The new Death Cab for Cutie album was released last week, and I’ve been intermittently earwormed with the first single, “I Will Possess Your Heart.” And, wow, is that one of the creepiest songs ever– you get the sense that he’s not entirely sure whether he needs to possess the rest of her, or if her heart in a jar in the basement would suffice.

You don’t see many pop songs that are quite that unabashedly creepy. Which makes this seem like a good topic for a Non-Dorky Poll, in multiple-choice format:

The creepiest pop song ever is:

A) “Every Breath You Take” by the Police

B) “Creep” by Radiohead

C) “My Curse” by the Afghan Whigs(*)

D) “I Will Possess Your Heart” by Death Cab for Cutie

E) Some other song that I will name in the comments.

Leave your answer in the comments. Explaining your reasoning is a bonus, but not strictly necessary on a multiple-choice test.

(*- the song off Gentlemen that’s sung by a woman, who is apparently named Marcy Mays.)

Comments

  1. #1 Jamie Bowden
    May 20, 2008

    Possession – Sarah McLachlan

  2. #2 Melissa
    May 20, 2008

    Sonic Youth’s cover of “Superstar” has a mighty creepy (albeit captivating) feel.

  3. #3 Oldfart
    May 20, 2008

    Of the ones you named, though I loved the song when it was released, I thought “Every Breath You Take” was the creepiest. I seldom listen closely to the lyrics anyway, so never noticed in all these years.

  4. #4 david
    May 20, 2008

    Those are obvious, though. This one sneaks up on you:

    ‘Every Morning’ – Sugar Ray

  5. #5 qetzal
    May 20, 2008

    I always thought Closer by Nine Inch Nails (theme song from the movie “Seven”) was one of the all time creepiest. Especially among songs that get reasonable airplay on mainstream stations.

    Much creepier than the Police in my book. I don’t know the others in your list, but judging by the lyrics, “I Will Possess Your Heart” is the only one that seems comparably creepy to me.

  6. #6 qetzal
    May 20, 2008

    Also, #1 Crush by Garbage.

  7. #7 lmf3b
    May 20, 2008

    The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.” even in 10th grade, when this was a #1 hit, I thought it was celebrating stalking.

  8. #8 Dunc
    May 20, 2008

    E: My Sharona by The Knack. Although the original girl who inspired the song may have been over the age of consent in some states, the lyrics certainly read like an all-out endorsement of paedophilia.

  9. #9 Kate Nepveu
    May 20, 2008

    I vote for “I Will Possess Your Heart,” for the combination of music and lyrics–great song, incredibly earwormy, but I can’t help but interpolate what he really means into the chorus:

    You gotta spend some time, love, you gotta spend some time with me

    –chained up in my basement

    And I know that you’ll find, love, I will possess your heart

    –in a jar, after I’ve cut it out, because you still don’t love me after I’ve kidnapped you

    “Possession” has creepy lyrics, too, but is prettier.

  10. #10 HP
    May 20, 2008

    Gloomy Sunday. But only because it has its own urban legends.

    (But then, by that standard, I’d have to include Rollercoaster.)

  11. #11 bwv
    May 20, 2008

    Mr. Bungle wrote what to my knowledge is the only autoerotic asphyxiation anthem, the last few verses are:

    Playing solitaire
    A rope and mommy’s underwear
    Hanging on, letting go
    Dangling to and fro

    NOOO

    It can’t happen here

    Floating away
    Tingling
    Fluid seeping
    Family weeping
    It feels so good
    So bad
    But please
    Don’t tease me

  12. #12 Scott Wyngarden
    May 20, 2008

    What’s especially creepy with “I Will Possess Your Heart” is that the full album cut has an extra 4:30 of just music at the beginning, like he’s been stalking her.

    I always thought “Gotta Know Right Now” from the Smoking Popes was pretty creepy, too.

  13. #13 Daniel Rendall
    May 20, 2008

    How about Tom Lehrer’s “I hold your hand in mine” -

    “The night you died I cut it off
    I really don’t know why
    For now each time I kiss it
    I get bloodstains on my tie”

  14. #14 cheem
    May 20, 2008

    I second “Possession” as well… it gets extra creep points for the fact that it was largely written by one of Sarah McLachlan’s stalkers.

  15. #15 Skwid
    May 20, 2008

    I’ve been all “what’s the big deal with Death Cab For Cutie,” for years, now, and then this song crept up, smacked me up top of the head, and dragged me off!

    Still, for creepiest song ever, “’97 Bonnie & Clyde” as covered by Tori Amos has to win.

  16. #16 Steinn Sigurdsson
    May 20, 2008

    “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” provides strong competition to “Every Breath You Take”
    “Girlfriend in a Coma” is also pretty creepy.

