Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Poison Ivy” — The Coasters (1959)

Measles make you bumpy
And mumps’ll make you lumpy
And chicken pox’ll make you jump and twitch
A common cold’ll fool ya
And whooping cough’ll cool ya
But poison ivy, Lord’ll make you itch!

Strictly speaking, this is not a Halloween song. Heck, Poison Ivy is as much about actual poison ivy as Werewolves of London is about actual werewolves. I get it.

But there are three reasons I’m including this song in our Halloween playlist: 1) It’s one of the coolest songs ever recorded, period, 2) It has a fun, playful, bouncy vibe that warns of a sinister woman you really DON’T want to eff with, and 3) Things are about to get MIGHTY dark in our next few selections, so let’s have one last moment of levity, shall we?

Either way, I don’t have to sell Poison Ivy too much. It’s an oldies classic, forged from the inimitable imaginations of Brill Building songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, and sung to perfection by The Coasters. It’s impossible to not like this song.

Don’t believe me? GO SIT ON A PUMPKIN! Ralph Waldo Emerson would join you.

Sorry that’s a bit of transcendentalist humor…

Anyway. Poison Ivy. Great song, and a fun Halloween song at that. Watch who’s creepin’ around at night. Especially if you wronged a righteous woman. That’ll get under your skin.

Late at night while you’re sleepin’
Poison ivy comes a-creepin’ around…

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