Ghosts

Album: Startin' With Me (2006)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • "This song," Jake Owen told us, "is about one of my favorite stories of all time." Jake never met his own grandfather, but all his life people have told me how much like his granddad he is. So this song is him wondering what his granddad would have told him if he'd had the chance. "My mom always told me about how great a guy he was, he just had a drinking problem. And any alcoholic can know, to the day, exactly how long it's been since they've been sober. And needless to say I wrote that song about how every day you live with the things that you do all your life, the ghosts of them. And in a way it kind of mirrors 'Startin' With Me' a bit, but it really revolves around somebody that has alcohol problems in their life. And I've had that in my family."
  • Jake went on tour with Kenny Chesney for the first time, and one of their stops was in Hershey, Pennsylvania. After the show, Jake says, "This guy came up to me with his little girl, and he was almost in tears. Full-grown man and he had this young girl with him, and he told me that his daughter was almost 6 years old. And he said, 'I just want to thank you so much for writing that song. It's changed my life.' He said, 'I listen to it all the time, and I want you to know how much you mean to people like me with songs like that.' He said, 'I almost lost my little girl here because of my problem with alcohol, and hearing songs like this is what reminds me every day of how lucky I am.'
    And he handed me this coin, and it had the Roman numeral for 3 on it - it was his Alcoholics Anonymous coin, he'd earned it for being three years sober. I said, 'Man, I can't take this from you. You've worked three years to get it.' And he just looked around, and he said, 'No, man. Don't worry about it, because I'm gonna be getting my four-year one here pretty soon.' And I just thought, What an amazing thing to say. It's something I'll never forget. And I was proud of that guy, I was proud of myself in a way, knowing that I touched this guy like that. I could look in his little girl's eyes… stuff like that's what matters, you know?"
    Jake still carries the memento with him everywhere he goes. "It's in my guitar case," he says. (Check out our interview with Jake Owen)

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

When Rock Belonged To Michelob

When Rock Belonged To MichelobSong Writing

Michelob commercials generated hits for Eric Clapton, Genesis and Steve Winwood in the '80s, even as some of these rockers were fighting alcoholism.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

John Lee Hooker

John Lee HookerSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write the blues.

Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers

Bill Medley of The Righteous BrothersSongwriter Interviews

Medley looks back on "Unchained Melody" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" - his huge hits from the '60s that were later revived in movies.

Peter Lord

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.