"A Ghost To Most" as written by and Brad Morgan John Neff....
I guess I'll never grow a side-burn
It's a shame with all I've got to go between
I hope somebody's cause takes soon
It's getting hard to find a place a root can sink
Mama said a lot of things and be thankful was the one she never minded saying twice
Thanks to her I can think clear enough,
To be thankful that she died before tonight

Saving everybody takes a man on a mission
With a swagger that can set the world at ease
Some believe it's God's own hand on the trigger
And the other dumping water in the streets
Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil
And you're judging what they do or don't believe
It seems to me you'd have to have a hole you're own
To point a finger at somebody else's sheet

Baby every bone in my body's gone to jumping
Like they're gonna come through my skin
If they could get along without the rest of me, it wouldn't matter if they did
But skeletons ain't got nowhere to stick they're money
Nobody makes britches that size
And besides you're a ghost to most before they notice,
That you ever had a hair or a hide

I don't know how good it does a man,
To keep on telling him how good it is he's free
Free to wash his ghost down the drain,
And free for them to tell him there's no such a thing


Lyrics submitted by knels21, edited by tofutti

"A Ghost to Most" as written by John Michael Cooley

Lyrics © THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY

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A Ghost To Most song meanings
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  • +3
    Song ComparisonOn the DBT website Hood says that someone asked Cooley what this song was about and his reply was "It's really hard for me to find a suit that fits me right." I have no idea how the song is about that but that's the only explanation I can find right now.

    Whatever the meaning behind the song, I hope we can agree that this is one of the very best DBT songs...

    Here's the link and below that is the full quote.
    drivebytruckers.com/…

    Hood: Cooley closes his set with A Ghost to Most, which I am firmly convinced is the best song he's ever written. We worked it up in practice for The Dirt Underneath Tour and it quickly became one of the standout tunes of each show. The chorus reveals an image so basic and simple yet each listen reveals another layer of story implied within. I overheard Cooley being asked by a friend what it all meant and his response was how "It's really hard for me to find a suit that fits me right."
    MarkCox11on May 23, 2011   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningWell, the line "Saving everybody takes a man on a mission / with a swagger that can set the world at ease" certainly is. You can certainly take the whole picture painted by the song as a picture of the consequences of our electorate voting him into office twice.

    This song might be one of the most concise and and powerful interrogations of the American ethos and personal guilt I've ever listened to ("I don't know how much good it does a man to keep on telling him how good it is he's free / Free to wash his ghost down the drain, and free for them to tell him there's no such a thing.") There's an unplumbable well of meaning stretching back before 1776 in those lines of the bridge.
    alienlanes06on January 26, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCooley has said it's about the Katrina aftermath.

    washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/music/2011/02/18/thats-what-section-my-seats-are-in-a-conversation-with-drive-by-trucker-mike-cooley/
    tofuttion December 14, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this song is a general feeling of anxiety, unease and general discomfort with the state of things. The "bones jumping" imagery certainly implies anxiety.

    The bridge lyrics about Freedom certainly to point to, as one poster said, dissatisfaction with the American ethos. However I feel the song is more of a general theme than a specific political one.

    The line about him being glad his mother died before she could see the current state of things again speaks to the author's general disdain for what's going on around him.

    The line that cuts me the most is the "besides you're a ghost to most before they notice, That you ever had a hair or a hide." Thats a look at how meaningless and small life can feel at times. Like little impact you really have in a cosmic sense. like almost all of their songs, it's a bleak affair.
    bt88on October 24, 2012   Link
  • -2
    General Commentit's about our boy dubya. what a great job he's done with the world.

    what a mess.
    Infinitly Surrealon October 29, 2008   Link

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