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Thrice The Artist In The Ambulance Lyrics

Last updated: 09/12/2011 11:00:00 AM

Late night, brakes lock, hear the tires squeal
Red light, can't stop so I spin the wheel
My world goes black before I feel an angel lift me up
And I open bloodshot eyes into fluorescent white
They flip the siren, hit the lights, close the doors and I am gone

Now I lay here owing my life to a stranger
And I realize that empty words are not enough
I'm left here with the question of just
What have I to show except the promises I never kept?
I lie here shaking on this bed, under the weight of my regrets

I hope that I will never let you down
I know that this can be more than just flashing lights and sound

Look around and you'll see that at times it feels like no one really cares
It gets me down but I'm still gonna try to do what's right, I know that there's
A difference between sleight of hand, and giving everything you have
There's a line drawn in the sand, I'm working up the will to cross it and


Rhetoric can't raise the dead
I'm sick of always talking when there's no change
Rhetoric can't raise the dead
I'm sick of empty words, let's lead and not follow

Late night, brakes lock, hear the tires squeal
Red light, can't stop so I spin the wheel
My world goes black before I feel an angel steal me from the
Greedy jaws of death and chance, and pull me in with steady hands
They've given me a second chance, the artist in the ambulance


Can we pick you off the ground, more than flashing lights and sound

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Seriously? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/10/11

Are you serious? This song is exactly what it sounds like. Whoever wrote the lyrics obviously got into some accident (probably a car crash), and had a life changing experience. In the song he's realizing that he owes a debt that he can never repay, his life.

Why should you be worried if it has a Christian view? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/13/11

It is so bizzare to me that so many people worry over what might have "Christian Overtones" or that any band would say that they believe in Jesus! We hear after day...killing...raping...and that's ok...sick of it!! I know for a fact they helped me find my way back to the Lord! Whever you guys are now...know you helped someone who needed it....God Bless you.

Literal... | Reviewer: Jecka | 4/7/11

In my opinion, this song may truly have double meanings.. But like most cases, people tend to take things a bit to literally. If your life was saved, and you had Christian beliefs, wouldn't you also think that an angel may have saved your life? There was also the chance that the paramedics may not have made it in time... Even the the title "The Artist in the Ambulance" could have different interpretations. (This my thoughts personally) I'm a Christian, and though the writer is an artist, it could also be God, who he may consider an artist? I don't really know. But what I am sure of is that this song is most definitely NOT a song that should be forgotten. :)

This song is awesome. | Reviewer: Natalie Maurer | 8/8/10

Im an EMT, and I first heard this song in school. Used to drive to EMT school jammin out to it. I drive to work every day jammin out to it, as does half of the ambulance corps I work for. It brought my fire comapany together, and we refer to it as the "Whacker song." Stumbled across it on the internet, and Im happy I did. Love the song, the double meaning, and the fact that someone remembered that we EMS providers are there, doing the best we can, for anyone who needs us.

My history with this song | Reviewer: kenny | 9/29/09

I was on my way home from working a late night shift and I was very tired driving down the highway. I was listening to this very song when I lost control of my car; spun off the highway into the woods, I blacked out suffered a major concussion but was saved by an EMT who I barely remember. I remember seeing him when he arrived on scene and he was able to wake me up for a few seconds before I blacked out again. When I arrived at the hospital semi-conscious this song kept running through the back of mind over and over that whole night. Needless to say this song holds special meaning to me and Thrice is awesome I listen to them all time now.

This is the greatest song ever. | Reviewer: Jae | 7/24/09

This song was the inspiration for me to become an EMT, and despite how many times I've heard it, I never get tired of how beautiful it is.

I love the lyrical use of double-meanings in this song.

"Flashing lights and sounds" refers to both your life flashing before your eyes and the sirens.

"Pick you off the ground" isn't just physical, but mental.

And of course, "the artist in the ambulance" likely refers not just to the EMT practicing his art of life-saving, but also refers to the artist (the writer of the song) laying in the ambulance who just had his life changed forever by these revelations of his spirit.

This is the greatest song ever. It's an homage to a profession dedicated to saving lives, and it's a beautiful story about how being so close to the end can realign your perspective on everything.

