through it

turn the lights off while the sun rises
and we might see the dark when our eyes meet
take your clothes off, lie down beside me
like we’re trying to fix us but
it won’t make any difference

i think we’re sick with the same thing
and we found a medicine in every sip and
between our skin and our hatred
we found the side effects and
the very best of our worst

my mind is all blurry
but we’re in no hurry
it’s like we do this for pleasure
but we both know that we’re hurting
i swear there was something at the start,
like a spark, instead
we tried to cover up our scars with the shots
got the whole world weighing on our hearts, but we’re lost and there’s no trying to fix us cause
it won’t make any difference


there’s a haunted place
deep inside my chest
where you lose your way
when you trust a friend

look me in the face
is this for the best?
this wounded heart’s going grey
and all I can say is you got me spinning

around and around
I start to wonder why
I’m always left behind here
clinging to something
that keeps me giving up
parts of myself to
branches upon the sky
the white around your eyes, red
I’m lost and I’m lonely
you got me spinning

until I feel sick
with your twisted words
and your mal-intent
and your crooked grin

telling me everything is gonna be alright
thought you had my back but now I know
this wounded heart’s going grey
and all I can say is you got me spinning
around and around

i stumble on
every step feels like the one before
nowhere to go and I’m alone

with few stones left to roll
both my soul and my feet are sore
yet your voice still echoes through the wood

sing me to sleep


so near, something to see and touch
your face in the mirror
your shape in the mattress

just hear rhythms up from our lungs
carved deep into silence
that stayed for too long

heads up, eyes ahead
one of those things you don’t forget

move closer (we got it right where we want it)
move closer (don’t even need a reminder)
move as close as you can, it’s not over yet
move closer (no need to wait any longer)
move closer (this’ll be just as I promised)
move as close as you can and take it all in

it’s real – shivers gone unrehearsed
guessing game hands
and toe-curled feet

so still – apart from hearts intertwined
a surreal interruption of melted time

heads up, eyes ahead
one of those things you won’t forget
one of those things you don’t forget

stolen from the tips of tongues
this loss for words is comfortable
these ghosts of ours have come back home
unto their flesh and blood and bones
wrapped up in skin and sweat and glow
just us alone


we used to be like gospel
a constant star I followed
always overhead

like light inside a vacuum
a tree and a fallen apple
it wasn’t blood but it was family
that i thought you’d protect

so where were you when I needed us?
who’d you trade me up for?
now that I’m gonna walk out the door
you won’t stop me, stop me

way back when things were so innocent
when it all felt so sure
now that our paths don’t cross anymore
you won’t stop me, stop me

we were a safe confession
a bond I never questioned
ground broken in youth

like life and death both have us
a crawl before we stand up
universal truth, one i thought you knew

when it all turned in
i hid your blame
you hid your face
i bore the weight

and you let me sink
under their shame
i keep the pain
as all that’s left of you


we’re sick and tired but
there’s a reason and a rhyme
inside of us all

yours has you stacking bricks on the shoreline
mine’s got me digging down to the sea
i know exactly what you want in me but
your bridge is a road that I can’t journey

earth is tearing through your skin, i’m sorry
there’s an element of spite to this
used to think we knew what love meant
but I cannot feel a thing
cannot feel a thing for you

we don’t have a long way to go

while you’re scaling up the walls and the wires
i’ve been carving mortar out underneath
you thought you had a plan up for me but
your bridge will erode into the sea

you’ve been alone,
i’ve been around
what you think you know
i’ve figured out
what you see in me
i’ll find in someone else

you always seem to make believe
that this was something meant to be

but I am crawling from the outside in
dust and gravel blowing in the wind
i’ve got a heart for someone else to mend
and your bridge will crumble to your chagrin

The Only One (Music Video)

THE ONLY ONE by Dave Rideout

blood on my teeth
and now i’ve got to say something

you came and you saw
but never gave it a shot your all
and now i’m here thinking that
i’m the only one who wants this

look at the second hand
life down to simple math
i just don’t get how ‘one last chance’
is hard to understand

give me a reason to stay
i’ll watch you try to explain, I can taste the

Trial By Wire LP (Full Lyrics)

Below are all of the lyrics I composed for TRIAL BY WIRE’s 2011 LP album. Listen to and learn more about the band on my music page.


