Have you ever stopped to wonder why so many people see ghosts and apparitions fairly regularly? There could be many reasons for this, but I believe one reason is that people have a hard time letting go of loved ones. Also, those who have been wronged have a hard time letting go of some of the atrocities committed on them, as well as their old lives. Even many celebrities and music artists claim to have seen ghosts or at least have an interest in them, which is why many songs about ghosts have been written over the years.
Whether or not you believe in them or not, we’ve compiled an epic list of songs about them below.
1. Ghost by Justin Bieber
Love him or hate him, Canadian pop star Justin Bieber is one of the most popular and the most successful artists of the new millennium. The pop star has had 26 top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, with eight of them reaching the top spot on the charts. One of those hit singles that peaked at the number-five spot was his song “Ghost” from his 2021 release “Justice.” The song is about the narrator missing someone who is no longer with him, although it’s not specifically stated whether they broke up or if that person passed away. Many fans have speculated that the song was written about Bieber’s romance with Selena Gomez.
2. The Ghost Of You by My Chemical Romance
|Album||Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge|
These days, artists get inspiration for their music from a myriad of places. However, I would have never expected that the inspiration for some of our favorite tracks would come from perfume ads in comic books. According to My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, the title for “The Ghost Of You” was inspired by a perfume ad that was in an issue of a Watchmen comic that included the tagline “Oh, how the ghost of you clings.” The band has also said that the song was not inspired by a particular person but rather by the feelings that are invoked by losing people in general.
3. Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts) by Smashing Pumpkins
|Genre||Post-Grunge, Alternative Rock|
|Album||Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.|
The Smashing Pumpkins have undergone several changes in both their musical style and their lineup over the last 30 years. Formed by lead vocalist Billy Corgan and lead guitarist James Iha in Chicago, Illinois, the Smashing Pumpkins have seen its sound evolve from more from a fuzz-driven 1990s alternative guitar rock vibe to a synthesizer-driven futuristic-retro sound that can be heard on “Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun,” especially on the track “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts).” The song talks about ghosts in the traditional sense_, unable to move on until they have reached some sort of resolution.
4. Midnight in Montgomery by Alan Jackson
|Album||Don’t Rock the Jukebox|
In circles of country music, it’s become commonplace to pay tribute to Hank Williams Sr., who was one of the original legends of outlaw country music. On his track “Midnight in Montgomery,” Alan Jackson takes his shot at honoring him. Appearing on his album “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” this song has Jackson stopping by Hank Williams Senior’s grave on his way to a show in Montgomery. He ends up coming face to face with the singer’s ghost, who died on New Year’s Eve in 1953 on the way to a show. To hammer the point home, Jackson also borrowed lyrics from the Hank Williams classic “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”
5. Haunted by Evanescence
Evanescence certainly made a splash in the rock music genre with their debut album “Fallen.” With a vocal range that spanned over three octaves, lead singer Amy Lee has led this band to six Grammy nominations, taking home the award twice. Although the song “Haunted” was not one of Evanescence’s chart-topping hits, it remains a fan-favorite because of its haunting tone, Lee’s vocal talents, and the song’s dark subject matter. The song is about the narrator being stalked or haunted, and the lyrics fit perfectly with the foreboding mood of the track. Lee’s delivery is near perfect and is a perfect complement to the backing instruments.
6. Ghost in the Machine by SZA (Featuring Phoebe Bridges)
In his work, the term “ghost in the Machine” was coined by the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle in 1949 as a way to refute René Descartes’s observation that the human mind and the human brain were two separate entities. Instead, with the help of Phoebe Bridges on vocals, rapper and music producer SZA lays down a beat that is ironically both electronic and soul-driven to highlight the contrast between a deep, meaningful, and personal connection and the way that we use social media to communicate with each other. The song is about wanting personal relationships with people and not being satisfied with the status quo.
7. Ghost by Halsey
Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, better known by her stage name Halsey, says that this song has a deeply personal meaning for her. She says that it’s about searching for something that you can’t find in someone, and perhaps you may never find it. She uses the concept of a ghost in the song because she says that the physical body is still there, but what made that person you need to her is now gone. While the song, which appears on the Billboard 200 number-two ranked “Badlands,” wasn’t a big hit for the singer, it became a fan favorite for her live shows. This is by far one of my favorite songs about ghosts.
8. Ghost Town by Madonna
With sales totaling over 300 million units, Madonna tops the list of the best-selling female artists of all time. I think that this can be chalked up to her ability to change musical styles to stay relevant. The best example of this can be heard on her track “Ghost Town,” which appeared on “Rebel Heart.” When asked about the meaning behind it, Madonna had this to say, “So this one is about the city after Armageddon. The burnt-out city, the crumbling buildings, the smoke that’s still lingering after the fire. Do you know what I mean? There’s only a few people left.”