  17. #17 chezjake
    May 20, 2008

    “Teen Angel” by Mark Dinning, a #1 hit in 1960.

  18. #18 bc
    May 20, 2008

    Aqualung by Jethro Tull always seemed really creepy to me. It’s not written from a personal perspective, but that opening line just paints the guy as a full blown creep. Of the songs on the list, I think “Every breath you take” is the creepiest. “Don’t stand so close to me” in light of Sting being a teacher before being a rock star… Creepy.

  19. #19 onymous
    May 20, 2008

    “Girlfriend in a Coma” is also pretty creepy.

    I think “creepy” has to have a certain element of seriousness that anything by Morrissey completely lacks.

  20. #20 Carolyn
    May 20, 2008

    “Run for your life” by the Beatles. Here’s the first lines (ish, from memory):

    “I’d rather see you dead little girl than to see you with another man. You’d better keep your head little girl or you won’t know where I am. You’d better run for your life if you can, little girl, hide your head in the sand, little girl, catch you with another man, that’s the end, of little girl”

    Infantilize women much? Stay with me or I’ll kill you threats to cheery music? Such a level of distrust in a relationship? What isn’t creepy?

  21. #21 Julianne
    May 20, 2008

    A Good Idea” by Sugar. It’s got bonus creepy points because it’s a jaunty sing-a-long with a happy sounding chorus (“Now that’s a good idea, she said, she said”), but then you realize on about the eigth listening that the girl’s being drowned by her boyfriend, and the narrator of the song just watched it play out without doing anything.

    It’s a much squickier and subtler take than Mould pulled off with “Diane” back in the 80′s with Husker Du.

  22. #22 Julianne
    May 20, 2008

    Re-reading through this list of creepy, are there any songs that don’t involve something horrible happening to a woman?

    Ugh.

  23. #23 Leni
    May 20, 2008

    I always thought Girlfriend in a Coma was funny.

    Pirate Jenny was pretty creepy. I mean, I could unstand the whole righteous anger thing, but it was still pretty creepy. Expecially the way Nina Simone sang it.

    So, Jullianne, rest assured. In this song pretty much everybody dies ;)

  24. #24 juniorprof
    May 20, 2008

    “Vicar in a tutu” The Smiths. And nothing terrible happens to women in the song. Is there a better mental image in all of pop than a vicar in a tutu sliding down a banister?

  25. #25 Leni
    May 20, 2008

    *sigh*

    Preview, stupid, preview.

  26. #26 Steinn Sigurdsson
    May 20, 2008

    Julianne: how about “Richard Cory”?
    Or to go back to the old Police: “Can’t Stand Losing You”
    I always thought “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” was creepy.

  27. #27 Harry Abernathy
    May 20, 2008

    I agree with bc about “Aqualung”. But unlike most of the songs mentioned here, it also sounds creepy besides just having creepy lyrics.

    Carolyn: For a creepy Beatles song, I nominate “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”? Oddly enough, the contestants on American Idol did NOT choose that one when they had the two weeks of Beatles songs…

    And what about “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads?. That’s a creepy song that’s MEANT to creep you out.

  28. #28 cisko
    May 20, 2008

    I’m still bugged a lot by Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight,” since it’s basically a song about a drunk whose wife has to drag him home and get him into bed. For amusement you can imagine Homer Simpson singing it to Marge with a slobbery voice.

    Julianne @#20: I can never hear “Good Idea” without thinking of the movie River’s Edge. I wonder if that was Bob’s inspiration.

    For me the creepy comes strongest with the songs that sound like sweet love songs until you listen a bit closely. “Every Breath You Take” has to win there. But my honorable mention goes to “The One I Love” by REM. Sounds great until you hit the line “A simple prop, to occupy my time…” But the Police win for the maximal stalker coefficient.

  29. #29 James F
    May 20, 2008

    How about “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus?

    White on white translucent black capes
    Back on the rack
    Bela Lugosi’s dead
    The bats have left the bell tower
    The victims have been bled
    Red velvet lines the black box
    Bela Lugosi’s dead
    Undead undead undead
    The virginal brides file past his tomb
    Strewn with time’s dead flowers
    Bereft in deathly bloom
    Alone in a darkened room
    The count
    Bela Logosi’s dead
    Undead undead undead

  30. #30 Karyn
    May 20, 2008

    How about Intruder by Peter Gabriel. Primus did a slightly less creepy version of it.

  31. #31 Jason
    May 20, 2008

    Excitable Boy – Warren Zevon
    I used the pot roast line as an eating away message in college. Friend was rather disturbed by that, and a lot more when I told him to read the rest of the lyrics.

