Ryan Adams – Do I Wait

Do I Wait - Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams released his 13th studio album Ashes & Fire in October of 2011 which marked his return to recording following the disbanding of the Cardinals in March 2009. Ten focused years of songwriting output resulted in overwhelming exhaustion coupled with an incessant struggle with Meniere’s disease. On his website, Adams wrote, “I am excited to finish this wonderful time I have had with the Cardinals. I am grateful for the time we have had, and maybe someday we will have more stories to tell together. I am, however, ready for quieter times, as I think it is very evident I am struggling with some balance and hearing issues. Maybe we will play again sometime, and maybe I will work my way back into some kind of music situation, but this is the time for me to step back now, to reel it in.” During his time away from music Adams married actress Mandy Moore, released two books of poetry and issued some unreleased material. In 2010 he began working on the album he would name with both the rebirth motif of a phoenix in mind as well as an arcade game of the same name. Ashes & Fire is a precious collection of wonderfully written intimate songs. “Do I Wait” exemplifies its subtle dynamism and emotional sway. Written almost exclusively in the form of questions that need no reply, it presents an internal dialogue; the despairing thought process and emotional despondency of a person coming to terms with the loss of love’s life giving connection.  

“Do I want to say the things I say
When I know that they are wrong?
Do I wait here forever for you? Would you ask me to?
I been waiting here, all nightashes and fire
If you’re not going to show
We’re not gonna fight
I could stay, forever, if I tried
Surrounded by things,
Like a shadow in the light
Do I try and stay still for you?
And the clowns who park here fill the emptiness of the room
Do you watch me from the corner of your eye?
Do we say goodbye?
I waited in the wings for you to appear
But you’re never coming back
You’re never gonna feel
Like we did, I waited all night
I tried to let you go
Like a shadow in the light
The light, do I wait? Do I wait for you?
Do I wait?
Do I wait for you?
Do I wait here forever for you?
Did you ask me to?”