Ghosts by Laura Marling

Emo? A rather sad song. Interestingly enough, it has a fast (almost upbeat) tempo for such melancholy. Clever irony? When is a song upbeat? Do the words have to be upbeat as well? Fascinating potential for a thought-exploration.

“He says I’m so lost, not at all well.
After it was done, when there was nothing left to be
Turned out I’d been following him
And he’d been following me.”

The song seems to be just about ghosts of girlfriends/boyfriends past. In the end, they realize that they were each other’s ghosts as well…in a sense. Ghostliness may not necessarily refer to just the past. It depends on if you see past, present, and future as separate entities or if you see all these tenses as together and flowing. Perhaps in this song, the idea of being ghostly has nothing to do with being a part of someone’s past. Rather, what is emphasized is the ambiguity of a person’s identity. And that’s why everyone in the song seems to be a ghost. There’s that idea of being “lost” (there goes identity). Ghosts are stuck between the world of the living and dead. Very poetic, then. What she’s writing about is how girlfriends/boyfriends past are “dead” to us in the everyday physical present (if there is a present) but they linger in our heads (so they are still present), sometimes to the point where it keeps us from having healthy relationships with other people.
Full Lyrics


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