Ghosting: Donne to Mother Mother


My love for music sometimes disrupts my sleep. Sometimes I wake up singing a song and I’m certain that the song is what woke me up, not something in the room. This connection between music and sleep is something that is a bit strange and possibly bizarre, yet it pales in comparison to the bizarre connections made by John Donne, and more recently Mother Mother, between ghosts and sleep. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the idea of a soul roaming the earth is interesting.

John Donne uses hauntings as a threat in one of his poems, “The Apparition.” Don’t mess with Donne! In this poem he states:

When by thy scorn, O murd’ress, I am dead,
And that thou think’st thee free
From all solicitation from me,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed.


Strange and bizarre? Yes. Yet, the whole topic of the supernatural and ghosts is mind-bending. So, why not? In fact, I wonder if the song writers from the band Mother Mother are fans of Donne? Listen to this song, “Ghosting,” from their 2008 O My Heart album.

Ghost in your house
Ghost in your arms
When you’re tossing
When you turn in your sleep
It’s because I’m ghosting your dreams.

Again, strange. Why haunt someone in their sleep? (Well, Donne is pretty clear in his reasoning when you read the rest of his poem, although, Mother Mother takes down the creep factor by haunting the dreams.)

That’s where I come back to this idea that songs seem to be haunting my sleep. I don’t wake up every night with a song playing in my head, but on the nights that songs do wake me up, is it some form of ghost haunting my dreams?

One thing I do know, I don’t mind the tricks and I don’t mind the treats of waking up with a smile on my face because I’m singing a fantastic song in my sleep!

“He has given me a new song to sing” (Psalm 40:3).

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