    Agree on ‘Closer’ as well, but only because it was meant as a love song.

  32. #32 Eric Lund
    May 20, 2008

    “Every Breath You Take” definitely rates an honorable mention. So does “Bargain” by the Who and “Aqualung” by Jethro Tull. And for a view from the other side, there’s “Under Attack” by ABBA.

    I’ve seen references to an Alice Cooper song about necrophilia, but since I’ve never heard the song in question (and have no desire to) I have to disqualify it.

    For me the prize goes to “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Motley Crüe. Brilliant idea: a song that tries to portray suicide in a positive light (let’s imitate Romeo and Juliet), no big deal (the song quotes a statistic of 40,000 per day; where that comes from I have no idea), and nothing to be afraid of. Which came first: this song, or the rumors of heavy metal-induced suicides?

  33. #33 Chad Orzel
    May 20, 2008

    For me the prize goes to “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Motley Crüe.

    Wrong unnecessary-umlaut band– “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is by Blue Oyster Cult, not Motley Crue.

  34. #34 Julianne
    May 20, 2008

    Ooo! “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and “Murder in the Red Barn” by Tom Waits.

    And “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is actually a Blue Oyster Cult song.

    Man, I’m dating myself.

    ps. are these for a future baby mix tape?

  35. #35 Tom
    May 20, 2008

    “Art Lover” by the Kinks

  36. #36 Charles Kuffner
    May 20, 2008

    I vote for “Obsession”, by Animotion:

    You are an obsession, I cannot sleep
    I am a possession unopened at your feet
    There is no balance, no equality
    Be still I will not accept defeat

    I will have you, yes I will have you
    I will find a way and I will have you
    Like a butterfly, a wild butterfly
    I will collect you and capture you

    You are an obsession, you’re my obsession
    Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me

    Yeah, nothing like the idea of being pinned under glass to get me in the mood for love.

  37. #37 Bob Hawkins
    May 20, 2008

    “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” by Vicki Lawrence. Vicki is a witness to a murder. She sings about watching an innocent man convicted and executed when her testimony would clear him, but instead of speaking up she blames everyone but herself. Sick.

    “Greensleeves” (trad.) The lyrics translate into modern English as “I spent a wad on this bimbo and she won’t put out!” The fact that this proto-rap song is usually sung as if it’s a freakin’ Christmas carol is just sick.

  38. #38 CCPhysicist
    May 20, 2008

    “Teen Angel” is so … fifties. Some of the others make a good collection for second place, including the necro song by Alice Cooper, and some can’t stand his “dentist” song. I always rather liked “Careful with that Axe, Eugene” by the real Pink Floyd.

    But clearly none of you ever heard “D.O.A.” by Bloodrock.

    For good reason. Even though it went gold in 1971, partly because of people like a friend who liked to listen to it in a dark room with a sheet pulled over his head, somehow it just doesn’t get any airplay on “classic rock” station.

    Like everything else, there is a YouTube video of it. (Consider yourself warned. Seriously warned. The video is someone’s tribute to a friend who died in a plane crash. I recommend audio only.) There is also a rock video version the band produced in 1986, but it’s not quite the same as the haunting original. At least the second video is not quite as disturbing as the first one.

  39. #39 Carolyn
    May 20, 2008

    I had forgotten Maxwell’s Silver Hammer….

    and I think an honourable mention should go out to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl”. Bizarre song, little too dark for the bubblegum pop tune.

  40. #40 milkshake
    May 20, 2008

    I dont know if it qualifies as creepy – because to me it is hillarious – but in the old Coen movie “Raising Arizona” there is this central tune that comes back several times. Only when the young Holly Hunter (ex-police officer wife of an ex-con) sings this tune again as a lullaby to a toddler that the couple just stole to raise as their own, you realise that the lullaby is a ballad about a guy who is to be hanged “for I have kill’d that lil’-lil’ girl her name was Rosaline”

    A very funny movie.

  41. #41 CCPhysicist
    May 20, 2008

    I screwed up the link to the 1986 video, but it shows up in the sidebar to the first one as “BLOODROCK – D.O.A./EVERY BODY’S NIGHTMARE”.

  42. #42 scicurious
    May 20, 2008

    I second the vote for “#1 Crush” by Garbage. You can’t beat the lyrics:

    I will burn for you
    Feel pain for you
    I will twist the knife and bleed my aching heart

    I would die for you
    I would kill for you
    I will steal for you
    I’d do time for you

    Or what about that song “Nobody puts baby in a corner” by Fall Out Boy?

    So wear me like a locket around your throat.
    I’ll weigh you down.
    I’ll watch you choke.
    You look so good in blue.
    You look so good in blue.

