Songs that lend a voice to the equestrian world in a way only music can.
Here’s a tip for my fellow horse lovers this Halloween. Do not, I repeat NOT, run a Google search for scary horse videos. You enter the search term innocently looking for something to spice up the annual barn party, and suddenly you’re hit with a barrage of the worst falls imaginable. Like a deer in headlights, you can’t look away and your whole afternoon will be ruined. You’ve been warned!
But have no fear – the videos you really want are here at 100% Sound. I’ve compiled six spooktacular videos that will give you and your guests a horsey haunt on Halloween rather than full-blown equinophobia!
1. The Headless Horseman (Disney 1963)
Do you remember when Disney made it their business to scare the bejesus out of little children? I don’t mean the lighthearted terror they mess around with these day. This was the real deal – poisoned apples and all! Just in case you were beginning to recover, here is a refresher course courtesy of the infamous Headless Horseman. You’re welcome.
2. The Highwaymen – Highwayman
Next up is this track featuring the “Man in Black” himself, Mr. Johnny Cash, and his fellow country outlaws Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, in the supergroup, The Highwaymen. The song itself weaves a tale of a soul that cannot die, but rather reincarnates itself at different places and time in history. But what makes the song and video particularly haunting for me is that it feels so true. Can’t you just imagine Jennings and Cash as ghost riders in the sky waiting to welcome their other incarnations in Nelson and Kristofferson home? Creepy indeed!
3. Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus
Whenever I’m asked to put some scary music on, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore of Depeche Mode are two of my go to guys. They just know how to give a girl the chills! Even their love songs are a bit unsettling. I mean these are the guys who gave us “One Caress.” “Oh girl, lead me into your darkness. When this world is trying its hardest to leave me unimpressed, just one caress from you and I’m blessed.” Scary stuff. And “Personal Jesus” is no exception.
But how did horses get mixed up in all of this? The song is inspired by Priscilla’s obsession with Elvis Presley, so a western theme is appropriate. Beyond that, the director of this music video, Anton Corbijn, is also responsible for another 100% Sound video: Echo & The Bunnymen’s “Bring On The Dancing Horses.” So perhaps he just likes the creatures. Well that, or maybe they really creep him out!
4. Q Lazzarus – Goodbye Horses
To appreciate the full freaky force of this fourth song, we must delve into a bit of horror movie music history. This song was a favorite of Buffalo Bill, the skin-suit wearing serial killer that Clarice Starling is investigating in the classic thriller “Silence of the Lambs.” Buffalo Bill does a disturbing dance to this track while his latest victim, imprisoned in a deep pit, tries in vain to escape. Are you getting scared yet?!
5. Annie Lennox – Whiter Shade Of Pale
“Whiter Shade Of Pale” is one of those songs where no one really knows what it’s about. A reference to Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale,” playing cards, and vestal virgins is hardily a road map to anywhere. But upon one thing, everyone agrees – this song is haunting. “And so it was that later, as the miller told his tale, that her face, at first just ghostly, turned a whiter shade of pale.”
Apparently when Annie Lennox thinks about being haunted, her mind goes directly to the circus. I can’t disagree with her there. And who better to play the title character than a white horse with a ridiculously large pink feather on its head, right? I’ll say this much. The image leaves me decidedly unsettled.
6. Sigur Rós – Kveikur
Welcome now to the 21st Century, 2013 to be exact, where, with the help of Icelandic band Sigur Rós, horse videos are still scaring people worldwide. This video plays behind the band during live performances of their song, Kveikur. The video features re-purposed footage taken from the British Film Institute’s National Archive, including stock film of a traveling horse, film taken from a British convoy crossing the Rhine during World War II and archived footage of the British nuclear tests. You know, happy stuff. With the addition of the dark music, this becomes the making of a nightmare! Watch out for this last one. It will stick with you!