For An Empty Theater

by Erik Ritland

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about

The entirety of For An Empty Theater was written and recorded in February 2019.

Intimate and lyric-driven, For An Empty Theater features Erik's most mature and fully realized songwriting. Catchy opener "Long Gone Days" might be his most infectious track, but doesn't really set the tone for the album.

For An Empty Theater is pretty dark. It taps into hard times and desperate places, although always catching glimpses of the light that the darkness cannot overcome.

The intimate arrangements are sparse, fitting the themes of most of the songs.

Erik hopes someday to re-record these songs with a full band. If he does, anybody who bought this version will be given it for free.

credits

released March 1, 2019

Erik Ritland - acoustic guitar, eclectric guitar, organ, vocals, percussion
Marshall Nystrom - piano on "A Moveable Feast," percussion on "Long Gone Days"
Alison Nystrom - cowbell on "Long Gone Days"
Taylor Schultz - piano

All songs written by Erik Ritland
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Marshall Nystrom and Erik Ritland
Cover painting by Taylor Schultz

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all rights reserved

tags

about

Erik Ritland Saint Paul

Rock n' roll. Country western. Blues. Folk. Americana.

The past is never dead. It isn't even past.

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Track Name: Long Gone Days
Down the old highway in a beat-up car
Just to find our way to where we are

And if I could I would go back again
To long gone days we thought would never end

We'd stay up all night
Our hopes were high
There's been dark and light
But we got by

And if I could I would go back again
To long gone days we thought would never end

Time goes by too fast
But the good times last
Even when they’re gone

Playing here with you is everything
It's all that’s ever been when I hear you sing

And if I could I would go back again
To long gone days we thought would never end
Track Name: Bleak Dreams
Getting straight isn't easy anymore
I swear it was before but I'm not sure
The hardest part is getting out of bed
Forget the things they said and move on

You can't move ahead if you've got nowhere to go
Bleak dreams are coming true

If you asked I wouldn't even know
How many years ago that it was
There's a light that cuts right through the dark
The ancient inner spark that always shines

You can't move ahead if you've got nowhere to go
Bleak dreams are coming true
Track Name: Walls and Bridges
You don't love what you won't fight for
You don't love what you won't defend
In the end it's all we have

There is room for walls and bridges

There is a bridge you wouldn't cross over
There is a bridge that you would burn down
And try not to make a sound as you run away

There is room for walls and bridges

There are so many walls between you and me
Why don't we tear them down?
Only then we'll see

Let's raise a toast to all of the good things
Then throw the glass against the wall
It's last call

There is room for walls and bridges
Track Name: The Ghost of a Rose
Do you ever think that you might be wrong
That the anger in your heart is misplaced
Do you feel power at your fingertips
That you can’t find otherwise
Are you sad

We are missing something
Try to hide it but it shows
The ghost of a rose

I look in the mirror and my face is blank
It's so hard to come to terms with mistakes
Aiming at the other
At least I think I am
Finding out the hardest truth
That it’s me

We are missing something
Try to hide it but it shows
The ghost of a rose

All the theaters
On the city's busy streets
Are empty now

We are missing something
Try to hide it but it shows
The ghost of a rose
Track Name: A Moveable Feast
Instrumental
Track Name: Things Aren't So Bad
So many ways to say things today
But never less to say
So many ways to live life with love
But it's easier to hate

Why are you so angry all the time?
I promise things aren't so bad

So many things there are to learn
So much life to live
There is no need to close yourself off
Take when you can give

Why are you so angry all the time?
I promise things aren't so bad

So much freedom for everyone
To make their dreams reality

There is a world at our fingertips
But it isn't real
It amplifies the worst in ourselves
Until we forget how to feel

Why are you so angry all the time?
I promise things aren't so bad
I promise things aren't so bad
Track Name: Alone
Now my blind eye sees
But it only gets me so far
You're lovely with such ease
Like a faded, fallen star

Still I can’t replace
All this time I waste
Knocking at your door
Just to feel this alone

I feel overused
Like a good thing that’s gone bad
I don’t mean to be confused
You're just all I ever had

Still I can’t replace
All this time I waste
Knocking at your door
Just to feel this alone

Please don’t stop the show
I just have to know
If I'm doing what I should
I messed up my lines
I do it every time
But I try to make it good

Still I can’t replace
All this time I waste
Knocking at your door
Just to feel this alone
Track Name: The Wheels
Nobody promised it would be easy
Here on the edge of life
We're never young

Don't be surprised to find
At any time
The wheels can fall off

Beware of comforts
They can destroy you
You may wake up one day
And find they're gone

Don't be surprised to find
At any time
The wheels can fall off

When life is hard
Only then you'll find
The person that you are
Deep inside
Track Name: Chesterton's Last Words
Why choose to be ugly when you can be beautiful
Who would trade their smile for a scowl
It’s not so bad

There’s a choice between light and dark
Everyone must choose his side

You may say that there are shades of gray
And you are right
But there cannot be a gray at all
Without black and white

There's a choice between light and dark
Everyone must choose his side

The only way
To move ahead
Is to love like a child

Aren't you glad that you have every day that you’re alive
It is not always the easiest
But it’s worth the fight

There's a choice between light and dark
Everyone must choose his side

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