9. Give Up the Ghost by Radiohead
|Album||The King of Limbs|
When somebody says that they are “giving up the ghost,” what they mean is that they no longer see any value in trying to accomplish a task because it appears as though the result is never going to happen. The same wistful attitude is especially prevalent in the track “Give Up the Ghost” from Radiohead’s 2011 release “The King of Limbs.” These tie together nicely because the album’s name refers to a tree that is over 1,000 years old and is the oldest tree in Europe. Thom Yorke is an avid member of the Green Party and is a champion of environmental rights.
Related Article: Popular Songs About Nightmares
10. Ghost (Acoustic Version) by David Crowder
|Genre||I Know a Ghost|
This song is a perfect example of how you do not need a complicated arrangement or layer of multiple tracks to get your point across. Instead, David Crowder uses an acoustic guitar and a violin to drive home and take a deep breath. The point is that he has a great relationship with God. While there was a bit of controversy as to why the singer chose to use the word “ghost” in the title of the album and on the title of this track, he clears things up nicely by explaining that he intended to draw in a wider audience by not using the word “spirit.”
11. Ghost Stories (Demon Inside) by Eminem
Marshall Mathers has struggled with several of his demons to establish himself as one of the greatest rappers of all time. He is also one of the most successful, with over 200 million records sold worldwide. This makes him the sixth-best-selling solo artist of all time. With skilled wordplay and lyrical prowess that is second to none, Mathers is bound to have some unreleased gems in his catalog. Never being featured on an official album, “Ghost Stories (Demon Inside)” is one example of this in which he conjures images of violets to illustrate what’s going on in his mind.
12. Ghost Town by Kanye West (Featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR)
Kanye West was once considered to be one of the greatest rappers alive. He is one of the most decorated rappers in history, with album sales of over 35. 7 million units sold worldwide and are also the recipient of 24 Grammys. In 2018, Yeezy released the album “Ye,” which was his sixth platinum album in as many releases. One of that album’s hidden gems was the track “Ghost Town,” which coincides with the album’s central themes of self-love and acceptance. “Ghost Town” trades Kanye’s traditional hip-hop flair for a more blues-oriented sound and conveys a deeply important message of letting go of fear and pain.
13. Haunted by Taylor Swift
One of the hardest realizations that you must come to in a relationship is being able to see the writing on the proverbial wall and reading the signs that the relationship is probably over before it’s too late. On her track “Haunted,” it appears that Taylor Swift is no stranger to this concept. Swift has said that the meaning behind this song is that the track “is about the moment that you realize the person you’re in love with is drifting and fading fast. And you don’t know what to do, but in that time, in that phase of love, where it’s fading out, time moves so slowly.”
14. The Little Girl by John Michael Montgomery
|Album||Brand New Me|
Is it about country music that has the power to bring tears to your eyes almost every time you listen to it? Well, it could be that the pure, simple vocal delivery is powerful and honest enough to carry an entire song. It could also be that country music has some of the most honest songwriting across any genre. Both of these can be heard in the John Michael Montgomery song “The Little Girl,” which is from his album “Brand New Me.” The fact that the little girl was able to find a better life in a new home, in the end, is enough to bring tears to my eyes.
15. Ghost Story by Carrie Underwood
|Album||Denim & Rhinestones|
It’s hard to believe that Carrie Underwood has been dominating the country landscape for 15 years now. As long as she has been recording music, Underwood admits that she still likes songs that tell a story. When asked about her latest single, Underwood said, “I have always loved performing songs that tell a story and inspire some kind of cinematic imagery when you hear them, and that is true of “Ghost Story.” In this song, she gets revenge by forcing her ex to live with her memory, knowing that there is nothing that he can do to bring her back. He has to live with her ghost.
16. Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones by Machine Head
|Genre||Groove Metal, Heavy Metal|
|Album||Bloodstone & Diamonds|
If there is one word that I can use to describe this song from Machine Head, it would be “sinister.” There’s something dark, haunting, and magical about lead singer Rob Flynn’s vocal delivery that will send chills up your spine every time you hear it. In 2014, after a few subpar outings, Machine Head announced their return to form with their album” Bloodstone & Diamonds,” “Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones” was one of the standout tracks on that record, and the ghosts of which this song speaks serves as a metaphor for the dark desires that lurk within us all.
17. Born As Ghosts by Rage Against the Machine
|Album||The Battle Of Los Angeles|
Rage Against the Machine is famous for its politically-charged lyrics that are set against a backdrop of hard music. In 1999, they were at the height of their popularity when they released their third album, “The Battle Of Los Angeles,” which featured the track “Born As Ghosts.” This song tackles the topic of children being born into poverty in Mexico. The children feel like they don’t matter, nor will their lives ever matter. They try to move to the United States to get a better life but are denied entrance into the country by the US Border Patrol.
