Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Songs Through the Decades

This year, Mark Steyn goes all dark and moody for Halloween. Well, maybe not dark, but definitely moody, and full of faux-seriousness and faux-smoke that marked many a dark and moody video of the 1980s (think "Every Breath You Take" or something hyper-serious and grandiose from Bono and the U2 gang).

Anyway, I know it has nothing to do with Halloween, but when I think about 80s singers, I think of Paul Young. He wasn't in the spotlight all that long, but I always thought his was the most gorgeous voice of the era. And it was even more haunting (in which case, I guess it can be shoehorned in to the Halloween theme) if you ever heard him in concert, as I was lucky enough to do way back in 1985. I'm pretty sure he performed this one at the time--one of my favorites. Try to ignore the annoying back up singers and concentrate on Paul's awesome voice:

From the sublime to the ridiculous (the definition of bathos, no?), here's Bobby "Boris" Pickett's novelty hit from the mid-60s.

The "Boris" in his name refers to iconic horror star Boris Karloff, whose voice Pickett was simulating in this song. The real Karloff--the original Frankenstein monster of film--was actually quite funny on those rare occasions he did comedy--as seen here in Arsenic and Old Lace. (The film's star, Cary Grant, mugs in a particularly forced and desperate way throughout the picture, but Karloff's performance is a masterpiece of subtle underplaying, and therefore far more amusing than Grant's.)

And now, the piece de resistance--or rather the piece there's no point in resisting. It's my updated, Canadianized version of the Pickett number:

They were watching the results on election night
When their eyes beheld a horrifying sight.
For young Trudeau they said was poised to win,
But how to react, and where to begin?

They did the gibe
They did the Justin gibe
The Justin gibe
It's not hard to describe
They did the gibe
Weren't his "progressive" tribe
They did the gibe
They did the Justin gibe
The Justin gibe

From the very first they oooh'd and ahhh'd his looks
He was not like leaders from those history books.
He looked more like a Bieber or a Timberlake.
Like a Canadian Idol, for goodness sake.

Said he couldn't move to the Prime Minister's house.
He thought the place was haunted, and so did his spouse.
There was tons of asbestos floatin' in the air
And there was just no way they'd think of living there.

He did the gibe.
He did the Justin gibe.
The Justin gibe.
He dissed the Harper tribe.
He did the gibe.
His standards were prescribed.
He did the gibe.
He did the Justin jibe.
The Justin gibe.

So if you see him trick or treating on the street
And you can't decide to take the trick or the treat.
Consider this: the treat's the one to pick
'Cuz we already fell for his election trick.

Then do the gibe.
Then do the Trudeau gibe.
The Trudeau gibe
He sparkled and he bribed.
We'll do the gibe
And never end the feud
The Trudeau gibe:
With Justin, we're all screwed...


DeeBee9 said...

I think the actor in Arsenic and Old Lace is Raymond Massey, doing a good imitation of Karloff.

scaramouche said...

You're right. My bad. As I recall, the joke in the movie is that he's had really bad plastic surgery that makes him look like Boris Karloff. Or something like that. (I must admit I haven't seen the movie in years.)