When I was a child I never celebrated Halloween. It's become a "thing" in Italy only recently, after years of cautious rejection: why dress up, have fun and binge on candy when you can enjoy a day full of hymns followed by a jolly visit to your dead relatives at the cemetery?
But in the end, even this old country has been swept over by Halloween's commercial tsunami of plastic pumpkins and cheap wigs, although I am yet to see an Italian mother who would allow their child to go trick-or-treating. Thankfully I had the (mis?)fortune of being educated by the peculiar and incomprehensible population that inhabits the British Isles, The English. Now, The English do something a lot more fun and barbaric around the time of Halloween. On the 5th of November ("Remember remember the 5th of November / The gunpowder treason and plot") children all over the UK fling life-sized dummies into enormous bonfires, commemorating the failure of poor Mr. Guy Fawkes' plot to blow up King James I and the whole Parliament. That's what I call FUN! I never really understood the whole trick or treat business, all I know is that throwing a smiling dummy that wore my old clothes into the flames definitely worked for me (I understood more about that after reading Lord of the Flies...).
With all this in mind… here's my own little Halloween/Bonfire Night playlist:
Let's start with a track by Tori Amos, "Fearless", from her new (and aptly titled) album "Night of Hunters". Slightly ghastly...and its melancholy mood is perfect.
Second place goes to Yoko Ono's great remake of her own song "Yes, I'm a Witch", published in her latest album with the same name in 2007...an album I really loved and that slipped by almost unnoticed.
Time to get those monsters dancing!
...and dance some more while you're throwing dummies to the flames; a single from Franz Ferdinand's first album...oh, how I loved them.
From devastating fires to Friendly Fires for this week's final song:
Written by Andrea Ratti