My Top 10 Halloween Songs

Happy Halloween, everyone!!!

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Courtesy of Pinterest & ehomedecors.com (original source unknown)

You know for me it is all about the music, so I could not let this holiday pass without honoring it with my favorite songs (in no particular order), which are guaranteed to put you in a  Halloween mood.

1.  “I Put A Spell On You” (1956, written by Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins).

 

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The songwriter’s own version from 1956 is a powerful number all on its own.  But, there are several unbelievably intense & stunning covers you cannot miss by Nina Simone (1965), Annie Lennox (2014), Them featuring Van Morrison (1966), Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968), Chaka Khan (2019) and of course, Winifred Sanderson a/k/a  Bette Midler (1993) from the film “Hocus Pocus”.

2.  “Sympathy for the Devil” – The Rolling Stones (1968, written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards).

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From the opening beats of the congas combined with Jagger’s first scream, the Stones pull you into this masterpiece and refuse to let you go.  And honestly, you would not want to leave anyway.  There are several covers out there by respectable artists, but compared to the original they really are not even worth mentioning.

3.  “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” – The Charlie Daniels Band (1979, written by the Charlie Daniels Band). 

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A fantastically fun song.  But how can a song about the devil be fun, you ask?  Just include a contest with a human, a ,smoking hot fiddle player and lyrics like “Chicken in a bread pan pickin’ out dough, Granny, does your dog bite? No child, no!” and you are all set.  Personal note:  This song is featured in one of my favorite episodes of “The Drew Carey Show” (season 2, episode 5:  “The Devil, You Say”) guest starring Grant Shaud (“Murphy Brown’s” Miles Silverberg) convinced he is the prince of darkness in the living flesh.  Watch it if you can find it.  I couldn’t. 

4.  “Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon (1978, written by Warren Zevon, LeRoy Marinell & Waddy Wachtel).

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Zevon referred to this as a novelty song, and if that is so, it is undoubtedly one of the best of all time.  How could it not be with an opening line like “I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand”.  Wouldn’t that make a great costume???!!!  Adam Sandler did a more than respectable cover of this song on the 2004 Zevon tribute album, “Eat Every Sandwich”.  And you thought Sandler only sang about Hanukah!!!

5.  “Spooky” –Atlanta Rhythm Section (1979, written by Mike Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks Jr,)

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I adored this band from the first time I heard “So Into You” but fell in L-O-V-E with them thanks to “Imaginary Lover“.  It still makes me swoon.  But I digress.  Two members of the group, Dean Daughtry and James B. Cobb, Jr-who were previously members of the band which first recorded this song, the Classics IV-decided to record another version with their new group.  Two other versions you cannot miss are by Joan Osborne   (1998) and Dusty Springfield (1970).

6.  “Season of the Witch” – Donovan (1966, written by Donovan and Shawn Phillips).

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I am not a fan of folk Donavan, but psychedelic rock Donavan is a different story.  The music is undeniably from the late 1960’s but his vocals transcend the era.  There is some weight and a whole lot of feeling behind them that keeps up with the music perfectly so as not to be outdone.  If you can forgive the one dated reference to beatniks, you can enjoy this song anytime, but it is perfect for this time of year.  Al Kooper & Stephen Stills’ cover is a guitar & brass spin on the original and is absolutely worth a listen.  And if you are planning to see the movie “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”  you will hear a new version of the song by Lana Del Ray which is very well done.

7.  “Black Magic Woman” – Fleetwood Mac (1968, written by Peter Green).

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If you are a fan of this band you know they formed years before Lindsay Buckingham & Stevie Nicks joined them.  Peter Green was one of the founding members of the group  and wrote and recorded this song with them in 1968.  Prior to Fleetwood Mac he was a member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, joining them to fill the void left by Eric Clapton’s departure.  This song became more famous when it was covered by  Santana  in 1970 which featured Gregg Rolie on vocals.  He went on to join Journey, leading to him being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with each band.

8.  “Superstition” – Stevie Wonder (1972, written by Stevie Wonder).

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The lyrics may evoke fear and trepidation, but the music is nothing but mesmerizing, from the opening drum beats to the synthesizer bass to the tenor sax and more.  It is a banquet of sounds that, as the line goes, keeps you in a daydream.   For an equally funky version, give Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble’s version from 1986 a listen.  It does not disappoint.  Wonder even participated in the video for Vaughn’s version by appearing at the end and singing a line from the song……..with a black cat in his arms.  Fabulous.

9.  “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” – Denmark & Winter  (2016, written by Buck Dharma).

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(Original source unknown)

Of course, Blue Oyster Cult’s 1976 original version is a classic, and that was years before the SNL cowbell skit.  But the indie band’s evocative stripped down version with its slower pace brings this song to a whole new level of intensity and beauty.

10.   Monster Mash” – Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers (1962, written by Bobby Pickett & Lenny Capizzi). 

