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Here Are the Lyrics to Justin Bieber’s ‘Ghost’
Follow along with the words of Justin Bieber's 'Justice' standout hit.
By Rania Aniftos
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Justin Bieber remembers those who are no longer in our lives with the thoughtful “Ghost,” released in October 2021.
The song, off Bieber’s sixth studio album, Justice, peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, and it has spent 18 total weeks on the chart. It is also RIAA certified gold.
If you need a guide to follow along with Justin Bieber’s emotion-filled hit, find them all below:
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Youngblood thinks there’s always tomorrow I miss your touch on nights when I’m hollow I know you crossed a bridge that I can’t follow
Since the love that you left is all that I get I want you to know that if I can’t be close to you I settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life (more than life)
And if you can’t be next to me Your memory is ecstasy I miss you more than life I miss you more than life
Youngblood thinks there’s always tomorrow (woo) I need more time but time can’t be borrowed I’d leave it all behind if I could follow
Since the love that you left is all that I get I want you to know that if I can’t be close to you I’ll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life, yeah
And if you can’t be next to me Your memory is ecstasy (oh) I miss you more than life I miss you more than life
Whoa Na, na-na More than life Oh
So if I can’t get close to you I’ll settle for the ghost of you But I miss you more than life
Lyrics licensed & provided by LyricFind
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Jonathan David Bellion, Jordan Kendall Johnson, Justin Bieber, Michael Ross Pollack, Stefan Adam Johnson
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Written by: Jonathan David Bellion, Jordan Kendall Johnson, Justin Bieber, Michael Ross Pollack, Stefan Adam Johnson
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Justin Bieber's 'Ghost' Lyrics Are About Losing a Loved One
Bieber season is in full effect. At the stroke of midnight, Justin Biebs debuted his sixth studio album Justice , ripe with all the love, heartbreak, and bliss we'd expect from the pop prince. Of course, Justice arrives with sappy love songs about being happily in love with his wife, Hailey Bieber ("Deserve You" and "Holy"). But Justice also addresses loss and heartbreak, specifically a track called "Ghost," leading fans to believe he could be reminiscing about a former love (ahem, Selena Gomez?).
At first listen, it's hard not to succumb to all the "Jelena" Twitter theories. After all, dedicating a song to one of your most publicized relationships is instant tabloid fodder. Over upbeat synths and a classic house rhythm, JB's lyrics take a rather dark turn: "Youngblood thinks there's always tomorrow/I miss your touch some nights when I'm hollow/I know you cross the bridge that I can't follow," he sings in the first verse. Juicy, right? But the closer you listen to the lyrics, the more you realize the song's subject matter veers more towards the loss of a loved one than a breakup. JB further drives this point home when we reach the chorus.
"If I can't be close to you/I'll settle for the ghost of you/I miss you more than life/And if you can't be next to me/Your memory is ecstasy," he continues. When set against the backdrop of a year gripped by death, JB explained to British Vogue that he hopes the song provides blanket of comfort to those who experience loss.
The Biebs said that "Ghost" is about "losing somebody you love. And I know a lot of people have; I know this has been a really challenging year where we’ve lost loved ones and relationships too." He adds that the song "works for this quarantine situation […] we’re not relating and connecting in the same way. It has allowed us to only really have these memories. I hope this resonates and I hope it fills your heart up with joy or comfort in some sort of way."
Below, the lyrics, via Genius, for your own interpretation.
Youngblood thinks there's always tomorrow I miss your touch some nights when I'm hollow I know you cross the bridge that I can't follow Pre-Chorus: Since the love that you left is all that I get I want you to know that Chorus: If I can't be close to you I'll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life And if you can't be next to me Your memory is ecstasy I miss you more than life I miss you more than life Verse 2: Youngblood thinks there's always tomorrow I need more time, but time can't be borrowed I'd leave it all behind if I could follow Pre-Chorus: Since the love that you left is all that I get I want you to know that Chorus: If I can't be close to you I'll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life And if you can't be next to me Your memory is ecstasy I miss you more than life I miss you more than life I miss you more than life So if I can't be close to you I'll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life And if you can't be next to me Your memory is ecstasy I miss you more than life I miss you more than life
Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.
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Ghost by Justin Bieber
- "Ghost" is a heartfelt song where Justin Bieber sings of someone who is no longer with him. This person was special to the singer and all he has left are the happy memories of their time together.
- So, is the song about a breakup, or the passing on of a loved one? The first verse seems to imply both; in the first two lines, Bieber sings of missing a former romantic partner. Youngblood thinks there's always tomorrow I miss your touch on nights when I'm hollow The last line implies death separates them. I know you cross the bridge that I can't follow
- Some fans speculated that Bieber is singing about Selena Gomez, whom he dated for several years. As evidence they point out that in 2010 her band, Selena Gomez & the Scene, released a song titled "Ghost Of You." However, this theory does not sit well with the rest of the Justice album, much of which finds Bieber singing of his love for his wife, Hailey.
- So what does Bieber say about the song? He told Vogue he wrote it in order to comfort those who have lost loved ones during the COVID pandemic or been separated from them because of the lockdown. The song is about "losing somebody you love," Bieber said. "And I know a lot of people have. I know this has been a really challenging year where we've lost loved ones and relationships too. The hook is saying, 'If I can't get close to you, I'll settle for the ghost of you.' That works for this quarantine situation. We're not relating and connecting in the same way. It has allowed us to only really have these memories."
