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Ever heard a song so good that it got stuck in your head and, since then, it just kept on playing and reverberating in your head for days, sometimes even for weeks and months. Pretty sure nobody is a stranger to that feeling and experience of finding oneself at the mercy of a track taking control over your senses.

Well, music hits different when you are feeling bummed out or feeling emotionally exhausted in life. So, never underestimate the power of a great sad song! Sure, it may feel counterintuitive, but some of the best slow, emotional tracks allow us to acknowledge our feelings—an agonizing yet imperative stride in the right direction.

Not so recently, a track has taken over my mind and senses and, I cannot help myself tapping the repeat button every time the song concludes. Well, the title gives it away- I am talking about Ghosting by Mother Mother.

Not many of you would have heard about the song or the band (Mother Mother) itself. Truth be told, they are criminally underrated but, the global pandemic turned out to be quite a revelation for them as their music, after more than a decade of existence, suddenly started trending all over the internet, especially on platforms like TikTok, SoundCloud, and Spotify. Their lead singer, Ryan Guldemond, believes that luck, good timing, and “a little pixie dust” was the reason for their recent popularity.

They have created quite a few masterpieces, the pick of them being- Hayloft, Burning Pile, Verbatim, Arms Tonite, Oh Ana, and the list goes on and on (and on and on). But there is this one song that hits differently than the rest. Yes, I am talking about the song: Ghosting. The reason for that is the pandemic itself and how it has taken a toll on every person’s life, in general.

The literal definition of ghosting is when a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they are dating with zero warning or notice beforehand. You will mostly see them avoiding their friends phone calls, social media and sometimes avoiding them in public. The pandemic sure has been unforgiving for mental health and, people have now had it enough. As a result of this, we all are witnessing ties of friendship, relationships few even life-long getting broken all around. Communication has been significantly cut off physically and, people are finding it more and more troublesome to maintain bonds virtually. Hence, ghosting is a common phenomenon going around at the moment.

But like every masterpiece, the lyrics and meaning go way beyond the literal translation of ghosting. In fact, in more ways than one, this song is open for the audience’s interpretation.

Before we get through with the deep analysis of the song and its meaning, have a listen if you have not heard it before.

[Verse 1] I’ve been ghosting, I’ve been ghosting along Ghost in your house, ghost in your arms When you’re tossing, when you turn in your sleep It’s because I’m ghosting your dreams

As the wordings of the song unfurls, it tries to talk about a lost loved one, whom the narrator has left behind. This lost loved one or “ghost” in the song tries to communicate a message of closure whom they are missing miserably. The protagonist in this song has been sleepless since he cut off all ties with them, and even when he does sleep, he cannot help himself from dreaming about the person. It is supposed to represent how he actually cares a lot about the person he is ghosting.

[Chorus 1] And this is why I have decided To pull these old white sheets from my head I’ll leave them folded neat and tidy So that you’ll know I’m out of hiding
[Verse 2] I’ve been ghosting, I’ve been ghosting alone Ghost in the world, ghost with no home I remember I remember the days When I’d make you oh-so afraid

The “sheets” talked about here have a metaphorical significance attached to them. Leaving these “sheets” on their bed signals that he does not want to avoid them anymore. He wants them to notice him so he can continue with their lost relationship and “come out of hiding.” But as it turns out, that person is fine, with the singer disappearing from their life, revealing that their relationship never meant anything, to begin with.

[Chorus 2] And this is why I have decided To leave your house and home unhaunted You don’t need poltergeists for sidekicks You don’t need treats and you don’t need tricks
[Bridge 1] You don’t need treats, you don’t need tricks You don’t need no Halloween You don’t need treats, you don’t need tricks And you don’t need me Me

When the narrator says that he has decided to leave that person “unhaunted,” he implores them to let go of the “ghost” and in doing so, let go of their pain. He has been putting himself out there, but he has decided to leave their interest alone from now on because he is tired of the chase. He reassures them that they can continue living their life without the person they lost. The lyrics perfectly capture what it is like to realize you are hurting someone and how hard it is to comprehend you have to change or leave someone you loved because you were the problem.

The part “You don’t need tricks, you don’t need treats, and you don’t need me” shows that even though he has tried all the tricks in the book, everything to capture their attention, he realizes that he never meant anything to them in the first place. It is sad for him that his friend/lover never actually liked him the way he did.

[Bridge 2] Hey, would it be so bad if I stayed? I’m just a ghost out of his grave And I can’t make love in my grave I won’t put white into your hair I won’t make noises in your stairs I will be kind and I’ll be sweet If you stop staring straight through me

Here, finally, the vulnerability of the protagonist comes into the picture. So far, he had been talking about how he would ghost his loved one and let go of all the affiliations. But in this bridge, finally, his true intentions are revealed as he asks, rather pleads for him to let them stay in their lives. “Hey, would it be so bad if I stayed?”

“I won’t put white into your hair. I won’t make noises in your stairs. I will be kind and I’ll be sweet”- he promises to his loved ones that if they allow him to stay in their lives, this time he won’t make any fuss or cause them any sorts of trouble. He is willing to do everything for them on just one condition- if they stop seeing straight through them. “If you stop staring straight through me” – by which the narrator wants his loved one to acknowledge his existence in their lives. If you think about it deeply, he has utterly submitted himself to the disposal of his loved one(s).

Adding to the profundity and the meaningfulness behind the lyrics, the vocals and the music embedded make it nothing short of celestial and larger than life. Honestly, even after writing all this, I still cannot justify and emphasize enough how good this song really is. Eventually, its popularity will fade away one day but, the greatness of Ghosting is boundless and will continue to live on in the hearts of people for generations and beyond.


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