Cast No Shadow

Album: (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995)
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Songfacts®:

  • Noel Gallagher wrote this about The Verve lead singer Richard Ashcroft (The Verve are best known for their 1997 single "Bittersweet Symphony"). He explained to Select magazine: "He always seemed to me to not be very happy about what was going on around him, almost trying too hard. That's why it goes, 'He was bound with the weight of all the words he tried to say.' I always felt he was born at the wrong place, and in the wrong place, and he was always trying to say the right things, but they came out wrong."

    "I played him the song, and he nearly started crying," Gallagher continued. "I was like, 'Come on, hold yourself together, son! Easy now!'

    "In a way, it's about all my friends who were in groups," he concluded. "We are bound with the weight of all the words we have to say. We're always looking for more."
  • Q Magazine asked Richard Ashcroft at what stage he realized the song was about him. He replied:

    "I think Brian (Cannon, designer) who does the sleeves told me about it. I think it's one of the best tunes that he's (Noel Gallagher) ever written as well. It's a great honor to be part of that and then when the album exploded like that it's great. I was just really buzzing. I think it was almost an afterthought (for Noel), but there was so many gags at the time because I was so thin – 'Is it because he's so thin that he casts no shadow, is that what it's about?' I did say to him, 'Am I a vampire what are you trying to say man?'"
  • In 2018, Ashcroft feuded with Noel Gallagher after Noel listed him as one of the stars who use an "army of songwriters." Ashcroft had befriended Noel's brother/nemesis, Liam, which may have triggered the comment. Liam defended Ashcroft on Twitter, telling his brother that Ashcroft "pi--es all over you."

Comments: 16

  • Abdul Azeem Khan from LondonThe prophet Muhammad peace be upon him is said to have cast no shadow when he faced the sun.
  • Janet from North WestWhenever I hear this song it makes me cry. It makes me think of my dad. In the 80's when northern towns were being destroyed and there was high unemployment, men like my dad had to take whatever was being thrown at them and having to swallow their pride. Prime example is the final breaking of the miners. My dad was bound by the weight of wanting and needing to provide for his family and having to go against his principles in order to do that.
  • Sophie from Manchester I was told the song was about Richard Ashcroft. The “they stole your soul and took your pride” bit refers to when the Rolling Stones took all the royalties off the verve for bittersweet symphony for using their riff. Because of this, one of their bestselling songs wasn’t being credited to them properly anymore and they “lost their shadow” (lost their fame a bit).
  • Ken from LiverpoolCast No Shadow is about this interview "John Lennon interviewed by Gloria Emerson" . Everyone who faces the Sun casts a shadow . Joihn Lennons true shadow could`nt be cast . As they took his Soul (music) They stole his pride .( John Lennons pride was taken by what the News papers were saying about John " a long haired drugged hippie ") Noel Gallagher come to Liverpool for his Lyrics . Every Line in the song makes sense . It`s about John Lennon on his campaign for Peace . Bound with all the wait of all the the words he tried to say ( John was saying "I`m on a campaign for Peace Can`t you see I`m on a campaign for peace" watch the interview .(John Lennon interviewed by Gloria Emerson) . There`s not one word or line in the song that misinterpret`s this Songs meaning
  • Ken from LiverpoolThe lyrics I used to write Cast no shadow .were wrote to support John Lennon in his campaign for world peace . I watched the Imagine Video where John Lennon is in the New York Times, News office. Saying to the secretary that he wasn't happy with what was headlined in the newspaper and said "I'm on a campaign for Peace." The secretary replies, "You're a lunatic John."

    Everybody casts a shadow as we face the Sun. John Lennon was attempting to make world peace. The line, 'As he faced the Sun he cast no shadow' means John Lennon wanted to make world peace but was unable to. His true shadow wasn't cast.

    The Lyrics below are about John Lennon's attempt to make world peace :-

    Here's a thought for every man who tries to understand
    What is in his hands
    He walks along the open road of love and life
    To find it if he can
    Bow with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
    Chained to all the places that he never wished to stay
    Bow with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
    As he faced the sun he cast no shadow

    As they took his soul they stole his pride
    As he faced the sun he cast no shadow

    Here's a thought for every man who tries to understand
    What is in his hands
    He walks along the open road of love and life
    To find it if he can
    Bow with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
    Chained to all the places that he never wished to stay
    Bow with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
    As he faced the sun he cast no shadow

    As they took his soul they stole his pride
    As he faced the sun he cast no shadow
    As he faced the sun he cast no shadow
    As he faced the sun he cast no shadow
  • Valo from Moscow, Russia Federationwell, ashcroft reminds a vampire. He writes cold music
  • Árni from Vestmannaeyjar, IcelandIf you compare this song to the song ,,Lucky Man'' by ,,The Verve" you'll see how he was dedicating this song to Richard Ashcroft
  • Jasdeep from Ottawa, OnActually Joe, from Fairfax...Noel said that its about someone whose 'invisible'(so you're kinda right with the vampire/mirror theory.
  • Peter Clarke from Hobart, AustraliaNoel stressed and clarified this song is not about Richard Ashcroft from the Verve but rather is DEDICATED to Ashcroft.
  • Jonny from Cedar Rapids , IaThe comments that this song was written about Oasis friend Richard Ashcroft are correct. Noel went into detail in an interview where he explained that all the songs that Richard Ashcroft writes are very personal, thus he relives the pain everytime he sings the songs."Bound with all the weight of all the words he tries to say"
  • Simon from London, EnglandHeard on many interviews with Noel that it was dedicated to Richard Ashcroft
  • Topper from Perth, AustraliaSorry but Wrong T. Mclean. The song is a dedication to Richard Ashcroft. The "they" he (gallagher) refers to is in fact the 'establishment' 'authorities' and 'know-alls' within the health & medical fraternity who in they're infinite wisdom felt Ashcroft belonged in a mental ward and so 'for his own good' had him committed (for 5 or so mnths) where they stripped him bare of his "self" and reduced him to a shell of a man all in the name of 'therapy'.
  • Brendan from York, EnglandThe song is about verve lead singer richard ashcroft not liam gallagher
  • T from Mclean, VaThe Gallagher brothers were heavily into cocaine and other drugs, and the fact that this song talks about casting no shadow reflects the feelings that Liam felt while he was using cocaine. "As they took his soul, they took his pride" is a prevalent lyric in this song. "They" would be the drugs. And as anyone whos been addicted knows, drugs will take your soul and your pride, often without you even being aware or caring.
  • Joe from Fairfax, VaI think this song is about a soul less person. "As he faced the sun , he cast no shadow." Kind of like a vampire and a lack of image in a mirror.
  • Andrei from Tallinn, Otherand Liam always oriented to Ashcroft's singing manners
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