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Nightmarish Songs

Updated on March 18, 2015

Nightmare Fuel

In the article Songs of Villainy: Vocal Awesomeness I detailed how villains received songs where the viewer could either sympathize or hate a villain depending on the lyrics or context to a song. The article Hilarious Songs Sung By Real People I detailed songs that were used to make people laugh during a theatrical performance, movie, or animated short. The songs here dealt with the more nightmarish side of the music industry. Some songs could be overtly horrifying in that the song may reference a real event that happened long ago. Some songs were only scary on account of being featured in a movie that wanted to be frightening. Some songs were scary because the lyrics were sung by a singer who was famed for singing scary songs. While the article Ironic Songs showed the Vocaloid voice synthesizer could make songs about sad events, but the song Kagome Kagome told a frightening moment in history and used a Japanese version of Ring Around the Rosie to make a song that told the story of a creepy, haunted hospital from Japan. The song This is Halloween from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas was not scary in and of itself, but the fact that the song was part of a movie that primarily took place in a setting where it was Halloween 24/7 meant that the viewer had to see something that looked scary, but it was all in good fun. And for a really scary song, hearing Marilyn Manson sing Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) and watching the music video was scary, but it was an expected form of scariness if one were to see more of Marilyn Manson's music videos.

Kagome Kagome.

In the article Different Songs, Same Franchise I talked about how the song Ring Around the Rosie was a potentially creepy song about a disease that caused a huge number of deaths. Needless to say, Vocaloid was a voice synthesizer that enabled people to make songs digitally. Most of the songs were adorable and awesome. This song was creepy and nightmarish to hear. It was so creepy, even its background indicated that there was something wrong. Talking about a secluded hospital that was starting to fall apart from neglect, Kagome Kagome told the story of a group of children who seemed to constantly wait for new visitors. Of course, with lyrics like:

Circle you, circle you
please don't try to run from us.
Circle you, circle you,
what games will we play, can I guess?
Before the moon sets again,
you can play with us until then!
Circle you, circle you,
"Who surrounds you everywhere?

the viewer knew that these children were involved in something creepy. Which they were. As Kagome Kagome was playing, the viewer got to learned more of the story. This abandoned building used to be an orphanage where scientist experimented on children to try an find the secret to immortality. This experiment, unfortunately, involved manipulating a child's brain so that the body would not know that it was supposed to decay and die. Which was painful, but successful. These children were still alive a long time after they were experimented on, but they still felt various injuries despite being both alive, but not corporeal. Also, the Japanese version of Ring Around the Rosie was implied to be what determined which orphan would become the next guinea pig for this attempt at gaining immortality. The scary thing about this song was that it might have been based on experiments that took place in history. At some point after World War 2, Nazi scientists tried to find the brain's "Universal Kill Switch" that told the brain when it had to die. Kagome Kagome was a song that basically indicated that this experiment did work, but in a horrifying manner.

Because this song about a Japanese Ring Around the Rosie needed creepy imagery to go with its creepy song.
Because this song about a Japanese Ring Around the Rosie needed creepy imagery to go with its creepy song. | Source
Some songs were only nightmarish because they were set in a nightmarish setting. But that does not mean that the characters were really bad.
Some songs were only nightmarish because they were set in a nightmarish setting. But that does not mean that the characters were really bad. | Source

This is Halloween

Not all song that were set in a scary movie had to be scary because of its lyrics. Sometimes the song could be scary because the movie's visuals made the viewers associate a song with something scary. In The Nightmare Before Christmas the song This is Halloween was not a nightmarish song because of what its song was about, but where the song took place. Set in a place called Halloween Town, This is Halloween was the viewers introduction to the type of place that this movie's character's lived. Set in a land that was incredibly dark, the viewer got to see some surreal looking ghosts who were inviting people to look at the scariness of Halloween Town. The scariness of this movie was also emphasized with some of the inhabitants that made appearances during this music number. For instance, there was a monster hiding under a bed that decribed himself with the lines, "I am the one hiding under your bed. Teeth grown sharp and eyes glowing red". Soon the scenery changed to let the viewer see what Halloween Town's actual town looked like at night. And the interesting thing here was that the citizens were aware of the frightful aesthetics of their town, but they were happy with its scariness. Soon another monster came out. A clown. And in a stereotypically frightful manner it sang the lines, "I am the clown with the tear-away face. Here in a flash and gone without a trace" by tearing out its face and having its faceless head talk. Of course, some of the characters made it clear that the characters were only scary because that was the feeling that these characters were supposed to give people. Which was stated in the line, "That's our job, but we're not mean, in our town of Halloween". And the viewer supposedly can accept that this was their job and this was not a purposefully nightmarish area because when the main protagonist, Jack Skellington, made an entrance, it was awesome.

Because we needed a remix of an energetic song by this guy.
Because we needed a remix of an energetic song by this guy. | Source

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Marilyn Manson was a singer that specialized in making songs and music videos that were shocking, controversial, an nightmarish. Containing terrifying lyrics, disturbing imagery, and characters who looked mentally unstable, these were songs not meant for young children. Which explained the Parental Advisory stickers on most of the albums. Even the remixes were made to be scary. One instance was the song Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) written and performed by the British new wave music band Eurythmics. Marilyn Manson's version of Sweet Dream (Are Made of This) was a more frightening take on this song. Surrounded my people in what looked like an abandoned dungeon, Marilyn Manson made a song that sounded less like a surreal, but optimistic song, and more like a song telling the story about someone experiencing a nightmare. It also did not help that Marilyn Manson added lines like, "I'm gonna use you and abuse you. I'm gonna know what's inside. Gonna use you and abuse you. I'm gonna know what's inside you". Basically this was a disturbing song sung by a singer who specialized in making shocking songs.

Scary Songs

Here were some scary songs. There were more that have been made, however.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      I really like the Marilyn Manson Sweet Dreams.

    • Jake Peralta profile image

      Jake Michael Peralta 3 years ago from Indio, California


    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What an interesting take on music. I have to again listen to the words of these songs and this time, I will have a much better appreciation.