lyrics--something missing is described as something

Hard to describe in the thread title, but I was always struck by the lyric in “I Can’t Make You Love Me”:

I’ll close my eyes
Then I won’t see
The love you don’t feel
When you’re holding me

Then I was listening to “I’d Rather Be a Cowboy (Lady’s Chains)” and the phrase

Oh, but I miss her in the morning when I awake alone
The absence of her laughter is a cold and empty sound

occurred to me as the same theme. Other examples of the expression of an absence being something not nothing?

From the Randy Travis song Is it still over?:

“Since my phone still ain’t ringing, I assume it still ain’t you.”

Jimmy Buffett’s “If The Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me”

I’m not sure if it fits exactly, but from “I Am I Said”:

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I’ve tried, but it won’t let me go
And I’m not a man who likes to swear
But I never cared for the sound of being alone

Of course it’s not exactly the absence of noise, with him yelling at the chair and all.

I don’t know if this counts, but this has always been one of my favourite lyrics. From Madness’ Primrose Hill:

Slipping from the newspapers stacked against the wall
Piles of colour supplements squeeze between his fall
For a fleeting second I was up that hill
Although I’ve never been there I wish I was there still

As usual I forgot the most obvious example, When You Say Nothing At All:

Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing

[Prince, or Sinead O’Connor singing Prince]

all the flowers that you planted, mama
In the back yard
All died when you went away

[/Prince, or Sinead O’Connor singing Prince]

“Fill the void with emptiness.” Starving Zealots

“The Sound Of Silence” – Simon And Garfunkel

Ani DiFranco - Fire Door

“tightened my belt around my hips
where your hands were missing”

Ani Difranco - Asking Too Much

“If you hear me talking
listen to what I’m not saying
if you hear me playing guitar
listen to what I’m not playing
and don’t ask me all the words
to all the silences I know
and don’t ask me to put words
to all the spaces between notes”

sigh. I listened to a song about 12 times last night but didn’t remember when I posted earlier that it fits the OP perfectly. And I forgot to put the title of the other song, which is Spent.

“You’re taking something I never had
I’m missing something I never wanted.”

  • I Never Wanted by The Phoebus Mass

Don McLean’s Empty Chairs

Empty rooms that echo as I climb the stairs
And empty clothes that drape and fall on empty chairs *

Les Miserables’s Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
Oh my friends, my friends, don’t ask me
What your sacrifice was for.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sit no more.

Emptiness is filling me


Al Stewart, “Fields of France”

A single biplane in a clear blue sky
1917, no enemy was seen
High above the fields of France

Oh she looks
But there’s nothing to see
Still she looks
Saying, “Come back to me.”

Huh, I’d actually heard that song before, too, and I’d never put the two together. The Don McLean song is from 1971, and Les Miz is from 1980, so I think Don should sue.