See, I guess I do think that every song has Ray in it. It doesn't matter the subject matter or who the characters may be. He writes about a character from his perspective. Given the same set of 'facts', you would express and write something entirely different based on your own background. What we're getting is Ray's world view through his songs, even if he's talking about the grocer down the street. There's no way you can separate the art from the artist. It's entwined. Having said that, it doesn't mean you get a COMPLETE portrait of the artist. No way. that would be too simplistic. But it does give you maybe a corner of a picture or a splash here and there on the canvas. I wouldn't presume to understand Ray (or any artist) entirely through their art. But it does give a hint of the person.