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How can this not be on the list???  It is the embodiment of the holiday AND it has Darlene Love on backing vocals!!!  I grew up listening to this song every Halloween season thanks to my mom.  She would play it over and over again while we danced around the living room.  That is how I learned you are never too old for this holiday.  Two cover versions that are almost as popular as the original are by Vincent Price (1977) and Alvin & the Chipmunks ( 1994).     

Honorable mention:  “Psycho Killer” – The Talking Heads (1977, written by the Talking Heads).

Once the little hairs on the back of your neck relax after taking in the title of this song, the rest of your body becomes entranced by the remarkable baseline underscoring Byrne’s vocals in English and French punctuated by his fa-fa-fa’s.  Just genius.

What songs do you love for Halloween?

I hope your holiday is filled with more treats than tricks!!!

i got a rock.jpg(Courtesy of Charles M. Schulz/United Feature Syndicate)   

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

Until next time, happy listening!!!

 

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Happy Halloween From A New Old Friend

Hello, Vixens!!!!

I have spent the last several weeks doing some traveling (posts to follow) and working on re-branding my blog.  As much as I love “The Vintage Vixen”, I am afraid it was getting lost in a sea of similarly named blogs and sites.  So I decided a change was the best way to move forward.  Hope all of you fellow Vixens like it (who we are can’t really change, am I right???)   🙂

Now, Happy Halloween!!!

How do you enjoy this holiday?  Are you into gore and gruesome, adorable and affable or somewhere in between???  I take (mostly) the adorable route and use purple as my primary color choice.  For fall decorating I gravitate towards neutral, but for All Hallow’s Eve I enjoy the holiday’s newest color choice of purple.

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However, I do like to add a bit of the macabre.  On a recent trip to one of my favorite spots for a great bargain-Target’s Dollar Spot (n/k/a Bullseye’s Playground which is also online!!!!!) I found this great little mock headstone.

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At the other great spot for a bargain-Dollar Tree-I found this black crow.  Very Hitchcock-esque, don’t you think???

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I found these beautiful tags on Etsy.  I think they would make great place cards, too.  So pretty!!!!!

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I also keep a touch of my regular fall decorating nearby to keep the mood lighthearted and fun.

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And my Ironstone seems to bring an elegance to anything which is part of why I love it so much!!!

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And what is a holiday without some music?  I found this clip of the perfect Halloween song –Monster Mash-on YouTube.  I think it is a real treat (pun intended)!!!

Have a great holiday!!!

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

PS:  Look what followed my home from the grocery store yesterday!!!!  How adorable!!!

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Fall Kinds Of Fun: The Garlic & Harvest Festival

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you enjoying this beautiful fall season???  You know I am loving it which is why I have not had the time to blog.  But I indulged in a Connecticut fall tradition that was so fantastic I wanted to share it with you:  The Garlic & Harvest Festival.

Held every year in the scenic little town of Bethlehem, CT this autumnal feast celebrates all things garlic and more varieties of garlic than even an Italian American woman like me could imagine (Please forgive the quality of the pictures-they were taken on my iPhone and the weather was overcast, so some of the pictures are a little hazy).

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These pictures are only a taste (sorry, had to!) of the many different varieties of garlic that were showcased.  But there was so much more to do…and see…and buy…and  EAT!!!  Like…..

Wall climbing for the kiddos and some brave adults (i.e. not me!!!   🙂

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Seasonal ceramic shopping…..

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Country life shopping…..

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Time travel shopping back to the 1970’s courtesy of macrame crafts…..

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Or all natural hand-made soap shopping.

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If shopping for food was what you wanted, there was plenty to choose from like……

Smoked pork (the poor little thing…..it still has its curly Q tail!!!)…..

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Or cupcakes.  I asked if the whole truck was for sale.  For some reason, they looked at me funny…..

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or stuffed bread.  I sampled the potato & onion version because if you are a carb addict like me, two are ALWAYS better than one!!!  (Later in the day I had roasted corn on the cob followed by cider donuts.  I was so overloaded on carbs I forgot to take pictures but they were the best tasting part of my day!!!!!)

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And of course, you need something to was it all down with, right?  My choice……….

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This is mere glimpse of what this festival had to offer.  There was live music, food sampling galore, carnival rides, cooking demonstrations and so much more.  It was really a lot of fun.   I enjoyed it so much I was planning to go back on the second day, but the rain stopped me.  And if the festival was not enough of a joy in and of itself, I got to explore the charm of another adorable small town in CT while I indulged in the beauty of this season:

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And saw more pumpkins than even Linus, the Great Pumpkin believer himself, could imagine……

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Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a great New England fall festival.

And don’t forget, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” turns 50 this year (the first time we heard that pitiful sigh, “I got a rock” was on October 27, 1966) so don’t forget to wish this Peanuts classic a happy golden anniversary while watching Sally swoon over her Sweet Baboo, Linus!!!

