What does Dave Grohl whisper in Everlong by Foo Fighters?

20 May 2022, 16:35 | Updated: 20 May 2022, 16:38

During the breakdown towards the end of the classic 1997 song, Big Dave whispers something - but what is it?

Following the death of Kurt Cobain and the end of Nirvana, Dave Grohl put together the first Foo Fighters album largely by himself. Released in 1995, Grohl was given much critical acclaim for becoming a compelling frontman and songwriter in his own right.

Its follow-up, 1997’s The Colour And The Shape, was the first album to feature Foo Fighters as a band - and it’s generally regarded as a masterpiece.

One of the most affecting songs on the album is track 11, Everlong. Passionate, wistful, urgent and full of longing, it proved that Dave Grohl could write songs that resonated with his audience and put him on a par with his former bandmate Kurt Cobain.

Foo Fighters in 1997:   Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Dave Grohl
Foo Fighters in 1997: Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Dave Grohl. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

"If everything could ever feel this real forever...
If anything could ever be this good again."

It’s known that the album was made following Dave’s divorce from his first wife, Jennifer Youngblood. It was also a rocky time in the ranks of the Foos: drummer William Goldsmith left the band after Grohl re-recorded his parts on the album, and guitarist Pat Smear took a break as he was friends with the singer’s ex-wife.

Dave was at a low ebb, but he had started a relationship with musician Louise Post, who was then enjoying success as part of the band Veruca Salt. She seems to have inspired Everlong.

Louise Post of Veruca Salt at in St. Petersburg, Florida, 1995.
Louise Post of Veruca Salt at in St. Petersburg, Florida, 1995. Picture: Frank Mullen/WireImage/Getty Images

Grohl told Kerrang in 2006: “That song's about a girl that I'd fallen in love with and it was basically about being connected to someone so much, that not only do you love them physically and spiritually, but when you sing along with them you harmonise perfectly."

Towards the end of the song, the instruments drop out for an instrumental break and a whispering voice can be heard, distorted like it’s coming down a phone line. It’s obviously the voice of Dave Grohl, but what’s he saying?

The official Foo Fighters newsgroup used to carry an FAQ which claimed that the whispering is in fact three separate tracks of Grohl whispering: one is “a love letter”, the second is “a technical manual” and the third is a “story about a studio technician’s father”.

Dave Grohl - London 1997
Dave Grohl - London 1997. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

Grohl has admitted the technical manual story, and the tale from the studio tech seems to be confirmed by this video… When Everlong was included on the soundtrack to the Rock Band 2 game, many people took the opportunity to examine the separate multi-tracks.

As far as we can tell, the words whispering says:

"So Dad would take the Sundays off,
And that's the only time he could ever get any rest,
And so, because we were loud on Sundays,
He'd make us hold his construction boots over our head, till he'd sleep
And they were really heavy boots
And I'd used to say dad come on please
And like start crying, cause they re too heavy."

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