  43. #43 Pseudonym
    May 20, 2008

    Every Breath You Take gets my vote, but one that should be on the list is Throw Your Arms Around Me by Hunters and Collectors.

  44. #44 Pseudonym
    May 20, 2008

    Probably not the creepiest, but Throw Your Arms Around Me by Hunters and Collectors (and covered by just about everyone) is pretty damn creepy.

  45. #45 milkshake
    May 20, 2008

    do creepy videos qualify? This one is humorous in an extremly tasteless way:

  46. #46 bonni
    May 20, 2008

    I really have to agree with Throw Your Arms Around Me. The lyrics sound like some sort of weird stalker and the object of his obsession meets a not so nice end:

    I will come for you at night time
    I will raise you from your sleep
    I will kiss you in four places
    I’ll go running along your street
    I will squeeze the life out of you
    You will make me laugh and make me cry
    We will never forget it
    You will make me call your name and I’ll shout it to the bluesummer sky
    We may never meet again
    So shed your skin and lets get started
    And you will throw your arms around me

    I dreamed of you at night time
    And I watched you in your sleep
    I met you in high places
    I touched your head and touched your feet
    So if you dissapear out of view
    You know, I will never say goodbye
    Though I try to forget it
    You will make me call your name and I’ll shout it to the bluesummer sky

    We may never meet again
    So shed your skin and lets get started
    And you will throw your arms around me
    Yeah you will throw you arms around me

  47. #47 ScienceWoman
    May 20, 2008

    Of the multiple choices listed above I’d pick “Every Breath You Take” by the Police because I don’t know the others (plus, it came to mind when I saw the post title).

    But as mentioned above 97 Bonnie and Clyde (by eninem as covered by Tori Amos) is definitely definitely the creepiest song I’ve ever heard.

  48. #48 Jim Lippard
    May 20, 2008

    A couple necrophilia tunes:

    T.S.O.L. “Code Blue”
    Barnes & Barnes “Cemetery Girls”

  49. #49 Palm Sprangs
    May 20, 2008

    Thank You For Listening” by L. Ron Hubbard

    Point, Game, and… Match!

  50. #50 Tim Lamb
    May 20, 2008

    “I Want You” by Elvis Costello takes the cake for pure stalker obsession.

    “Family Snapshot” by Peter Gabriel for full-blown psychosis.

  51. #51 ERV
    May 20, 2008

    You all are so wrong. Creepiest song ever: “Youre 16. Youre beautiful. And youre mine.”

    That song has scared me since I was little.

  52. #52 Palm Sprangs
    May 20, 2008

    Found the lyrics:

    Thank You For Listening” by L. Ron Hubbard

    Thank you for listening
    I write just for you
    But others hearing this may find
    Things they would argue.

    I do not sing what I believe
    I only give them fact
    If they believe quite otherwise,
    It still will have impact.

    For truth is truth and if they then
    Decide to live with lies
    That’s their concern not mine, my friend,
    They’re free to fantasize.

  53. #53 Steinn Sigurdsson
    May 21, 2008

    I have hear many a phrase for describing Smiths lyrics, but “funny” is a new one.

    If people want outright brutalizing rather than creepy, than it is hard to beat “The Boiler” and “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight”

  54. #54 Lab Lemming
    May 21, 2008

    With all these boyfriend-kills-girlfriend nominations, how about considering “Goodbye Earl” to balance things out?

  55. #55 Sigmund
    May 21, 2008

    “Wrong unnecessary-umlaut band– “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is by Blue Oyster Cult, not Motley Crue.”
    The BOC version had more cowbells.

  56. #56 Begtognen
    May 21, 2008

    “End of the Innocence”! By Don Henley. For the lines:

    You can lay your head back on the ground
    And let your hair fall all around me
    Offer up your best defense
    But this is the end
    This is the end of the innocence

    I mean… “offer up your best defense”? Gah!

  57. #57 Todd Tyrtle
    May 21, 2008

    My vote’s for Don Henley’s “End of the Innocence”

    “You can lay your head back on the ground
    And let your hair fall all around me
    Offer up your best defense
    But this is the end
    This is the end of the innocence”

  58. #58 Todd Tyrtle
    May 21, 2008

    Oops – looks like my partner whom I was talking to in skype beat me to the vote :)

  59. #59 Dave Munger
    May 21, 2008

    Little Girls by Oingo Boingo

    “They don’t care about my one-way mirror,
    They don’t care about my cold exterior”

    Obviously done in character but still creepy.

    Not quite so creepy but still fun is Nothing Bad Ever Happens to Me.

