Conversation with a Ghost

Post messages about Ellis Paul's music, CDs, lyrics, etc. here.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
Sue Ellen
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:09 pm
Location: maryland

Conversation with a Ghost

Postby Sue Ellen » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:31 pm

Last night at dinner, my kids had quite a long discussion about "Conversation with a Ghost." They are particularly taken by this line:

So how have you been? Have you been to the races?


My daughter argues that this refers to horse or dog races, my son argues, "No way, Ellis Paul is a runner. He's referring to road races. Probably 5K's or 10K's, maybe marathons." :D

Please weigh in with your thoughts.

Ellis?

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

User avatar
KarenZ
Site Admin
Posts: 4446
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:12 pm
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Postby KarenZ » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:39 pm

Sue Ellen..that is so sweet! :) For some reason I always think/see harness racing....but I have no idea why! Yikes....this could be very :oops: I mean Jeezum crow. :wink:

KarenZ
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.

paddyinthepub
Posts: 3768
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:54 pm

Harness racing :?: Jeezum Crowe is right:!:

If that's the races in the song.....please, keep it to yourselves.

I agree with SueEllen's ever so bright son, a true gentleman & scholar.

The races have to do with Ellis' career as a runner of races.

They have to.


:P
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

User avatar
KarenZ
Site Admin
Posts: 4446
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:12 pm
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Postby KarenZ » Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:07 pm

Well...we know she was running a race in New York...in the park! Central Park!. But if they're in NY... and he asks if she's been to the races....he's talking Belmont Park...or Aqueduct! :lol: :lol:

KarenZ
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.

Richard + Jela
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:56 pm
Location: West Sussex, England

Postby Richard + Jela » Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:08 pm

This is my all time favourite Ellis song and I believe that its about the running races that he used to compete in - the voice is Allison Higgins' speaking through the spirit of Margaret Putnam - Allison was a friend of Ellis and she is spelling out references from their friendship (via the Ouija board) and this includes watching Ellis compete in (running) races.

That's my take on the 'races' reference.

Jela

emilyg
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:23 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Postby emilyg » Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:33 pm

I agree w/ Jela!

paddyinthepub
Posts: 3768
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:33 pm

Again, from way across the pond, in a land chock full of scholars, comes someone like Jela to watch my back........

nah nah nah nah nah....... :lol:

Any other Ellis song lyrics in question, girls?

:P
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

User avatar
Sue Ellen
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:09 pm
Location: maryland

Postby Sue Ellen » Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:29 pm

I just thought of something, jumping off of what Jela posted. Perhaps Ellis had political aspirations at one time and shared them with his friend...

I still like the idea of road races, although I think Ellis did most of his running on a track.

And I'm still hoping Ellis will shed some light.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

User avatar
bonuela
Posts: 1065
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Postby bonuela » Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:48 pm

Hmmm. Maybe we should move this over to the Clarity thread. I wonder about this line myself.

When I listen to the song a get a visual of people at a horse race then I correct myself. "No, no. Foot races"
I let my music take me where my heart wants to go. ~ Cat Stevens

paddyinthepub
Posts: 3768
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:21 pm

SueEllen - d'ya mean political races, thus aspirations? Okaaay :!:

Jela, help a brother out over here. KarenZ can lead lead the faithful to horse races, but she cannot make them bet on a sure thing. :lol:

Bonnie, you callin us all cross posters, huh? - Are ya? :P
I think Ellis races all over this forum from time to time and will likely answer this one wherever it's posed to him.

My guess is he will let us all have our say first. Ya know, keep us guessing and watch while we joust back and forth on the subject.

I would. :wink:
Last edited by paddyinthepub on Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

User avatar
bonuela
Posts: 1065
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Postby bonuela » Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:32 pm

I am a stickler for netiquette. :oops:

If we want to pose a specific question to Ellis it would be easier for him and clearer for us if we made a separate thread.

So we talk amongst ourselves here and with him there. Ya know?

Sorry, didn't mean to threadjack. :P
I let my music take me where my heart wants to go. ~ Cat Stevens

paddyinthepub
Posts: 3768
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:40 pm

Bonnie, Just wondering something.

Do we have a recipe thread yet?

Ya know.......nettiquette Spaghettiquette. :P :P

I suppose I think you're right, tho. :oops:

But I just had to get in one last double razz. :P :P

So there. :wink:
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

User avatar
bonuela
Posts: 1065
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Postby bonuela » Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:47 pm

I'm sorry. I don't eat spaghettiquette.

What about a netiquette croquette? :P

Anywho........

I love how Ellis' lyrics give such strong visuals, even if each listener sees something different.

Maybe it is up to us to decide. Is there a horse, a track or a poll involved in this race? :D
I let my music take me where my heart wants to go. ~ Cat Stevens

User avatar
Sue Ellen
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:09 pm
Location: maryland

Postby Sue Ellen » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:02 pm

Ha! I anticipated the question about where to post this; it is both a specific question for Ellis AND a discussion about lyrics. And I asked where I should post; and here it is. :lol:

Yes I meant political races. But I still see foot/road races, because of the line "You were running a race, I was there on a lark."

sue ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

paddyinthepub
Posts: 3768
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:03 pm

Bonnie, perhaps that should be the last word, but I hope not. You are so right about songs and lyrics being open to individual interpretation.

