Do the Monster Mash This Halloween!

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monster mashHalloween is an exciting holiday occasion and the perfect time to learn some new vocabulary – so why not learn with a classic song! Monster Mash is a fun Halloween-themed pop song by Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt Kickers, recorded in 1962. It contains lots of spooky vocabulary and is a great way to expand your knowledge of idioms – and enjoy some Halloween-flavoured language fun. This is great listening material for the EFL class. Will you do the Monster Mash?    

 

Every monster’s favourite dance

The song Monster Mash tells the story of a man who witnesses monsters dancing a special dance called the ‘Monster Mash’.

The song was actually banned by the BBC when it was released because it was thought to be ‘too morbid’!

Listening to songs is a great way to learn new vocabulary and have fun with rhymes. Teachers, you can play the Monster Mash to your students and discuss all the vocabulary afterwards.

Monster Mash is great for listening practise. If students sing or speak the words aloud, they can also practise their pronunciation skills.

Students, check out the video below with lyrics to enjoy the novelty Halloween song in full.

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

Bobby 'Boris' Pickett - Monster Mash

Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett, singer of Monster Mash

From my laboratory in the castle east

To the master bedroom where the vampires feast

The ghouls all came from their humble abodes

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

The zombies were having fun

The party had just begun

The guests included Wolfman,

Dracula, and his son

 

The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds

Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds

The coffin-bangers were about to arrive

With their vocal group, ‘The Crypt-Kicker Five’

monsters mash dancing

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

 

Out from his coffin, Drac’s voice did ring

Seems he was troubled by just one thing

Opened the lid and shook his fist and said

“Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?”

Dracula

It’s now the mash, it’s now the monster mash

The monster mash, it was graveyard smash

It’s now the mash, it caught on in a flash

It’s now the mash, it’s now the monster mash

 

Now everything’s cool, Drac’s a part of the band

And my Monster Mash is the hit of the land

For you, the living, this mash was meant too

When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you

skeletons-dancing

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

 

Words and idioms in the Monster Mash

Here are a few idioms, phrases and words that are useful for understanding the song:

‘mash’ – dance (verb and  noun)

‘the lab’ – the laboratory, a place where scientists perform their experiments

‘a smash’ – something that is very popular

‘in a flash’ – quickly

‘feast’ – to eat (verb). This word can also mean a luxurious spread of food (noun)

‘Abode’ – home

‘a jolt’ – a shock

‘electrodes’ – electric cables

‘digging’ – enjoying (retro slang). This word can also mean making a hole in the ground.

‘baying’ – shouting / howling

‘hit’ – highly popular (the same as a ‘smash’)

‘hounds’ – dogs / wolves

Howling Wolf

The popularity of the Monster Mash 

After its initial release in 1962, Monster Mash was re-released in 1973 and then hit the charts again in 2008.

Bobby Pickett also recorded Monsters’ Holiday, which was a Christmas-themed monster song, and Monster Rap, which was about a scientist trying to teach a dancing monster how to talk – and the monster ends up rapping instead!

 

Many other artists have recorded cover versions of the Monster Mash, including the horror punk group The Misfits, who brought the song to the attention of a new generation.

The Misfits recorded a live version of the song in 1997 and a studio version in 1999, followed by another version of the Monster Mash in 2003 for their album ‘Project 1950’.

misfits-monstermash

Share your ideas on Halloween songs

Have you heard the Monster Mash before? Are there any words or phrases you don’t understand?

Can you think of any other good Halloween songs for learning English?

Teachers, will you use songs in the classroom this Halloween week? Do you have more ideas for teaching spooky vocabulary?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

Skeleton Band - Monster Mash

 

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One thought on “Do the Monster Mash This Halloween!

  1. Love the monster mash this is amazing! Maybe Thriller by Michael Jackson could be good for language learning.

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