18. Ghost Of Me by Daughtry
|Album||Leave This Town|
More often than not, when an ex wants to get back together with you, it’s because they are in love with the idea of who you used to be instead of who you currently are. If you can relate to this, then you can relate to the message being conveyed in Chris Daughtry’s song “Ghost Of Me,” which was featured on his 2009 release “Leave This Town.” In this song, the narrator is telling his ex that it’s not him that she is missing. Instead, she misses both the idea of who he once was and who she wanted him to be.
19. Ghost on the Dance Floor by. Blink-182
With record sales of over 50 million units worldwide, Blink-182 is one of the most successful bands of this millennium. There was a time when you couldn’t turn on TRL without seeing one of their videos or without them making a guest appearance on the show. Although “Neighborhoods” was not one of their best-selling albums, it still performed reasonably well and produced the single “Ghost on the Dance Floor.” I mean, there are several interpretations you can have of this song. I interpreted it as someone who is mourning and pining over a lost love who no longer cares about them.
20. Misguided Ghosts by the Paramore
|Album||Brand New Eyes|
There are times in life when you are just going to have to admit that you don’t have all of the answers to every question you are asked. There’s a certain freedom and Liberation that comes with being able to admit that you don’t have all the answers, says Paramore lead vocalist Haley Williams. This song was the result of the band trying to rush into the studio and capture a song while it was still fresh in all of their minds. For the first time, William said that it felt forced and hurried, and she didn’t know how to respond to that. So, she wrote a song about it.
21. Two Ghosts by Harry Styles
I have always thought that one of the things that were the most enjoyable about music was figuring out who or what the song was about, especially if you know that the singer was romantically involved with another famous person. Well, that’s what we get with the song “Two Ghosts” from Harry Styles’ self-titled album. In typical tongue-in-cheek Harry Styles fashion, this song was supposedly written about the short-lived romance between him and country music sensation Taylor Swift, who were romantically linked in 2012. When directly asked if the song was about Swift in an interview with the BBC, Styles would not give a direct answer.
22. Ghosts That We Knew by Mumford & Sons
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Folk, Country|
This song, which debuted at a live radio performance for the Philadelphia rock station 104.5, has Marcus Mumford singing of a relationship that appears to be at its end. However, he wants more than anything for things to go back to the way they once were. The song was a result of trial and error, with the band playing it live night after night and tinkering with it until they got the result that they wanted. It also employs the use of an accordion, A banjo, and an acoustic guitar to give it an old-school folk and indie feeling.
23. Ghost of Karelia by Mastodon
|Genre||Progressive Metal, Heavy Metal|
|Album||Crack the Skye|
Atlanta’s Mastodon is one of the most unique bands in the world. Three of the members share vocal duties, with drummer Brann Dailor introducing us to his voice on their 2009 masterpiece “Crack the Skye.” Not only did this album mark a musical turning point in the history of Mastodon, but it was also their first deeply personal record. It was dedicated to the memory of Dailor’s sister Skye, who committed suicide at 14 years old. In this track, the ghost that Mastodon refers to represents tedium and emptiness, a willingness and desire to get back to the life the narrator once knew.
24. Ghosts by Mike Shinoda
|Genre||Rap-Rock, Alternative Rock|
After the suicide of lead vocalist Chester Bennington in 2017, the remaining members of Linkin Park went their separate ways. Rapper and DJ Mike Shinoda had several side projects, one of which was released under his name, with the album title “Post Traumatic.” As you might expect, the track was written and recorded as a way to honor Linkin Park’s fallen lead singer. This can especially be heard in the lyrics “Holding every memory close. Tonight is for our ghosts,” which incorporates elements of rap, rock, hip hop, and electronic dance music to form a completely new genre of music that fits Shinoda perfectly.
25. I Need a Ghost by Brandon Lake
|Album||House Of Miracles|
One of the most interesting facts about Brandon Lake’s song “I Need a Ghost” is that Lake says he wrote the song entirely in a car, which was a first for him. When asked what the meaning of the song was, Lake replied, “This song is just this honest conversation about how I’ve realized that nothing can fill the void that the relationship with the Holy Spirit can.” He went on to say that there was no other relationship that could satisfy and fulfill him the way that his relationship with the Lord could. He also hopes that people accept the invitation to invite the Holy Spirit into their lives.
26. Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath
Initially, Black Sabbath’s name was Earth. They got their start by playing cover versions of popular blues and rock and roll songs. However, due to an unfortunate accident at a steel factory, the band was forced to change its sound and unintentionally gave birth to an entirely new genre of music. The band’s name was taken from the Boris Karloff film Black Sabbath, with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler sharing a love for old horror films. As the story goes, bassist Geezer Butler got the idea for this song from an apparition that he saw at the foot of his bed one night.
