For more than 20 years, I’ve been playing the song Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boingo repeatedly on Halloween. My tradition started in 1996, a year after Oingo Boingo last played the song at their farewell concert on Halloween 1995. I’ve been doing this for so long that the song has become synonymous with Halloween to me.
Here’s one of the classic lines in the song:
Goin’ to a party where no one’s still alive
As seems to happen frequently, a close friend of mine recently challenged my belief that Dead Man’s Party is the quintessential Halloween song. Over a Halloween-themed dinner, we debated a list of five other great songs. It took a while but here’s what we finally agreed to:
- “Thriller” – Michael Jackson
- “Monster Mash” – Bobby “Boris” Pickett & the Crypt-Kicker 5
- “This Is Halloween” – Danny Elfman
- “Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon
- “Zombie” – The Cranberries
In case you don’t know, Danny Elfman was the frontman for Oingo Boingo so it’s likely not a coincidence he’s on the list. Elfman is the composer for the soundtracks for the movies Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Clearly, spooky songs are Elfman’s forte.
Halloween is one-part entertainment and one-part scare tactics. Entertain and/or scare me by putting your favorite Halloween song in the comments.