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This is Hallowe’en

October 31, 2009

Well, it’s that time of year again – Hallowe’en. A ‘holiday’ that sneaks up on you because of its distinct lack of significance- not unlike Bonfire Night. I have no doubt that when All Saint’s Day was a staple in the quasi-religious calendar, Hallowe’en was a big deal, much like when people were genuinely happy that Guy Fawkes failed in turning the Houses of Parliament into a pile of rubble, Bonfire Night was probably a pretty good party. Now however, no one could give a hoot who St Hallows was and why everyone celebrated his day the night before by scaring the bejesus out of everyone else and, as for Bonfire Night, the ‘Guy’ is just a delinquent money-making scheme, albeit a poor one.

Jack

I remember when I was younger walking to Anfield/Prenton Park for matches around this faux holiday time and being accosted by scallies who wanted a ‘penny for the guy’. This roughly translated to ‘give us some money or we’ll trash your car/glass you in the face/mildly insult you’. To be honest, the ‘guys’ that deserved a penny were very much in the minority. In fact, many of them did not seem to have a ‘guy’ but thought they’d just echo the threatening sentiment anyway.

I digress. Hallowe’en is good fun. It is one of two times in the year when I put a moderate amount of effort into a costume. Sadly, this year, moderate reads as not much. Consequently, my ‘dead dandy’ costume is not worth much of a description. It is not, surprisingly, the costumes which make this night worthy of mention, it is the slight notion of winter coming; of, as the Americans would put it, the ‘holiday season’; of fear, whether it’s of ancient ghouls or modern chavs, there is something in the air. It’s normally eggs though.

Lyric-wise, ‘This Is Hallowe’en’ is a perfect choice. It is a song from the critically-acclaimed Tim Burton film, ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’. Although related to Christmas as much as it is to Hallowe’en, the song would send shivers down the spine of the hardiest egg-throwing chav. The version below is the ‘Prince of Darkness’, Mr. Marilyn Manson, covering it. Truly creepy.

The beauty of the song is its melding of childish innocent with adult fear. The description of ‘scary’ Boogie man-esque characters almost act as analogies for real terror. Manson increases this idea dramatically. Hearing Manson, with a voice which could turn Mary to satanism, scratch out a description of the Pumpkin King is truly memorable. The idea that this figure deserves the attention and commands the respect of the whole town suggests the absolute power of fear over human sanity. In the same way a child’s drawing of a massacre would have a haunting impact, This Is Hallowe’en leaves enough doubt in your mind that you just might go and lock the front door.

As far as lyrical analysis goes; “This is Hallowe’en…everybody scream.”

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