27. Ghost by Ella Henderson
Sometimes people don’t have to pass away to become ghosts. For instance, let’s take a look at “Ghost” by Ella Henderson, which appears on her album “Voices.” In this song, the ghost she is referring to is the memory of an ex-lover. While he’s still alive and well, his memory haunts Henderson on this up-tempo, blues, and rock-influenced tune. Although the term “ghost” is used as a metaphor for memories that you share with an ex, Henderson made it clear that she does not want this track referred to as a breakup song. The song sounds more like she is exorcizing the demons that he left behind. This is also one of my favorite songs to test speakers because it has a wide range of tones.
28. Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boingo
|Genre||Pop, Alternative Pop|
|Album||Dead Man’s Party|
One of the most interesting facts about Oingo Boingo is that the acclaimed composer Danny Elfman (who composed the theme for the animated series The Simpsons and wrote the theme song for the 1980s comedy Weird Science, as well as the theme from The Nightmare Before Christmas) was the lead vocalist for the band. Perhaps the most well-known and beloved singles in Elfman’s pop music career was the Oingo Boingo tune “Dead Man’s Party,” which is a comedic, tongue-in-cheek look at a funeral from the perspective of the guest of honor and was featured in the Rodney Dangerfield film Back To School.
29. Ghost Walking by Lamb Of God
|Genre||Groove Metal, Metal|
From the opening blues riff at the beginning, until a blistering flurry of vengeance that closes it out, Lamb of God fans knew that they were in for something special when the single “Ghost Walking” was released. The song starts like nothing Lamb of God fans had heard before, but the lyrics for this single are dripping with malice and convey a message that only the masters of American groove metal can convey. Written from the perspective of a surviving Vietnam veteran, the narrator begins to wonder if there is any redeeming quality in humanity that is still worth saving.
30. Lucretia by Megadeth
|Genre||Speed Metal, Thrash Metal|
|Album||Rust In Peace|
After being fired from Metallica in 1983, it would have been easy for him to give up pursuing a career in music altogether, but that’s not what Dave Mustaine did. Instead, he forged ahead to form Megadeth, which would become one of the most successful and respected thrash metal bands in history. In 1990, the band released what would become known as one of the best albums in the history of metal. That album was called “Rust In Peace.” One of the standout tracks on that album was “Lucretia,” which is about a ghost that lurks in Dave Mustaine’s attic.
31. Ghosts of War by Slayer
|Genre||Thrash Metal, Speed Metal|
|Album||South of Heaven|
Formed in Huntington Park, California, in 1981, Slayer has since become the undisputed king of thrash metal. While the majority of their early catalog was based on satanic imagery, Slayer became easily bored with those themes and decided to take a different route starting with 1988’s “South Of Heaven.” One of the topics that the band decided to tackle on this album was the futility of war, which is depicted in their track “Ghosts of War.” This thrash metal classic encourages those who died in the war to rise and take their revenge against those who put them there. If you like this song, check out our full playlist of songs about war.
32. The Haunting by Testament
|Genre||Thrash Metal, Speed Metal|
I have always thought that Testament was one of those bands from the 1980s that never received enough credit, and their album “The Legacy” is one of the most underrated records of the 1980s. The track “The Haunting” is a prime example of how I have arrived at these conclusions. The music is fast and tight and never once ventures into the territory of sloppy musicianship, while the vocals are delivered with enough malice and anger to make you feel the message the band is trying to convey without sounding corny and giving us one of the most frightening songs of the decade.
33. Holy Ghost by A$AP Rocky (Featuring Joe Fox)
|Album||At. Long. Last. ASAP|
The debate over selling your soul for riches, fame, and notoriety versus trying to walk a straight path and maintain a good relationship with God is a story as old as time itself. At first, The Temptations of becoming a world-famous Superstar may be tempting enough to cause one to forget about the long-term effects of such a deal, but there will eventually come a day when everyone has to pay the piper. That’s the message that I’m getting from this slow-burning track from A$AP Rocky, featuring the English R&B singer Joe Fox on the hook.
34. Ghost of the Navigator by Iron Maiden
|Album||Brave New World|
If there was ever a band that was known for using figurative language in their songs for their fans to embrace, that band would be Iron Maiden. Steve Harris, who is the band’s bass player and primary songwriter, also loves to incorporate the use of themes in his lyrics. On the track “Ghost of the Navigator,” Harris incorporated a nautical theme for a man who’s coming to the end of his life. The narrator is sailing toward the sunset but is also heading in a new direction because he wants to see something new and exciting at the end of his life.
35. Watching You Without Me by Kate Bush
|Album||Hounds Of Love|
While I am not necessarily convinced that there is an afterlife comma, I would imagine that one of the hardest things to do would be to watch your loved ones move on without you after you’re gone. I believe it would be excruciatingly hard to see your loved ones suffer because you are no longer with them, which is also what I believe about this track from Kate Bush. The somber lyrics are juxtaposed against music that has a tropical vibe, which serves as a brilliant contrast between what is being said and what you are supposed to feel.
