Tag Archives: spell

Season of the Witch: 13 Songs for Halloween

The Season of the Witch is upon us, and once again I have conjured songs for your Halloween party. The theme for this year is Witches. There are too many great weird songs to choose from, so I used arcane magicks to pick my lucky 13.

witchdance

Turn on any classic rock station and you’re bound to hear Love Potion No.9, I Put a Spell on You, Black Magic Woman, Witchy Woman or a ditty by Fleetwood Mac. This list is not meant to be comprehensive. I’m scooping down deeper into the cauldron and tossing back any tune you can’t dance to.

Come, have a sip of strange brew and listen for a spell.

Season of the Witch by Donovan (This isn’t No. 1, it’s the introduction)

Devil Woman by Cliff Richard (The 60s and 70s- the golden age of witch songs)

Swamp Witch by Jim Stafford (I love these southern fried stories full of creepy bayou atmosphere. “Snakes hang thick from the Cyprus trees, like sausage on a smokehouse wall.”)

marie-laveau-painting

Marie Laveau by Bobby Bare (This is a novelty song, but it harkens back to the time when everyone knew about the Witch Queen of New Orleans.)

Marie Laveau by Dr. John (This song does the Witch Queen more reverence.)

Voodoo by The Neville Brothers (Voodoo songs are often songs about love)

Voodoo Woman by Curtis Knight (or love lost)

Voodoo Woman by Koko Taylor (The next chapter in Curtis’ story?)

One Eyed Witch by The 7th Court (The manic energy of the electric organ just sounds like Halloween)

Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band (The cheesy fx of this music video had me spellbound as a kid.)

She’s My Witch by Kip Tyler (Let’s down tune for some Rockabilly and a few rippin’ guitar songs)

Brujo by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (Screamin’ Jay is Halloween royalty, and he’s representing the Man-witches)

Wicked Old Witch by John Fogerty

19 Witches by Monster Magnet

 

The Witch by The Cult

Witchfinder General by Carl Douglas (It’s not all love songs. Pimps up, Witches down.)

The Salem Witch Trial by Kiriae Crucible (Dark days in Salem. But on the bright side: electric organ!)

It’s only right to give the last word on witches to the ladies who have been so persecuted and maligned. And who better than Yoko?)

Yes, I’m a Witch by Yoko Ono (the 1974 original is smoother, but this version brings the madness home)

Bonus: I Want to be Evil by Eartha Kitt

For five more curated lists, check out my other Halloween mixes here, here, here, here and here.

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Wood, Bone and Spirit

I saw a breathtaking exhibit yesterday at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California called ‘Spirits and Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islanders‘.  If you live in the area I would highly recommend it.  If you can’t attend, here are some of my impressions to give you a taste.

3 Malagan Masks by Chris Rainier

Evil fleshless fish spirit, Malaga

Tolai tribe cult figure for casting black magic

Abelam ceremonial bone daggers

Dani finger bone necklace. The Dani people believe that mutilation is necessary to bring peace to the spirit realm and used ritual finger cutters to remove fingers to mourn family members or important village elders

Vanuatu "over modeled skulls" - skulls of important men are removed after death and resculpted to resemble the original face

Let Mortal Kombat Begin!

Yipwon Hook Figures, Ewa and Yimar People: One legged figures that rest in caves or spirit house until activated by incantations and magical substances to serve as hunting spirits

Chimbu Ritual Magic Bag: bones, moss, bark, stones and talismans

While my photographs focus on some of the more lurid aspects of the ‘headhunter’ culture I am deeply impressed with the people of the Pacific Islands.  This relatively small group has over 800 different languages and a staggering variety of unique customs.  They are incredibly self sufficient, fierce and creative.  I came away from this exhibit inspired to explore these cultures with further research and fiction.

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