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Empty words are grains of sand
Slipping through an open hand
We pretend to understand
Their meanings rise and fall
Casting shadows on the wall
Until they make no sense at all

Empty words full of hidden meaning
Empty words are not as simple as they seem
Empty words can haunt us when we're sleeping
Echoing like footsteps in a dream

Empty words are like a face
Gazing into open space
Disappearing without trace
I've been listening to you
Trying to change my point of view
Still I can't believe it's true

(Repeat chorus)

Behind the mystery and mystique
The air is full of empty words
Never meaning what they say

Empty words inside our mind
Are only filling space in time
When you read between the lines

(Repeat chorus)

(c.Rondor Music)

Early in '87, while John Farnham's version of You're The Voice was enjoying a run of 7 weeks at number one in Australia (I was enjoying it too!), the follow-up single was also in the Top Ten there. It had been written by another Rondor Music writer - Harry Bogdanovs. Harry and I realized Farnham would need another song eventually, so we decided to write something for him. We used the basic elements of You're the Voice, same chords/different melody for verse and chorus, lots of percussion, and meaningful lyrics. I (or maybe it was Harry!) thought "Empty Words" would be a suitably ironic title for a meaningful song, and an interesting challenge. I believe it made the short list for Farnham's next album, but he never recorded it. When I was doing my version, I had a serious difference of opinion with the producer over how it should sound. We tried with difficulty to make a compromise. Eventually someone suggested pedal steel guitar for it. As I had met Jeff Baxter previously, and knew his assistant, I was able to contact him. He came in like a true pro, like Paulinho, very modest and putting everything into it. He really helped to save the track. Scott came in later with his magic sax, and in the end I found the song more enjoyable than I thought possible at first!