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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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Beyond the Monster Mash

The Monster Mash is awesome, nobody is disputing that, but it is not the only ‘Halloween Carol’.  This may come as a surprise to anyone who has ever tried to assemble a playlist for a halloween party.

If you are in a rush and only want to choose one album to set the mood I would recommend Halloween Hootenanny, Rob Zombie’s spooktacular record of original songs by the Ghastly Ones, Los Straitjackets, The Bomboras, Rocket From The Crypt, Zacherle, etc.  If you picked up an album from any of these contributing artists you are well on your way.

But if you want a hand picked list of rare gems I present the following list of terrifyin’ tunes from the crypts of Hip Hop, Trip Hop, Doo Wop, Disco, Cajun and…Thai Funk???

– Wolfman Jack by Binary Star.  Awesome story about a werewolf in the ‘hood, and the best you’re gonna find unless The Werewolf of Watts ever gets greenlit.

– Witch Queen of New Orleans by Red Bone.  This cajun rock song is about Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen of N’awlins.

– Are you ready for Freddy? by The Fat Boys.  I’m going to assume you already own ‘Nightmare on my street’ by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.  If not consider this a two-for-one, because Are You Ready for Freddy? teams Freddy Krueger with the Fat Boys.  Unlike the Fresh Prince video that was filmed but never released, the Fat Boys video is on youtube!

-Dr. Frankenstein by Ice Cube.  People probably know this song but may forget to add it to their halloween mix.  What better way to get the party bumpin’?

– Fatal by RZA.  As long as we’re getting hardcore here’s the Wu Tang Clan’s RZA with the best (only?) thing to come out of Blade Trinity.

– Monster Crack by Kool Moe Dee.  Why not go old school with a rap about the crack monster?

– The Horror by RJD2.  From Hip Hop to Trip Hop, this is a groove I listen to year round.

– Do The Zombie by The Symbols.  Here’s a pre-Romero zombie Doo Wop song that’s great fun.

– Monster Beach by The Surf Trio.  This is the ultimate distillation of the ‘surf guitar’ vibe present in so many Halloween songs.  Possibly the greatest song ever.

To end this list here’s a 3-peat of Disco Dracula:

– Soul Dracula by Hot Blood.  The video alone is mind blowing.

– Soul Dracula by Messer Chups.  Now with added Surf guitar!

– Soul Dracula by Thai Beat A Go-Go.  In this version the melody is sung with lyrics in Thai!

There are thousands of wonderfully weird Halloween – worthy songs out there, and hopefully these will lead you down some interesting haunted trails.  Happy Halloween!

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