“Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett

Friday is Halloween, the unofficial holiday when children and adults dress up (wear makeup and costumes) to attend parties or to go trick-or-treating (going from one house to the next asking for candy). (Jeff also talked about Halloween in this blog post).

Every year as Halloween rolls around (approaches), radio stations start playing a 1962 novelty (fun or funny song, not to be taken seriously) called “Monster Mash.”  The song in sung from the perspective (point of view) of a mad (crazy) scientist who has created a monster (scary and dangerous creature). One day, the monster gets up and begins doing a dance. The dance becomes very popular and many other monsters attend a party given by the mad scientist to do this new dance. Very silly, right?  But, it is a very popular song on Halloween.

The singer of the song, Bobby Pickett, imitates (tries to sound like) the voice of Boris Karloff, an English actor best known for his 1930 films, including his portrayal of (playing the role of) Frankenstein in Frankenstein (1930), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939). Boris Karloff had a very deep voice, very recognizable (easy to distinguish from other voices), and he went on to play many roles (acting parts).

This song has become associated with Halloween, and if you don’t hear it played on the radio, you’ll hear it played at a Halloween party.  No one really knows what the dance — the “Monster Mash” — looks like. Maybe it looks a little like the “Mashed Potato.” You’ll have to use your imagination to picture how a monster can make his — or her — feet do that.



“Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett

I was working in the lab (laboratory, where experiments are done) late one night
When my eyes beheld (past tense of “behold,” an old-fashioned word for “saw”) an eerie (frightening) sight (thing that one sees)
For (because) my monster from his slab (large, thick piece of stone), began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

He did the Mash, he did the Monster Mash
The Monster Mash, it was a graveyard (outdoor field where dead people are buried) smash (popular thing)
He did the Mash, it caught on (became popular) in a flash (very quickly)
He did the Mash, he did the Monster Mash

From my laboratory in the castle (large house where kings and queens live) east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast (eat a lot)
The ghouls (ghosts) all came from their humble abodes (homes)
To get a jolt (electric shock) from my electrodes (something attached to the skin to deliver an electric shock)

They did the Mash, they did the Monster Mash
The Monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
They did the Mash, it caught on in a flash
They did the Mash, they did the Monster Mash

The zombies (walking dead people) were having fun
The party had just begun
The guests included Wolfman,
Dracula, and his son

The scene was rockin’, all were digging (enjoying) the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by (accompanied by) his baying (howling) hounds (dogs)
The coffin (box where dead people are placed before being buried)-bangers (hitters, like with a drum) were about to arrive
With their vocal group, “The Crypt (underground room for dead bodies)-Kicker Five”

They played the Mash, they did the Monster Mash
The Monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
They played the Mash, it caught on in a flash
They did the Mash, they did the Monster Mash

Out from his coffin, Drac’s voice did ring (sound loudly)
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
Opened the lid and shook his fist (raised his closed hand in anger) and said
“Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist? ”

It’s now the Mash, it’s now the Monster Mash
The Monster mash, it’s a graveyard smash
It’s now the Mash, it caught on in a flash
They did the Mash, it’s now the Monster Mash

Now everything’s cool (okay), Drac’s a part of the band
And my Monster Mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant, too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you

Then you can Mash, then you can Monster Mash
The Monster Mash, and do my graveyard smash
Then you can Mash, you’ll catch on in a flash
Then you can Mash, then you can Monster Mash

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6 Responses to “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett

  1. Dan says:

    Hi Lucy,

    Thank you for this enjoyable song. I had my head going right and left while listening to that music.
    Looking at the second video, the Mash Potato dance, I do not know whether to like it or hate that dance.
    It provokes in me mixed feelings of irritation and joy.

    So many strange words I had never encountered before.
    Apparently a “Hound” is also the name of a character from the Transformer movies. I have just discovered that looking for Hound+Images.

    Over here (Italy) Halloween is not as big as it is in the US. By that I mean the dressing up and the parties.
    People here (not me) are going to spend big money on flowers and visit the dead at the cemetery.

    Thank you Lucy and happy/scary Halloween

  2. Marcos says:

    Hi everyone

    I never heard that song and here in my country Halloween started to be popular at English School for child and just a couple years comes to be popular on private schools and then on public school. Now you can see thing on sale to Halloween and children dressing costumes and walking on street from one house to the next knocking in door, but it took long time to become popular. I personally don’t like because we have other religious culture about the day of dead. Know other language, other culture is good and healthy, but take it to your culture!?