- Justin Bieber wrote "Ghost" with the New York songwriter Michael Pollack, New York rapper/producer Jon Bellion, and The Monsters & Strangerz production duo. The five worked on his " Anyone " single together while Pollack and Bellion also co-penned Justice 's lead song, " Holy ."
- Colin Tilley directed the music video, which co-stars actress Diane Keaton ( The Godfather trilogy, Annie Hall ) as Bieber's grandmother. The clip opens on the death of Bieber's grandfather. The rest of the visual sees a doting Bieber encouraging Keaton to enjoy life again after losing her husband. Bieber handpicked the screen legend to star as his grandmother. He called Keaton up and she readily agreed, even supplying her own wardrobe (including her iconic hats). "The outfits were indicative of my style because they're mine," said Keaton to Vogue . "Some of the outfits are from my closet. I had some wonderful things from Gucci." Keaton knows her way around music videos: She directed Belinda Carlisle's " Heaven Is A Place On Earth " and " I Get Weak ."
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- Leah from Wales This is gonna sound stupid but a few people feel like the song is also dedicated to Avalanna Routh, a young fan (who would be around my age now) (I'm 16 turning 17 soon) but she died of cancer at 6 and she was one of Justin's favourite people. Something about the song gives me that vibe
- Amyra from Nigeria Am madly in love with Justin bierber
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The Painful Meaning Behind the Song “Ghost” by Justin Bieber
by Catherine Walthall July 21, 2022, 9:41 am
It’s been over a decade since Justin Bieber made his splashy debut as a teen idol. And like most people, Bieber has loved and lost several times since the year 2009. Unlike most people, though, Bieber has become one of the best-selling, most-listened-to artists of all time. And in early 2021, he dropped his sixth studio album, Justice .
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Several songs make this particular record worthy of note, but one, in particular, is the two-and-a-half-minute song “Ghost.” Arresting in its sonic ups and downs, “Ghost” touches on some heavy-hitting topics in its lyrics. Read below for the meaning behind those song lyrics.
The meaning behind the song lyrics
“Ghost” is about losing a loved one, likely because they have passed away. I know you crossed a bridge that I can’t follow , Bieber sings.
But “Ghost” doesn’t exclusively serve in an elegiac fashion. The tune can serve as a comfort for those battling the woes of long-distance or separation. As Bieber told Vogue in 2021, the song is about “losing somebody you love. And I know a lot of people have; I know this has been a really challenging year where we’ve lost loved ones and relationships too. The hook is saying, ‘If I can’t get close to you, I’ll settle for the ghost of you.’ That works for this quarantine situation […] we’re not relating and connecting in the same way. It has allowed us to only really have these memories. I hope this resonates and I hope it fills your heart up with joy or comfort in some sort of way.”
That if I can’t be close to you I’ll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life (more than life) And if you can’t be next to me Your memory is ecstasy
“‘Ghost’ is a really special record,” Bieber said in a later 2021 interview. “My objective with making this song was to make people feel like there is hope and that the trauma and the hurt that you feel isn’t going to last forever. It takes time to heal. There will be a moment where that pain doesn’t hurt so bad. Know that that feeling will subside.”
Who is the “Ghost”?
Bieber wrote “Ghost” with singer/songwriter Jon Bellion (known for his song “All Time Low”), two of the Monsters & Strangerz songwriters/producers (Jordan K. Johnson and Stefan Johnson), and Michael Pollack. Each songwriter imbued a slightly different meaning to the song, proving that music is, at its core, subjective.
For Bellion, “Ghost” meant a more literal loss of a loved one. In 2022, Bellion took to Twitter to reveal who he thought of when “Ghost” comes on. “Wrote this one about my grandmother,” he said. “Really cool to feel her every time I turn the radio on in the car. Miss you Gma.”
Who does “Ghost” remind you of? Let us know, comment below.
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The Real Meaning Behind Justin Bieber's Ghost
Fans of Justin Bieber will be well aware of the fact that on March 19, 2021, he released his sixth album, "Justice." Featuring 17 new tunes for eager listeners to devour, each song — including future hits like "Unstable" and "Die for You" — gives us another glimpse into the star's world and experiences as well as his heart and mind. That's why so many people are surely intrigued by "Ghost," which seems to tell us a lot about the singer's take on a certain sad situation.
"Youngblood thinks there's always tomorrow / I miss your touch some nights when I'm hollow / I know you cross the bridge that I can't follow," Bieber sings in the first verse, per Genius , setting the song off with a heart-wrenching tone. He then continues by saying that "since the love that you left is all that I get," he wants the person that he's addressing "to know that / If I can't be close to you / I'll settle for the ghost of you / I miss you more than life / And if you can't be next to me / Your memory is ecstasy."
Are you crying yet? At least sniffling? And you're probably wondering what (and who) Bieber is actually singing about. Well, it turns out that he took the time to explain the meaning behind the song himself.
Is Justin Bieber still missing his famous ex?
When you listen to Justin Bieber's "Ghost," it becomes pretty clear that he's talking about losing someone in his life. But is he referring to a specific person? Some people are apparently under the impression that he's still dealing with his split from Selena Gomez , while others aren't into that idea at all .