  60. #60 Mary
    May 21, 2008

    I am seconding #53 – it’s the creep up and get you when you suddenly understand the implications. The sounds at the end for The Boiler (could be a trigger for some people so I shan’t explain) and the realisation about the keys for Down in the Tube Station at Midnight.

  61. #61 William
    May 21, 2008

    For me, “Via Chicago” by Wilco (from Summerteeth) has to get a vote. Great song, disturbing lyrics, which begin:

    I dreamed about killing you again last night
    and it felt all right to me
    Dying on the banks of Embarcadero skies
    I sat and watched you bleed
    Buried you alive in a fireworks display
    Raining down on me
    You cold, hot blood ran away from me
    To the sea

    I’ve seen Wilco live twice now, and it’s funny how this is one of the songs that couples like to dance to.

  62. #62 Carlie
    May 21, 2008

    “Last dance with Mary Jane”, not nearly creepy enough until you see the video and realize he’s talking about a dead girl.

    “Ruby”, he talks about shooting her. Of course, if you go with straight homicidal lyrics instead of weirdly creepy, there are hundreds.

    As for a good song by Death Cab for Cutie, “What Sarah Said” is quite powerful, and the video is incredibly powerful in its possibilities of interpretation.

  63. #63 Carlie
    May 21, 2008

    Um, didn’t mean to use the same adjective twice. That’s what happens when you’re supervising “get everything and get out to the bus” at the same time as typing. I know English, really.

  64. #64 Paul A
    May 21, 2008

    Can’t say I ever found My Curse all that creepy but, in a Whigs-related vein, Mr Superlove by the Ass Ponies (which the Whigs covered of course) has some choice lyrics:

    The storm was blowing from the South
    The blood was running from your mouth
    Glass was shattered on the floor
    A hundred pieces maybe more
    I remember you were crying
    Just befoere you sent it flying
    Silent sounding pounding on my floor

    You may not believe me, baby, when I tell you that I am Mr. Superlove
    You may not believe me, baby, when I tell you that I am Mr. Superlove
    Falling out (falling out)
    Falling out (falling out)
    Falling out (falling out)
    We had a falling-out

  65. #65 Paul A
    May 21, 2008

    Oh, and My Curse was indeed sung by Marcy Mays. I had the pleasure of seeing her singing it with them at the Reading Festival in ’94 (I think).

    You can also catch a great performance on a DVD released by the Twilight Singers recorded a few years back in Newport, KY. John Curley comes on for the encore to play bass on a few Whigs numbers including My Curse where Marcy once again takes to the stage.

    http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Live-Singers/dp/B000CEV3VE

  66. #66 APic
    May 21, 2008

    No Aphex Twin yet?

    Come to Daddy, Windowlicker and To Cure A Weakling Child all come high in the creepy song stakes. The videos even more so…

    Black Sabbath, by Black Sabbath, from the album Black Sabbath also fair scared the wits out of me the first time i heard it. The bells, the bells…

  67. #67 Jamie Bowden
    May 21, 2008

    Also, Natalie Imbruglia – Torn.

    It gets bonus points for being poppy and upbeat.

  68. #68 G Barnett
    May 21, 2008

    I’m going to have to go with the song “Lotion” by the Greenskeepers.

    It’s a song from the POV of the character Buffalo Bill from “Silence of the Lambs” and it’s frighteningly catchy.

    You can find it on Youtube….

  69. #69 Interrobang
    May 21, 2008

    I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned “Have I The Right” yet! Joe Meek wrote the song, and I don’t know who all performed it, although if you want to catch the latent creepiness being expressed very well, the Dead Kennedys did a version which brings out the psycho-stalkery “my last two girlfriends have restraining orders” vibe to it very well.

  70. #70 Kristine
    May 21, 2008

    “Mama” by Genesis and
    “I Used to Love Her” by Guns’n’Roses

  71. #71 Tom Jackson
    May 21, 2008

    I suggest “Timothy,” by The Buoys, written by Rupert Holmes of Pina Colada fame. It is, as far as I know, the only rock-n-roll paean to subterranean cannibalism.

  72. #72 Jamie Bowden
    May 21, 2008

    Oh yes, and there’s that wonderful ode to pederasty from the 70s: Hot Child in the City.

  73. #73 Iggy
    May 21, 2008

    Just a couple that are missing:

    The End by The Doors.

    Where the Wild Roses grow by Nick Cave (the whole Murder Ballads album is pretty creepy).

