Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “When You’re Evil” — Aurelio Voltaire (1998)

While there’s children to make sad
While there’s candy to be had
While there’s pockets left to pick
While there’s grannies left to trip down the stairs
I’ll be there, I’ll be waiting ’round the corner
It’s a game, I’m glad I’m in it
‘Cos there’s one born every minute
And it’s so easy when you’re evil…

Why Skeletor? I don’t know man, I just work here. It seemed apropos, and it seemed that I wanted to say ‘apropos’, so there you have it.

Anyway, here we are, on the evening of October 29th, and Halloween is, what, two sleeps away? It’s coming too quickly this year, and while the living nightmare that is 2020 can’t vamoose fast enough, Halloween should stick around longer than another few days. Phooey.

This brings us all to tonight’s Buttkickin’ Halloween SongWhen You’re Evil from Aurelio Volatire. A devilishly naughty concoction in a dark cabaret chalice, the song’s premise is entirely simple: the narrator is simply gloating about how massively awesome he is. Sort of like George Thoroughgood’s Bad To The Bone, only a lot more compelling and without all the tired, pedantic pentatonic blues-rock wankery.

I also wanted to say ‘wankery’. It’s been a long day.

So getting back to the song, who is this intrepid narrator? Nothing less than Evil itself, the very lifeblood of everything rotten and nasty and terrible and horrific and strangely compelling in this existence. Anything from a stubbed toe to gruesome torture to total genocide? Evil’s got fingers in all of those particular pies.

And now I want pie. You have no idea how long this day has been.

When You’re Evil is the real freakin’ deal folks. For that violin intro alone? DAYENU. When you enter a Roma camp uninvited under the twitching remonstrations of a blood moon, that violin is probably the first thing you’ll hear. Maybe the last, too. Voltaire sings his tribute to The Force of Darkness with such a rich, blood-dripping baritone over a terrifyingly wondrous tango macabre, the song absolutely charms and disarms you.

As Nina Simone put it, this is a showtune but the show hasn’t been written yet. We’re too busy living it.

When the Devil is too busy
And death’s a bit too much
They call on me, by name you see
For my special touch
To the gentlemen I’m Miss Fortune
To the ladies I’m Sir Prize
But call me by any name
Any way it’s all the same…

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