Reading Comprehension through Harry Styles



I love using music in the classroom for a number of reasons. I have previously blogged about using songs for comprehension and you can read about them here - CLICK HERE.

After listening to the latest song released by Harry Styles, 'Two Ghosts' is definitely a song you could use and discuss with your pupils.

Here is a lyric video:


I would first play the song all the way through and ask the children what the song is about - It is about a relationship ending and both leaving as very different people. 

Then consider the lyrics in more detail:

Same lips red, same eyes blue,
Same white shirt, couple more tattoos,
But it's not you and it's not me,
Tastes so sweet, looks so real,
Sounds like something that I used to feel,
But I can't touch what I see.

We're not who we used to be,
We're not who we used to be,
We're just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me,
Trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat.


  • Consider the first line, who is he singing about? His partner
  • Who is the second line referencing? Himself
  • What does Harry mean by the third line? Even though they look the same on the outside, they are very different on the inside because of the relationship. 
  •  Why does he make a reference to taste? He isn't going to eat anyone, it is a reference to how sweet she is and how we like sweet things. 
  • How do we know he no longer has the same feelings? He uses the past tense to explain his feelings. 
  • Why does he repeat the line 'We're not who we used to be'? For emphasis, he is making it clear that they have both changed. 
  • Why does he reference himself and his partner as ghosts? Ghosts are apparitions that only resemble the external of the person they were. They do not possess feelings and no longer have a heartbeat. There is no emotional connection between them anymore. 
  • Why does he talk about his heartbeat in the last line? We always link the heart to love so he is trying to remember when he was happy in love. 
  • How long has he felt like this about his relationship? A long time as he can't remember a time when he had a heartbeat - felt in love. 
The fridge light washes this room white,
Moon dances over your good side,
This was all we used to need,
Tongue-tied like we've never known,
Telling those stories we already told,
'Cause we don't say what we really mean.

We're not who we used to be,
We're not who we used to be,
We're just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me,
We're not who we used to be,
We're not who we used to be,
We're just two ghosts swimming in a glass half empty,
Trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat.

Trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat,
I'm just trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat
  • Were the couple together for a long time? We can infer yes that they lived together as he talks about the fridge light and repeating stories. 
  • How do we know the excitement of the relationship is gone? He mentions that they needed nothing but light from the fridge or the moon and that was all they needed to be happy together, but that isn't the case anymore. 
  • Why is he tongue-tied? He doesn't know what to say to her and what to talk about anymore. 
  • Who is to blame for the break up? No one in particular, the message from the song is that both people are the same and even Harry admits he can't talk about his real feelings. 
  • Why does he mention swimming in a glass half empty? This references the idiom of glass half full/empty. The reference to emptiness links to pessimism, that you focus on the negatives. 

  • Overall, do you feel this is a sad or happy song? It is sad that a relationship has come to an end however when you aren't happy it is best to end something and move forward but to learn from the experience. 
  • What might Harry have learned from the relationship? To talk more about how he really feels rather than go round in circles and make things worse. 





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