I love music, and that includes pop songs which have come and gone over the decades. Today I write about some of those songs, particularly from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Today I write about pop songs with witches in their theme.
In 1958, a guy by the name Dave Seville soared to number one on the pop music charts in America with a silly little song called "Witch Doctor." We know him as the guy who created Alvin and the Chipmunks. His song helped him launch Alvin's sound, as it used the speeding up of a segment of the song Witch Doctor to create the voices we know as The Chipmunks.
If you were alive in 1958, you probably learned the chorus we loved to sing as kids: "Ooo eee, ooo ah ah, ting tang walla walla, bing bang! Ooo eee, ooo ah ah, ting tang walla walla, bing bang!" In the 54 years which have since passed, millions of children have learned to sing this little ditty.
In 1966, pop music singer Donovan had a hit with a distinctly bizarre song called "Season of the Witch." He is best known for his tune "Sunshine Superman," and less well known for a song called "Mellow Yellow."
Donovan is often believed to have been English, but he's a Scotsman. His psychedelic sound was one of the first of its kind to hit the music scene of the mid 1960s. As the song's lyric says "it's strange - so strange." With its blend of sitar and acoustic strings, it creates a haunting sound for the season where witches are part of the holiday brew.
In 1972, one of my favorite groups of all time, The Eagles, hit the scene with a huge splash. One of their songs was Witchy Woman. Led by Gilmer native Don Henley, the Eagles belted out this tune which talked of a particular witchy woman. Speculation has identified a number of women about whom it is said this song was written. While there may be a number of candidates, it seems likely Henley and the Eagles were speaking in generic terms of some of the women they had met and spent time with. One suspects they were women who were wild and crazy, perhaps from too much substance abuse. "Crazy laughter in another room, as she drove herself to madness with a silver spoon."
Halloween brings us a witches brew of mood music, but it is that cauldron full of candy the kids care most about. The season has become a time of costume parties with the traditional Trick or Treating mostly going the way of the horse and buggy (or at least the traditional home phone). There are songs which remind us of the witching season, and those songs can set a light or heavy tone to our memories.
© 2012, Jim “Pappy” Moore,
All Rights Reserved.
Jim “Pappy” Moore is a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his home. firstname.lastname@example.org