first I lost my heart
then I lost what I knew best
i’ve traveled oh so far
to simply pass below the waves

i’ve never been that good at saving myself
after all this time you’d think I’d know how

throw me a rope and I’ll play along
i’ve gotta say it’s so damn hard to figure it out
just what i want
throw me a rope and ill play along
i’ve gotta say it’s all or nothing this time around
except i’ve got no time at all

now the days are long
spend them all inside my head
traveled way to far
to find that i’ve got nothing left


come along, take my hand and i will show you
something you’ve never seen
something impossible

there is no reason to be scared. you can trust me
i’ve got a secret i’ve been hanging on
way too long

my eyes must give me away
but my hands on your skin
feel just like they belong there
there’s nothing that we need to say
so take it off dear and
do everything that I tell you

i don’t think that you know what you are in for
make sure we’re not followed
cause I’m headed for the back door

you bring the oil and I’ll bring the spark
we’ll take it to the back room and
set it off

you don’t know what this is
but you know that this isn’t love


we revolve and the years pass by then
there’s nothing left for us
even stars fall from the sky and
our fire burns to dust

emptiness inside our minds
echos the madness we incite
when will we learn to seize the day?

maybe we’ll float away
weightless and born astray
catch a final glimpse of
what could have been of us
this constant disarray
becomes too much to save
i’m a fallen man with
nothing left to lose

we dissolve as the years pass by then
we hide from the end
we always dream into the night but
we never reach within

emptiness inside our hearts
echos until we fall apart
when will we learn to seize the day?

i wish I had known
there was no going back
i have nothing to show and
my world has gone black
we have fallen below and
we’ve vanished to them

hollow essence will swallow


rows of silence roll out before my feet
as I try to see inside everything

behind those eyelids unfolds your every dream
realize the end in sight before this

all falls down and we become the cold
i will remain ’til you come around
expose the pain below

there will be nothing left for us to hold
you never saw it fall through
your fingertips now asleep becoming cold
and you cant feel it fall away

years of blindness appear so obvious
now that I see inside where we’ve been.
i’m reminded of all we had become
i’ve realized that all this time was wasted

how you find yourself believing that we’re even
lately I find myself reaching for the meaning
show me comfort in conclusion
show me that there will be
nothing left for us to hold


don’t react
quick! lock the windows
don’t react
just bolt the doors

fall asleep
sweat through the bed sheets
fancy this: a conversation

i’ve come along and come a long way
to be fair game
your words are caught
the plates are locked
molten inside

it feels like you’re boiling
just dying to eat me up
it feels like you’re collapsing
just dying to eat me up

the animals are in a panic
the earth beneath my feet
it shatters

don’t inhale this air turned toxic
don’t exhale the last that you’ve got
fall asleep. retreat as a tactic
fancy this: a conversation

the earth beneath my feet shatters and
I slip unseen between the rocks that
line the words; the way we talk
around the bend, back to the start

all the while, it’s make believe
thoughts that we would be okay

ashes, winding from our lungs into the dirt
we crumble


the thought of being someone else
lingers deep inside yourself
waiting for the time to run
from who you’ve become

you always seem to find a way
to hide yourself from every day
longing just to be the one
the essence of us all

i can’t assure you that
with every breath that you take
you’ll find what you’re looking for

it’s time to break. it’s time to make
your move and rise above yourself
it’s time to take what you have made
and turn away

it’s hard to find the words sometimes to
hide the meaning of your life
but trust yourself just long enough
decide who to become

to bear the the truth you know tonight
is what it means to be alive
it’s never clear to anyone
the essence of us all

feel yourself bleeding
let yourself run dry
feel your faults leaving
the pain you hold inside
and then you realize


there’s nothing left at all
but the writing on the wall
it won’t be long til the floor caves in

with nowhere left to stand
my memories of the past
become more than clear to me

hold on to me cause i’m falling
it seems you cant bear the weight
of my days gone by
just hear the words that i’m calling
they’re not poetry
they are my goodbye

i’ve done all that I can to
help you understand that
here and now is not where I have been

but it haunts you like a demon and
i want you but i’m leaving
i’ll be gone til you can see me
for who I really am


today we’re farther from the truth
fettered hands and folded flags
tattered skin and poison dreams
the window panes are laced with dust

