Another British band singing about Halloween? What gives, Ed? You said the Brits don’t give a toss for All Hallo’s.
Well, I don’t get the impression that they do. I’ve never claimed to be the authority on any matter, not even Halloween Horror Music, and I’ve written far too many words concerning that subject.
Whether that impression is true or not is neither here nor there when it comes to this ‘digger, because it’s a clear case of a band disguising a song as a Halloween song.
Witchfynde’sTrick or Treat details the dealings of a two-faced sort of character that has much but always wants more. Eventually, not being able to satiate his desires, he takes to B&E, a bit of murder, and gets himself tossed in the clink. Not exactly a love song, but definitely not specifically about Halloween.
Still, it’s a pretty groovin’ tune from a weird, occulty band called Witchfynde where the lyrics “Trick or Treat” get repeated a number of times, so we’re lightin’ it up.
Throw in a little festive atmosphere from the Tales From the Darkside episode entitled Halloween Candy, and you’ve got yourself a perfect number for an Oct. 20th’s evenings.
Similar to Chuck’s tune, Otis Redding’sTrick or Treat isn’t necessarily about Halloween either. It is more related though, if only because Otis actually uses the word “Halloween.” That’s a bonus.
Despite his utilization of the name, he mostly seems concerned that this floozy is playing games with his emotions. First she’s hot on him, then maybe she gets a little chilly.
Either way, Otis just wants to know what the score is, cause he ain’t about to wait until Halloween to find out he ain’t gettin’ a Treat, which I can only assume is some sort of sexual favor.
What does any of this even have to do with Halloween? Nothing really, I suppose. Then why use Halloween at all? It’s a good question. He gets to incorporate the phrase trick or treat, but I don’t see that as a huge selling point from a song writing perspective.
Here, it implies that it’s a treat if the girl loves him, and a trick is she only likes him. That’s pretty odd though, to consider being “liked” a trick. I get what Otis is saying, but it does seem a little strange to perceive the state of being “liked” as mere trickery.
I’d rather be liked than disliked, or straight up hated on, but hey, that’s just me.
At any rate here’s another Trick or Treat song with dubious usage of Halloween, albeit from one of the greats, Mr. Otis Redding.
So, Chuck Berry pretty much invented Rock ‘N Roll, right? Well, at least how we might conceptualize it now anyway? That rhythm and blues styled, riff-based, axe-out-front, backbeat driven, power-stance Rock ‘N Roll? The kind that soothes Bob Seger’s soul? Yeah, I think that’s pretty widely agreed upon.
You know what else Chuck Berry did? He wrote a song about Halloween.
See, this tune makes no real overt reference to the holiday itself or its traditions. It is, however, called Trick or Treat and that phrase is repeated quite a number of times.
So, when the true King of Rock ‘N Roll straps one on and starts wailing “Trick or Treat, Baby,” The Shindig isn’t about to split hairs.
You know that new Halloween sound you been looking for? Well, listen to this!
Trick or Treat (For Halloween) Al Hoffman, Jerry Livingston and Mack David
Though Siouxsie Sioux’s song starts this block off rather nicely, let’s fully embrace the Trick or Treat vibe with this tune from Disney’s classic 1952 short Trick or Treat starring Donald Duck.
Full of great vintage Halloween imagery, the short features Huey, Dewey and Louie approaching their uncle’s house for a bit of Trick or Treat. But Donald’s an asshole and he promptly puts fireworks in their bags. His own Nephews? What a prick.
No matter, as the boys soon find a Witch and now the trick’s on Donald as she conjures a potion which transforms just about everything into a nightmarish object to torment Donald.
Based around this typically Disney-styled tune, the short is a great October viewing for any fans of either Disney or the season.
The British don’t really give a shit about Halloween. At least not according to me and this blog on the occasions where we’ve previously claimed as such.
We’ve based this idea almost exclusively on To The Devil a Daughter and The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. Additionally, my wife has corroborated this somewhat, having spent some time in England and found their enthusiasm lacking.
Strange then that innovative British Post-Punkers and Goth pioneers Siouxsie and the Banshees have a song titled Halloween. Or maybe not, given their whole gothy aesthetic.
To be fair, their song isn’t a parade of Milky Ways, Don Post masks and burning orange gourds, though.
No, Siouxsie Sioux’s track is a more atmospheric affair that seems to deal with a loss of childhood innocence.
Doubling fitting then that we bookend it with samples from the aforementioned Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, where American creeper Martin Sheen sleazes all over British Jodi Foster on the Eve of All Saints in a decidedly less-than-innocent fashion.
He also provides us with a pretty solid and concise description of what Halloween represents stateside:
“Oh, it’s a big day here when all the kids get dressed up in scary costumes and masks and go around to all the houses. When you answer the door the shout ‘trick or treat’ and you’re suppose to act scared, and if you don’t give them a treat, they’ll pull some dirty trick on you.”