So, what does the star himself have to say about the meaning behind " Ghost " ? Well, he told Vogue that the song is (unsurprisingly, considering the lyrics) about "losing somebody you love." He added, "I know a lot of people have; I know this has been a really challenging year where we've lost loved ones and relationships too." The singer then broke down what the song offers to his fans during these trying times. "The hook is saying, 'If I can't get close to you, I'll settle for the ghost of you.' That works for this quarantine situation," he tells listeners. "We're not relating and connecting in the same way. It has allowed us to only really have these memories." He also noted that he "hope[s] this resonates and ... fills your heart up with joy or comfort in some sort of way."
Whoever Bieber might be singing about, there's no denying the fact that his lyrics delve into being haunted by the loss of someone and yet (at least) comforted by their memory.
Justin Bieber lost a family member the day he announced Justice
"I need more time, but time can't be borrowed / I'd leave it all behind if I could follow / Since the love that you left is all that I get, I want you to know / That if I can't be close to you, I'll settle for the ghost of you," Justin Bieber sings as he continues into the second verse and back to the chorus of "Ghost," per Genius . While listeners can speculate about who exactly the singer might be referring to, the fact is that two people who were behind the song lost family members before it was released.
"Wrote this one about my grandmother. Really cool to feel her every time I turn the radio on in the car. Miss you Gma," Jon Bellion, one of the writers and producers of "Ghost," shared on Twitter on February 20, 2022.
That tweet came almost a year after Bieber's grandfather, George, died on February 26, 2021. In a sad coincidence, that was the day the singer announced his new album . In fact, the video for "Ghost" is thought to be about his relationship with his grandparents, per HITC , which makes everything about the song even more touching. It certainly seems like this star knows what it's like to lose someone you care about. He also likely knows what it's like to be scared that you might lose the one you love after something happened to his wife.
Hailey Bieber's hospitalization could bring new meaning to Ghost
Have you seen how Hailey Bieber gushes over Justin Bieber ? There's no doubt that she adores her husband and the feeling seems to be mutual. That's why he was likely so worried when Hailey was hospitalized in March 2022. The model herself explained what happened while posting to her Instagram Stories (via People ), saying, "I was sitting at breakfast with my husband when I started having stroke-like symptoms and was taken to the hospital."
Going on to explain that she "had suffered a very small blood clot to [her] brain," Hailey noted that she "recovered completely within a few hours." Along with acknowledging "all the amazing doctors and nurses who took care of" her, she admitted that "this was definitely one of the scariest moments [she's] ever been through." Following the experience, a source told People that "Hailey doesn't want anyone to worry about her, but it was a terrifying situation for both of them." So much so that Justin could "barely sleep. He stays up watching her while she rests."
Another source told Entertainment Tonight , "Hailey is [Justin's] world and he could never imagine life without her," which means this experience could bring a whole new level of significance to "Ghost," a song about losing someone special. Indeed, when he sings it on tour , it may have a whole new meaning to him. It certainly seems to have a lot of meaning to others who hear it.
Fans love Justin Bieber's Ghost and what it means to listeners
Justin Bieber's "Ghost" could have various levels of meaning for the star himself, while at the same time being a special song to his fans. That's likely why it had topped Billboard 's Pop Airplay chart by February 21, almost a year after the singer released his "Justice" album. Beyond that, on March 21, "Ghost" reached Hot 100's #6 spot, Pop Crave noted on Twitter, and it had apparently been streamed 400 million times on Spotify by March 23.
"Best solo song of the year by the prince of pop Justin Bieber," one person tweeted back in response to the Hot 100 achievement, giving high praise to both the song and the star. Others on Twitter seemed to agree, with one person calling "Ghost" a "Beautiful song" while another even went so far as to claim that it's the "Best song on 'Justice,'" which definitely says a lot.
Granted, on top of listeners obviously being a fan of the tune itself, at least one person on Twitter — who also called it a "wonderful song" — added a little more about why they were so moved by how and why the song had touched others, noting that it was "comfort[ing] many people who are having a hard time" during the COVID-19 pandemic. If Bieber heard that, it likely would mean just as much to him as this song seems to mean to those who hear it.
Are Justin Bieber’s ‘Ghost’ Lyrics About Selena Gomez & Hailey? It’s About ‘Losing Somebody You Love’
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A lot of questions. The cumulative drama between Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez has online fans wondering: Is “ Ghost” by Justin Bieber’s lyrics about Selena Gomez?
The song was released on March 19, 2021, as part of Justice , his sixth studio album. The album was recorded during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with Vogue , he revealed why he named his album, “I named it Justice because there’s so much injustice in this world and there has been since the beginning of time […] My name [Justin] actually means justice, so there’s that. I’m really honored to play a small part and be able to make music that inspires and can uplift people in this time.”
The backbone of the album has inspiration from civil rights champion Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and includes love messages to his wife, Hailey. “I’m a hopeless romantic. This is one of those songs where I get to talk about how much I love my wife,” he told Vogue, before singing along enthusiastically to lyrics such as, “I don’t want to fall asleep / I’d rather fall in love […] Two seconds without you is like two months, ” and “I love the way you love your mom,’ and ‘I still relive that second I met my biggest blessing / Pray for you, look what God has done.”