It made me think a bit more about the lyrics in this song.

Who would have thought , New York, could be such a small town.

Perhaps a chance meeting at a race that is run in New York City, perhaps thru Central Park or even larger boundaries, say the NYC marathon. If you were to "bump into" someone you knew at such a race, you'd be inclined to say to them something like "small world". Or in the case of this song, refer to New York as "small town".

Never learned to like croquettes.
Always willing to learn nettiquettes....

:wink:
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

User avatar
Lauren
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Portland, ME

my two cents...

Postby Lauren » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:07 pm

hey all

Ok, here's my [insert old "2 pennies" emoticon here]:

I agree with Jela (YEE-la), that the general premise of the song is completely from Allison's POV; here are the lyrics as copied from the website:

I'll respond to you in letters
Sorry so slow, sorry so few
In a nutshell, I'm much better
So far the complaints I hear are few
So how have you been? Have you been to the races? Did you take my mother --
Is your sister in braces? I wish I could've been there to see you through
Hey, are all those things you told me once still true?

Do you remember that time
It was cold in the park
You were running a race, I was there on a lark

Who would've thought that New York could be such a small town

Margaret is tired,
let's let her get some sleep
Bored with these letters,
let her count her sheep
So goodbye love, goodbye love...


The first "races" seems to be something that Ellis could have taken her mother to, so whether that's a race he ran, or foot races they could watch together, or horse races they could watch together... but it doesn't seem like it could be a political race.

The second "race" he was obviously running, in a park, in NYC, in the late fall/winter/early spring time, and she just happened to run into him there. What an astounding coincidence! Wow, who would have thought that NYC could be such a small town? :)

So... yeah, I guess I'm saying that the first one could be either, as she is asking if he took her mother to the races, but the second he was obviously running. Yep. My 2 cents.
:mrgreen:

paddyinthepub
Posts: 3768
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:16 pm

"I Found My Movin Buddy " :!: Bo Peep from Pixar's Toy Story.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

Richard + Jela
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:56 pm
Location: West Sussex, England

Postby Richard + Jela » Tue Aug 15, 2006 4:46 am

During the radio rebroadcast at the weekend on WUMB the DJ asked Ellis if he was ok with people putting their own intepretations to his songs/words, making the point that sometimes a listener inteprets the song very differently from that of the songwriter.

Ellis said that yes he was happy with people having their own take on his songs so I guess that for all of us discsussing here he's happy with whatever interpretation we as individuals choose to make.

I imagine that what's important is the way a song touches a chord within each of us and that's why the 'Song of the Week' thread was so interesting. I loved reading people's different intepretations of Ellis' words. This particular thread is like a subset of SOTW - great.

Jela

User avatar
KarenZ
Site Admin
Posts: 4446
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:12 pm
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Postby KarenZ » Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:35 am

Jela,

Yes! I heard that interview too and have heard EP say it at other times as well. Makes perfect sense that what you or I interpret a poem or a painting or a song to say...is what it says! :) That's why it's called art, no? :wink:

KarenZ
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.

User avatar
Lauren
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Portland, ME

Postby Lauren » Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:37 am

Very good point, ladies. It brings to mind something I heard Ellis telling our Paddy in Ogunquit - when asked if the house in "Home" had really burned down, or if it had all been a dream (in the song), Ellis replied with "whichever way you want it to be," and then went on to explain the actual house in Maine that didn't burn down, yada yada yada...

I do miss the SOTW, though... :roll:
:mrgreen:

User avatar
Sue Ellen
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:09 pm
Location: maryland

Postby Sue Ellen » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:02 pm

Jela wrote:I imagine that what's important is the way a song touches a chord within each of us and that's why the 'Song of the Week' thread was so interesting. I loved reading people's different intepretations of Ellis' words. This particular thread is like a subset of SOTW - great.


I was thinking the other day that there are particular lines or verses within songs that really strike me and which I think would lend themselves well to discussion. Perhaps a subset of SOTW is a good idea.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

paddyinthepub
Posts: 3768
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Conversation with a Ghost

Postby paddyinthepub » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:37 pm

Sue Ellen wrote:Last night at dinner, my kids had quite a long discussion about "Conversation with a Ghost." They are particularly taken by this line:

So how have you been? Have you been to the races?


My daughter argues that this refers to horse or dog races, my son argues, "No way, Ellis Paul is a runner. He's referring to road races. Probably 5K's or 10K's, maybe marathons." :D

Sue Ellen


Hey there SueEllen, allow me to say, that when I met you for the first time in Exton Pa last month, I knew your kids were being brought up right within a few short conversations I was able to have with both you and them. Heaven knows it's not easy raising kids in any day and age, especially this one. The fact that your kids are having in - depth conversations over dinner is proof of what I'm talking about. Add to that the fact that they are discussing the lyrics to Conversation With A Ghost by Ellis Paul. :shock:

This is a major double WOW for most parents out here on the board. It is for me anyway and I just wanted to say that your kids are really and truly lucky to have a mom like you guiding their young lives.

That's all I'm saying.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy


Return to “Breakin' Through the Radio”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests