The “Monster Mash” caught on in a flash, but is it really a Halloween hit? Nowhere in the song does it mention Halloween buzzwords like “Trick or Treat,” “Ghosts and Goblins,” or “A witch and her broomstick.” All we know about the song is that it was a graveyard smash.
This month, Segmation is on a mission to find out if “Monster Mash” was a Halloween hit or a Frankenstein inspired tune. Was the song released in August 1962 so it could reach the top of the Billboard charts by Halloween, or was it just a coincidence?
A reason why Bobby Pickett’s song, “Monster Mash” provokes this question is because the lyrics do not mention anything about Halloween. More so, traditional Halloween colors aren’t apparent in the single’s album cover.
To explore this mystery, Segmation is using colors to solve the case.
What colors come to mind when thinking of Halloween? Orange and black, of course.
It is believed that these colors have been put in place because of what they represent. Orange is the color for autumn – leaves turn orange and seem to cast this shade throughout neighborhoods and countryside. This is most prevalent when the sun shines. If the sun is not out then skies are overcast. With summer over, dark days are approaching. Halloween black is used to represent this reality.
The History of Halloween Colors
Two historical sources also confirm that orange and black are Halloween colors.
Celtics and the Druids used to conduct after life ceremonies by burning orange, beeswax candles and using black cloths to cover caskets.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that, when applied to a living environment, brings peace and solace. According to Feng Shui, orange and black exist at opposite ends of the energy spectrum. Orange is warm and full. Black, on the other hand, is mysterious and empty.
According to tradition and history, the colors represented on the “Monster Mash” album cover do not promote Halloween at all. There are some additional colors to explore before confirming this graveyard smash was just another Billboard 100 hit.
The Other Colors of Halloween
If orange and black were the only colors of Halloween, the holiday season would seem dull. This is the day of the dead, after all. Colors that symbolize death include: red for blood, green as the eerie color of decay, purples to signify mysticism and supernatural happenings, and white to reflect life after death in ghost and mummies, as well as the full moon.
Taking the other colors of Halloween into account, it seems completely appropriate to consider “Monster Mash” a Halloween song. While not using the obvious colors of Halloween, the album cover proves that this is, in fact, a holiday tune.
Snap your fingers, get in costume, and listen to the graveyard smash. Common’ everybody – do the Monster Mash.
Happy Halloween, from Segmation.
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