Ahh yes, Monster Mash (1962) that classic 1960’s novelty Halloween song that has since become a holiday classic. Surely Boris Pickett had only the nicest intention when he made wrote this song, aiming to create a piece of music that would bring joy to literally dozens of people and cement his place as a god of quirky horror music.
OR DID HE!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!?!????!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?
Well, lets think about this for a moment, much like That Guy did in his interesting and semi-inspirational post The Messages of Music. In fact, take a few minutes to actually listen to Monster Mash, or skip the video entirely, whatever. I’m not in charge of your life, don’t look to me for guidance, It took me 2 months to figure out how to change the water temperature of my bloody shower, I’m not going to help you.
Having watched the video, you’re probably think that Monster Mash is a corny/awesome song which is, on the whole, pretty harmless. However, if you really think about it, the lyrics are actually quite dirty. In fact, the song in’t about a group of horror icons at a harmless little party, no, it’s actually about an impotent scientist who toils for hours in his lab in order to find a way to become aroused and creates a Viagra-esque medicine that does just that. He then hosts an orgy and meets some creative perverts. Lets go through this one verse at a time.
I was working in the lab late one night (Working on Viagra potion?)
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight (Eerie here meaning unusual)
For my monster from his slab began to rise (Monster=Penis)
And suddenly to my surprise (Unexpected)
Here, our narrator is working in his lab, testing out possible solutions to his embarrassing little problem when, to his surprise, one of them actually works. He becomes aroused and subsequently erect.
He did the mash (Became aroused)
He did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash (Graveyard=Dead libido)
He did the mash
It caught on in a flash (Hints at some sort of Viagra potion)
He did the mash
He did the monster mash
In the chorus, our narrator, jubilant at the fact that he now has a fully functioning member, joyfully announces that he is no longer impotent and that his dead libido has been smashed by his miracle juice which he names Monster Mash, a substance which has caught on with his local community.
From my laboratory in the castle east (Sounds strongly like ‘lovematory’ in the actual record)
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast (Feast=sex, they are doing it in a bedroom)
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes (Ghouls=sexually perverse or sexually dead)
To get a jolt from my electrodes (Electrode=weird fetish thing)
The next verse describes a sudden influx of party guests mostly made up of perverts and the sexually dead (called ghouls by the narrator) including vampires who ‘feast’ in the bedroom. According to the narrator, the ‘ghouls’ flock to his home in order to get a jolt from his electrodes. This could be both a weird sex fetish thing or it could be a metaphor for getting a sexual jolt from his special ‘monster mash’. Also, in the original song, the word laboratory is pronounced in a way that makes it sound very much like lovematory. Coincidence??? Probably.
The zombies were having fun (Sexually peverse/dead)
The party had just begun (Swinger’s party)
The guests included Wolf Man (Furry)
Dracula and his son? (Expresses confusion as to why he brought his son to a swinger’s party)
By this verse, the narrator’s orgy is in full swing. Here, he calls his guests ‘zombies’ and mentions some of his guests as being wolf man (furry) and Dracula, who appears to have brought his son. Again, in the original song, ‘Dracula and his son’ is said in a questioning way, implying that the narrator is expressing his confusion as to why Dracula has brought his son to an orgy.
The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds (Rockin’=sexually active)
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds (Bondage+furry/beastiality)
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive (Necrophilia)
With their vocal group, “The Crypt-Kicker Five” (Both necrophilia and a nod to the narrator kicking his impotence. Crypt=dead libido)
Once again, the same perverse sex stuff rears its ugly head here. Now, we have the wonderful inclusion of bondage, more furries and just a little bit of necrophilia, because what’s a party without necrophilia? Socially acceptable, that’s what. Again we get reference to the narrator beating his impotence with the ‘Crypt-Kicker Five’. Admittedly, this is also the name of the band that performed with Pickett but screw it, metaphors n’ stuff.
Out from his coffin, Drac’s voice did ring
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened the lid and shook his fist
And said, “Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?” (“Whatever happened to the problems you/we were having?” eg you were in a twist…Sexually)
This verse concentrates solely on the narrator’s psychological battle with his impotence. Pretty basic here, Transylvania Twist is the narrator’s impotence in reference to the phrase ‘In a twist’.
Now everything’s cool, Drac’s a part of the band (Dracula represents the narrators impotence and peace has been made between the two)
And my monster mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant too (This weird viagra potion was meant for people who aren’t impotent too!)
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you (Sort of like buying drugs…I imagine)
This is the most interesting verse. Here, the narrator makes peace with his previous impotence, Dracula becomes a fully fledged member of the band, and advertises his ‘monster mash’ to the general public; the sexually normal people. The narrator ends by saying that, should anyone want ‘monster mash’ they should mention that Boris sent them when they get to his door. I don’t know about you but that sounds awfully similar to something a drug dealer would say to a prospective customer. This is what we’ve come to, advertising Viagra.
So there you have it, Monster Mash is a song about a scientist with erectile dysfunction who discovers a way to cure his condition, proceeds to host a sex party complete with necrophilia, bestiality and furries and then advertises his drug to the audience. How do I know this? Well I spend the majority of my time trying to ruin classic songs by over-analysing them to the point of death, because I have the social life of a particularly boring sack of potatoes. Anywho, next week, why The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins is secretly about Holocaust denial.