36. Ghost by Tupac Shakur
|Album||Tupac: Resurrection (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
The soundtrack to the film Tupac: Resurrection had the distinction of premiering three previously unheard singles from the iconic rap artist. One of those songs from the Academy Award-nominated film was the track “Ghost,” in which he raps about his tough upbringing from a drug-addicted mother and an absent father and how growing up having to fend for himself on the streets through a life of crime taught him how to survive. The legendary rapper poured his heart and soul into every song he recorded, and this was certainly no exception. I, for one, I’m glad that this posthumous track was shared with the world.
37. Highwayman by The Highwaymen
The Highwaymen was a country music supergroup that was active from 1985 until 1995 and included Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson. This song, which was unique because each member took a turn singing a verse, peaked at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Whiskey and more unique were the lyrics, which were about a man who had four different incarnations in times and different periods in history. Those were as a highwayman, a sailor, a construction worker on the Hoover Dam, and a starship captain. This approach also earned the track a Grammy Award nomination.
38. Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr
|Album||Ghostbusters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
If you took a poll asking people who grew up in the 1970s and in the 1980s to name one famous movie about ghosts, I would be willing to wager that at least three-quarters of them would mention Ghostbusters. This movie is not only one of the most iconic movies of the decade, but it is also one of the most iconic comedies of all time. One of the things that made this movie so irresistible was the catchy theme song, performed by Ray Parker Jr. It was also the only number-one hit single of Ray Parker Jr’s career.
39. Ghost Behind My Eyes by Ozzy Osbourne
After being fired from Black Sabbath in 1979, the Prince of Darkness embarked on an amazing solo career that has spanned over four decades. In that time, the Godfather of Heavy Metal has sold over 70 million albums worldwide, including 12 RIAA platinum-certified records. One of those platinum albums was 1995’s “Ozzmosis,” which featured “Ghost Behind My Eyes.” As rumor has it, the song “Ghost Behind My Eyes” was written about Ozzie’s wife, Sharon. Although she was not with him while he was in rehab at the Betty Ford clinic, he kept seeing visions of her, which inspired this song. This is one of those songs about ghosts that you simply must have on your playlist.
40. (Ghost) Riders in the Sky by The Outlaws
There have been several renditions of this song throughout the years, but this version has got to be the Knew of my favorites. I like the high-energy, galloping sound that The Outlaws chose to incorporate in their cover. It gives the song a little kick and more of a western feel. The original version of this track was written and recorded by Stan Jones in 1948 when he worked as a forest ranger. The song is supposed to represent the cowboy version of hell, where they are forced to herd the devil’s cattle for eternity. The melody was based on the song “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”
41. What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost? by Taking Back Sunday
|Genre||Alternative Rock, Indie|
|Album||Louder Now (Deluxe Edition)|
Taking Back Sunday is an alternative band that was formed in Long Island, New York, in 1999 by guitarist Eddie Reyes and bassist Jesse Lacey. Also appearing on the soundtrack for the 2007 blockbuster film Transformers, this track was also the first release from their major label debut album “Louder Now.” The song was written from a rather personal perspective, as the members of the band have all been through this situation before. It is about being forgotten when you leave to go on tour, and the original title was supposed to be “What’s It Feel Like to Come Home?”
42. American Ghost Dance by the Redbone Hot Chili Peppers
|Genre||Alternative Metal, Funk Metal|
Because Red Hot Chili Peppers’ lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis’s mother is mostly Apache Indian, it makes perfect sense that the band chose to pay tribute to anyone actual tribal ghost dance with this tune. Back in the days of European settlers, the North American Indians used to use what they would call a “Ghost Dance” to scare away the European settlers, who would try to force their ways and their religion on the American Indians. Featuring vocals, bass, drums, and some horns playing in the background, the track was produced by George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic fame. This song also has a lot of bass, so if you’re looking for songs to test bass, this is a good one.
43. Ghosts Along the Mississippi by Down
|Genre||Sludge Metal, Southern Metal|
|Album||Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow|
With a sound that can only be described as Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Black Sabbath, Down is often mentioned when discussing the best side projects of all time. Formed by members of Pantera, Crowbar, Eyehategod, and Corrosion Of Conformity, the band was originally instituted as a creative outlet for the vocalist Phil Anselmo while Pantera was on break, the band built a cult following in the south before making waves and becoming a household name across the United States and around the world. This track provided Anselmo with an outlet to vent his frustrations while he was trying to kick heroin.
44. Ghosts (Shortened Version) by Michael Jackson
In 1996, we witnessed one of the most interesting collaborations of our generation when Michael Jackson joined forces with Steven King to produce a short film called Ghosts. Written and produced by the one and only Teddy Riley, the soundtrack to the film contained five new tracks from Jackson. “Ghosts” was one of those tracks. The song is about a fictional character called the Maestro, who is portrayed in the video by Michael Jackson and is chased out of town for being labeled a freak. Although the song did not receive positive reviews, it has also been called a must-see for Michael Jackson fans.
