As the leaves begin to fall and temperature (more or less) drops into cool breezy sweater weather, it is safe to say that autumn is finally kicking into gear. There is just something about late October that feels distinctively different from the rest of the year — the excitement of being in the home stretch towards the holiday season, the day-to-day rush of the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and the National Hockey League all running concurrently, and most importantly: Halloween Fever.
While it’s true every season has its charm, when it comes to all-out presentation, the only true competitor to Halloween is its less scary, gift-giving big brother in the form of Christmas. Now I will not argue that the Christmas season as a whole is a superior time of the year to the frights of October, but there is one hill that I will die on like my name was Jack Skellington: that Halloween music triumphs over Christmas music in every way.
Yes. Crazy, right? Let me explain.
The first thought that any usual Christmas lover would say in response to such a heinous claim would probably be something like “How could you say that? What does Halloween possibly have that can triumph over hits from Michael Buble? Mariah Carey? WHAM? The soundtrack to Elf, Rudolph and Polar Express?”.
Well, it’s actually quite simple. Let’s start with the heavy hitters. Take a holiday anthem such as “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. Most would consider this to be THE modern day Christmas song, right? Well now let’s take a modern-day Halloween anthem, like say Thriller by Michael Jackson. When you put the two up against each other, it’s hard not to see how it’s not at least a draw. Two iconic tunes that both perfectly encapsulate the season — songs that on their own merit can be seen as some of the catchiest, most explosive pop songs of their times.
But wait, here’s the kicker. Maybe it might just be me… but have you ever heard Mariah’s Christmas songs anytime outside November and December? Well, maybe some particularly passionate Christmas crazies might, but for most, Mariah’s reign of power ends the moment that tree comes down every single year. MJ, on the other hand, is the king of pop himself. Now that’s an artist whose music transcends the holiday itself. You can hear Thriller on classic pop playlists, nighttime radio throwbacks and of course Michael Jackson: The Experience on the Wii.
Answer me this, Christmas music stans: Can you boogie down to Sleigh Ride in July? Would you even want to do that? I think not.
Furthermore, literally anything can qualify as a Halloween song as long as it has a dark sound to it. “What’s a ‘dark sound?’” someone might ask — well take a song such as Katy Perry’s hit 2013 song Dark Horse. That’s a Halloween song! Mention of tombs and spooky stuff? Check. Piano keys straight out of a John Carpenter movie? Check. It’s a banger any day of the year, but come Halloween season, things just click better.
The same process goes for almost any dark song. Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise? Halloween song. Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do? Spooky seasonal sonata. Anything from rapper 21 Savage with producer Metro Boomin? Hauntingly great.
In conclusion, with an unmatched variety and diverse catalog, as well as replayability that extends across the whole seasonal spectrum, Halloween takes the cake in the music department against Christmas. Sorry, Santa.