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Folk Tunes Suitable for Halloween

While the origins of Halloween can be traced back to the day of the Celtic Druids where it was believed that on the annual Samhain celebration (or end of summer which fell on November 1st), spirits were able to pass through the thin curtain separating the terrestrial world from the celestial world. Thus, spirits were set free to walk among the living. Herein lies the eerie thematic vibe of Halloween. Halloween literally means " all hallows eve" and is celebrated on the Eve of All Saints Day – November 1st.

Beyond the eerie and creepy music specifically produced for Halloween atmosphere, frights and scares, there are many tunes to be found in Root music that have themes of death, devils, ghosts, and darkness. Particularly, in the folk and bluegrass genres, death and ghosts are a natural theme for these ballad and story telling styles of music. The crooked fiddle tunes of the Appalachian, Cajun and Creole people often are written in the Key of C Minor which is referred to as the "key of melancholy" because tunes written in this key often have a very dark, yet very beautiful feel to them. Some would say they have an ethereal quality.

For dark themes to be found in this genre of music is not surprising, since Root or Folk Music is the music of the people. Its genesis comes from the passing down of tales through the generations using music to convey the life lead by the people. Thus, themes of death, dying and loss of loved ones are a common way to express life's hardships.

Why not celebrate Halloween through music in your home. Here's a list 50 tunes to put in your listening rotation to set the proper mood.


Song List
1. Ain't No Grave - Crooked Still
2. Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down - Rory Block
3. Alison Gross - Steeleye Span
4. Blue Stone Mountain, Brink Brinkman
5. Breath of the Devil - Patti Casey
6. Bringing Mary Home -Country Gentlemen,
7. Clinch Mountain Mystery, Larry Stephenson
8. Cold Icy Fingers - Lost and Found
9. Dancing with the Devil - Rosie Ledet
10. Dark as a Dungeon - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
11. Darling Cory – Donna the Buffalo
12. Deal with the Devil -Peter Rowan
13. Devil and the Dirk - Natalie McMaster
14. Devil in Disguise - Emmy Lou Harris
15. Devil's Courthouse - Jim VanCleve
16. Devil's Dream - Bill Monroe
17. Devil's Road - Grasstowne
18. Friend of the Devil - Rice, Rice, Hillman & Pedersen
19. Frost on the Pumpkin - Kenny Baker
20. Ghost - Indigo Girls
21. Ghost Bound Train - Dale Ann Bradley
22. Ghost in this House - Alison Krauss
23. Ghost Of Tom Joad - Pete Seeger & Bruce Springsteen
24. Grave in the Valley - Jim and Jesse
25. Graveyard Shift - Earle, Steve & Del McCoury Band
26. Have you Ever Seen the Devil Uncle Joe – David Greer
27. He Had a Long Chain On - Tim O'Brien
28. Hellhound on my Trail - Robert Johnson
29. In my Final Hour – Darrell Scott
30. Long Black Veil – Bill Monroe
31. Mountain Angel -Dolly Parton
32. Oh, Death - Ralph Stanley w/Gillian Welch
33. Old Devil's Dream - The Nashville Bluegrass Band
34. Satan’s Chains -Ralph Stanley and Joe Isaacs
35. Season Of The Witch – Donovan
36. Shadows in My Room - Hot Rize
37. Speak of the Devil - Sam Bush
38. Spooky Lane - Sam Bush
39. The Dead March - Uncle John's Band
40. The Devil And Robert Johnson - Tom Dean
41. The Devil Went Down To Berkeley - Alison Brown
42. The Devil's Right Hand - Steve Earl/Highwaymen
43. The Ghost of Norma Jean - Steep Canyon Rangers
44. The Ghost of Stephen Foster - Squirril Nut Zippers
45. The Ghost Train -James Alan Shelton
46. The Lantern - Baucom, Bibey, Graham and Haley
47. The Sailor's Grave on Prairie - Leo Kottke
48. Sam Hall - Glengarry Bhoys
49. The Secret Of The Water Fall, Country Gentlemen
50. Tombstone Blues - Bob Dylan
51. Your Memory Won't Die In My Grave - Willie Nelson


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