So are “Ghost” by Justin Bieber lyrics about his relationship with his wife or with Selena Gomez? Read more below.
What is the meaning behind “Ghost” by Justin Bieber’s lyrics?
What is the meaning behind “Ghost” by Justin Bieber’s lyrics? The “Stay” singer told Capital XM the true meaning behind the song. “There’s a lot of people who have lost people from other things and just lose people, might not be a death, but have lost people that were in their life for a season and now that person isn’t,” he revealed . “So, that can feel like a loss almost like you’re grieving that person so this song is kind of like that vibe of grieving that person but still having hope in the process.”
Bieber explained to Vogue that the song is about “losing somebody you love. And I know a lot of people have; I know this has been a really challenging year where we’ve lost loved ones and relationships too. The hook is saying, ‘If I can’t get close to you, I’ll settle for the ghost of you.’ That works for this quarantine situation […] we’re not relating and connecting in the same way. It has allowed us to only really have these memories. I hope this resonates and I hope it fills your heart up with joy or comfort in some sort of way.” In the music video of the song, Justin stars as he is consoling his grandmother after the loss of his grandfather.
Songwriter and producer Jon Bellion made a tribute to his grandmother through this song. “Wrote this one about my grandmother. Really cool to feel her every time I turn the radio on in the car. Miss you Gma.” he tweeted . On April 2, 2022, the song peaked at #5 on the Hot 100. It is Bieber’s 26th song to reach the top 10 on the chart.
Fans of Justin and Selena speculated that the lyrics were about their tumultuous relationship and his subsequent marriage to Hailey Bieber. One Selena fan tweeted, “so, if we look really carefully at the ghost music vid by justin bieber, it’s obviously about losing your soulmate. he is singing from his grandmother’s perspective who lost her husband, and same thing happened to justin, he lost selena, his true love” Another fan tweeted during the release of the song, “Listen I’m not a jelena shipper,” one fan tweeted, “and I’m not even one to throw selena into everything involving justin bc at the end of the day they’re two separate people living two separate lives…but ghost screams selena like…SCREAMS her.” There are also similarities between this song and Selena’s 2010 song “Ghost of You.”
Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber were in a very public on-and-off relationship from 2010 to 2018. The couple had its ups and downs but ultimately ended in 2018. Shortly after their breakup, Justin married model Hailey Baldwin in a courthouse ceremony in 2018.
In an episode of Call Her Daddy, Hailey denied the rumors that Justin cheated on Selena with her. “When him and I ever started, like, hooking up or anything of that sort, he was not ever in a relationship ever — at any point,” she explained. “I’m not interested in doing that and I never was. … I can say — period, point blank — I was never with him when he was in a relationship with anybody,” Hailey said on “Call Her Daddy.” She continued, “It’s not my character to mess with someone’s relationship.” Hailey added that she could “understand” how her and Justin’s relationship could look different “from the outside.” She continued, “That was a situation where I know for a fact that it was the right thing for them to close that door. They were not in a relationship at that time, but of course, there’s a very long history there. … It has nothing to do with me. I know that it closed a chapter and I think it was the best thing that could have happened for him to move on and be engaged and get married and move on with his life in that way.”
Hailey also revealed during the podcast that she and Selena have spoken since she married Justin. “That’s why I’m like, it’s all respect, it’s all love,” she said. “That’s also why I feel like if everybody on our side knows what happened and we’re good and we could walk away from it with clarity and respect then that’s fine. … Which had brought me a lot of peace and I’m like, ‘We know what happened it is what it is.’ You’re never going to be able to correct every narrative.”
She also responded to claims she “stole” Justin from Selena. “This is so crazy, I’ve literally never talked about this ever,” she said. “A lot of the hate and perpetuation comes from [people thinking], like, ‘Oh, you stole him.’ It’s about people knowing the truth. Because there’s a truth.”She continued, “It just comes from, like, the fact that they wished he had ended up with someone else, and that’s fine,” she said. “Like, you can wish that all you want but that’s just not the case.” She also claimed that Justin was also hurt by the comparisons between her and Selena. “I know that for him that’s hurtful because if we have moved on, why can’t you?” she said.
The drama continues to unfold online when fans uncovered different activities between the Rhode and Rare Beauty founders. In one instance, Selena thanked a fan for acknowledging her struggles after her breakup from Justin in 2018 in a comment in a comment on a TikTok video in February 2023. “Does anybody just feel really bad for Selena Gomez? Like can you imagine going through a breakup so publicly with a guy who you were in love with for seven years and then like two months later he just marries someone,” TikTok user @ essymakingsounds said in the video. “And then you have a chronic illness or an autoimmune disease — I can’t imagine that it’s fun. Living with that and the flareups in the public eye while people are watching you.”
The user continued, “And then dealing with mental health when life is hard enough already. Kudos to her for being so brave and so public and so open about her journey. But I bet if we ever walked a day in her shoes — where everything is so publicized — that would be so hard. So whenever I think about a hard day, I think about Selena Gomez. I feel bad saying that but if she can do it then everybody can.”
Selena thanked the user in the comments and revealed that the TikTok “made” her “cry.” “That made me cry thank you!” she wrote.
