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Released: 2015

“Ghost” by majestic pop dynamo, Halsey, is a haunting exploration of relationships and identities. It articulates the protagonist’s desperate quest to rediscover the soul she once knew in a lover who’s grown distant, inscrutable. So, buckle up comrades, we’re on a deep dive into this pop masterpiece.

The opening stanza, “I’m searching / For something / That I can’t reach” acts as a window into Halsey’s inner turmoil. She’s yearning for connection, for a love that feels elusive. Her use of the word “reach” suggests a love that’s tantalizingly close yet frustratingly beyond grasp.

Then we hit the verse, and Halsey gets real specific about her type: “I don’t like them innocent / I don’t want no face fresh / Want them wearing leather / Begging, let me be your taste test”. She’s into the rebels, loves a challenge, and relishes in the power dynamics at play.

The ear worm of a chorus: “My ghost / Where’d you go?” is a poignant reminder that people change, but memories don’t. She’s metaphorically looking at her lover, seeing someone she doesn’t recognize, her very own phantom. The narrative trick of turning her lover into a ‘ghost’ is inventive, expressing both physical presence and emotional absence.

Interweaved in the narrative is the recurring line, “You say that you’re no good for me / ‘Cause I’m always tugging at your sleeve”. This speaks volumes about the toxic components of their relationship. Her lover isn’t playing the nurturing part but rather adding the gasoline to the fire, exacerbating Halsey’s insecurities.

When she calls her lover a ‘Rolling stone boy’, Halsey makes a pop culture reference to the proverbial phrase, ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’. The lover is a wanderer, a non-committer, an emotionally distant figure who fails to provide the love security she yearns for. Nonetheless, despite the tumultuous relationship, Halsey admits the paradox of her attachments, “Saying that I love him but / I know I’m gonna leave him.”

It’s an emotional vortex that Halsey brews here in “Ghost”, and, like any stirring pop recipe, sprinkles complicated situations with nuanced emotions. This song isn’t the pop fluff one generally sees floating around. Rather, it’s an intricate web of emotions, love gone wrong, and the perennial quest to find meaning in the chaos.

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