(contains mentions of suicide)
I believe that every single song off of Ricky Montgomery’s album Montgomery Ricky is poetic in its own way, but I am going to focus on the song “My Heart is Buried in Venice,” which is a very sad song full of deep and profound emotion. At first glance, this song seems to simply be about a broken heart that needs to be fixed. I believe this is what the song is about, but that there is a deeper and sadder specific story that becomes apparent to me when I analyze it further.
I think this song is about someone who has lost their lover to suicide. This might seem like a stretch, but let me take you through why I think this. First of all, the tone becomes increasingly more desperate as the song goes on, and it seems like he is begging his lover to come back, even though they are definitely gone. At the beginning, he makes it clear that his lover has issues/ past trauma and he wants to help them heal. He is asking them to come back so that he can fix them and stop what really happened from happening. He is in definite denial.
Come rest your bones next to me
And toss all your thoughts to the sea
I’ll pull up each of our anchors
So we can get lost you and me
The 3rd line of this stanza is my favorite in the whole song because it shows very clear imagery of what it feels like to try to pull someone out of the hole they are in while also trying to do the same for yourself. This shows that he was struggling too, and he feels like he didn’t do enough to help them, but he wants to now. It’s clear the person he is talking to has issues and he wants to escape the sadness of reality with them.
In the chorus, which is repeated multiple times, he changes from speaking to this person directly to speaking to no one in particular. He says:
My heart is buried in Venice
Waiting for someone to take it home
This is a major change from the first part of the song, which seemed rather hopeful and loving. Here, he seems alone and is saying he has no one to fix his broken heart, and he is either waiting for his lover to come back or he is just waiting for the help of anyone at all. The chorus of the song shows acceptance of the terrible event rather than denial and hope.
In the middle of the song, he says:
I never thought that I would have to say I’m sorry
For anyone but me
This line tells me that he had to apologize for his lover, and what I picture is him having to apologize to other people because he feels responsible for what they did. This is a very heartbreaking scene that I picture in my mind.
In the next verse is where the tone is very desperate and he is pleading for them to come back to him.
Don’t leave me to breathe
Don’t leave me to bleed
For someone who chose to leave me
This is what solidifies the story for me. When he says “don’t leave me to breathe” this implies that they themselves are not breathing, while he is. And when he says “don’t leave me to bleed” I believe it is his heart that is bleeding because they “chose to leave” him. There is another tone shift here where he switches the blame from himself to his lover and he changes stages of grief from denial into anger that they left him alone.
Finally, he ends with the chorus, showing acceptance for what has happened, rather than ending with a verse full of denial. The song also gets softer and slower at this point, which shows that he has no hope left and he can’t change what happened.
In conclusion, I love Ricky Montgomery very much and this song always makes me cry. Go stream his whole album, it’s not all depressing I promise!
3 thoughts on ““My Heart is Buried in Venice…” ok Ricky, I’m on my way to get it”
I love this song, and I hadn’t ever considered this meaning behind it. You explained it beautifully though, and I now can’t unhear this meaning. The idea that the ending becomes slower as the lyrics indicate his acceptance of what happened is really interesting and I really liked that you added how the music affects the poetry of the song along with the words themselves.
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I just was listening to this song and realized that even the title/ chorus suggests the story I explained. When he says his heart is buried in Venice, that could be him flat out saying that his lover = his heart and they are dead and buried in Venice. It could also just be a metaphor for how broken his heart is, but the word ¨buried¨ is often connected to death.
My lover sang this song to me today. His song preferences are a bit different from mine so while he was singing this full of love it made me wonder what it meant. Now, I’m at home and after reading this post, my tears started flowing.
I have been suicidal for as long as I can remember (yes, even when I was a child) and he knows it. He’s one of the reasons I keep on going and he has comforted me many times when I’m having panic attacks, physical pains, meltdowns and even preventing me to self-harm.
So he basically sang the song to me as a way to tell me that he’d be devastated if I end up losing the battle and left him.