Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Der Hund von Baskerville” — Cindy & Bert (1970)

Nebel zieht in dichten Schwaden
übers Moor von Forrest Hill,
grün-gespenstig grinst ein Irrlicht,
es ist Nacht in Baskerville.

Fog draws in dense swaths
over the moor of Forrest Hill,
a will-o’-the-wisp grins green and ghostly,
it is night in Baskerville….

This is like a Hammer horror film come to life…

Accuse me of including WAY too much Black Sabbath (no such thing) in this year’s Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs, but this is something entirely other. That’s right, I’m talking about the legendary (!) German duet Cindy & Bert and their German-language pseudo-cover of Paranoid, Der Hund von Baskerville (“The Hound of the Baskervilles”).

The classic Black Sabbath music is the same, but the lyrics are all entirely new. Based on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel of the same name, Der Hund von Baskerville retains the story’s general sense of darkness and terror spread across the Devonshire moor. A hound does its master’s bidding, hunting and preying upon its victims, spreading fear among the locals, conjuring up demonic images of the supernatural amid an ominous shroud of darkness and fog. Quintessential British terror, served up Teutonic style.

But let’s assume a measure of bluntness here. The creepiest elements of Der Hund von Baskerville are the harmonies between Cindy and Bert themselves. They lend the song an air of such unnerving menace that, even if you don’t speak a lick of German — and I don’t — it manages to make your spine creep and tingle and curl up and sing The Schnitzelbank over and over again. And the music itself is also off-putting, even with all the dated early-70s organ and the weird, off-tune phrasing of the rhythm guitar backbone.

I’m including the audio of the entire song below, as well as the video from a German 70s pop-dance show. Check out both, but the latter shows Cindy & Bert, awash in a nauseatingly compelling green tint, and the eponymous Hound himself, who’s all sorts of adorable. Creepy but groovy, kiddoes!

Heut ist die Mission beendet,
die sein irrer Herr ihm gab,
lautlos, wie er einst gekommen,
schleicht er sich ins Moor hinab.

Today the mission is completed,
the mission his insane master gave him,
silently, as he once had come,
he sneaks back down into the moor…

The song:

The GROOVY German dance party video:

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