#MusicMonday – October 29, 2018

Two more days till Halloween, and we’re singing about the holiday!

Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange?

So, I have a confession to make.  I’m going to apologize in advance for this, since it is probably trampling on some serious sacred Halloween tradition ground that will definitely bother some.

I’m not (and never have been) a huge fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

There, I said it, and I feel better now.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t some terrible movie that I can’t stomach.  I just wasn’t terribly interested in it back when I first saw it, and I’m still not interested in seeing it every Halloween.

Probably doesn’t help that when I worked in a video store during college, a co-worker used to put this movie on every shift they worked (which usually coincided with my shifts), beginning on October 1st, right up through Christmas.

Yes, Christmas.

It is one of those movies that got almost three months of play in the video store.  Three months.  Yes, it covers two holidays, but still, every shift, on a loop, for three months.

I could seriously hate any movie after that.

Now, don’t attack me with pitchforks.  I said it isn’t a terrible movie.  I just wasn’t interested in when it came out, and any lack of interest I had going into that job probably killed the chances of me ever sitting down and watching it.  I’m sure I will someday, but it has been 12 years since I watched it last (I left that job in the summer of 2005, so I avoided the whole holiday season!), and I’m just not ready to commit myself to it yet.

All of that said, the music itself was actually quite catchy.  That’s the part I didn’t have a problem with.  Danny Elfman’s magic is amazing, and it shows across the movies he has composed for (see BeetlejuiceBatman – the 1989 version, and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure for proof).  The other common bond these movies all have is one other person:

Tim Burton.

Surprise!  All this music sounds alike, the director is the same person for all of these films…

Anyway, while I am disinterested in the movie, I can’t ignore the music within it.  And today, I think I picked an appropriate song for inclusion in my ongoing Halloween celebration.

“This is Halloween” was performed by the movie’s cast, and composed and produced by the aforementioned Danny Elfman for the film’s soundtrack, released on October 12, 1993.  It serves as the introduction for the film.

In this song, the residents of Halloween Town introduce themselves, the holiday they always celebrate (which is actually more of a way of life than a holiday celebrated for one day), and introduces the one they all hail, Jack Skellington, The Pumpkin King.

But don’t take my word for it, why not listen?

“This is Halloween” has been covered numerous times, for Disney-related projects.  Marilyn Manson did a cover in 2006 for the soundtrack’s special edition release, which was subsequently included on the 2008 cover album, Nightmare Revisited.  Panic! at the Disco also covered it in 2006 for the soundtrack, and by several Disney artists for various Disney album releases during the 2000s and 2010s.  It has been sung (for the dubbed version of the film) in fifteen different languages.

In addition, it is featured during Halloween celebrations at both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, and as the background music for Halloween Town in the video game Kingdom Hearts.  In Canada’s Calaway Park (located in Springbank, Alberta), “This is Halloween” is featured on their Haunted Mansion.

Oh there’s the Just Dance version from Just Dance 3

I’ve done pretty well on this one (this is not my recording).

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give some kudos to Marilyn Manson’s cover, which (as I said) I actually like better than the original.  I know, sounds surprising, but it is true.  He adds something to it.  It doesn’t sound as cartoon-y.  No, I don’t like Marilyn Manson, but I heard this version on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Halloween years ago, and I really liked it!

And there you have it, two days till Halloween, and music is all around us…just as Halloween is upon us.

Two more days, and a few more surprises.  Keep coming back, we’re still going strong with the treats!

Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!

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