Soundtrack Project

I.1—“Ghost in This House” by Allison Krauss

Resources

Below is a sample of the song.

Additionally, a video on YouTube is available as are the lyrics to the song

Example Paragraph

Both Romeo and the speaker in the song attempt to shut out the pain by shutting themselves in their own homes. For example, in discussing the situation with Benvolio, Montague explains that

Away from the light steals home [Romeo, ]my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out
And makes himself an artificial night: (I.1.128-131)

Romeo’s heartbreak has caused him to retreat entirely from society. He is unable to deal with everyday life, and in doing so, shows himself something of a slave to love. Emotion rules Romeo, and he has become something like a ghost in his own house. Similarly, Allison Krauss’s words echo something that Montague is thinking, but they are more aptly from Romeo’s point of view. Like Romeo, Krauss sings of “keep[ing] the lights down.” They are so emotionally devastated that even the light hurts their hearts. Retreat is the only answer for both of them. Finally, both the song and the play use metaphors of smoke as well. Romeo speaks of his unrequited love for Rosaline: “Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs; / Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes.” (I.1.187, 8) Krauss speaks of a similar feeling: “I’m just a whisper of smoke / I’m all that’s left of two hearts on fire / That once burned out of control” In her case, the love was returned but eventually died out. For Romeo, however, there is only the longing.

Notes and Thoughts

Notice that this is a Schaffer model paragraph, but I am using very simple sentences to highlight that. Additionally, notice that one element of the Schaffer model is inadequate or even missing: which element is it?

Lyrics

I don’t pick up the mail
I don’t pick up the phone
I don’t answer the door
I’d just as soon be alone
I don’t keep this place up
I just keep the lights down
I don’t live in these rooms
I just rattle around

I’m just a ghost in this house
I’m just a shadow upon these walls
As quietly as a mouse I haunt these halls
I’m just a whisper of smoke
I’m all that’s left of two hearts on fire
That once burned out of control
You took my body and soul
I’m just a ghost in this house

I don’t care if it rains
I don’t care if it’s clear
I don’t mind staying in
There’s another ghost here
He sits down in your chair
And he shines with your light
And he lays down his head
On your pillow at night

I’m just a ghost in this house
I’m just a shadow upon these walls
I’m living proof of the damage
Heartbreak does
I’m just a whisper of smoke
I’m all that’s left of two hearts on fire
That once burned out of control
And took my body and soul
I’m just a ghost in this house
Oh, I’m just a ghost in this house

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