Monsters and music go together like Laurel and Hardy, movies and popcorn or cotton and candy. I believe the first song I heard that featured a monster was either The Monster Mash or Ghost of John. The former is a Halloween staple that deserves to live forever, the latter is an old folk song with a creepy vibe. Lately, after trying to compile a monster music mix of my own, I came to realize that the werewolf reigns supreme in the genre.
Now, I love a good werewolf song as much as the next guy (I did write a children’s story about a werewolf), but how about giving some love to the other monsters. Off the top of my head I came up with Werewolves of London (The king of the werewolf song by Warren Zevon), Hungry Like the Wolf, Bark at the Moon, and Bad Moon. I found a list of another 163 songs during a short Google search. This is substantially more songs than for any other monster.
Is there something about the lore of the werewolf that lends it to flowing into song lyrics better than some other beast? Perhaps it has to do with tropes such as the full moon, wolf pack, silver, base animal instinct and letting the beast run free (although, other monsters certainly contain interesting and adaptable tropes of their own). Maybe the werewolf alone holds a unique pull on the human psyche. Maybe there are just more werewolves in the music business than we are aware of (you can’t tell me that Springsteen is not a werewolf, double for that Van Zandt fellow).
What about the Vampire? The only song that immediately comes to mind is Suck on the Jugular by the Rolling Stones (Jagger, definitely vampire). That’s all I can come up with for the blood sucking fiends of the night. They deserve more.
Ghosts have Miss Ghost by Don Henley, Ghost Story by Sting, Ghostbusters and Ghost Riders in the Sky. Admittedly, this is more than the vampire, but I know we can do better.
Frankenstein’s monster has Feed My Frankenstein by Alice Cooper and The Monster Mash. The Monster Mash is a verified classic that, by itself, seems to eclipse the whole of all monster songs. I have no problem with that, and feel it a shame that the tune is not played on the plethora of days that happen to fall outside the Halloween season.
Let’s see…zombies have Living Dead Girl by Rob Zombie. Witches fare slightly better with Witchy Woman by the Eagles and Hex Girl by the Hex Girls. Alien invasions have Children of the Sun by Billy Squire. Michael Jackson’s Thriller has honorable mention for incorporating a total horror B-movie vibe. While the Mummy…well…I’ve got nothing (somewhere in the desert a crusty tear slides down a tattered and dirty cloth strip cheek).
I’ve decided to do my part and provide a few song lyrics as impetus to get those creative juices flowing for all you musicians out there. Please allow that I am no lyricist, merely a humble writer of stories and poems. I present the following:
- Let’s trip the bite fantastic
- Far, far worse is the desert curse
- You’ve got blood in your eye
- Shambling from the grave you gave
- Creature stole my heart
- I’ll take a bite out of your life
I should think that would be a good start. Feel free to provide a few of your own lyrics to help the cause.
Now if I can just get Weird Al to make his Halloween album…