If you're scared to die
You better not be scared to live
I've been spending all my days
Giving all I can give

Last night I heard someone walk in
Through my bedroom door
What they wanted I'm not exactly sure

A friendly ghost is all I need

Marking time on a broken watch
Counting days 'til the old pawn shop
Sells me back my saxophone
Then everyone's gonna leave me alone

Two times I thought I heard someone
Knocking on the glass
I hid my head and prayed that it would pass

A friendly ghost is all I need

If you're scared to die
You better not be scared to live
I've been carrying 'round a grudge
Think I better forgive

Last night I heard footsteps walking
On the attic floor
I got up and I opened up the door

A friendly ghost is all I need

Lyrics submitted by one hit wonder

"Friendly Ghost" as written by Mark O. Everett

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Friendly Ghost song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentIt is beyond me that nobody commented on this song, it's one of my favs! I think it's about the same thing 'P.S. You Rock My World' is about: living life to the fullest, because this is the only thing we really know exists.
    Eelsruleon August 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with eelsrule about living life to the full. But the only way you can live forever is to live and die at the same time if you see what i mean?
    I think the writer is both the gut in the song and the friendly ghost. ''I've been carrying round a grudge...'' Ghosts are famous for staying in the living world because of some sort of grudge.
    fungusbobon September 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's kind of one of those Carpe Diem (seize the day) things you know? He's just waiting for something to happen (Counting days till the old pawn shop...). But the Friendly Ghost shows him that he shouldn't waste his time while he's alive, he should just go out and do stuff.
    SpaceOddity2k6on May 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf you read E's autobiography 'Things the Grandchildren Should Know', this is one of the songs where he explains exactly what this song means. I didn't think the book was going to be that interesting, but I was leant a copy from a die-hard EELs fan when I had only listened to the Souljacker album, and now I'm a huge fan of both the book and all the album, he's truly a genius and the emotions in all his songs are very justified considering some of the amazing and horrific things he's been through.
    pikmindoctoron July 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"A friendly ghost,
    is all I need"
    seems to me to be a double-entendre, which can be interpreted in two completely different/opposing ways...
    It can either be seen as an unhappy person's negative reaction to an event they see as just another incident in their bad-luck streak. You know the old cliche "oh - that's all I need!"; resultingly, in this scenario, they are dismissing any personal desire to interact with the ghost (and would supposedly be happy if it tunred out that the ghost was in fact, not real).
    On the other hand, they seem to be openly longing - and potentially grateful for - any opportunity that life can offer them, including the strange situation they seem to have found themselves in (in this manner, they are hopeful the ghost is real).
    I like this, as he repeats this refrain throughout the song, and although the prospect of a ghost inhabiting his house is a scary and an unwanted proposition at first (and seemingly a nuisance), he grows steadily more curious and open to the idea (as is evident throughout the various verses of the song, as it progresses).
    I think this cleverly demonstrates the potentially contradictory nature of our instincts and desires - here the narrator's character is hesitant and defensive at the prospect of embracing the unknown (and potentially leaving himself vulnerable - especially emotionally), however, underneath he truly wants to be able to open himself up, and cure his loneliness by striking up a relationship with this 'ghost'.
    I won't patronise by quoting all the relevant lyrics and moments in the song to which I've referred to, I'm sure it's all obvious to you.
    Anyway, love this song - musically very fun too.
    The Distortedon October 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI forget to mention how the lines,
    "If you're scared to die
    you better not be scared to live"
    are similar in meaning/sentiment to these found in 'P.S You Rock My World' : - "a careful man tries
    To dodge the bullets
    While a happy man takes a walk"

    The protagonist in 'Friendly Ghost' is scared of the unknown (the ghost) at the start of the song, as he fears for his physical safety (reflecting his fear of death), whilst also seeking to protect his emotional self from becoming vulnerable (reflecting his fear of life).
    However, by the end of the song, he chooses to embrace the consequences, whatever they may be, and thus, gives up both his elemnts of his fear simultaneously.
    The Distortedon October 01, 2008   Link

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