Friday, October 19, 2012

12 alternative songs for Halloween


In previous years, I've written articles exploring alternative songs for Halloween gatherings. This time, I've dug deeper to find quirkier and even more obscure songs. So, if you're tired of busting ghosts, mashing monsters and werewolves from London, take a look at the 12 oddities below.

"The Lurch" - Ted Cassidy (1965)
This is a sunny 1960s song sung by Cassidy in character as Lurch from the "Addams Family" TV series. The theme to the "Addams Family" may be a standard of Halloween parties, but this oddball song will be a snappy edition to any Halloween party.

"Drac's Back" - Andy Forray (1979)
A lot of rock stars including Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones got on board with disco, so why not Dracula? In this song, good ol' Drac is on the prowl at discos, warning that those on the dance floor may not be tipsy, but actually a bit woozy from blood loss.

"The Monster Rap" - Bobby "Boris" Pickett (1985)
Everyone knows "The Monster Mash." It is practically synonymous with Halloween. Few are aware that there was a sequel that attempted to cash in on the blossoming hip hop scene. Here the monster is taught how to speak through the wonders of rap.

"Transylvania 6-5000" - Carl Sigman, Jerry Gray and William Finnegan (1985)
In the 1980s it seemed like every film had a theme song that referenced the movie's title. Most weren't as ubiquitous as "Ghostbusters." The "Transylvania 6-5000" film was a poor horror parody starring Jeff Goldblum. The song is an inordinately catchy lost new wave gem. It is so rare that it can only be heard in the opening credits of the film.

"Anything Can Happen on Halloween" - Tim Curry (1986)
Before there was "Harry Potter" there was the "Worst Witch," another series of books about a school of witchcraft. The books beget a 1986 TV movie which features the fabulous Tim Curry crooning about the joys of Halloween. The song is a hoot with loopy lyrics like: "Your teacher could become a sardine/Your dentist could turn into a queen/Has anybody seen my tambourine?"

"TerrorVision" - The Fibonaccis (1986)
Another song from an obscure 1980s horror comedy — this one is actually enjoyable in a campy sort of way. The song has a 1950s horror movie vibe updated for the 1980s that makes it both creepy and danceable.

"Haunted House" - Elvira (1995)
Elvira is a valley girl version of Vampira who began hosting late-night horror movies in the 1980s. Her branding has spread though to movies, video games and Halloween song compilations in which she contributed her own comic twist on the holiday. This hard-rock flavored song features lines like "Hey, can you ghosts keep it down please? I'm trying to get some sleep here."

"Burn The Witch" - Queen of the Stone Age (2005)
Foreboding hard rock is this band's bread and butter. The song begins with a rasping growling voice proclaiming to "burn the witch" and breaks into a funky, driving bass line and thumping drums. Front man Josh Homme sings such cryptic lyrics as "Ask yourself/Will I burn in Hell? Then write it down and cast it in the well."

"Dracula's Lament" - Jason Segel (2008)
For years, actor Jason Segel attempted to conjure up a "Dracula" musical to be performed with puppets. It seemed that dream would never come into fruition. In the movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" we get to see a glimpse of his opus. And it is hilarious.

"Monster Mask" - Pomplamoose (2011)
The popular YouTube duo sings a sweet song about how "Everyone feels like a monster sometimes." It is a heartwarming song, but it also features some excellent use of iconic dialogue from classic horror films that creates a nice Halloween atmosphere.

"Shia LeBeouf" - Rob Cantor (2012)
This song re-imagines actor Shia LeBeouf as a cannibalistic murderer lurking in dark forests. It is absurd, catchy and riotously funny.

"Zombie" - Family Force Five (2012)
A rap-tinged dance track about the ever-popular zombie. The song follows the journey from outbreak to the pleasure of living life as a zombie. The chorus which proclaims "watch me walk, watch me walk like a zombie" will infect your mind and stay awhile.

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