Some artists have a motto: “I’ll create my work, and then people will see what they want in it”. It is quite possible that Teddy Hyde belongs to this category of creators, because the lyrics of his song “Sex with a Ghost” have a great number of interpretations. Different people at different stages of life will see in it meanings that may even contradict each other. In this article, I will deal with the ones that I personally see.
However, at the beginning, it is worth devoting a little time to sorting out the music. The melody in the song is a simple piano playing, the notes of which are completely out of harmony with each other, but at the same time they are surprisingly well combined. This technique conveys the chaotic and uncertain relationship between the “ghost” and the hero.
The hero is tormented by loneliness
The most straightforward interpretation. According to it, the protagonist in a difficult stage of life is alone with himself. It is so hard for him that he decides to invent a partner. Proof can serve as lines in which Teddy Hyde clearly shows that the ghost comes only at times when the hero is especially lonely: “And when I miss you, you come and kiss me with a smile.”
A suicidal motive is also evident here. “I pull the trigger with my eyes closed”, “take the medicine, maybe I’ll take five” – all these lines suggest that the hero is very close to suicide, but for some reason he cannot commit it, and in order not to go crazy, he decides to invent an imaginary friend.
The interpretation is very simple and basically carries the story of an unhappy man trying to fight loneliness with unorthodox methods.
The ghost is real
Already more mystical and interesting plot. Its essence remains approximately the same as in the previous interpretation, but only here the hero does not invent a beloved. The ghost himself, seeing how lonely the man is, decides to help him cope with this feeling.
This version uses the “Tango with Death” trope, where the hero is so much in touch with the otherworld that he is always on the verge of death.
The “ghost” of the dead wife
Perhaps one of the most popular interpretations. According to her, the lyrical hero recently lost his wife and now often sees hallucinations with her. This theory is divided into two.
According to the first, the hero himself killed his wife and is now tormented by the torments of conscience. The line “Her whispering makes my ears hurt” may suggest that the ghost pressures the murderer, because of which he is on the verge of suicide several times. If we look at the text through this interpretation, then the whole song turns into a kind of confession of the killer about how he is tormented by the crime committed.
According to the second one, his wife died herself, and the hero is now trying to cope with the loss. Out of habit, he still talks to his beloved, sees her, imagines how they would have spent time together. The hero “needs a break,” or even a high five, because without it he can’t cope with the loss. He is playing with death, perhaps thinking that he will be able to meet his wife in the afterlife. In this context, the song becomes a story of a man trying to get over the loss of a loved one and start a normal life.
In this version, the hero is in an abusive relationship in which his partner uses him only for sexual pleasures. In such a context, the comparison to a ghost is metaphorical, as for the hero his soulmate is a person who does not really care about his lover’s suffering. He becomes like a “ghost”, for he is not at all interested in the hero’s life and emotions and appears only at times when he wants to have sex.
Then the lines “And there’s never a day these days / When she’s not playing with a steak knife” take on the coloring of a threat. Perhaps the hero is trying to get out of this relationship, but is afraid, because he is sure that his beloved can put this knife into action.
We have broken down the most basic plots that can be discerned in Teddy Hyde’s song. It is worth noting that the text is somewhat like a system of metaphorical maps, in which each person will see what is currently bothering him. Someone who has recently lost a loved one may see a plot about the experience of loss, and someone who is alone in a difficult situation may see a plot about loneliness, and so on. This is because there are few specifics in the lyrics, leaving one with a lot of room for imagination. That is why the song is so interesting.