    Nice day Lucy and Happy Halloween to us

  3. Betty says:

    Thanks Lucy for this informative article and entertaining song.

    It is depressing to be reminded that another year has gone. Maybe human beings want to use “events” to distract our own attention to the passing of time and to the fact that we have used up one more year of our life.

    Lucy do you buy sweets and wait for children to come trick or treating?

    I used to buy sweets when my children were little. I didn’t like them go trick or treating but it’s hard to stop them.

    In order to be fair, I bought lots of sweets for other people’s children when they come trick or treating. Now all my children have grown up, and they don’t go trick or treating any more.

    I should stop buying sweets. Nevertheless, I still buy sweets in case some children knock at my door on Halloween night.

    Perhaps I do it intentionally, I go to bed early and I don’t normally hear anyone knocking at my door.

    Good, I have lots of sweets all for myself the next day.

    Many thanks again Lucy.

    Happy Halloween to Everyone in ESLPOD.com (that include all teachers and learners)!
    Best Regards
    Betty 🙂

  4. Parviz says:

    Hi everyone,
    For starters, Happy Halloween to all of you.
    Another magic trick from Lucy to get us learn something.
    Halloween is cool by itself. But, how Americans keep track of different traditions is beyond me.
    We also used to have the same tradition, but it vanished (I should say almost all good traditions vanished) after
    the dubious Revolution, which brought upon us a heavy economic burden.
    But very few traditions (Yalda night among them) are still around, where people make special foods, wear special clothes, and go visit each others.

    Yalda Night is the last night of Fall, the longest night of the year, according to national calender.
    It is one of our important traditions (only second to the new year’s holiday).
    Though it’s not a holiday, since it happens at night.
    We would buy nuts. We would buy melon (red delicious melon). And stay up late eating, and chatting.
    What is very interesting to me is that, most people (who have a sense of patriotism) keeping these old traditions alive as a means of
    objection to the Systems radical notions towards religion.
    The government spends a whole lot of money to hold religious ceremonies which mostly involve crying and mourning
    to the Holy Leaders who died thousands of years ago, while giving the least credit to people’s economic and social situation.

    Nevertheless, each tradition has it’s own followers.
    We just enjoy watching, and not judging them.
    And Dan,
    Them flowers you said they bring to the cemetery, It is called The Day Of the Dead.
    Is when people go to the graveyards in their cities and appreciate death.
    For this, they take with them flowers and sweets.
    It is more like a party.
    I used to go with my mom to this ceremony which happens every Thursday.
    It was all fun. I would eat candy enough for the next week.
    Thank you,

  5. Dan says:

    Hey Parviz,

    That was interesting, I mean what you do over there.

    I am kind of reading in between the lines some sort of discontent for the religious folks over there, is that correct?

    Nothing worse that living in a place where religious people want to shove down your throat their beliefs.

    Again, you are right that is the Day of the dead. Isn’t that the same thing as Halloween?

    Sorry, but since I practically do not celebrate nothing, not even my birthday, I kind of mix those up in my ignorance on the subject.

    Thank you Parviz take care.

  6. Parviz says:

    Hi Dan,
    In some countries people may use special costumes (like those with a picture of a skull on them) for the Day Of the Dead.
    You could say it is sort of like Halloween, but over the years it has gotten down to a simple visiting the graves and talking to the deads.
    For me it was all fun and stupid.
    I never believed that we can talk to the dead.
    I quit this tradition many years ago, after my mom passed a way.
    I mostly don’t like the religious etiquette.
    And you can’t imagine how painful it is to know that people around you possess two identities.
    They attend religious ceremonies they are not sure of it’s credibility.
    And there is no any rationale behind it, it is all intuition. they know it might be wrong, but they do it anyway.
    On the other hand, when the ceremony (which some times lasts for 10 days) is over they are back to normal.
    They become like me and you and any other westerner. like it was nothing.
    I don’t like when people do what they want to do and then make religion responsible for it.
    The one who boasts their religions beliefs, is ironically the one who never cares for morality.
    That is something I never understand. And never want to get involved with.
    Right know we are in the midst of a 10-day-long ceremony, wherein people mourning murder of their Third grandson of the prophet.
    And you have no idea how laud they are.
    Man I hate them.
    I am glad you don’t have any of this.

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