The season for suicide: A Halloween CD mix to DIE for!
Sure, the "Monster Mash" and the "Purple People Eater" are fun Halloween theme songs for the kiddies, but they're hardly a contribution to the creepy crawling scaredness that makes for a properly morbid holiday. We can do better.
For your Halloween listening pleasure, then, hunt you down these two dozen plus songs for a lovely CD mix to share with people you love. Maybe they'll take a frickin' hint...
"Gloomy Sunday" - Billie Holiday Numerous actual suicides are associated with this song, including the songwriter.
"Ode to Billie Joe" - Bobbie Gentry This classic was the biggest actual chart dominant hit single of the Summer of Love in 1967. The movie some years later provided an interesting answer to Billie Joe's why.
"Auf Wiedershen"- Cheap Trick Truly one of the most beautifully cold sentiments in the history of rock music, a kiss-off in many languages.
"Jeremy" - Pearl Jam I don't necessarily object to foolish teenagers choosing to climb out of the gene pool. I just wish the dumbasses wouldn't insist on taking others out with them.
"The House Carpenter" - Doc Watson Family This old Smithsonian recording of an old folk standard tells the creepy tale of a woman lured away from her husband and children by a sailor. Bitter and despondent away at sea, she ends up calling down some kind of divine curse to sink the whole boat- her, the sailor, and any other poor schmucks unfortunate enough to be on board.
"Richard Cory" - Them This is the only instance I know of Van Morrison singing a Paul Simon song, and a particularly unfairly overlooked classic song it is. The Simon and Garfunkel original rates a close second.
"I Hate Myself and Want to Die" - Nirvana
"Don't Fear the Reaper" - Blue Oyster Cult
"Suicide Is Painless (MASH theme)" - Kenny Primus
"The Letter" - Macy Gray This must be the most cheerful suicide note ever.
"Love Will Tear Us Apart"- Joy Division The song does not specifically describe a suicide, but it's generally taken as the lead singer's suicide note. It's certainly morbid enough, even without the biographical detail.
"Sister Morphine" - The Rolling Stones There are few recordings as utterly beautiful and yet simultaneously totally pathetic as this story of a junkie's last fix.
"Suicide Solution" - Ozzy Osbourne I add this pick as a peace offering to Ozzy, in the hope that he will thus see fit not to hex my next computer as he apparently did when last I made the error of speaking against him. Look, I'm even giving him the lucky #13 spot on the CD. What more do you want, oh Dark Lord?
"Poor Jud Is Daid" - Oklahoma! (1955 Film Soundtrack) Gordon McRae as Curly leads Rod Steiger's Jud Frye in fantasizing about how upset everybody would be at his funeral if'n he hung himself out in the smokehouse. The pure self-aggrandizement and self-pity of Rod Steiger singing right along makes one of the funniest moments in movie history.
"Rock and Roll Suicide" - David Bowie Poor Ziggy Stardust. It's tough being beautiful.
"So Like Candy" - Elvis Costello This song about a girlfriend's suicide gets at a bit of the guilt often left for the loved ones. "What did I do to make her go?"
"One Dyin' and a Buryin'" - Roger Miller Pretty sobering meditation for someone usually associated with happy-go-lucky novelty songs.
"Three A.M." - Bill Anderson Between this and the Roger Miller and Bobbie Gentry, it occurs that most country singers seem to prefer jumping in the river as their suicide method of choice.
"Ode to Billie Joe" - Sinead O'Connor You might be surprised how awesomely good this Bobbie Gentry cover came out, and how well the gloomy mysticism translated into Sinead's Irish styling. Her version is distinctive enough from the original classic as to merit a separate entry.
"Pictures From Life's Other Side" - Grandpa Jones Family I'm not sure who wrote this bluegrass/folk standard, but Grandpa Jones acquits himself well with these three tales of sad and untimely ends, including the unidentified suicide of the last verse. Again, the country song suicide method of choice involves jumping in the drink.
"Dear Sweet Filthy World" - Elvis Costello This suicide note turns into a seemingly hallucinatory nightmare.
"Did She Jump or Was She Pushed" - Richard and Linda Thompson You say "po-TA-to" I say "po-TAA-to"
"Suicide" - David Allan Coe
"Stan" - Eminem Tragic though it may be, Stan really did humanity a favor by eliminating himself and his white trash seed from the gene pool.
"Shot Gun Blues" - Blues Brothers
"Fade to Black" - Metallica
"The Wall" - Johnny Cash From his album recorded live at Folsom Prison, this is the story of a prisoner committing suicide by cop, or in Johnny's words, "suey-cide."
"I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself" - Elton John This comes from the lovely Honky Chateau album.
"Parole Board" - Junior Brown A weepy ballad from a desperate prisoner at the end of his rope hoping against hope for his release, or else he'll let the good Lord take him home.
"A Day Without Me" - U2 One of my very favorite all time U2 songs
"Stuff Up the Cracks" - Frank Zappa This was the last song on Ruben and the Jets, an album of doo wop parody. Zappa bitched repeatedly about the negative effects of sappy, unrealistic pop love song lyrics. This recording constitutes his harshest criticism of where that nonsense leaves you, with a narrator about to snuff himself because his cheesy teenage romance didn't go like they do on the radio.
"Don't Try Suicide" - Queen I suppose I should end with something urging folks not to Do It, so as to prove that I am not insensitive.
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