Ghost – “Rats” Lyrics Meaning

Photo of author
Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Ghost’s “Rats” dives into the idea of beliefs spreading like a contagious disease, illustrating the destructive power of ideas when they spiral out of control. Drawing on powerful imagery, the song likens harmful beliefs to rats – relentless, invasive, and hard to eliminate. The songwriter seems to warn listeners about the dangers of blindly following ideas and highlights the consequences of such beliefs on oneself and the community.

Uncover the raw emotions and layered meanings behind Ghost’s “Rats.” Venture into a world of spreading beliefs, consequences, and the undeniable presence of those relentless rats!


“Rats” Lyrics Meaning

Opening with “In times of turmoil, In times like these, Beliefs contagious, Spreading disease,” the song sets the stage. It underscores how certain beliefs can become widespread and influential, especially during challenging periods. The comparison to a “disease” emphasizes the speed and damage of these beliefs.

The line “This wretched mischief is now coursing through your souls, Never to let go” paints a vivid picture of how deep-rooted and invasive such beliefs can become. Like rats, once they infiltrate, they’re challenging to remove.

Moving to “Into your sanctum, You let them in, Now all your loved ones, And all your kin,” the song emphasizes the personal responsibility of letting in harmful ideas. The damage isn’t limited to oneself; it extends to loved ones and the broader community.

The punishment “beneath the wrath of God” might hint at religious dogma or, more broadly, societal consequences of blindly following destructive beliefs.

Repeated cries of “Rats!” emphasize the persistence and ubiquity of these invasive ideas, symbolized by the rodents. The verses, “They’re still coming after you, And there’s nothing you can do” reinforces a sense of inevitable doom and the relentlessness of the harmful beliefs.

The Story Behind “Rats”

Ghost is known for their theatrics, elaborate stage presence, and thought-provoking lyrics. “Rats” stays true to their style, offering more than just surface-level meaning.

When penning down “Rats,” the songwriter seems to reflect on society’s susceptibility to detrimental ideas, especially during unstable times. They might’ve been inspired by historical events where society has witnessed the rapid spread of ideologies, leading to widespread consequences.

The decision to use “rats” as a metaphor is quite poignant. Throughout history, rats have been considered carriers of diseases responsible for plagues. Here, they’re not just physical creatures but a representation of harmful ideologies. Just as rats were carriers of the Black Death, these beliefs are carriers of societal decay.

Moreover, the visceral response many have to rats – fear, disgust – is akin to the feelings destructive ideas should invoke. The song might be urging listeners to be cautious of what they let into their personal “sanctum.”

In a nutshell, “Rats” serves as a haunting reminder of the power of beliefs, the consequences of following them blindly, and the lasting damage they can inflict on society. The song can be seen as a call to awareness and vigilance, reminding listeners to guard their minds and souls against the invasion of damaging ideologies.