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, vixens!!!  How are all of you?  Are you as happy to say goodbye to summer & welcome fall as I am?!?!?!  This is truly my most wonderful time of year!!!  I am so happy to be going from seeing displays like this:

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To this:

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So we all know that over the last several years the back to school sales include many new items for fall.  I have come across several interesting ones.  I am not sure if Kellogg’s does this every year but this is the first time I noticed my favorite flavor of my favorite treat has been updated for fall:

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Or if you are a pumpkin pie fan, there is also this one:

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Isn’t the skeleton Snoopy a scream???  I promise it has two eyes, but my iPhone just did not pick it up.  As this year marks the 50th anniversary of “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown“, I have come across a lot of Peanuts items that celebrate that milestone & the season of fall/Halloween itself, like these adorable window clings I saw in the supermarket:

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I also loved these old school Halloween decorations.  They remind me of the ones my mother hung on our door for the holiday when I was a kid:

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Have you noticed that it starts to get dark around 7:30 pm now???  Yeah!!!  The other thing I have noticed since I have been in Connecticut is that even if the temperature during the day is still in the 80’s this month, overnight the temp drops town to the 60’s or 50’s.  Wonderful sleeping weather, as they say.  Speaking of CT, I have been up here an entire year now.  It’s hard to believe but I am happy and finally getting settled.  And this time of year makes everything better, right?  🙂

Nothing herein is sponsored, just sharing my weekend finds with you.

So how was your weekend???

Until next time, fellow vixens, happy digging!!!

 

“I’m So Glad I Live In A World Where There Are Octobers…..”

Do you spend this entire month quoting that wonderful line from “Anne of Green Gables” like I do?  🙂

Happy October, Vixens!!!  Thirty-one days to enjoy this glorious time of the season!!!  Fall finally feels official although it is still quite warm here on the east coast.  The most wonderful month of the year is here!!!

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I have broken out-rather, unpacked-my slow cooker in anticipation of the comfort foods it will hold this season:  soups, roasts, hot apple cider and my favorite, baked apples.  Thanks to Pinterest, I have several pumpkin bread recipes I want to try out, in addition to baking the pie of the season-apple.  Candy corn, apple cider donuts and hot chocolate are now my go to snacks whenever my sweet tooth gets a craving.  My sweaters, ankle boots and warm socks are all clean and ready to wear.  I am ready for the season-almost.

Where I am stuck is in my decorating.  I usually have a very natural approach this time of year thanks to the bounty of nature.  But the leaves have not started changing yet due to the warm climate, and the white pumpkins and gourds are in rare supply for now.  I try not to buy too many fake ones because one, I prefer the real ones and two, I would rather not store any more items than I have to.  But I do have a few ceramic ones.

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I am still figuring out my new place as this is the first time I am decorating it for a season.  I realized I have more orange pumpkins (fabric & ceramic) than I thought, and I really like them despite my desire for a neutral palette.  However, I have more pink than I expected thanks to a small trunk I am now using as a coffee table & a pink wash bin that I am turning into a buffet for my dining area.  I guess it is the pink and orange I am having a problem with.

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So as I still figure that out and where to pepper in the Halloween decorations as well, here are a few pictures of the progress I have made so far.  If we are spared the remnants of  Hurricane Joaquin (great name, right?!) this weekend, I will be hitting some local farm stands and pumpkin farms to start this month off right!!!

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging & happy October!!!

Etsy Treasures

It is still fairly warm here in Connecticut so fall still feels far off, despite October starting later this week.  However, the supermarkets and nurseries are looking more like the season every day.  Here is a display I found the other day when I went grocery shopping:

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As I gathered my fall items to start decorating, I realized I did not have a lot of Halloween items.  I was just about to go out and hit some thrift stores when an Etsy order I placed several weeks ago arrived with this little beauty:

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Isn’t she just lovely?!  I love the neutral palette, the little cat and the fact that she looks like a good witch 🙂

The shop owner was also kind enough to send me a free gift with my purchase that will fit in with my natural & rustic way of decorating:

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I love it and cannot wait to frame it and add it to my decor.  But the piece I love the most is a custom order I placed for my mantra.  As I told you in my previous post, Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” is one of my all time favorite songs and contains a line I live my life by.  So, I finally made it a part of my home with this custom plaque:

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I cannot tell you how happy I am to see these words in front of me every day.  I am not sure where it will end up permanently, but for now it is in my bedroom so it is the first thing I see in the morning & the last thing I see at night.

I love how both pieces I ordered came out.  I want to give a very big thank you to the Etsy store that created these treasures for me, deSignsofExpressions.  This is a great shop to deal with.  The owner is kind, talented and very professional.  She is also a very good communicator and offered me a discount at the beginning for buying multiple items.  If you are in need of a rustic custom piece or gift, definitely check out this shop.  I have not been sponsored for this post and all opinions, including the Springsteen worship, are my own.

I will be back soon with some pictures of my home decorated for fall and Halloween.  In the meantime, I am really enjoying the tours of so many of the bloggers out there.  It is inspiring to see so much creativity!!!

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!