Ten Gruesomely Good Halloween Songs, Pt 1: New York Dolls, Dr. Elmo, Ramones and More

Yeah, yeah. We’ve seen the “Thriller” video. Time for some Halloween songs that take disturbance to a whole new level. Brace yourself for ten that are so perverted, you may want to skip the witching hour on Friday. And Dia de los Muertos, too.

New York Dolls, “Frankenstein”: This song makes the list because of one crucial lyric: “Do you think that you could make it with Frankenstein?” Well, do you? Ruminate on that for a moment. Mary Shelley’s monster was created from the body parts of corpses. Now, think about it again. Could you have sex with the Creature? If so, you are probably deeply compassionate… or severely depraved.

Dr. Elmo, “Redneck Dracula”: Better known for his holiday megahit “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” Dr. Elmo also recorded the 2005 LP Dr. Elmo Sings the Boos, featuring gems like “Texas Chainsaw Halloween.” Also here is “Redneck Dracula,” in which Elmo sings of a memorable woman: “How I miss your varicose veins” and “She drove a chicken-fried steak through my heart.” The most evocative image Elmo crafts is worthy of Urban Cowboy immortalization: “I drank her blood ‘til I was full, then lost it all on the mechanical bull.” Cue vomit sound effects.

Distillers, "Die on a Rope”: While abrasive in the best possible way possible thanks to Brody Dalle’s growling voice, this is an optimistic song. Consider the chorus: “Tell me something/ will I die on a rope?/ Will I die, will I die, no I won’t”. Verse two annihilates the happiness, however, snarling, “I want to draw the blood from your neck/ cut the tongue from your head.” It’s probably metaphorical. Probably.

Ramones, “Pet Sematary”: 1989's Brain Drain wasn't the Ramones’ best album, but the band scored a modest hit with “Pet Sematary,” written for the 1989 movie based on the 1983 Stephen King novel. In the single, Joey Ramone intones, “Victor is grinning, flesh rotting away, skeletons dance, I curse this day.” The chorus neatly sums up the thoughts of everyone who read the book or saw the movie: “I don’t wanna be buried in a pet sematary”.

Cure, “Lullaby”: Not only is “Lullaby” a great song, it’s also deliciously creepy. The lyrics construct a narrative that involves a victim, presumably singer Robert Smith, being stalked and eaten by anthropomorphic arachnid. Smith describes the experience, “The Spiderman is having me for dinner tonight, And I feel like I’m being eaten by a million shivering furry holes.” The good news? It’s a dream. The bad news? He wakes up feeling cold, knowing it will happen again. - Linda Leseman

Note: Check back tomorrow for Nos. 5-1.

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Linda Leseman
Contact: Linda Leseman