  74. #74 T Fitz
    May 21, 2008

    ‘I Want You’ by Elvis Costello, sung in a creepy angry tone.
    I want you

    Oh my baby baby I love you more than I can tell
    I dont think I can live without you
    And I know that I never will
    Oh my baby baby I want you so it scares me to death
    I cant say anymore than I love you
    Everything else is a waste of breath
    I want you
    Youve had your fun you dont get well no more
    I want you
    Your fingernails go dragging down the wall
    Be careful darling you might fall

    (later in the song)
    Did you call his name out as he held you down
    I want you
    Oh no my darling not with that clown
    I want you
    Youve had your fun you dont get well no more
    I want you
    No-one who wants you could want you more
    I want you
    Every night when I go off to bed and when I wake up
    I want you
    I want you
    Im going to say it once again til I instill it
    I know Im going to feel this way until you kill it
    I want you
    I want you

    Make every breath you take sound pretty tame!

  75. #75 T Fitz
    May 21, 2008

    Hell, ‘Watching the Detectives’ was pretty creepy.
    We’ve bee aware for some time that John Lennon was a pretty jealous guy though and though it was already mentioned,’I’d rather see you dead little girl that to catch you with another man’ has to be the nastiest snatch of lyric in modern music. Just because it was the Beatles and such a snappy tune.

  76. #76 dreikin
    May 21, 2008

    Only one out of those that I recognize is “Every Breath You Take”. But for humorous creepy, “Dead Girls” by Voltaire:

    dead girls like me
    can’t you see?
    only dead girls like me
    oh, dead girls like me
    can’t you see?
    only dead girls don’t walk away from me
    sad as it seems

    have you ever tasted love like this?
    cool and smooth have you ever been accepted unconditionaly?
    have you ever loved someone who didn’t hurt you, didn’t harm you?

  77. #77 Philip
    May 21, 2008

    “Girls with amnesia are Hot So Hot” by South Paw Jones is pretty creepy to.

    It’s all about going through trama wards looking for amnesic girls with minimal scaring and the largest hearts.

  78. #78 Jay
    May 21, 2008

    What’s He Building In There? by Tom Waits from the Mule Variations album.

    The paranoia just drips…

  79. #79 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 21, 2008

    Theme from MASH – Suicide is Painless.
    Especially the perky, upbeat instrumental version from the TV show.

  80. #80 Kenneth
    May 21, 2008

    “Young Girl” by Union Gap. The touching ballad of a pedophile trying to resist the urge.

    @ #51, that was a Jerry Lee Louis song, was it not? Who knew he meant it literally?

  81. #81 Stephanie Z
    May 21, 2008

    My vote goes to Kate Bush’s “Infant Kiss.” I’m pretty sure it’s based on The Turn of the Screw by James. It’s fully in character as a pedophile rationalizing and blaming the victim. “I must stay and find a way to stop before it gets too much.” Right. That’ll happen.

    Iggy, “The Curse of Millhaven” is one of the funniest songs I know. Okay, a little creepy too, but “Now it’s Rorschach and Prozac, and everything is groovy”?

  82. #82 Daryl McCullough
    May 21, 2008

    I can’t believe nobody mentioned “Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana:
    “I wish I could eat your cancer…”

  83. #83 Daryl McCullough
    May 21, 2008

    Here’s another favorite creepy song (and it’s not something happening to a woman): “Angry Johnny” by Poe.

  84. #84 Cheezits
    May 21, 2008

    Creepy songs that are not about stalking:

    Bloodrock – D.O.A.
    Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Next
    Billy Holiday – Strange Fruit
    Beatles – Revolution #9

  85. #85 TomJoe
    May 21, 2008

    Wrong Way – Sublime

    You can’t get much more creepier than a guy singing about taking a 12 year old girl, molested by her 7 brothers, “to the can” because you’re “only a man”.

  86. #86 Turner
    May 21, 2008

    M83Car Chase Terror
    —Extremely creepy rambling of a mother and daughter as the lyrics/speech. (It might be a sample from a movie, though)

    http://lyricwiki.org/M83:Car_Chase_Terror

  87. #87 Monado, FCD
    May 21, 2008

    Now, why does Obsession [#36] remind me of Hilary Clinton?

  88. #88 sbh
    May 21, 2008

    I think all of these have been mentioned already, but my choices would be:

    (1) Que Sera Sera – Doris Day
    This song has given me the creeps since I first heard it as a child–the poor girl surrounded throughout her life by a gang of fatalists and finally joining a conspiracy she never understood…

    (2) Teen Angel – Mark Dinning
    Just sweet sixteen, and now you’re gone / They’ve taken you away. / I’ll never kiss your lips again / They buried you today.