45. The Ghost In You by The Psychedelic Furs
This track was written by lead singer Richard Butler, as well as his brother Tim, who was also the band’s bass player. Although the band experienced some minor success in the United States, they never truly lived up to the potential that everyone had hoped. However, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t given us some great music over the years, including “The Ghost In You,” which is from their l album “Mirror Moves.” When asked about the song’s meaning, Butler said, “It’s saying a person like me, or perhaps even me, takes chances, runs a light. It’s my little metaphor for taking chances.”
46. Crimson Ghost by Misfits
|Genre||Horror Punk, Punk|
Despite several lineup changes over the last four decades, horror punk legends the Misfits are still touring and remain one of the world’s most recognized bands. What’s more impressive is that they accomplished all of this without any radio airplay and chose to grind it out on the road with relentless touring and an uncompromising image. On Halloween of 1995, the band introduced their new lead vocalist Michale Graves, after an extended 13-year hiatus. Their first album with Graves was released the following year. “American Psycho” featured several songs with horror movie themes, including “Crimson Ghost,” from which the Misfits also adopted their logo.
47. Kids See Ghosts by Kids See Ghosts (Featuring Mos Def)
Kids See Ghosts is the result of a collaboration between hip-hop legends Kanye West and Kid Cudi. While you might expect to hear some legendary bars from this duo, the result is more of an electronic vibe, but it works well. The lyrics of this song are also quite Introspective as well, tackling subjects like philosophy and religion, as well as the price that celebrities pay to become famous. While Kanye may have gone off the deep end lately and has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons, Kids See Ghosts is proof that the man is still talented behind a microphone.
48. Ghosts by Stevie Nicks
|Album||The Other Side Of the Mirror|
Stevie Nicks has the unique distinction of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. The first time she was inducted was as a member of the rock group Fleetwood mac, while the second time occurred in 2019 as a solo artist. In this track, which has more of a radio-friendly pop feeling than most of her songs recorded with Fleetwood Mac, she is singing about a relationship that she is completely done with. This is a person whom she would be completely content never to speak with again. She’s just living with the ghost of what she thought that relationship would be.
49. Ghost of Corporate Future by Regina Spektor
In this simple song, backed only by a piano, Regina Spektor puts her unique vocal talents on display as she belts out the lyrics to “Ghost of Corporate Future.” The main point that the song drives home is that we all live in a world that is filled with routines and mass-produced, generic appearances that make us all feel the same. You should take chances whenever you can to separate yourself from the crowd and be an individual. Most of the time, we’re afraid to do things because people may laugh at us. In reality, none of that matters.
50. The Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen
|Album||The Ghost Of Tom Joad|
If the name Tom Joad sounds familiar, it is because this song was inspired by the lead character in John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath. The Ghost of Tom Joad serves as a metaphor for people in the community working together to make it a better place for everybody and that the community will prevail in times of injustice. As the story goes, Bruce Springsteen originally wrote the tune to include as a bonus track on his “Greatest Hits” album. However, he did not like the result, so he decided to include it in an acoustic album instead.
51. The Ghost on the Shore by Lord Huron
|Genre||Alternative Rock, Indie|
First and foremost, this song is the perfect example of how you can find beauty in simplicity and how sometimes the simplest things can also be quite complicated. While on the surface, the lyrics and the music seem to be quite simple, their message is more complex. The track is about a man who has passed away but is not quite ready to move on to his next life. He was quite content living his life on the lake, which is where he wanted to stay. He is not an angry ghost, but he is not ready to move on.
52. The Ride by David Allan Coe
|Album||Castles In the Sand|
I have always found that one of the most interesting aspects of country music is that it has a knack for storytelling, and David Allan Coe is no exception. If you want to see one of country music’s master storytellers on display, I would highly suggest checking out his track “The Ride,” which appears on his album “Castles In the Sand.” This song tells the tale of a country musician who is hitchhiking on a long stretch of road from Alabama to Tennessee. He is picked up by a man driving an old Cadillac, who is the ghost of Hank Williams Senior.
53. Living In A Ghost Town by The Rolling Stones
|Genre||Rock, Classic Rock|
Few bands have had the honor of having the longevity that the Rolling Stones have had. However, they have had extended hiatus throughout their five-decade career. When they released “Living In A Ghost Town” in 2019, it was the first original song they had recorded in over eight years. Lead vocalist Mick Jagger and guitar player Keith Richards thought that the song would resonate worldwide because it was “about being in a place which was full of life but is now bereft of life.” After reworking the lyrics, both Jagger and Richards decided that it was time to release the reggae-inspired track.
