Daily Archives: October 11th, 2012

Seven Graveyard Smashes

As Halloween approaches once again, it’s time to revisit a near-extinct art – the holiday novelty song.  Second only to Christmas, Halloween was made for accompanying musical madness. So why do fright and folly go so well together? Sociologists have analyzed and over-analyzed our instinctive attraction to fear – why we watch scary movies or ride roller coasters – but it essentially boils down to this: we love to be scared, but we prefer to be in on the joke. So here are a few favorite Halloween novelty songs to get you in the trick-or-treating mood.

1. Buck Owens – (It’s A) Monsters’ Holiday

Not to be confused with Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s Christmas-themed song of the same name, this 1974 country rocker is pure Buck Owens. The infectious, bouncy groove and playful lyrics are made complete with the requisite spooky sound effects and voice-over. And no monster is left out of this party.  Fee-fee-fi-fi-fo-fo-fum…

2. Bo Diddley – Bo Meets the Monster

Long before The Beatles or The Ramones successfully created cartoon caricature alter egos of themselves, Bo Diddley was inventing a sort of third-person comic book superhero persona; placing himself in all sorts of absurd scenarios backed by a gritty, low-down, sweaty groove. From gun-slinging at the O.K. Corral to lumberjacking in the woods to facing down that ghastliest of monsters – the Purple People Eater. Almost a decade before Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page would popularize the pick slide, Bo Diddley brilliantly used this Foley device to mimic the sound of a creeping door opening slowly.

3. Bob McFadden and Rod McKuen – The Mummy

Mummies, vampires, werewolves and…beatniks? Perhaps the scariest of all monsters Continue reading →