“Ghost” by Justin Bieber lyrics
Read the “Ghost” by Justin Bieber lyrics below via Genius.
[Verse 1] Youngblood thinks there’s always tomorrow I miss your touch some nights when I’m hollow I know you crossed a bridge that I can’t follow Since the love that you left is all that I get, I want you to know
[Chorus] That if I can’t be close to you, I’ll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life (More than life) And if you can’t be next to me, your memory is ecstasy I miss you more than life, I miss you more than life
[Verse 2] Youngblood thinks there’s always tomorrow I need more time, but time can’t be borrowed I’d leave it all behind if I could follow Since the love that you left is all that I get, I want you to know
[Chorus] That if I can’t be close to you, I’ll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life (Yeah) And if you can’t be next to me, your memory is ecstasy (Oh) I miss you more than life, I miss you more than life
[Bridge] Woah-oh-oh-oh Na-na-na More than life (Oh)
[Chorus] So if I can’t get close to you, I’ll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life And if you can’t be next to me, your memory is ecstasy I miss you more than life, I miss you more than life
Justice by Justin Bieber
'Justice' by Justin Bieber
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Meaning Behind “Ghost” Song By Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber works with teams of creative people on many of his projects, which is great for his fans. When talented musicians and performers get together, the result is usually amazing.
One of his most talked about tracks is the 2021 release, Ghost , which he co-wrote with Jonathan Bellion, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, and Michael Pollack. The music video, directed by Colin Tilley, features Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton in a starring role as the singer’s grandmother.
Anybody who’s wondered about the Ghost song meaning should stick around because we’re about to summon up the truth.
If you’re trying to figure out the meaning of this track, you should start with the lyrics . At the heart of everything here is one major theme: grief.
“I miss you more than life” is one of the repeated lines that stick with listeners. This powerful song is about the pain of missing someone.
Grief can come in many forms , though. The songwriters on Ghost have been quick to point out that this track should be relatable to everyone on different levels.
Next: The best songs about the death of a loved one (grieve to these)
Bieber’s grandfather died early in 2021, and anyone who has gone through this kind of loss knows it can be a heartbreaking and changing event for the family left behind. For those who have experienced the death of a loved one, Ghost hits home with haunting precision.
But the singer doesn’t think the track’s value stops there. He has said in interviews that the song can refer to the grief of missing someone who is gone but still alive.
I miss your touch on nights when I’m hollow
Whether this refers to a breakup or divorce, a long-distance relationship, or a friendship that has fallen apart, there are moments in this track that allow anyone suffering from loneliness to feel seen.
In addition, Bieber said he was inspired by the loneliness of the pandemic , which forced us all to start keeping our distance. It may have helped slow the spread to hunker down, but the singer (and the rest of us) noticed that isolation spawned its own form of grief. Knowing that our loved ones are nearby, but we can’t hug them or talk to them, can be painful.
The Washington Post also found thematic connections to the COVID-19 crisis. In her review, Allison Stewart wrote that the song is “perfectly suited to the unique concerns of quarantine.”
Next: Songs about feeling depressed & depression (our list)
The Music Video
The music video, which is so good that many fans have mistaken it for a clip from an actual film, depicts a young man who helps his grandmother heal after the death of his grandfather. Keaton plays the grandmother who relies on Bieber to take her out of the house and help her through her grief.
This is a pretty clear illustration of one meaning of the song. Because the sadness following a death is usually the first thing to come to mind when we think of grief, this was a perfect direction to go with the video.
But is the music video the final say on what this song is about?
Is there an official meaning?
The songwriters have been open about wanting fans to find their own meaning in this one. That’s because grief is a personal experience that touches us all in different ways.
Though the music video shows one version of grief, there’s no reason that has to be the only meaning of the track.
Bellion , one of the songwriters on this track, said that he was inspired to write about his feelings after the death of his grandmother. He said he feels her with him now every time the song comes on the radio.
American Songwriter’s review of Ghost examined the potential for different interpretations. Catherine Walthall wrote that the track can be heard as a “comfort for those battling the woes of long-distance or separation.”
In short, this track is meant to have an open meaning about the experience of healing through grief.
Other Interesting Facts About Ghost
Keaton, a fashion icon , wore her own clothes for the video. She said she enjoyed working on the scenes with Bieber because the director gave her lots of freedom to be herself.
The track also charted worldwide, placing fifth on Billboard Hot 100 , and quickly reached hundreds of millions of streams.
Next: Our playlist of songs about ghosts (ghostly playlist vibes)
Is Ghost a sad song?
Kind of, but it’s also much more than that.
One of the reasons fans love it so much is that it embraces the sadness of grief, but it also honors the memory left behind. That makes this track somewhat bittersweet.
It will always be sad when someone leaves us, whether through death or other circumstances. However, the song says that we can find joy in the “ghost” that stays with us in our hearts and minds.
I want you to know That if I can’t be close to you, I’ll settle for the ghost of you
There is no literal ghost in this song. Instead, the “ghost” is a reference to the lingering feelings of love and loneliness that remain when someone has left us. That emptiness is a kind of ghost that haunts us.
It’s never enough to simply think about the good times when you miss someone. We always want more. But if the past is all we have left, then we do what the track says. We “settle” for the memory of the past because we don’t ever want to forget our loved ones.
