Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
A while back I did a post on science fiction songs in a song, today it is going to be horror stories in a song. Folk music has a lot of songs about monsters and deadly rogues. Modern music on occasion tells the story of something horrific or mysterious. Some of these songs may be more urban fantasy than horror. I picked songs that I though theyt told a horror or supernatural story and that I liked. (Except when I broke the rules)
Monster Mash. This is a novelty song by Bobby “Boris” Pickett, and his band Cordials (later re-branded as the Crypt-Kickers), that still gets play rotation on Halloween. Pickett would introduce some of the songs when he was touring in a Boris Karloff voice and the crowd would go crazy. That led him to write a song that, could be sung in the Karloff style. I chose the Misfits version because punk is cool. This version was made in 1992, VHS release of The Mad Monster Party.
The New Monster Mash. This comes from the internet artists The Key of Awesome, and well they have a point. The original thirties and forties horror movies had an elegance to them (When they were not inundated with camp). Now it is about blood and gore effects. Me for one I prefer suspense to gruesome effects and jump scares. (Minor swear words)
Rolland the Headless Thompson Gunner. Warren Zevon is probably better known for his other horror ditty, Werewolves of London, but this is the classic tale of a ghost looking for revenge, as well as a warning of the treachery of war, and the spread of militaristic ideologies. This song was co-written by David Lindell who was a mercenary in several African bush wars.
The Garden. If you didn’t listen to the words you might think that this song by The Creepshow is about love instead of death. Well actually it is about both. Part of the Psychobilly movement it combines the upbeat tunes of rockabilly with dark supernatural themes. This song is both beautiful and eerily haunting. The heart of the band has always been two sisters, this was Jen “Hell Cat” Blackwood (the red head) last song with the band, and she now has a band called Hellcat and the Prowl. Her sister, Sarah “Sin” Blackwood took over lead vocals, but found internet success and a lot of money with Walk off the Earth, so she has covered up the tattoos and is making a big name for herself doing covers on Youtube. In 2012 Kendra “Twisted” Lagaspi took over vocals for the band.
Wolf like Me. This is TV on the Radio’s song about werewolves in love. Though they have been around since 2001, this song released in 2006 is the bands break out song and has been used in many medias including TV shows, such as Alphas, Criminal Minds, Bones, The Vampire diaries and CSI: Miami, movies such as Never Back Down, Seven Sunny Days, Kill Your Darlings and Detention as well as the video game Project Gotham Racing IV, and a Nike Olympics’ commercial.
Twisted Nerve. OK, I kind of cheated on this one. Most people know this song from Terintino’s Kill Bill Vol, 1. But the eerie whistle tune came from a movie about a psycho Killer called The Twisted Nerve. Last week I was getting gas at a station and this song came from out of nowhere (Probably someone’s cell phone) and it sent shivers down my spine.
Haunted: OK this song is more about relationships and uses supernatural allusions than a true horror song, but hey when it is sung by someone who took her stage name form Edgar Allen Poe, well it gets a little slack. The entire album Haunted by Poe as inspired by her finding a box with tapes of her dead father’s voice on it and how it affected her. Now that is a creepy yet interesting story.
Lovecraft in Brooklyn. Like most of The Mountain Goats songs this one deals with alienation and felling separated from the masses. It is more about someone who identifies with Lovecraft’s xenophobia and seclusion. But it uses HPL more as an allusion with references to The Deep Ones the Mi-gos.
Don’t Fear the Reaper. If you are like me you hear this Blue Oyster cult song and immediately think… “Needs more cowbell.” But this song is about the personification of death. It was also one of the first things where I remember hearing in media the concept of death was not evil or bad.
Nature trail to Hell. Hey horror can be funny, the novels of Charles Stross or the original Ghost Busters . So I am going to leave you with this Weird Al Classic, as a plus I picked a video full of scenes from supernatural so you can see what Nature trail to hell might look like if it was filmed with good looking people.