today we shiver in the cold
ruins alight and tidal touch
self-opulent who drink too much
in all this pain a wealth of loneliness

welcome to the deconstruction
superficial architecture
we’ve got no bones, we’ve got no heart
i wish we could just have one another
disassembled, naked liars
we’ve got our stones, we’ve got our faults
we’re waiting on a revelation

today is in between the lines
unencumbered and contrived
beating drums; lasting reprise
through all this pain we pine to overcome

don’t hold your breath
whispers never last long in a flame
today if we went to sleep forever
would we dream of words we never said

we’ve got our stones, we’ve got our faults
we’ve got no hope, we’ve got no cause
we’ve got our ghosts, we’ve got our flaws
we’ve got to know we’ve got our shot

we’re waiting on a revelation
it never comes


frustration is a mixture
of the motion of your heart closing
and mine gone missing

the foundation is the cracking
of a notion of the devotion
that you were lacking

it has been a long time
since i’ve turned my back on you
(well, here it is)
i have realized something
about all those years

through the cold you’ll find
that you had the answer
a choice to light that fire
at every fork in the road, cause
I was the spark you were waiting for and
now it’s gone.

combustion is the picture;
is the burning; it’s the world turning
onward after you

and hindsight left me tempered;
left me open to keep on going
toward all I’m after

i was the spark you were waiting for
for a fuse now stretched so thinly
in the dark, you know I was
the torch that left you blinking
what I thought that we’d become
was nothing more than dreaming
that I stopped once I saw
that I am the one who’s leaving


slip inside your mind
dissonance subsides
just one fleeting moment of respite

rooted in your chest (do you feel it?)
a muse to let possess (do you feel it grow?)
and grow until you’re bursting at the seams

violent inhibitions fall
weakened for a loss of control
(won’t you) twist up from the dirt
promise to never let the dust settle

there is not a circumstance
to ever hold you back
it’s all a matter of regret
and fear to just let go
i’ve been trying all this time
to cut through my own shell
and make it disappear

take a step back, take a minute
take a deep breath, take it all in
feel the rhythms of your heartbeat
and the drums becoming one

swells of passion swirl in your veins
you bend and spin and get carried away
your soul is bursting out your rib cage
like the sun through the shades in the morning
let it loose, let it go, let it free
feel it bursting at the seams

let flashing lights be all you know
let your footsteps be all over the floor
let your voice soar up from your throat
let yourself know what it’s like to let go


i’m not the only one of flesh and blood;
of the air and smoke;
the world up-heaving

the tides are in and we’re wading
up to our necks, but don’t think I’m leaving

you say you’ve had enough of me
stop blaming me for everything that you are
the lights are low but you’re suffocating
and your reaching; waiting for a hand in the dark

have we left it behind
the sins of a stark reminder
ignorant without an eyeful
the hands of our design
without the bricks and mortar
while your sinking underwater
your tears are running dry

i’m not the only one of bone and skin;
of the dust and earth;
the sands are shifting

the grains dissolve and we’re sinking
up to our necks, but i won’t stop breathing

there’s frost on the candles
a time capsule of disaster
the rot of the floorboards
the depths of your basement are rising


another armistice, another final breath
stood up, the safety’s on
just time enough to clear my head
of the history we have repeated
and the line we held before you spun around

despite the ammunition and tears we left this on
i wish that you could see me now
rid of your apparition
revel against the odds
i wish that you could see me now

another fight, another wounded left for dead
place your bets in the face of
everything that I have said
to prove I’m marching now, pace by pace,
across the floor
know I’ll never spare another shot now, no more

no you don’t know this but
i don’t pretend that this is
something that i never feel
but now i’ll tell you what:
once you notice loss
know I never think of you


look inside of yourself
help it find its way out
let us see you for what you are and
who you used to be

stare inside of me now
perceive the way that I felt
you seem to have become
your own worst enemy

you say that i cannot remember
but you’re the one who has let it fall away
before the consequence of never
you’re on reflection will show you who to blame

deep inside of your soul
dissect the lies that you told
don’t try to frame me in your faults
just turn and face them

we tried to let you know and
it is starting to show
you seem to have become
your own worst enemy

tear apart all you have become
be assured that you are not the one
here i stand before you now and I’ll say:
throw it all away