Movie Songs

4 Songs You Didn’t Know Ryan Gosling Wrote for Film, Solo, and With His Former Band Dead Man’s Bones

April 13, 20244 Mins Read

Outside of his suave performance as Ken and the voice behind the Oscar-nominated “I’m Just Ken” from Greta Gerwig’s 2023 hit Barbie, Ryan Gosling‘s music career spans beyond singing in film. Also a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Gosling has written and performed songs for some of his movies and other musical projects during the past 20 years.

Along with his earlier start performing on The Mickey Mouse Club in the early ’90s, Gosling has lent vocals to a series of films he’s starred in, from singing Nat King Cole‘s 1964 song “L-O-V-E” in the 2007 romantic comedy Lars and the Real Girl and singing Peret’s 1971 single “Borriquito” in Spanish in the 2013 film The Place Beyond the Pines. In 2016, Gosling sang “A Lovely Night” and “City of Stars” in La La Land alongside Emma Stone, along with a version of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ “It Hurts to Be Alone” featuring Lykke Li in Song to Song, the “Ken” hit and a cover of Matchbox Twenty‘s 1997 hit “Push” in Barbie, and more.

Ryan Gosling Performs ”I’m Just Ken” at the 96th Academy Awards
Ryan Gosling performing “I’m Just Ken” (Photo: YouTube)

Throughout his 30-plus-year career, Gosling has also built his songbook for film, as a solo artist, and as one-half of the spooky duo Dead Man’s Bones in the late 00s.

Here’s a look at five songs Gosling wrote and performed since 2004.

[RELATED: 4 Songs You Didn’t Know Ryan Gosling Wrote]

1. “The Pickup Song” (2004)

Written by Ryan Gosling

In 2004, Gosling wrote three songs for the film Wild Roomies, a comedy centered around the sexual tensions after a couple takes in new roommates. Though Gosling didn’t star in the film, he wrote and recorded “Wake,” “Touch Me,” and “The Pickup Song” for the soundtrack.

2. “Put Me In The Car” (2007)

Written by Ryan Gosling

In 2007, Gosling was busy making music. After forming Dead Man’s Bones with Zach Shields, he also released his solo debut “Put Me In the Car,” which he just released online. The bareboned track features little else than Gosling’s vocals, and guitar.

3. “Buried in Water” (2009)

Written by Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields

In 2005, Gosling Gosling was dating his The Notebook co-star Rachel McAdams and met musician Zach Shields his then-girlfriend—and McAdams’ sister—Kayleen. Shields and Gosling bonded over their obsession with ghosts and monsters and a shared childhood fascination with the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland and formed Dead Man’s Bones in 2007. In Dead Man’s Bones, Gosling performed under the moniker “Baby Goose” (i.e. gosling) and played bass, guitar, piano, and keyboard, while Shields handled drums and guitar.

The duo released their debut and only album together Dead Man’s Bones in 2009, backed by Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir—the educational music program founded by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. The album features 12 macabre tracks written by Gosling and Shields, including the gloomier “Buried in Water.”

Like a lamb to its slaughter
Buried in water

Under the ground
There’s a town there
I’ve been down there
In the middle of the lake
I hold your hand, for goodness’ sake

When the women and the kids are asleep
The walls there
And the skin of the sheep
So lock all the windows and doors
The Devil’s coming for you and yours

Love was all that it could give
But it died so other towns could live
They don’t bury bodies from the drowned
But they drowned our little town

The duo also toured around the album in October of 2009—just in time for Halloween—and never released anything else after playing a string of shows in the summer of 2010.

[RELATED: The Meaning Behind Ryan Gosling’s Declarative ‘Barbie’ Ballad “I’m Just Ken”]

On Dead Man’s Bones, two tracks also hit the big screen with “Love Your Soul” featured in the closing credits of the 2013 French film Age of Panic, and “In the Room Where You Sleep” on the soundtrack of the 2013 horror The Conjuring.

4. “Name In Stone”

Written by Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields

Surprisingly this Dead Man’s Bones single was never released on the band’s eponymous debut in 2007. Their darker folk doo-wop is accompanied by a blurred black and white video of Gosling and Shields performing the song in a cemetery backed by the LA Inner City Mass Choir.

We walk through the stones
Through the stones
To your name in stone
And we walk through this stone
To your name in stone
To your name in stone

I raise my flag up into you heart
And you let the winds come tearing apart

Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Gucci

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