54. The Ghosts of Beverly Drive by Death Cab For Cutie
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Folk|
If there is one thing that Death Cab for Cutie is known for, it would be the poetic lyrics of lead singer Ben Gibbard. He is known for taking something that is normally traditional and turning it into one of the most non-traditional songs you’ve ever heard. One example can be heard in “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive,” which appeared on their 2015 release “Kintsugi.” Gibbard says that the song is a love song, but it’s not a love song in the traditional sense. The singer went on to say, “It is a strange love song where we admit to each other that we’ve been in love before.”
55. Ghost of Perdition by Opeth
This track is part of the concept album “Ghost Reveries,” which sees a man trying to atone for the sins and the atrocities he’s committed in his past. The album kicks off with the track “Ghost of Perdition,” in which the narrator’s mother dies from an illness she contracted. However, later in the song, lead vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt hints that his mother may have been possessed by a demon. Regardless, the demonic possession ends up killing her, and the narrator runs away, no longer having the will to live. As it turns out, his mother’s soul was taken as payment for a precious deal with Satan.
56. Ghost Song by The Doors
|Genre||Rock, Classic Rock|
|Album||An American Prayer|
When The Doors released the track “Ghost Song” in 1978, lead singer Jim Morrison had been dead for seven years. The band wrote this song and layered a recording of their late singer reciting a poem over the music. One of the more unique aspects of Morrison’s lyrics was that he never divulged the meaning of them to anyone. He preferred to have the listener come up with their interpretations based on their life experiences. He often told people about a drive with his parents in the desert when he was younger, although the details of that drive change from time to time.
57. Ghost Town by The Specials
|Genre||Alternative, Pop, Indie|
For years, this song’s meaning has been interpreted as the decline of Coventry, which is a small town in England where the band grew up. However, it recently came to light that the lyrics were about when The Specials were in the middle of breaking up, with three of the members going on to form the Fun Boy Three. Keyboard player Jerry Dammers said that “‘Ghost Town’ was about the breakup of the Specials. It just appeared hopeless. But I just didn’t want to write about my state of mind, so I tried to relate it to the country as a whole.”
58. Ghost Dancing by Simple Minds
|Album||Once Upon a Time|
While I normally wouldn’t draw a comparison between the two bands, “Ghost Dancing” from Simple Minds reminds me a lot of another Irish alternative rock band from the 1980s. I’m fairly certain that anybody who listens to it long enough will be able to see the similarities between this song and the majority of U2’s catalog from that decade. The interpretation that I get from this song is that it is about hope and romance in a world that is filled with destruction and self-obsession. I see this song as the band’s way of finding light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
59. Spirits in the Night by Manfred Mann Earth Band
|Album||Nightingales & Bombers|
Perhaps best known for their hit cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded By the Light,” Manfred Mann’s Earth Band also did an amazing cover of his track “Spirits In the Night.” The song was written about a lake in New Jersey that is known as Greasy Lake because homeless people use it for bathing, washing clothes, and washing dishes. The homeless people were known as “Gypsy Angels” or the “Spirits In The Night,” which is where the song got its name. Surprisingly, it became a much bigger hit for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, cracking the top-forty on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
60. The Family Ghost by King Diamond
King Diamond’s concept album “Abigail” is widely considered to be one of the top concept albums in the history of the genre. As the story goes, in the summer of 1845, Miriam Natias and Jonathan La’Fey move into a mansion that La’Fey inherited, despite the warnings they received about moving into the mansion. Jonathan meets with Count La’Fey, a deceased relative, who warns him that Miriam is pregnant and carrying the spirit of Abigail. As it turns out, Abigail was the result of an affair that the Count’s wife had. He tossed his wife down the stairs, causing the baby to be stillborn.
61. Ghosts Of Cape Horn by the Gordon Lightfoot
|Album||Live Broadcast – 8th September 1979 PBS Soundstage|
Before the Panama Canal was constructed in 1904, sailors had to go around Cape Horn if they were in a hurry to go to Asia comma or to come from Asia. Cape Horn is known for its notorious weather because of the funneling effect created between South America and the Antarctic. This caused many ships to be sunk and also caused many sailors to lose their lives. On his track “Ghosts Of Cape Horn,” folk music artist Gordon Lightfoot pays tribute to these sailors with this jolly-sounding tune. However, wow, the music is upbeat, and the lyrics provide a stark contrast
as it tells the harrowing tale of the sailors who died.
62. Riding With Private Malone by David Ball
In this song, country singer David Ball sings a tale about a man who goes to buy a Chevy and finds a note in the glove compartment. As it turns out, the car was a Corvette that once belonged to a soldier named Private Andrew Malone. The note in the glove compartment said that if someone was reading it, then he never made it home from the war. It also went on to say that the driver would always be Riding With Private Malone. One night, the driver got in a crash, and witnesses say that they saw a soldier pull him from the wreckage. That soldier was Private Malone.