    (3) Happiness is a Warm Gun – The Beatles
    When I hold you in my arms and I feel my finger pressed on your trigger then I know nobody can do me no harm…

    (4) Every Breath You Take – The Police

  89. #89 Daryl McCullough
    May 21, 2008

    I had a big argument once about whether Smiths songs are funny or creepy. To me, they seem so lugubrious, so over-the-top mournful that they are hilarious. I can’t believe that Morissey thought of them as serious. “Girl Friend in a Coma”? “And if a double-decker bus crashes into us
    To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die
    And if a ten ton truck kills the both of us
    To die by your side, well, the pleasure and the privilege is mine”

    “Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking when I said by rights you
    Should be bludgeoned in your bed”

    Come on. Those are not serious lyrics. They’re a very strange brand of humor, but humor nevertheless.

  90. #90 Roland
    May 21, 2008

    “Killing Him”, by Amy Lavere…a sweet love song about stabbing your spouse…

  91. #91 Greg
    May 21, 2008

    I am surprised that no one seems to have mentioned “Possum Kingdom” by the Toadies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Cf5OusjrQ or my runner-up “Stay” by Shakespeare’s Sister: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eXw47qb4U0

  92. #92 Brandon
    May 21, 2008

    My Bloody Valentine’s “No More Sorry.” Creepy child abuse song.

  93. #93 Scott H.
    May 21, 2008

    Little Empty Boat, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The internal dialog of someone trying to decide whether or not to seduce the drunk Christian who is trying to convert him. Very creepy music to go along with it too.

  94. #94 Ambitwistor
    May 21, 2008

    I second “Lotion” by the Greenskeepers for the serial killer theme. Probably worse is “Prison Sex” by Tool for the molested-by-a-priest theme.

  95. #95 BikeMonkey
    May 21, 2008

    “Kiss the Girl” in Little Mermaid. This thing is some sort of anthem for date rapists who specialize in the comatose I think. Seriously. Listen to the lyrics.

  96. #96 borealys
    May 21, 2008

    Not quite the creepiest song ever, but if we’re talking about stalker songs, I must add Danny Michel’s Coalmine.

    I’ve heard him tell, more than once, that the song is about a real stalker who broke into Brad Pitt’s house, did his laundry, and made him dinner. Listening to the song, you can hear the sympathy for a woman who just doesn’t understand that she’s done anything wrong. Which makes it all the more creepy.

  97. #97 Wry Mouth
    May 21, 2008

    What was that song? Oh — either (a) Go Away, Little Girl, or (b) Young Girl by Gary Puckett.

    Actually, anything sung by Gary Puckett.

  98. #98 Anxious Mo-Fo
    May 21, 2008

    No one’s mentioned KISS’s “Goin’ Blind,” in which the narrator tells his girlfriend that he is going blind, and tells her “There is nothing more for you and I.” Eventually, he mentions that he’s 93 and the girl is 16. Creepy.

  99. #99 G Felis
    May 21, 2008

    Hmm. Actually, I find the Tom Jones & The Cardigans cover of Talking Heads’ Burning Down the House creepy, but that’s because it’s frickin’ TOM JONES & THE CARDIGANS… and it really kind of works. *shudder*

    On a more sincere note, Toad the Wet Sprockets’ “Hold Her Down” and “One Little Girl” are both pretty dark… And sorry, Julianne, they both involve horrible things happening to women – although the songs are clearly expressing anger and revulsion at what happens. Which, come to think of it, makes them simply dark and not actually creepy.

    Beautiful South has a wonderfully upbeat-sounding – and therefore creepy – song about a man who murders his wife and hides her body behind the drywall in their home – titled, aptly, “Woman in the Wall.” Here are the lyrics for you to judge the creepiness yourselves:

    He was just a social drinker but social every night
    He enjoyed a pint or two or three or four
    She was just a silent thinker, silent every night
    He’d enjoy the thought of killing her before
    Well he was very rarely drunk but very rarely sober
    And he didn’t think the problem was his drink
    But he only knew his problem when he knocked her over
    And when the rotting flesh began to stink

    [chorus]Cry freedom for the woman in the wall
    Cry freedom for she has no voice at all
    I hear her cry all day, all night
    I hear her voice from deep within the wall
    Made a cross from knitting needles
    Made a grave from hoover bags
    Especially for the woman in the wall

    She’d knitted him a jumper with dominoes on
    So he wore it everyday in every week
    Pretended to himself that she hadn’t really gone
    Pretended that he thought he beard her speak
    Then at last it seemed that he was really winning
    He felt that he had some sort of grip
    But all of his new life was sent a-spinning
    When the rotting wall began to drip

    [repeat chorus]

  100. #100 Tina Rhea
    May 21, 2008

    Rolling Stones– “Under My Thumb”. Can’t recall lyrics besides “The change has come/ She’s under my thumb.” Another of those that sounds like a great song until you listen to the words.

    I wish that so many of these songs weren’t about women being abused or killed….

