31 Days of Halloween (2018): Songs of Horror

Throughout this October, I’ll be using Fridays to share some horror-themed music for your Halloween enjoyment. Today I have two offerings. The first is a bit of spoken word creepiness by the inestimable Tom Waits, “What’s He Building.” Waits gravelly voice combined with unsettling sound effects and the endless repetition of the question What’s he building in there? will begin to make you question your sanity.

Our second offering today is by an artist who has dedicated himself to creating just this kind of music–Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The almost operatic, melodramatic “Song of Joy” hearkens back to the murder ballads of yore, when singing about murder and mayhem was something good Christian folk enjoyed doing. The ultimate question? Is the man telling us this tale actually the murderer himself? And when that narrator says “I see sir that I have your attention,” he does, oh he does.


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