"Anyone's Ghost" as written by and Matthew D. Berninger Bryce D. Dessner....
Say you stay at home
Alone with the flu
Find out from friends
That wasn't true
Go out at night with your headphones on, again
And walk through the Manhattan valleys of, the dead

Didn't want to be your ghost
Didn't want to be anyone's ghost
Didn't want to be your ghost
Didn't want to be anyone's ghost
But I don't want anybody else
I don't want anybody else

You said I came close
As anyone has come
To live underwater
For more than a month
You said it was not inside my heart, it was
You said it should tear a kid apart, it does

Didn't want to be your ghost
Didn't want to be anyone's ghost
Didn't want to be your ghost
Didn't want to be anyone's ghost
But I don't want anybody else
I don't want anybody else
I don't want anybody else
I don't want anybody else

I had a hole in the middle where the lightning went through it
Told my friends not to worry
I had a hole in the middle someone's sideshow to do
I told my friends not to worry

Didn't want to be your ghost
Didn't want to be anyone's ghost
Didn't want to be your ghost
Didn't want to be anyone's ghost


Lyrics submitted by Zarlant

"Anyone's Ghost" as written by Matthew Donald Berninger Bryce David Dessner

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Anyone's Ghost song meanings
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30 Comments

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  • +13
    Song MeaningI don't believe it's nearly as much of a relationship song as it is about somebody who -- and I'm sure we've all knownn somebody like this -- goes into a self-imposed exile from their friends, and becomes more or less a recluse, uninvolved and disconnected; floating in and out of their lives as a ghost would. I think the first and second verses make this point.
    This could come about as a result of a breakup, or of unrequited love I'm sure, which would explain the "I don't want anybody else" and "I had a hole in the middle where the lightning went through it, told my friends not to worry" lines, with the second of these lines possibly referring to the feeling in his heart, whether it be from his love, or his disconnect from his friends.
    The chorus could then be more of a vague statement, directed towards either his friends or his love. He doesn't want to continue to follow them/her about like a ghost, while remaining emotionally detatched.
    Ratethon January 07, 2011   Link
  • +8
    General Commenti don't think she is cheating on him, as summerteeth suggests, but just rather not emotionally capable of being with him. she goes out alone and walks through the valley of the dead. it's also possible that for some reason she isn't willing to believe that he loves her as suggested by "you said it was not inside my heart, it was. you said it should tear a kid apart, it does."
    CandFoodon May 03, 2010   Link
  • +7
    General Commentshe's in love with him (you said i came close as anyone's come...) he's in love with her (you said it was not inside my heart, it was...). her love scares her so she avoids him, his loves scares him and he never wanted it but even in fear he accepts it (i didn't want to be your ghost, i didn't want to be anyone's ghost).

    the love is driving him crazy; tearing him apart, worrying his friends.

    it's a very mad, crazy, tug-of-war kind of love. such a beautiful song. such an amazing album.

    obsessed.
    tropicanaaon June 10, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretationi believe this song is about a guy who was in a relationship with a girl, but the girl began to distnace herself, avoiding his calls and him altogether. So he stalks her and follows her around obsessively holding on to the fact that he had gotten close and his motive is that he didnt want to be anyones ghost, he didnt want to be an ex, or just another lover. He has gotten attached so much so that he doesnt want anyone else
    indieJayon July 25, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentLive Version on the Expanded Edition is pure kick-ass
    Shonakon December 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'll take a stab. His girl is cheating or at least dodging him ("say you stay at home with the flu/ find out from friends/ that wasn't true"). Dares or hopes she goes out walking in the night again so he can follow/stalk/seek her whereabouts. So now he'll be her shadow or "ghost". Reminds me a bit of the "every breath you take" type obsession. Seems as though they had a relationship and she was really close to letting him in or get closer than anyone else had (the "live underwater" part...she mentally "drowned" other mates??) The rhythm section in this song is intoxicating.
    summerteeth99on April 26, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is probably about divorce... after he was cheated.... or about not knowing what he wants.... one part wants her the other part says no...

    "say you stay at home
    alone with the flu
    find out from friends
    that wasn't true
    go out at night with your headphones on, again
    and walk through the Manhattan valleys of, the dead"

    she´s lying to him.... finds excuses not to meet him.... she goes with "headphones" out at night means she does not pick up his phone calls probably.

    didn't want to be your ghost
    didn't want to be anyone's ghost
    didn't want to be your ghost
    didn't want to be anyone's ghost
    but I don't want anybody else
    I don't want anybody else

    = i do not want to be just a ghost on your side, i want to be somebody... but i want to be with you.

    you said I came close
    as anyone's come
    to live underwater
    for more than a month
    you said it was not inside my heart, it was
    you said it should tear a kid apart, it does

    = she probably explained to him, that he was the man coming closest in her life, but in the and blames him, not to have loved her enough ("it was not inside my heart"). Maybe she even said that if they would be together and have a child, then after a divorce the kid would be torn apart. By stating that "it does" he means that the fact that they are not staying together tears the not existing kid apart.

    I had a hole in the middle where the lightning went through it
    told my friends not to worry
    I had a hole in the middle someone's sideshow wouldn't do it
    I told my friends not to worry

    The feeling one has, when a love from wich we think is meant for us, does not come true.... he found out, that she is going her on ways, and does not want to be in the sideshow...
    ex77on October 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhoa. Connection. In "Wake Up Your Saints," the opening lines are

    "I had a hole in the middle
    Where the lightning went through
    I told my friends not to worry
    My wife would know how to fix it"

    But here there's no mention of a wife. Also in "Wake Up Your Saints,"

    "I didn't have to explain to her
    That I wasn't dead"

    Connection to the whole ghost thing? I don't know how to interpret any of this, I just noticed the connections.
    michellison October 09, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song is about Jason Voorhees. Jason lived under water for a long time, people think he doesn't have a heart cause he's a serial killer but they're wrong, he loves his mother. Every where Jason goes in Manhattan is a valley of death. Jason was resurrected by lightening traveling through a metal rod in the middle of his chest. He didn't ask for this curse and he often appears as a premonition or ghost like to his victims. Also he's a freak so he doesn't like side shows. And the line about staying home with the flu is most likely an extreme example of how straight edge Jason is, even if you lie you're going to die.
    Themaybatatteron July 25, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI'll give my two cents.
    So the way I see it, is that it's about a relationship that was once really great turning into sh*t as a result of the girl avoiding her man; making excuses ("said you stay at home alone with the flu/find out from friends that wasn't true") to do other things, not necessarily cheating but just distancing herself and thus, him feeling at a total loss - he didn't want to be "anyone's ghost" - forgotten about, left longing and wondering like this.

    As far as this verse goes;

    You said I came close
    As anyone has come
    To live underwater
    For more than a month
    You said it was not inside my heart, it was
    You said it should tear a kid apart, it does

    the way I interpret this is the girl told him he'd been the most important lover she'd ever had and the one she'd been with the longest and uses 'living underwater' as an analogy for being in a relationship with her - she's saying, basically, you're the one who's come close to being with me for longer than a month! I'm kinda interpreting this girl as a bit of a free spirit haha.
    The last two (beautiful) lines of that verse to me relate to her perhaps misjudging how he feels about her/them and the situation. She's saying he should care and that it was not inside his heart, to which he replies "it was" and the second line is quite self explanatory in that it's tearing him apart, with the use of "a kid" adding to the fragile, needy person he is in this song. In fact the whole song proves that "you said it should tear a kid apart - it does" is absolutely true.

    Ultimately, he doesn't want to let go ("I don't want anybody else")
    obstacle2on November 24, 2014   Link

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