Rattled Bones | “Spooky Scary Skeletons” – Andrew Gold

Matt Cruz, Writer/Volunteer

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When people think of Halloween, one can assume, flickering within your memory, is the annual exodus to the cul-de-sac as your favorite media character. Its wispy and joyous reminiscence is often as clear as you hoped the night of the 31st to be.  The crinkled cellophane candies consumed by a plastic pumpkin, pillow case, or the eager mouths of kids and adults.

Within the festive head canon of many people, the song that signals the arrival of Halloween is Andrew Gold’s immortalized “Spooky Scary Skeletons.” Starting off as a track on his 1996 novelty record Halloween Howls: Fun & Scary Music, it has since evolved into a seasonal benchmark for online culture and a cornerstone of Halloween memes.

The hollow timbre of the xylophone contrasts with the cacophonous and harsh harpsichord snuffed out in succession. Gold’s dramatic, deep vocals create a comical pastiche of ghoulish tones, and establish a playful, albeit festive, essential.

The second verse shifts the pitch of the xylophone higher, where its tone is matched with a more shrill, reedy vocal style. Rather than the skeleton greeting you from its grave, a festive apparition greets you as quickly as it leaves.

This song is repetitive, this song is dumb, the song is annoying. Regardless, it is within the same coveted echelon of “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” – an equally loathed but essential classic marking “that time of year again.” Its seasonal omnipresence is greeted with open arms and departs as quickly as it comes. Never overstaying its welcome, but leaving a profound impact during its otherwise short visit. If there’s one thing that this song assures, it’s that shivers will be sent all over and that spooky time here!