Ghost has been praised for being a hopeful track about grief, which is a difficult note to hit. Instead of wallowing in misery, the song and the video show that it’s possible to honor our past and our grief and to live our lives being grateful for what we miss.
That’s the beauty of memory, and this track illustrates it perfectly.
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“ Ghost ” is a song by Justin Bieber from his 6th studio album Justice .
- 1 Background
- 4 Music video
- 5 Performances
- 6.1 Billboard
- 6.2 US Radios
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 10 References
Background [ ]
“It was one of the songs you hear and you know there’s something special about it,” says Gudwin, Variety ‘s Hitmaker of the Month, of “Ghost.” “I knew it was going to resonate deeply with Justin.” The song was sent to Gudwin by Johnson after Jon Bellion, who wrote the lyrics about his grandmother, originally sent a demo of it directly to Bieber.  
Justin Bieber revealed what the song was about to RADIO.COM: “I think that a lot of people in this day and age, in this time, are losing loved ones due to this crazy virus. But there’s a lot of people who have lost people from other things and just lose people, might not be a death, but have lost people that were in their life for a season and now that person isn’t. So, that can feel like a loss, almost like you’re grieving that person. So this song is kind of like that vibe of grieving that person but still having hope in the process. The song has got that uplifiting beat that still makes you feel hopeful through that feeling of loss and discouragement” 
When Ghost hit the #1 on US Pop Radio, Jon Bellion revealed that he wrote the song inspired by his grandmother with the tweet: " Wrote this one about my grandmother. Really cool to feel her every time I turn the radio on the car. Miss you Gma ."
On September 10, 2021, Ghost was chosen to be Justice's sixth single. The song was promoted to pop radio stations in the United States. Justin sang the song at the MTV VMAs on September 12, before the show, a Dolby Atlmos commercial was released with Justin singing Ghost. Commercial directed by Colin Tilley .
The music video, also directed by Tilley , premiered alongside the release of Justin Bieber: Our World and Justice (The Complete Edition) on October 8th. It stars Diane Keaton .
[Verse 1] Young blood thinks there's always tomorrow I miss your touch some nights when I'm hollow I know your cross the bridge that I can't follow [Pre-Chorus] Since the love that you left is all that I get I want you to know that [Chorus] If I can't be close to you I'll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life And if you can't be next to me Your memory's ecstasy I miss you more than life I miss you more than life [Verse 2] Young blood thinks there's always tomorrow I need more time, but time can't be borrowed I'd leave it all behind if I could follow [Pre-Chorus] Since the love that you left is all that I get I want you to know that [Chorus] If I can't be close to you I'll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life (Yeah) And if you can't be next to me Your memory is ecstasy (Oh) I miss you more than life I miss you more than life [Bridge] Woah-oh-oh-oh Na-na-na More than life (Oh) [Chorus] So if I can't get close to you I'll settle for the ghost of you I miss you more than life And if you can't be next to me Your memory is ecstasy I miss you more than life I miss you more than life
Music video [ ]
Ghost official music video was released on October 8, 2021. Directed by Colin Tilley and starring american actress Diane Keaton .
The video opens with the justin's grandfather character birthday. The moment is interrupted in the next scene as Bieber and Keaton mourn the death of his grandfather at an ocean-side funeral. Two years after the event, Bieber sees Keaton is still struggling with her husband's passing. He decides to take Keaton for a night out on the town as they attempt to move past their grief. Bieber buys a Gucci dress for Keaton to cheer her up, and they partake in activities such as going on long walks along Ventura Beach and taking shots, toasting, and dancing at a bar. Bieber later encourages Keaton to date again as she looks for eligible bachelors on a dating app called Slide. Bieber then drives Keaton to the beach in a convertible, where she scatters her husband's ashes in the ocean while dolphins jump up to greet them. At the end of the video, Bieber surprises Keaton by setting her up on a date with a new man who slightly resembles her widower.
Performances [ ]
- Made In America ( September 5, 2021 )
- MTV Video Music Awards ( September 12, 2021 )
- Justin Bieber: Our World New York premiere ( September 14, 2021 )
- JulesTheWulf birthday party at The Nice Guy ( September 27, 2021 )
- The Event ( October 2, 2021 )
- Justin Bieber & Friends ( October 10, 2021 )
- Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Gran Prix Concert ( December 5, 2021 )
- Jingle Bell Ball ( December 11, 2021 )
- Homecoming Big Game Weekend ( February 11, 2022 )
- Justice World Tour (2022)
- Takeoff's Celebration of Life ( November 11, 2022 )
Commercial performance [ ]
Billboard [ ].
At the Billboard Hot 100 , Ghost debuted in its first week of release, as did all the new songs on the Justice album on the end week of April 3, 2021. But it only stayed on the chart for 2 weeks peaking at #66. Untilil it returned to the hot 100 in the week of October 16, already as a single. Re-entry at #93. A week later it climbs to #32, becoming Justin Bieber's 51st Top 40 song.
Weeks later Ghost enters the Top 10 at a new peak of #9, becoming his 26th Top 10 hit. Until finally on the week of April 2, 2022, Ghost reached its peak at #5, almost a year after its release. Becoming Justin Bieber's 20th hit in the top 5.
