Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Louis Armstrong Halloween

on October 21, 2022
(photo from vialma.com)

Jazz musicians are no strangers to Halloween. Even the great Louis Armstrong recorded a couple of fun Halloween songs that were quite popular in his day. When Armstrong appeared in his first major motion picture, Pennies from Heaven (1936), he performed The Skeleton in the Closet with Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra.

The Skeleton in the Closet Lyrics

Boy, don’t you go in there
Come outa there, boy
Don’t you know that house is haunted

There’s an old deserted mansion
On an old forgotten road
Where the better ghosts and goblins
Always hang out.
One night they threw a party
In a manner à la mode
And they cordially invited
All the gang out
At a dark bewitchin’ hour
When the fun was loud and hearty
A notorious wall flower
Became the life of the party
Mmm! The spooks were havin’ their midnight fling
The merry makin’ was in full swing
They shrieked themselves into a cheerful trance
When the skeleton in the closet started to dance
Now a goblin giggled with fiendish glee
A shout rang out from a big banshee
Amazement was in every ghostly glance
When the skeleton in the closet started to dance
All the witches were in stitches
While his steps made rhythmic thumps
And they nearly dropped their broomsticks
When he tried to do the bumps
You never heard such unearthly laughter
Such hilarious groans
When the skeleton in the closet rattled his bones

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Johnny Burke / Arthur Johnson

The Skeleton In The Closet lyrics © Chappell & Co., Inc.

~

In 1954, Armstrong recorded the song Spooks with Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra.

Spooks Lyrics

The other night, about twelve o’clock
I thought I’d go downstairs just to check the lock
When I heard something in the house
I don’t mean a mouse

I swear they were spooks, spooks, spooks
I know they were spooks, spooks, spooks, spooks
I couldn’t move, just stood and stared
I never was so scared

The first spook spoke and I heard him speak
He said, “What say I go make the back door squeak?”
Oh he would tease the cat and hound the pup
And raise our spirits up

Oh lordy, them spooks, spooks, spooks
Those scary old spooks, spooks, spooks, spooks
You don’t have to take my word
But I heard what I heard


The next spook spoke, he said, “Suppose we make
The faucets drip and make the shutters shake
You let me know just what you want
This is my favourite haunt

Beware of them spooks, spooks, spooks
Them mischievous spooks, spooks, spooks, spooks
I ain’t spoofing, man I mean
That I seen what I seen


A big spook spoke, he said, “Spike, my son,” he said
“I’ll show you how to scare up some fun
But next time when you wail, see here
You make it loud and clear”

Watch out for them spooks, spooks, spooks
Oh them nasty old spooks, spooks, spooks, spooks
Maybe you don’t think it’s so
But I knew what I knew

The last spook turned to his spouse and frowned
Said, “I thought I’d told you to wait in the ground
But you look awful cute tonight
In fact, you look a fright”


He’s talking ’bout spooks, spooks, spooks
Real genuine spooks, spooks, spooks, spooks

Oh, you stop putting up your dukes
You just can’t fight with them spooks

I’m getting outta here, man
I don’t dig this jive, no


Wait for us, wait for us, wait for us, wait for us

by Matt Dubey and Harold Carr

~

Other Halloween jazz songs:

I Put a Spell on You

That Old Black Magic

Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead

Witchcraft

Old Devil Moon

~

Halloween is coming soon!

Dawn Pisturino

October 21, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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14 responses to “Louis Armstrong Halloween

  1. aparna12 says:

    Wow. This is fantastic. I am a huge fan of scary stories and spooks. This song is like icing on the cake. Loved it. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️😊😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. balladeer says:

    Did he ever do a version of Saint James Infirmary?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. utahan15 says:

    hidden over there
    out the came
    roll them bones
    mr jones!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michele Lee says:

    Great share! Thank you, Dawn. 🎶

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow this is new to me. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. such a fun poem and love the song Dawn!
    💞

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved this, Dawn. And an all new song to me – the live recording is stunning 🙂
    Thank you!
    A happy end to October for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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