Yep, that’s pretty much what we got going on over here.
If you’re an Elvira fan like me, than you’re no doubt at least tangentially aware of her Halloween albums.
There are a number of them, the bulk of which feature the mistress herself singing on her own original tracks. They’re pretty great.
What you may notice however, is that while these Halloween albums feature lots of allusions to the holiday, Elvira herself only participates in songs tangentially related to Halloween itself. What gives?
If you’re like me and you administer a Halloween themed music blog, you may have even dug deep enough to find the many references to an actual Halloween song she sings called Trick or Treat. There’s even a couple of clips on YouTube of her performing the track. So where’s the damn song?
Who knows exactly, as it seems it was never officially released on any of her albums. However, The Shindig dug deeper still and purchased an episode of The Dr. Demento Show from October of 1983 that featured Cassandra Peterson as co-host.
As you’ll hear in the clip, The Doc mentions Elvira’s forthcoming album will be including original tunes, one of which they preview on the show, our white buffalo Trick or Treat. Why this never came to fruition is a Halloween legend of limited and miopic interest.
This strange dusty Halloween relic was written by Cy Coben and originally recorded by Rosemary Clooney (yeah, George’s Ma Dukes) back in 1950.
No disrespect to Mama Clooney but the Shindig prefers this version from 1952 recorded by Fran Allison and Ollie Fame. It’s a little sillier, a bit more up-tempo and generally more fun to listen to, in our opinion.
I always say “our.” Why do I do this? Who exactly is the “we” in this equation? I’m the only one here, so who the hell am I referring to, exactly? I think this is perhaps burgeoning psychosis, but I digress.
Looking online it seems a lot of people have memories of learning and singing this tune in grade school around Halloween.
I have no such memory.
In fact, I have no memories attached to this song whatsoever. I don’t even know when I first heard it, where I heard it or why it was even being played. It’s just been on my computer (and the playlist) for some years now, defying my temporal lobe.
I enjoy this song a great deal, though. It makes me happy when I hear it. It’s a nice little Halloween ditty that’s fun to play.
I think I may be the only one who feels this way however, for it’s a weird number that’s always sure to turn a head or two in the party crowd:
Angry Listener : “What the fuck is this nonsense? Is this a Christmas song or some shit?”
Me: “No, but it does kinda sound like one, huh? It’s just an old Halloween song about pumpkins. It’s for kids, I think.”
Angry Listener:“Well why the fuck are we listening to it then?”
Me: “Cause it’s Halloween and we’re at a Halloween party and she’s singing about a pumpkin that’s all stoked it gets to be a Jack-O-Lantern instead of a pie. Why else?”
Angry Listener: “Oh Yeah? Well this song punkin’ sucks. In fact, it can suck my punkins. How bout that?”
Me: “Go suck your own punkins, pal. Fran Allison is a sweatheart, you hedonistic dildo!”
This exact conversation (or an entirely less confrontational version of it) has happened every year with someone listening to this playlist since Punky Punkin’s inclusion.
Maybe this will happen at your party.
Or maybe it won’t because you wouldn’t be caught dead playing this kind of bullshit at your Halloween party.
That’s fine. In fact, that’s exactly what The Shindig is here for. To be a convenient one-stop hovel of Halloween hits where we talk about and provide Halloween song suggestions you can peruse or listen to or download and add (or not add) to your own party playlist.
You can’t honesty be expected to want to add all of them. Nor could you be expected to even listen to all of them much less like all of them. We wouldn’t begin to presume such things. But they are all here, ripe for the picking this harvest season.
But seriously though, if you don’t like this song you’re probably an asshole.
Let’s just cap off this 80’s metal block with perhaps the greatest 80’s metal Halloween track ever recorded.
If a band named Helloween didn’t have a song called Halloween, I might have to sit down with them and have real frank discussion. Fortunately, that’s not necessary thanks to this metal overture to the Eve of All Hallo’s.
Originally something like 13 minutes, I use the edited single version on the Shindig for the sake of movement. No one at your party has time for an 13 minute cautionary epic that finds time to include Charlie Brown, Linus and the Great Pumpkin. Nothing’s lost however as the song still remains a balls-to-the-wall heavy metal Halloween harangue and is essential party playlist material
Check out this single they released. Is there anything more Halloweeny-awesome then cutting your vinyl into the shape of a pumpkin and fuck all to everyone’s turntables?
This is the back image, with its sexy, high heeled and stockinged Halloween harlot leap frogging over Jack-O-Lantern. Yep, everything checks out back here.
It housed the edited version, while the Jack-O-Lantern face held it down on the front with the 13min original. I love this thing. It’s one of the coolest vinyls I’ve ever seen.
