Culture, Music

Lyrical Storytelling: “Ghost” by Ella Henderson

Wow… Not only does this song sound great, but its music video conveys an intriguing murder mystery that could set the stage for an interesting crime drama.

Ella Henderson is a British singer-songwriter, who had made it as a finalist in the ninth series of The X Factor in 2012. This song, “Ghost,” is her debut lead single, from her debut studio album Chapter One. It was released on June 8, 2014, and since then it has peaked at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart. It’s been included in the top ten charts in the Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Hungary, and Germany. The music video for “Ghost” was shot in New Orleans, Louisiana in March 2014 , and it was released on YouTube the following month.

Ella_Henderson_-_Ghost_(Official_Single_Cover)

It’s a heartbreaking story, once you watch it. The tone is dark, brooding, and full of pain, but Henderson’s powerful voice when she belts out the chorus, still manages to resonate within the listener the hope that a resolution is close.

There’s a lovely young couple. They’re on a date in the swampy woods – which I guess has a somewhat romantic ambiance when it’s still sunny outside with all the willow trees hanging by the river. But the girlfriend ends up dead, killed by an older man who happens to live in a hut the woods. Her body washes up in the river. The boyfriend discovers her body. The cops are on the hunt for the boyfriend because they think he killed her, but he’s actually innocent and is on his own mission to track down and confront her killer.

When the boyfriend finally confronts the older man at the end… these lyrics make perfect sense:

I had to go through hell to prove I’m not insane
Had to meet the devil just to know his name

And that’s when my love was burning
Yeah, it’s still burning

I keep going to the river to pray
‘Cause I need something that can wash all the pain
And at most I’m sleeping all these demons away
But your ghost, the ghost of you
It keeps me awake”

The boyfriend is looking for justice for his beloved: thus, the “ghost” that has been haunting him. The past can keep haunting you until you decide to confront it in order to find closure.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I love it when music videos actually tell a story to go along with really awesome song lyrics.

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