Ghost – “Spillways” Lyrics Meaning

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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.

“Spillways” by Ghost dives deep into the dark corners of the human soul, touching upon internal conflict, struggle for redemption, and the continuous battle with personal demons. It’s a narrative of trying to overcome past wrongs and guilt, conveyed through the metaphor of “spillways” — channels for excess emotional and psychological turmoil.

The song doesn’t seem to be about a specific person, but rather a universal human condition, making it relatable to a broad audience. Through this powerful piece, the songwriter underscores the enduring human capacity for resilience and transformation, despite the harshest of internal battles.

Dive in further and you’ll find the raw essence of struggle and resilience embedded in “Spillways.” There’s more to uncover in these haunting lyrics, teasing the edges of human psyche and our inherent ability to withstand and transform.

“Spillways” Lyrics Meaning

Opening with “Through benediction / You tried to rid your mind / Of malediction,” Ghost lays the foundation of a person seeking spiritual or emotional absolution to cast off a curse or a burden, perhaps a past wrong. “Benediction” and “malediction,” two opposing forces of blessing and curse, represent the dichotomy of the human condition.

The next lines, “Your desolation / Led you into this / Vile incarnation / Of consummated bliss” reveal a deeper layer of despair driving the person into a situation they loathe, but find satisfying. This paradoxical “consummated bliss” could suggest harmful coping mechanisms or destructive habits that bring temporary relief but ultimately exacerbate one’s suffering.

The repeated refrain “All your faith / All your rage / All your pain / It ain’t over now” emphasizes the persistence of struggle. There’s no easy resolution. Instead, Ghost is suggesting that these feelings — faith, rage, pain — are an ongoing part of the human journey.

The haunting lines “It’s the cruel beast that you feed / It’s your burning yearning need to bleed / Through your spillways” could be interpreted as the torment one inflicts upon oneself by clinging to harmful thoughts, emotions, or habits. The ‘spillways’ stand as metaphoric outlets for these tormenting feelings, emphasizing the necessity to let out or ‘bleed’ the pain for healing to occur.

The lines “You keep a casket / Buried deep within” further reinforce the theme of inner demons and struggles, suggesting that everyone carries within them some form of deep-seated pain or regret, hidden away like a ‘buried casket.’

The Story Behind “Spillways”

While the song doesn’t speak of a specific event or individual, it embodies universal feelings of despair, internal conflict, and struggle for redemption. Such themes often arise from a songwriter’s experiences or observations of the world around them. By exploring these themes, they shed light on the shared human condition — our inherent capacity for pain, resilience, and transformation.

The songwriter’s state of mind while composing this piece might have been contemplative or empathetic, recognizing not only personal struggles but also the collective pain carried by all of humanity. The song’s recurring themes of struggle and redemption suggest an intention to connect with listeners who are grappling with their own internal battles, offering them a sense of understanding and solidarity.