♫ Monster Mash ♫

Well, it IS Hallowe’en, after all … what did you expect, a sappy love song?

Bobby “Boris” Pickett was a nightclub entertainer who performed with a group called The Cordials. He wrote Monster Mash with his friend Lenny Capizzi. They were both big horror movie fans, and Pickett would do an impression of the actor Boris Karloff (known for playing the monster in many Frankenstein movies) during the speaking part of Little Darlin’ that went over well in his act. As Capizzi played the piano, he and Pickett put together this song with his Karloff impression in mind. They came up with the plot about Frankenstein’s monster starting a dance craze.

The lyrics are based on the story of Frankenstein, which started as a 1818 novel by Mary Shelley and evolved into various film adaptations. In the story, Dr. Frankenstein creates a creature who comes to life, but what he created is a monster. The book is sober tale of regret and unexpected consequences, but the story is often played for comedy. In this song, the monster throws a big dance party, which is enthusiastically attended by many other creatures of lore (Dracula, Wolfman).

Pickett and Lenny Capizzi wrote this song in about two hours. They recorded a demo to tape and brought it to Gary Paxton, lead singer of The Hollywood Argyles (“Alley Oop”). They recorded the song with Paxton and studio musicians Leon Russell, Johnny McCrae and Rickie Page, who were credited as “The Cryptkickers.” Paxton, who is credited as the song’s producer, also added the sound effects.

Paxton put the song out on his Garpax label and distributed it to radio stations around southern California. Response was overwhelming, as the stations saw their phone banks lighting up with requests for the song. A deal was struck with London Records, who distributed the song worldwide.

Released in 1962, this went to #1 in both the U.S. and Canada, but did not chart in the UK until 1973 when it was re-releeased and hit the #3 spot in the UK.

Monster Mash

Bobby “Boris” Pickett

I was working in the lab, late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab, began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

(He did the mash) he did the monster mash
(The monster mash) it was a graveyard smash
(He did the mash) it caught on in a flash
(He did the mash) he did the monster mash

(Wa-ooh) From my laboratory in the castle east
(Wa-ooh) To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
(Wa-wa-ooh) The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
(Wa-ooh) To get a jolt from my electrodes

(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

(Wa-ooh) The zombies were having fun
(Tennis shoe wa-ooh) The party had just begun
(Tennis shoe wa-ooh) The guests included Wolfman
(Tennis shoe wa-ooh) Dracula, and his son

(Wa-ooh) The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds
(Wa-ooh) Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
(Wa-wa-ooh) The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
(Wa-ooh) With their vocal group, The Crypt-Kicker Five

(They played the mash) they played the monster mash
(The monster mash) it was a graveyard smash
(They played the mash) it caught on in a flash
(They played the mash) they played the monster mash

(Wa-ooh) out from his coffin’, Drac’s voice did ring
(Wa-ooh) seems he was troubled by just one thing
(Wa-wa-ooh) opened the lid and shook his fist and said
(Wa-ooh) “Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?

(It’s now the mash) it’s now the monster mash
(The monster mash) and it’s a graveyard smash
(It’s now the mash) it’s caught on in a flash
(It’s now the mash) it’s now the monster mash

(Wa-ooh) Now everything’s cool, Drac’s a part of the band
(Wa-ooh) And my Monster Mash is the hit of the land
(Wa-wa-ooh) For you, the living this mash was meant to
(Wa-ooh) 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

(Wa-ooh, monster mash)
“Mash good” (Wa-ooh, monster mash)
“Easy, Igor, you impetuous young boy” (Wa-ooh, monster mash)
“Mash good, grr” (Wa-ooh, monster mash)
(Wa-ooh, monster mash)
(Wa-ooh, monster mash)
(Wa-ooh)

Writer/s: Bob Pickett, Leonard Capizzi
Publisher: RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

19 thoughts on “♫ Monster Mash ♫

  1. Pingback: Monster Mash. |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  2. I’ll call your Monster Mash, and raise you a Season of the Witch. (Donovan wasn’t out to write a Hallowe’en song but the title was quite appropriate.)

    For anyone who is interested, Vanilla Fudge did a wonderful rock “classic” of this song, 9 minutes long. It’s on YouTube, and probably elsewhere on the internet. I recommend it highly.
    Don’t go treating tonight, Jill, the goblins might mistake you for an old witch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, rg! I actually considered that one, but Monster Mash won out. I don’t recall a group called Vanilla Fudge … will check them out when I have a few minutes. No, I didn’t go treating, but I got the loveliest treat anyway! My neighbor and friend, Maha, brought her 2-month-old baby, Naya, over for a visit and I delighted in her beautiful smile and sweet little ‘coos’! Hey wait … are you calling me an old witch? Okay, my friend, just remember you’re older than I!!!

      Like

      • Yup

        I’m an old fogey now,
        Never thought I’d get here no how
        S’pised to die by 30, now I’m almost 73,
        Groovy Wow
        To be sung as a round, with everyone saying their age st the end of line 3. Written for the group at an old folk’s home I used to work at when I was 60.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, come to think of it, it is! Glad you liked it! No worries … while there are many children in our neighborhood, their parents typically take them to the wealthier side of town for trick-or-treat, where they get better ‘treats’, so we usually only have a few kids come to our door. And then … we are left with a bowlful of candy … what to do??? 😉 xx

      Like

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