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Ghost Lineage

Song Stories

album Liner Notes

In this series of Song Stories we’re taking you behind the scenes of each song.

We’re starting with Chapter I – Old Bones Odyssey and our fourth song on the album Ghost Lineage.

Coming soon: we’re creating a podcast that dives deeper into the stories and history behind our songs.


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Ghost Lineage


Ghost Lineage

“All that we have ever known,
the double helix of our souls,
‘cross the earth, they leave us bread crumbs,
eed us while we’re sleeping”
-Lyrics/Ellen Kaye

Ellen C Kaye – Lead Vocal
Ethan Fein – Guitar
Koa Ho – Electric bass
Zach Mullings – Drums
Jackie Presti – Backup Vocals
Soara-Joye Ross – Backup Vocals
© 2022 Ellen C Kaye and Ethan Fein. All rights reserved.

We dangle on a thread 
Inside the galaxy’s mighty web 
And the ghosts of all that came before
Echo down the empty halls 
Of lost causes and ideals 
That were never
as real
as the stars we follow 

Distant thunder shakes the earth 
Telling tales we’ve never heard 
Ancient stories half forgotten
Back where dragons slumber 

Cave walls rock from side to side 
We hold them up to stay alive 
Time is shifting, ever drifting 
Keeping  us fate’s rider 

Running through our blood
Coursing through our brains
Setting our little worlds on fire 
The past is never past 
All that was still exists
From orange dust to ancient ashes
From Achilles to sea anemones

Black wings brush against our skin
Fires smolder deep within 
Paintings seeing far beyond us 
Capture what we’re dreaming 

All that we have ever known 
The double helix of our souls
‘Cross the earth, they leave us bread crumbs
Feed us while we’re sleeping

Running through our blood
Coursing through our brains 
Setting our little worlds on fire 
The past is never past 
All that was still exists
From orange dust to ancient ashes 
From Achilles to sea anemones 

Futures of the universe 
Faint and distant, close at hand 
Weightless, searching, endless seeking 
Oracles of starlight 

Star-stuff flows from sun to sun 
Shaping worlds we’ll never own 
Iron stars that dance within us
Dying in our making 

Running through our blood
Coursing through our brains
Setting our little worlds on fire 
The past is never past 
All that was still exists
From orange dust to ancient ashes
From Achilles to sea anemones

Golden rays 
Take us home
Take us home at last 

Ellen C Kaye – Lyrics
Ethan Fein – Music 
Recorded/Mixed/Mastered by Bill Moss
Outlier Inn Recording Studio – Woodridge, New York
Ellen C Kaye, Ethan Fein, Bill Moss, Alan Joseph–Producers
(c) 2023 A Repair With Gold Production LLC SM. All rights reserved.

The Story

Ghost Lineage

“Terribly familiar and haunting all at once.”-Ellen Kaye

I wrote “Ghost Lineagepartly because I love Tennessee Williams so much. His work embedded in me the idea of ghosts in our blood. Especially in our southern blood. And then science constantly captures my mind. I came across the concept of ghost lineages and was transported. It sums it all up for me. The ancient past, unknowable, forever mysterious. The ghost people inside all of us. I want listeners to feel like it’s something they’ve always known, a deeper truth. Terribly familiar and haunting all at once.

I like the mystery of these lyrics, the idea that long ago peoples feed our dreams, our thoughts, the structures of our philosophies. I was deeply affected by Carl Sagan when I was young.  I’ve revisited his writing for this project and I find I love him just as much now. His title “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”  hits home. His book “The Dragons Of Eden” was a favorite of mine. It was given to me as a history award in high school. It stuck with me – genetic memory, falling from trees, snakes, the whole shebang. Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End left a lasting effect as well. And now the new James Webb Telescope is thrilling. It opens new vistas every day.

I think of ghost lineages as a way of thinking about everything we don’t know about ourselves. It’s Carl Sagan’s writing that showed me that idea. The things you can’t see. Ancient stories half remembered, long ago tunes that weave in and out of your head. Secrets handed down. Markers. Pointing the way forward, pointing the way back. Stories in our blood that tell us other versions of who we are. A kind of history running through our veins. Mixed with the dreams of long ago peoples. Across cave walls, in our minds, they imprint their lost thoughts and ways.

An Interview with Ellen

Ghost Lineage

Full Transcript Of Interview with Ellen Below

“The mystery of the past, the mystery in your own lifetime,
the mystery about the people that raised you, the people all around you.“-Ellen Kaye

Take #1
I wrote Ghost Lineage kind of later on in the project. I came across the phrase through some of Carl Sagan’s work and some of it, like I was reading some quotes of his and I had loved him when I was much younger. And he had talked about Ghost Lineage and I’ve been reading about it in the Science Times, the New York Times section on Tuesdays and it captured my imagination. And I thought that it could really sum up parts of the project that I was kind of always attempting to talk about, which is the ghosts that live inside us philosophically. 

And in the case of the new work they’re doing in terms of ancient peoples and being able to discover them inside of our blood, that’s kind of what led to this. Like the missing peoples, the peoples whose fossils we don’t have, but we can now see that they live inside us. I felt like it all kind of came together and that’s what I was trying to do with Ghost Lineage.

Take #2
I wrote Ghost Lineage to describe and kind of try to communicate one of the core pieces of the Old Bones project, which is the ghosts that live in our blood metaphorically and in terms of recent genetic discoveries, the ghost lineages that actually live in our blood, in our dna. I’m trying to capture both of those ideas at once and get myself, and I guess all of us, to think more about where we come from, because Old Bones is about a philosophical timeline. So yeah, it’s about the ghosts.

I think one of the things I was really feeling myself as I was writing about Ghost Lineage is mystery. The mystery of the past, the mystery in your own lifetime, the mystery about the people that raised you, the people all around you.ᅠI definitely want people to feel a sense of mystery and at the same time a feeling of recognition, something they’ve always known. It’s a combination. I’m looking for both of those feelings. Hopefully I’m getting close to that.ᅠ

I guess it’s the bridge. Though I have to say there’s a lot of different lyrics in the song that I really love, but “Running through our blood, coursing through our veins, setting all our little worlds on fire. The past is never passed, all that was still exists, from orange dust to ancient ashes, from Achilles to see anemones.” I just like all of the different allusions in there. I hope that I’m capturing a word that I keep using today. That feeling of ancient running, being hunted and at the same time, this kind of continuum through all of our different cultures. 

I’ve always been completely fascinated with the ancient past and because there’s constantly new discoveries. I just am just never tired of reading about new bones that are being found and new fossils and it doesn’t matter if it’s amphibious or if it’s homosapien or a lost kind of branch, especially the lost branches that connect to the human tree. 
But yeah, I’d have to say science. I’d say science is really what inspires me and a splash of Ray Bradbury Childhood’s End particularly and a whole heap of Carl Sagan from Dragons of Eden when I was in my teens and just continue to think he was, you know, just had a really fine mind.

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Ellen C Kaye

Singer/songwriter, producer, podcast maker, mom, born and bred in NYC. Night Club singer at heart.