Curiously and for no apparent reason, the edited version begins with a few notes from the old standard London Bridge, via a pan flute or some such instrument. Completely random selection? Perhaps not.
Fans of Halloween 3 (and that should be all of you) may wonder if the intro is a nod to The Silver Shamrock song, itself just London Bridge with different lyrics. And it’s possible, as the 1987 album Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 1 post dates Season of the Witch by 5 years, plenty of time for the German heshers to throw down referentially.
And apparently they did, according to Metal-Archives.com anyway.
User “hells_unicorn” says
“Helloween formed and began with a concept inspired by the 1982 Halloween sequel “The Season of the Witch”, one which enjoys a rather comfortable place in my library of old VHS tapes. To this day fans chant the famous Silver Shamrock jingle when the band takes the stage, as the melody can be found in full or fragmented form on most of their studio albums.”
Well, there you have it.
Appropriately the Shindig has the Silver Shamrock song lead this fucker in.
So, do as Helloween instructs, perhaps ominously considering the reference:
“Grab your mask and don’t be late.”
But beware, cause
“in the streets on Halloween the spirits will arise. Make your choice is hell or paradise.”
So, what’s it gonna be, Weeners?
For Halloween, we treat you with Halloween from Helloween.
Let’s just 80’s metal it right into Halloween. Whaddya say, Weeners?
Much like Track 110 (Halloween by Halloween) here’s another titular band-anthem from a different band named after our haunted holiday.
That fact that 2 bands like that exist is a little bizarre. What’s next, Samhain by Samhain?
Well it’s not the next song, does that count? But yeah, that exists too and is represented on The Shindig. Maybe we should make room for another category “bands just named after this fucking holiday.”
You only get this type of shit with Halloween. Don’t see too many bands running around named “Christmas” or “Yom Kippur” (both of which actually exist, for those of you playing at home.)
But I digress.
Atlanta-based thrash-metal pioneers Hallows Eve even have a similar tale to the aforementioned Halloween. Releasing some hard hitting early albums but never really gaining much notoriety, they dismantled due to heavy lineup changes only to reemerged after years of inactivity.
I became familiar with them (perhaps like many horror fans) through the inclusion of their song D.I.E. on the Black Roses soundtrack. Thankfully these guys produced a Band-Anthem and sealed their Shindig fate.
Can we take a moment here to talk about this album cover for a sec? Look at that fucking thing. It’s incredible. It looks like you just started a metal band with those 2 burnouts from Mr. Finn’s Chemistry class then asked that hesher kid with the peach fuzz mustache to draw you this shit in a notebook at lunch. And then he turned around handed you the coolest fucking drawing you’d ever seen in your life.
“Hallows Eve bro. Look at that shit.”
In an apparently unrelated aside, I’ll say that Brits don’t care much for Halloween. It’s not really a big deal over there – don’t really give shit, don’t see the fuss.
However, they due refer to it as “All Hallo’s.” So what better samples to integrate than these from Hammer’s Horror swan song To the Devil a Daughter.
Since it takes place around All Hallo’s, we get some nice satany Hallows Eve banter.
Coming off their debut album Tales of Terror, here’s Hallows Eve with Hallows Eve.
And just remember, 98% of so-called Satanists are nothing but pathetic freaks who get their kicks out of dancing naked in freezing church yards and use The Devil as an excuse for getting some sex.
It’s time once again Weeners for the King of Halloween himself, Mr. King Diamond.
Sure, this song isn’t really about Halloween or even Trick or Treating for that matter, but the King is playing a game called Trick or Treat and damn it if that’s not good enough for the Ole Shindig.
The ever theatrical Diamond’s catalog consists mostly of concept albums, as the majority tell very detailed and horrific stories. Why no one has turned one of these into a movie yet is beyond me. There’s a couple of real good ones.
In particular, the gem from which our next tracks hails, 1996’s The Graveyard.
The Graveyard tells the story of an unnamed King Diamond character who is wrongfully committed to a sanitarium by Mayor McKenzie. Seems King used to work for the him and one night happened upon the The Mayor molesting his own daughter. Yikes.
So the Mayor cooked up a story and tossed King Diamond into the meat grinder.
After years in Blackhill Sanitarium losing his mind, King kills S nurse, escapes and takes refuge in The Graveyard, where he begins to plots his revenge. He also murders some other people and becomes obsessed with the idea of a person’s soul living inside its decapitated head forever, but mostly it’s the revenge he’s interested in.
And that’s where we join our story…
King has kidnapped the Mayor’s daughter Lucy and buried her alive in one of seven graves. Mayor McKenzie has 3 tries to discover which grave is holding Lucy or he will murder them both…
::my best John Kassir impression::
…in a little game the King is calling…Treat Or Treat…yeeehahahahaaaaa.