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What is a "cherry ghost"


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In AGIB lyric book in cd, the last verse has "I am a notion, I am all emotion", while most other lyric sites have it as "I'm an ocean, I am all emotion." What is the correct lyric, or does it really matter?

 

And what is a cherry ghost? One of the most delectable lines I've ever heard.

 

:beer

 

ps--I have a feeling that every possible Wilco question has already been asked here, so my apologies to all the old-timers who get annoyed with same old queries. I'm too lazy to search through VC and investigate before asking.

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I love this song and that line... beautiful. The lyrics in the liner notes of the CD are: "I'm a notion." It sounds like it too. This song makes me think of being a total libertine and having no preconceived ideas of one's own death, therefore "a cherry ghost." Also defiant enough to be in control of one's own time to leave.

 

Ahh, I think I'll just roll another one for the road; it's Saturday! :cheers

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One of the many wonderful things about music is the way the listener individualizes the song. I've heard Tweedy comment on the role the listener plays in the process of making music, in that the cycle is not completed until the listener takes in the song and finds meaning in it for themselves. I've always imagined a "cherry ghost" as being a friendly ghost. Yeah, that's goofy as hell, but my head's stuck with that interpretation.

 

Here's a lyric question: is the lyric in "Hummingbird" "loudest Manhattans," as I've seen on the web? I've always heard "lattice Manhattan," which makes even less sense to me than a "cherry ghost."

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On a radio interview JT gave he explained the cherry ghost. i dont remember exactly what he said but im pretty sure he said that the cherry ghost line means that he wants to be remembered as a nice person after he dies

:P

 

Yes, he said that by "cherry ghost" he means someone who leaves behind a pleasant taste, that they were loved and loving. I think that is just so sweet.

 

He also said "illiterate light" is that which is beyond language, and that "illiterate" should thus not be taken as a prejorative.

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I wrote a paper on this. Scored me an A too. It's rough, though, as I wrote in in a short time period, meaning like an hour. Some of it refers to inside jokes within the class, so don't bother with it.

 

Here it is:

 

A Cherry Ghost Is Born

 

If I told you I wanted to be a ghost, it would make sense to you, because you would know what I’d want to become. Though the reason why I would do such a thing would be entirely perturbing, at least it would make sense to you. But what of a cherry ghost? Is it a ghost with a flavor of cherry? Or is it something more? This befuddling phrase came from a lyrical and musical masterpiece, Wilco’s “Theologians.” Jeff Tweedy, in an appearance on the Bob Edwards Show, enlightened the audience with the secret to this mysterious cherry ghost. Tweedy noted that the cherry ghost was represented in a non-clich

Edited by poortranslator
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One of the many wonderful things about music is the way the listener individualizes the song. I've heard Tweedy comment on the role the listener plays in the process of making music, in that the cycle is not completed until the listener takes in the song and finds meaning in it for themselves. I've always imagined a "cherry ghost" as being a friendly ghost. Yeah, that's goofy as hell, but my head's stuck with that interpretation.

 

Here's a lyric question: is the lyric in "Hummingbird" "loudest Manhattans," as I've seen on the web? I've always heard "lattice Manhattan," which makes even less sense to me than a "cherry ghost."

 

 

The lyric is "loudest Manhattans." I always took the deep chrome canyons of the loudest Manhattans to be an impersonal, crowded place where one's identity could easily be overlooked.

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I always took the deep chrome canyons of the loudest Manhattans to be an impersonal, crowded place where one's identity could easily be overlooked.
I always think about someone running down a big city street with enormous sky scrapers on either side, lost or trying to get away.
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Great to hear about the interview and read the paper. But I wonder if that's all there is (always less than you think). I love to know what the artist was thinking but don't always only rely on it when thinking about the artistic product. What strikes me is that the song is a rather brutal swipe at theologians (some of my best friends are theologians) who claim to be experts about God but know nothing about souls, etc., are a threat to life rather than a help, and claim special knowledge about death and the afterlife. Also, the entire cd seems to be fairly preoccupied with death (not just lyrically--when I hear Less Than You Think I want to kill myself or someone else! :yay ), with the title, also from that song, an eerie but pleasing phrase bringing death and life, mortality and fertilty, together in an evocative but celebratory rather than overly mournful way. All of this and more, including the vocals, makes that wonderful line, I am a cherry ghost, chillicious (I've heard of chillax, but not sure I've heard this one--gives me the chills, and is delicious) and mysterious.

 

It's almost drinking time so excuse the overly long ramblings. Been thinking about this song all day.

 

:cheers

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Yep, here's the full quote of Jeff's cherry ghost explanation from the Bob Edwards Show interview...

As far as cherry ghost, that's another example of, I just wanted to put some words together that kind of implied what I was meaning in a way that wasn't... I guess if I was gonna write 'Cherry Ghost' in a way that was more cliched and directed to the point I would say 'I wanna leave a sweet memory, I wanna be a sweet person.' Basically a sweet ghost, an aftertaste in my life of sweetness, that people loved me and I was loving to people. That's basically, I think, what it was about.

 

I think it's cool that he gave such a direct meaning, which is rare for him, especially since the meaning of Cherry Ghost is so key to that whole central idea of "A Ghost Is Born"

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And what is a cherry ghost? One of the most delectable lines I've ever heard.

 

Sweet, but melts away eventually, like, you know, a sno-cone. Doesn't a "cherry ghost" sound like some treat you'd buy for $0.75 off the ice-cream truck, or at the snack bar at the pool, or on the landing in the summer? In fact, it is my understanding that the working lyric spurred quite a flavor debate within the band and referred originally to a "grape goblin." Or was it "blue ghoul"? Or an orange ... oh, nevermind.

 

rcb

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When I hear this line, I think of the two other slang connotations of cherry -- one is virginal (pop the cherry), another is like a pristine classic car (dude, that '32 Ford is cherry). Sweet, virginal, untouched, pristine, they all kind of go together.

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