63. Walking With A Ghost by Tegan and Sara
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Pop|
One of the loneliest feelings in the world stems from putting your heart and soul into a relationship with someone who doesn’t exude the same effort as you do to make things work between the two of you. When this happens, no matter how hard you try, you’re fighting an uphill battle because you are the one who is putting forth all of the effort while the other person is there to enjoy the ride. If you can relate to this, then you can relate to the track “Walking With A Ghost” from the alternative pop duo Tegan and Sara.
64. Ghost in This House by Shenandoah
This country ballad from Shenandoah hits me right in my feelings. I don’t know if it is the haunting guitar sound, the heartbreaking lyrics, or a combination of both, but it has the power to bring a tear to my eye almost every time I listen to it. This song tells the story of a couple that has either recently divorced or recently separated. Whatever happened between the two of them, one of the people involved is left alone in a house where he feels like he is nothing more than a ghost haunting the premises. It’s hard to hear how a breakup of this magnitude can have this kind of effect on someone.
65. Old Ghosts by Jethro Tull
|Genre||Hard Rock, Classic Rock|
Of all of the Innovations in music that rock bands take credit for every day, no band other than Jethro Tull can be credited with incorporating the use of the flute into progressive rock music. This is what gave them such a unique sound that was a refreshing change from many of the other songs being played on the radio during that time. On the track “Old Ghosts,” Ian Anderson’s masterful flute playing and his unique vocal delivery are prominently displayed as he sings about what I interpret as being the innocence of youth pitted against the corruption of growing older. This is an absolutely legendary song about ghosts.
66. Ghost by MercyMe
Why is it that whenever we hear the word ghost comma, we automatically associate it with negative imagery and hauntings? In their single “Ghost,” the band MercyMe uses the term ghost to refer to the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit, which is often referred to in the Bible as being sent to dwell in the spirit of Christians when they receive God as their savior. When lead vocalist Bart Millard says that he is no longer afraid, it’s because he knows that he has a one-on-one relationship with God and has no reason to fear death or persecution.
67. Jenny Of Oldstones (Game Of Thrones) by Florence + The Machine
|Album||Game of Thrones: Season 8|
When the last episode of the HBO series Game of Thrones aired in 2019, the show had become a cultural phenomenon both in the United States and around the world. The show became so big that famous actors and musicians were lining up to be cast as extras on the show, and many other artists were being hired to create music for the series. Florence and the Machine was one of those artists who were tapped to create a song for the final season of Game of Thrones. Jenny of Oldstones was the wife of Duncan Targaryen, the Prince of Dragonflies.
68. GHOST! by Kid Cudi
|Album||Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager|
One of the most common interpretations of this song is that it pertains to Kid Cudi’s problems with substance abuse, particularly an addiction to blow, otherwise known as cocaine. In a world where substance abuse is often glamorized or swept under the proverbial rug, I have to give the utmost respect to Kid Cudi. He chose to be brave in the face of his addiction and admit to the world that he had a problem instead of running from it or denying it. By choosing to tackle this subject head first, he decided to stop allowing it to haunt him.
69. I’ll Come Back as Another Woman by Tanya Tucker
|Album||Girls Like Me|
With an astonishing 40 top-ten songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including 10 of them having shot up to the top spot on the charts, Tanya Tucker’s name has become synonymous with country music. One of her hit singles that peaked at the number-two spot on the charts was the track “I’ll Come Back as Another Woman,” which was from her 1986 release “Girls Like Me.” The song is about a woman who has been scorned by her lover, but she has found a unique way to get her revenge. She says that she’ll come back as another woman and make him fall for her.
70. My Ghost by We Are Messengers
|Album||We Are Messengers|
The Christian band We Are Messengers likes to take a unique approach to writing and recording music. Instead of coming across as overly preachy, they prefer to use real-life scenarios that teach us valuable lessons and may encourage us to have a better relationship with God. One such example can be heard on the track “My Ghost,” which is featured on the band’s self-titled debut album. Like many other Christian bands, We Are Messengers uses the term ghost as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost. However, they are here to tell you that they have nothing to fear because of the ghost that dwells inside of them.
Whether or not you believe in ghosts or spirits, it’s a phenomenon that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. When somebody loses a loved one, it’s hard to let go of the fact that they are not in your everyday life. Maybe every once in a while, the afterlife opens a gate to allow you to see those whom you missed. It may also give people who have been wronged a chance to seek some sort of justification or Revenge. After hearing these songs, you still may not have changed your mind about what you believe in. That’s okay. I’m not here to change your mind. I’m just here to ask you to open it enough to consider the possibilities.
Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m from Butler, Pennsylvania. I’ve been obsessed with music and audio gear for as long as I can remember. I started this website to help people find professional advice related to a wide range of audio topics. We have a number of Audio Engineers on our team who have been designing and fixing audio gear for decades.