  101. #101 Christopher Taylor
    May 22, 2008

    In all this discussion, I can’t believe no-one has mentioned Maurice Chevalier lustily crooning “Thank Heaven for Little Girls“.

    I would definitely second “Under my Thumb”: “It’s down to me… the way she does just what she’s told”.

  102. #102 B8ovin
    May 22, 2008

    Bloodrock, by DOA, because I was in the sixth grade the first time I heard it and can still remember how scarred I was.

    “What do I Have to Do?” by Stabbing Westward, is the creepiest stalker song I’ve ever heard, followed closely by “Possom Kingdom” by the Toadies.

    “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam is about the true story of a kid who shot himself in front of his grade school classmates, while “I Don’t Like Mondays” by the Boomtown Rats is the true story of a teenage girl who shot grade school children on their way to school, and when asked why she did it, responded, “I don’t like Mondays.”

    Finally, I’d submit, “Ted, Just Admit It…” by Jane’s Addiction, about Ted Bundy, with the oft repeated line, “Sex IS violence”.

  103. #103 Azkyroth
    May 22, 2008

    Creepiest listening experience, for me, is Tori Amos’ cover of Raining Blood. Lyrically, the creepiest songs that are coming to mind are “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday…and the entire morass of songs by Billie Holiday and similar artists promoting a strange blend of juvenile infatuation and pathological obsession as the epitome of “romance,” if only because they seem to have taken root in our culture to the point where movie songs are constantly incorporating them. Them and a whole bunch of religious songs I’ve mercifully forgotten.

  104. #104 Nate Gains
    May 22, 2008

    ‘Mercy Seat’, the Johnny Cash version.

    ‘She will only bring you happiness’ by Mcclusky, which has the disturbing refrain “Our old singer is; a sex criminal”.

    Best/worst of all though would be ‘Prayer to God’ by Shellac:
    “To the one true God above here is my prayer,
    Not the first you’ve heard, but the first I wrote.
    Not the first, but the others were a long time ago.
    There are two people here, and I want you to kill them.
    Her – she can go quietly, by disease or a blow
    To the base of her neck,
    Where her necklaces close,
    Where her garments come together,
    Where I used to lay my face…
    That’s where you oughta kill her,
    In that particular place…

  105. #105 Micah Schamis
    May 22, 2008

    Skatanic by Reel Big Fish always creeps me out. Scary stalker lyrics.

  106. #106 jbp
    May 22, 2008

    “I want you” by Elvis Costello
    It starts off all nice…

    Oh my baby baby I love you more than I can tell
    I don’t think I can live without you
    And I know that I never will
    Oh my baby baby I want you so it scares me to death
    I can’t say anymore than “I love you”
    Everything else is a waste of breath

    but then… well, here’s the start of very very very badness

    I want you
    You’ve had your fun you don’t get well no more
    I want you
    Your fingernails go dragging down the wall
    Be careful darling you might fall
    I want you
    I woke up and one of us was crying
    I want you

  107. #107 themadlolscientist
    May 22, 2008

    The End by The Doors

    Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones

    Leader of the Laundromat by The Detergents

    But my absolute hands-down winner is Me and a Gun by Tori Amos. Just thinking of that one gives me an anxiety attack, and it’s the reason I can’t listen to Tori Amos at all. I have to leave the room. I almost couldn’t type this – it’s that bad.

    Excuse me. I have to go take an Ativan.

  108. #108 themadlolscientist
    May 22, 2008

    Oops, I put 4 links in my last post, so it’s hung up waiting for the Blogmeister to approve it. In the mean time, two cave-in creepies:

    The New York Mining Disaster, 1941 by the Bee Gees
    Timothy by the Buoys

    I could think of a lot more, but I’ll stop for now. I’ve exceeded my quota of anxiety attacks for one day.

  109. #109 Sahand
    August 14, 2010

    skinny puppy – worlock sure is the creepiest song i have ever heard

    Sloppy, mincing, eyedropping, biopsy.
    Cyclops overlooks optic options.
    Rotton, showstopper, skinpopper.
    Babbler dabbler.
    Self confessed criminal.
    Tore pen in vain.
    Instant, still spellbound.
    Game stock, talk back rock.
    Reencounter incident.
    Subsistance is inexistant….

  110. #110 Bud
    October 31, 2011

    The title track to “Starsailor” by Tim Buckley
    “The Kids” by Lou Reed – “They’re taking her children away”
    “Pirate Ships” by Wendy Waldman – “Momma will sleep right down beside you tonight”

  111. #111 Mu
    November 1, 2011

    Oh, thread necrophilia for Halloween, I play too:
    Schlaflied, by Die Aerzte

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