So its that time of year – Halloween. Traditionally its has been associated with ghosts, vampires, and monsters. Spooky fun. But in the US, especially in the last 50 years, the holiday has also become associated with slasher flicks, serial killers, and other psychopaths – blame John Carpenter’s classic movie Halloween. Or maybe not – maybe this is just my excuse to do a blog on some of my favorite songs about creeps and deviants. I’m sure there’s a whole subgenre of these songs that I’m not aware of – my picks are by artists that you’ve probably heard of and that I’ve always liked. And one is probably the creepiest song I have ever heard. So without further adieu:
More Than I Can Do- Steve Earle
From his come back album of sorts, I Feel Alright, this uptempo song seems at first to just be about a guy’s unrequited love for someone – but as it continues it definitely moves into stalker territory. “You left me just when I needed you
So l ain’t even close to through with you.” Definitely Creepy.
I Feel So Good – Richard Thompson
From Rumor and Sigh, this song is definitely not an endorsement for the ability to reform juvenile delinquents. Again, a pretty uptempo melody but there’s no denying where things are going right from the start: “I feel so good I’m going to Break somebody’s heart tonight I feel so good I’m going to Take someone apart tonight.’ And it goes from there. Definitely Deviant.
Excitable Boy – Warren Zevon
From the album of the same name, this darkly humorous little ditty from the incomparable Warren Zevon starts weird and moves straight to deviant/psychopathic. Zevon’s tongue in cheek lyrics – “He’s just an excitable boy” also perhaps are a dark commentary on society’s penchant for making excuses? Also love the sax solo.
Midnight Rambler – The Rolling Stones
From Let It Bleed, this classic song from the Stones is pure psychopathy and evil. It was written in part about Albert De Salvo, aka the Boston Strangler, who murdered 13 women in the early 60’s Boston area. Keith Richards has called it a blue opera, or a blues in 4 parts, even though the chord sequence isn’t a blues one.
And the finale, the song that always creeps me out just listening to it –
What’s He Building in There – Tom Waits.
From the album Mule Variations. Not really a song, as much as a spoken word performance with a montage of assorted random background sounds. Is it about a misunderstood freak? A deviant, or something darker? That’s the beauty of it – you can only wonder. If you listen to any of these songs, listen to this one – even in the middle of the day, it’ll freak you out.
Ok I have to go turn on every light in the house right now – til later…… oh, and Happy Halloween!
Sources: Wikipedia, Genius Lyrics, SongFacts