Spooky Track Series 2: Prince and Old Lady Shade

Today’s installment, spooky track series 2, brings you The Prince and Old Lady Shade. This Peter Murphy song may not be one you’d expect to be on my list of songs to make you poop your pants, but here it is. Sure, there were other more obvious choices, such as Bela Lugosi’s Dead. However, that one is too obvious and expected. And while there will be some predictable songs in this series, I’m trying to keep things fresh.

Today's Spooky track series 2 song is from Peter Murphy's album, Ninth, which the image shows the cover of.

So, what makes The Prince and Old Lady Shade worthy of a spot on my spooky track series 2? First, that violin introduction. It gives a promise of something upbeat, but also off. To me, it evokes a haunted wood, or a fairy land. In fact, the violin transitions from a soft, rising melody into heavy bass and guitar. The haunting and lovely strings take us from the land of humans and into the world of the fairies.

The heavy beat and the driving force of the rock instruments become oppressive and overwhelming. Couple this feeling with Murphy’s low and subdued vocals and a vivid picture comes into view. Such a picture includes Princes being birds and Old Lady Shade turning into a bat. None of this is odd in fairy tales, but it’s still pretty creepy. Enhancing the creep factor is the line: “She has a fair eye/She takes her fair share of the city’s mid day/ That lunch lady’s glare.”

What does the above mean? I don’t know, but it calls forth an image of giant vampire bat feasting on a small English village. It’s a terrifying image, and I love it.

So that’s today’s entry for spooky track series 2. What do you think? Any other suggestions for songs to discuss? Leave your thoughts in the comments, please.

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