"The Ghost at Number One" as written by Roger Manning and Andy Sturmer....
Ugly apparition, God's gift to oxygen
The puffed up immortal son
How they love him 'cause he'll become
The ghost at number one

How does it feel
To be the only one?
How does it feel
To be the only one that knows that you're right?
How does it feel
To be a loaded gun?
How does it feel
Inside a chamber packed with piss and spite?

Sure life's no cherry but a cupcake for the meek (shoot up bop bop)
So he shoots up his poison until the frosting tastes so sweet (like a valentine)
Yeah he's givin' it all he's got the king of rebels hit the jackpot
But his finish line was an artistic flop
Yet even the critics can't outrun
The ghost at number one

How does it feel
To be the only one?
How does it feel
To be the only one that knows that you're right?
How does it feel
To be a chalkline dollar sign
How does it feel
Up at the address all the widows write?

Mrs. Lynn the fruit of your labor
Gives us a savior, nappy superstar
To you we bid congratulations, to him adulation
A blessed life begun, for the ghost at number one

How does it feel
To be the only one?
How does it feel
To be the only one that knows that you're right?
How does it feel
To be a visionary poet
How does it feel
To pack a pen with vinegar and insight
How does it feel
To be the only one?
How does it feel
To be the only one that knows that you're right?
How does it feel
To be a so deep down underground?
How does it feel
To be the only one who knows you've been buried alive?

Mrs. Lynn the fruit of your labor
Gives us a savior

Mrs. Lynn the fruit of your labor
Gives us a savior


Lyrics submitted by emogreen

"The Ghost at Number One" as written by Roger Manning Andy Sturmer

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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The Ghost at Number One song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentAll songs mean different things to different people, so I might not have the answer. But this is my understanding.

    I think the song describes a struggling artist whose work is brilliant but is hard pressed to make a name for himself and is frequently misunderstood. The refrain "How does it feel to be the only one that knows that you're right?" describes his frustration after having put so much into his work but have it pass over everyone's heads. He experiences a brief stint of popularity and builds a fanbase but never amounts to anything more than a one hit wonder despite the fact that his work is good ("up at the address all the widows write" suggests that when his popularity ends the only fan letters he gets are from little old ladies, people whose lives are waning along with his career). He is "deep down underground", suggesting that his work is both deep and obscure. Thus, 'the Ghost at Number One' is a metaphor for every singer, songwriter, poet or artist whose career is defined by one chart topping single before fading away. Actually, it's ironically a good description of Jellyfish themselves, who made quite a few excellent songs, but sadly fell apart too soon.

    Anyway, that's just my take on the song. I'd go into a line by line analysis but I doubt that either myself or any of you have the patience for one at the moment. ^^
    GeoVIIon May 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with GeoVII. But does anyone understand the Mrs Lynn reference? SOunds like he's name-checking someone in particular, but I'm not sure who. Great song.
    kickstart71on February 05, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe's probably talking about Jeff Lynne, ELO's main songwriter. And given Andy's involvement with L.E.O., Its likely that he thought of Jeff Lynne as a "Saviour"
    dannycohen62on March 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with GeoVII, but hey what fantastic lyrics! I love the line (how does it feel) 'to be a chalkline dollar sign' It's not Jeff Lynne it's referring to with 'Mrs LYNN' (sorry i don't have an answer!), although being a massive ELO fan i would love it to be a tip of the hat to him. Someone who can write such intelligent lyrics is unlikely to mis-spell the person they are (partly) writing about and secondly Jeff Lynne/ELO or even Travelling Wilburys were anything but one hit wonders. It would be particularly apt if it were regarding Jeff Lynne as he doffed his cap to the Beatles in his lyrics many times. Finally, i do love the irony of Jellyfish effectively writing about a one hit wonder, it's a crying shame this was never the massive hit it deserves to be. I enjoy introducing younger friends to it as many have never heard it and they without fail seem to love the song. Genius.
    redcat71on July 30, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"This song was written about dead rock stars because sometimes we make a little to much of how great they were." [youtube.com/…] That's what Robert Joseph Manning jr. said in a concert (see the link). I have always been intrigued by the b meaning of this song, and it only became clear to me only after watching that video, the song is more ironic than what I though, and it makes perfect sense: "Ugly apparition",god gift to oxygen...How does it feel to be in a chamber with piss and spite... How does it feel to be in the address all the widows write... How does it feel to be the ghost at number one." anyway helps this is as illuminating for you as it was for me! have a great day!
    abandofoutsiderson November 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHmmm, just another excellent Jellyfish song i can't figure out, , it may be about the death of a rock-star who had a number one single, meh.
    undertakerpton April 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCould it be Kurt Cobain? I can't remember if the song or his suicide came first...
    dubzion May 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYup, it's got to be Jeff Lynne, also a member of the Traveling Wilburies (you know, the dude with the big 'fro, the "nappy superstar"), friend to the Beatles, and producer of Tom Petty albums.
    Kyomaraon February 05, 2009   Link

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