Shorty PJs asked for good Halloween songs and my band Mappamundi just happens to have a whole big pile of them. Monster Mash, as she mentions, of course. But here are some more good ones, originally conceived as a "disaster set" for the anniversary of Hurricane Fran (which hurled eight trees on my roof, crushing it completely). It then got revamped as a "death set" and is a natural for Halloween programs.
- No Es Serio Este Cementerio
- By Mecano, a Spanish rock group, about the cheerful perambulations of the ghosts in the cemetery. "The niches are better than the mausoleums because they are cheaper and don't have as many insects."
- Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst
- "Some drink champagne, some die of thirst... the world's a stage, we're unrehearsed... Some reach the top, friends, while others flop, friends..." Mel Brooks' words of wisdom and a perfect theme song.
- Strange Things Happen in this World (Laurie)
- An ultra-bizarre song from the 50s by Dickie Lee. A really cute girl borrows a sweater from the protagonist. He falls in love with her, gives her a ride home, and then realizes he forgot to get his sweater back. The next day he returns and a grieving father informs him that Laurie died years ago and that last night would have been her birthday. The sweater is later found in a cemetery. The ingenuously lame song is a favorite of mine because it has a dumb tune and also doesn't rhyme.
- Teen Angel
- An obvious one. Why did she go back for that stupid high-school ring - didn't she hear the train coming?
- William Glenn
- An English song about the near-annihilation of a sailing ship due to the previously undisclosed dastardly deeds of the captain. "Never go sailing with a murderer."
- Death & the Maiden
- If you ever meet up with an old bald guy in the road, and his clothing is made of "the cold earth and clay," you're in trouble.
- Chorni Voron (Black Raven)
- A Russian song about a dying soldier trying to beam a message back to his love at home while a raven circles overhead, awaiting his demise.
- The Cloudburst
- About a hurricane in 1916 which caused terrible mudslides and many deaths in the North Carolina mountains - from the singing of a woman in Ebenezer North Carolina (long since swallowed - Ebenezer, I mean, not the woman - by Raleigh).
- The White Cockade
- Her fiance is "pressed" into the army and she curses the man who took him: "Oh may he never prosper and may he never thrive in anything he turns his hand, as long as he's alive; may the very ground he treads on the grass refuse to grow..."
- Charlie and the MTA
- He has only a nickel but the subway fare is raised while he's in transit. He never leaves the subway again. "Charlie's wife goes down to the Scollay Square station every day at quarter past two, and through the open window she throws Charlie a sandwich as the train comes rumblin' through."
- Lid fun Titanik
- A Yiddish song describing the destruction of the great ship. A young, newly married couple asks God why he has brought this upon them.
- Oh Death
- "What is this that I can see, these icy fingers taking hold of me?"
- That Was an Awful Night
- A ballad I wrote about Hurricane Fran crushing my roof.
- A Greek widow tries to get her boyfriend to stop gambling and smoking the black hashish, and he promises to reform. But then he doesn't.
- Kelesh Doncho
- A Macedonian farmer is caught by the Turks with bombs hidden under the rye in his wagon. He's thrown in jail but betrays nobody. The reason is, he didn't know the bombs were there - he was an unwitting accomplice. Now he's a dead hero.
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