Just think of it this way. | Reviewer: Anon. | 5/4/09

Instead of arguing about whether the song is christian or not,think of it as both.Thrice is an amazing band,almost of the songs by them that i've heard have double meanings.Thats the beauty of Thrice.They have the christian edge,but still are singing about the paramedics as well.One thing's for sure: The guy who wrote the song is a genius.Also the song "Image Of The Invisible" is about the Invisible Children,yet some people feel that it's christian.Why can't it be both?

Anyway this song fricking rocks.


just beatiful full stop. | Reviewer: jack | 3/3/09

I only heard this song for the first time yesterday but i dont think i've spent a second without it on repeat since. As far as all of the christian/ not christian mumbo jumbo... If the song has struck somthing inside of you that makes you FEEL then i think you shuld accept it and indulge that feeling everytime you listen to the song, regaurdless of how the next person interprets it. Imo, thats the beaty of music and art in gerneral, perception is subject to the individual and what can start as an expression of a single thought or feeling from a musician, painter, poet ect. can end up on the other side of the world provoking thoughts and feelings in other individuals who can choose to express in their own way and keep the infinite world of art and expression moving.

Anyways, my interpratation of the song is an artist being involved in a near fatal car crash and being saved by paremdics. In recorvery he reflects upon life and the kindness of human beings that is often overlooked in hard times and akowledges that rather then just a flashing ambulance and paramedics doing their jobs, maybe he was saved by "angels" sent to give him a second chance and open his eyes to the beaty and kindness in all of us that can be used to make a difference if we just try'd. Just my interpatation though...

I am not relegious by the way but i listen to bands that talk about satan and i've never felt the urge to kill a goat or do any crap like that just as i have listend to bands with christian beleifs and i've never felt the need to blindly devote my life to god or anything. I have a sense of good and bad, light and dark and i can relate to people expressing those things even if they express it though relegion.

You gotta be kidding me | Reviewer: The biffmeister | 10/26/08

The song is titled "The Artist in the Ambulance". How could you fail to recognize that the "Artist" is a Paramedic? The guys talking about how he was involved in a car crash, got jacked up, and was then saved by a Paramedic. The angel that lifted him up was a Paramedic or Fire Fighter extracating him from his vehicle. The fluorescent lights being the lights in the back of the rescue, which he would be looking at if he were on a backboard. The lights and sirens are turned on meaning they are now transporting him to the hospital. He doesn't now what to say b/c he is so grateful, this would not be case if had he truly been on the brink of death. In reality he would have been trying to pull his straps off, beat up the medic and likely he would have been vomiting everywhere. Rhetoric can't raise the dead, meaning that words don't save people from life threatening situations, EMS professionals do... occasionally. Come on people, God gets credit for everything. This meaning of this song couldn't be more clear but still people don't want to give any credit to the Medics. What's new....

Both Christian and a Paramedic | Reviewer: Shazaam NREMT-P | 10/5/08

I am a Christian.
I am a Paramedic.

And given the benefit of having both view points, I find that the Christian argument being made here is weak. The majority of the posters saying that the song is about God and Jesus make their point by saying that those who have been saved will see the truth whereas others will not.
Well, the same can be said for those who serve as EMS professionals and save lives on a daily basis.
The song is based off of a book read by the songwriter, he has said so. This book is not the Bible, but a book about a musician and his brother.
Perhaps there is some inspiration drawn from a higher power in play here, but as the old adage goes: 'There are no Atheists in foxholes'. Well, there aren't any when a life is on the line in an ambulance either. But that is not the point of the song.
If it were about religion, it would not be a stranger that he owed his life to, it would not be fluorescent lights that he awoke to, and it would not be about rhetoric not being enough. Lets face it, a sermon is a great learning experience, but it is rhetoric. It is application that matters. In short, you are not 'giving everything you can' by sitting in a pew and listening, whereas the Paramedic or EMT is truely giving everything they can on every patient that is near death they encounter when having been working for over 20 hours straight.

Stop trying to subject everything to the Christian cause, some people deserve a little credit for the amount of energy they devote to bettering mankind, and there is almost no more unappreciated and more needed job than EMS. We deserve a tip of the hat for saving lives so that souls can still be saved.
And posting on a lyric board, arguing that you see the truth and others are just wrong is not Christian, it is not 'giving everything you have'. It is a lazy way of making yourself think that you are doing right in the world.
Go save a life instead, that is how I talk to God.