US Radios [ ]
Ghost tops the No. 1 on Billboard‘s Pop Airplay of the ranking dated Feb. 26. The song is Bieber’s milestone 10th Pop Airplay No. 1, pushing him past Bruno Mars for the most among solo males since the list launched in October 1992.
While a day before, Ghost reached the number one on Mediabase's US Pop Radio chart, becoming his 12th #1. Surpassing Michael Jackson's record at the soloist male artist with more #1. Third artist overall just behind Mariah Carey (14) and Madonna (15).
Awards and nominations [ ]
Credits [ ]
Credits adapted from Tidal. 
- Producer: Jon Bellion / The Monsters & Strangerz
- Composer: Jonathan Bellion / Jordan K. Johnson / Justin Bieber / Michael Pollack / Stefan Johnson
- Lyricist: Jonathan Bellion / Jordan K. Johnson / Justin Bieber / Michael Pollack / Stefan Johnson
- Assistant Mixer: Heidi Wang
- Associated Performer: Jon Bellion / Josh Gudwin Justin Bieber / Michael Pollack / Pierre-Luc Rioux / Stefan Johnson / The Monsters & Strangerz
- Asst. Recording Engineer: Ryan Lytle
- Background Vocalist: Jon Bellion
- Bass: The Monsters & Strangerz
- Drums: The Monsters & Strangerz
- Engineer: Heidi Wang / Josh Gudwin
- Guitar: Pierre-Luc Rioux
- Keyboards: The Monsters & Strangerz
- Mastering Engineer: Colin Leonard
- Mixer: Josh Gudwin
- Piano: Michael Pollack
- Programmer: Jon Bellion / The Monsters & Strangerz
- Studio Personnel: Colin Leonard / Heidi Wang / Josh Gudwin / Ryan Lytle
- Vocal Producer: Jon Bellion / Josh Gudwin / Stefan Johnson
References [ ]
- ↑ Moayeri, Lily (March 22, 2021). "Hitmaker of the Month: How Josh Gudwin’s ‘Mix Energy’ Helped Boost Justin Bieber’s ‘Ghost’" . Variety .
- ↑ Bellion, Jon (February 20, 2022). "Wrote this one about my grandmother." . Twitter .
- ↑ Zipper, Marni (March 22, 2021). "Justin Bieber reveals how sessions with Shawn Mendes and marriage to Hailey helped shape 'Justice'" . Radio.com .
- ↑ "Credits / Justice (The Complete Edition) / Justin Bieber – TIDAL" . Tidal .
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- Track Review
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- Reached No. 13 on YouTube’s Music Charts & Insights list
How do we endure grief?
While no two people’s answers will be exactly the same, grief invariably involves expressing our emotions and, eventually, letting go.
That’s what Justin Bieber’s new song, “Ghost,” is all about. Bieber lost his own grandfather unexpectedly in early 2021. And the poignancy of his grief haunts to lyrics of this song: “I know you crossed a bridge that I can’t follow,” he sings, before adding later on, “I miss you more than life.”
Other lyrics hint at the loss of a romantic partner. But whether it’s a family member, a dear friend or one’s beloved who has departed, the result is a crater in our heart and grief we cannot evade or avoid. That’s the subject at hand here.
One of Bieber’s musings here has to do with time. When we’re young, we think we have all the time in the world (“Youngblood thinks there’s always tomorrow”). But as we get older, as losses begin to pile up, we realize time is a commodity that we can’t save or renew (“I need more time, but time can’t be borrowed”).
The chorus tells us, “I want you to know that if I can’t be close to you/I’ll settle for the ghost of you/I miss you more than life.” On one hand, those lines speak to a longing for connection that now, sadly, is but a memory—but a memory that can still bring joy and a smile.
That said …
… Those lines could also be interpreted as an unhealthy unwillingness to relinquish someone (though, admittedly, I don’t think that’s what Bieber intends here).
A couple other lyrics imply the loss not just of a loved one, but of a lover: “I miss your touch on nights when I’m hollow/ … Your memory is ecstasy.” Still, even those reflections would be appropriate expressions of grief for anyone who’s lost a spouse. At worst, they’re just a bit suggestive.
The video for the song stars Diane Keaton as Bieber’s fictional grandmother. In it, her husband has just passed, and Justin helps his grandmother work through her grief by taking her out, going dancing and drinking quite a bit. They also go strolling on the ocean. We see her emotion pour out in big ways and small as Bieber is attentive to this grief process over the course of years.
It’s a fitting cinematic portrait to a subtle, poignant song about the ache of losing someone—especially in the context of COVID-19, which has claimed so many lives and forever marked the hearts of surviving loved ones.
Bieber himself said he had the pandemic in mind when he wrote it: “It’s about losing someone you love. It even works in this quarantine situation we’re in, in that we’re not socializing, relating and connecting in the same way. The memory of [someone’s life] can be taken in different ways.”
How do we endure grief? Justin Bieber’s song “Ghost” explores just a few of the ways we might make this unwanted journey.
Adam R. Holz
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.
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Song Meanings and Facts
- Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber’s “Ghost” Lyrics Meaning
by Amanda London · Published March 25, 2021 · Updated March 27, 2021
The simplest way of describing Justin Bieber’s “Ghost” is as it being about the singer missing someone he loves. The lyrics are very powerful, in that they can easily give the impression that he is singing about someone who has died.
However, the Biebs has more or less confirmed that such is not the case. Rather many popular musicians, in their own respective ways, have tackled the coronavirus in song. Interestingly, “Ghost” is actually Justin Bieber’s musical response to the pandemic.
And being the person whom he is, he was touched by the fact that, in his own words , some loved ones became excommunicated from each other during said crisis.
And even beyond the virus itself, Justin is able to recognize that sometimes people just become physically separated for a myriad of reasons. Indeed as he further explained, perhaps two people may be part of each other’s lives “for a season”, and then they aren’t.
So in his own explanation of “Ghost”, Justin doesn’t describe it as being a love song. Rather generally speaking the loved one can also be akin to, say a friend for instance. Indeed we’ve all likely had close relationships in the past that one day they were there and the next was just permanently over.
But that being noted, within the song itself pretty much from the first verse the singer establishes that this is in fact a romantic interest he is addressee.
Such is logically implied considering that the states he ‘misses this person’s touch’. Like that isn’t the type of thing you would say to a platonic friend or family member per se.
He also implies that he took their relationship for granted. But now she has “ cross(ed) the bridge that he can’t follow ’. And what this apparently means is that as far as he’s concerned – for whatever unexplained reason – the two of them will never end up back together.
So now all he has left are memories of her, which is what the titular “ghost” represents.
And once again going back to the thesis sentiment, it features the vocalist missing this person “ more than life ”. In fact concerning her venturing off into the sunset, ‘if he could’ he would leave his own livelihood behind and “follow” her.
And along those same lines “ her memory is ecstasy ”, another statement connoting that their relationship was amorous in nature.
All in all…
Despite the above, the song still possesses sort of a general applicability, as the Biebs alluded to in his overall explanation of it. For instance, there aren’t any gender pronouns contained therein.
So barring the two romantic-sounding statements above, the lyrics of this track can perhaps be stretched to the point where one can argue they are not geared toward an ex.
However as far as the surface presentation goes, i.e. deciphering the song without relying on Bieber’s external explanation, then it’s a no-brainer that he is addressing an ex-girlfriend.
In fact it is so obvious that the internet is ablaze with conspiracy theories arguing that “Ghost” is actually about Selena Gomez, whom the Biebs dated oh so many years ago.
The aforementioned Selena Gomez who, like Justin Bieber, is one of the most-successful singers in the world, dated the Biebs. Their relationship was very inconsistent for almost eight full years , from early 2010 to late 2018.
The same year that they definitively broke up, in 2018, was also the same year that Justin went on to marry Hailey Baldwin, someone whom Bieber also had been dating since 2015 .
But even ’til now after getting married, he may occasionally drop a song that some fans feel is actually about Selena Gomez. Perhaps such is to be expected considering how long they dated, and the fact that, as a result, many people (i.e. Jelenas , as they are called) may never be able not to see them as a couple.
But by and large such theories are never backed up by any actual proof. For instance, the most-telling evidence in this particular track is supposed to be something like the name of the song being inspired by an old Selena Gomez tune from 2010 entitled “ Ghost of You “.
Writing Credits for “Ghost”
Justin Bieber wrote this song alongside the following:
- Michael Pollack
- Jon Bellion
- Monsters & Strangerz members Stefan Johnson and Jordan K. Johnson
And it was also The Monsters & Strangerz (as a unit) as well as Bellion who produced the track.
Release Date of “Ghost”
This song is derived from Justin Bieber’s “Justice”, his sixth-studio album, which came out on 19 March 2021.
It is a product of Def Jam Records, a label traditionally associated with rap music that has since ventured off into other genres. And other labels that supported it are Universal Music as well as Scooter Braun’s Schoolboy Records, RBMG Records and SB Projects.
Justin didn’t release this as a single. The songs that Justin officially released as singles from his sixth studio project are as follows:
- “ Peaches ”
- “ Hold On ”
- “ Anyone ”
- “ Lonely ”
- “ Holy “
- “Let Me Love You” by Justin Bieber & DJ Snake
- “Sorry” by Justin Bieber
- “Peaches” by Justin Bieber (ft. Daniel Caesar and Giveon)
- Justin Bieber’s “Off My Face” Lyrics Meaning
- “As I Am” by Justin Bieber (ft. Khalid)
- “Hailey” by Justin Bieber
- “Monster” by Shawn Mendes & Justin Bieber
- “Unstable” by Justin Bieber (ft. The Kid LAROI)
- “Freedom” by Justin Bieber & BEAM
- “Manifesto” by Tyler, The Creator (ft. Domo Genesis)
- Pingbacks 0
The song is actually about Jon Bellion’s grandmother who passed away after battling dementia for years. Jon Bellion wrote a lot of the Justice album by JBiebs. But no worries – the genius of this song is that Jon Bellion can write his own meaning into the song and yet allow the song to take a meaning of its own with listeners, whether they think it’s romantic or not.
I..I was carried away in the first place about the message in the song, however, believe it or not, JB has had a longing for Selena and it’s known. The lyrics can be interpreted the other way round, missing a person you loved who probably passed on, the pandemic that claimed loved ones…everything rotates around longing for that one special person you dearly loved but has no way of ever getting back together!
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