Album: The Monster Mash (1962)
Charted: 3 1
Play Video
  • I was working in the lab, late one night
    When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
    For my monster from his slab, began to rise
    And suddenly to my surprise

    He did the mash, he did the monster mash
    The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
    He did the mash, it caught on in a flash
    He did the mash, he did the monster mash

    From my laboratory in the castle east
    To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
    The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
    To get a jolt from my electrodes

    They did the mash, they did the monster mash
    The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
    They did the mash, it caught on in a flash
    They did the mash, they did the monster mash

    The zombies were having fun, the party had just begun
    The guests included Wolfman, Dracula, and his son

    The scene was rockin', all were digging the sounds
    Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
    The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
    With their vocal group, 'The Crypt-Kicker Five'

    They played the mash, they played the monster mash
    The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
    They played the mash, it caught on in a flash
    They played the mash, they played the monster mash

    Out from his coffin', Drac's voice did ring
    Seems he was troubled by just one thing
    He opened the lid and shook his fist and said
    "Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?

    It's now the mash, it's now the monster mash
    The monster mash, it was graveyard smash
    It's now the mash, it caught on in a flash
    It's now the mash, it's now the monster mash

    Now everything's cool, Drac's a part of the band
    And my Monster Mash is the hit of the land
    For you, the living this mash was meant too
    When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you

    Then you can mash, then you can monster mash
    The monster mash and do my graveyard smash
    Then you can mash, you'll catch on in a flash
    Then you can mash, then you can monster mash

    Mash good!
    Easy, Igor, you impetuous young boy
    Mash good! Grrr! Writer/s: Bob Pickett, Leonard Capizzi
    Publisher: RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 17

  • Fred Gallant from Las VegasWho played drums on MONSTER MASH ? My ears tell me it's Earl Palmer. Anyone want to correct me on this ?
  • Scott M Utsler from Richmond, Va.I don't know if it was a mistake or done on purpose. But did anyone else notice the Dracula mistake.

    "The guests included Wolfman, Dracula and his son"

    And then a few lines later...

    "Out from his coffin, Drac's voice did ring
    Seems he was troubled by just one thing
    He opened the lid and shook his fist and said
    "Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?"
  • Babbling Babette from Tulsa OkI still love hearing this #1 hit from '62 with all those weird sound-effects. A really fun record. I was 8 or 9 when it came out in 1962 & loved it. My oldest brother bought the 45 rpm single & it got played until its grooves were worn out. Me & my sisters and brothers all danced the mashed potato to it. Later in '62, my oldest sis, Loony Lucy, bought the Monster Mash album. What a blast it was!! I loved it too. Do you remember in the lyrics of Monster Mash it mentions The Transylvania Twist? Well that was an album cut too on the Monster Mash album! But the song Transylvania Twist wasn't such a catchy song. Wasn't Monster Mash released several more times after 1962?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 23rd 1970, "Monster Mash" re-entered the Billboard Hot Top 100 at #92, the next it was still at #92, and then on its third and final week on the chart it peaked at #91...
    The same week it re-entered the Top 100 another ‘Mash’ debut on the chart; "Song from M*A*S*H" by Al Delory entered at position #85, though it would only peak at #70, it would stay on the Top 100 for 12 weeks...
    The 20th Century Fox movie “M*A*S*H” had its world premiere eights months earlier on January 25th, 1970 in New York City…
    R.I.P. Bobby 'Boris' Pickett {1938 - 2007} and Alfred V. 'Al' DeLory {1930 - 2012}.
  • Rocky from Fort Smith, ArI love this crazy song. I first heard it on a Halloween radio show about 11 yrs ago when I was 7 yrs old. Now I'm a horror movie fan and love those old horror movies from the 30s and 40s. It's just awesome the way Pickett used the Karloff voice on this record. It sounds creepy, but ain't scary. It's just a very good record!
  • Bubblesk from Memphis, TnHaha! As the song says "it was a graveyard smash." Love this song. I grew up in Memphis & when this song came out in '62 the word on "the street" was that Elvis (The King) hated this song. Well!! Elvis should've hated stuff like what Alvin & The Chipmunks put out. Now that stuff was squirrel scat! Anyway, "Monster Mash" was big in Memphis & got to #1. Bobby "Boris" Pickett (R.I.P.) based this on the then-current teen dance craze The Mashed Potato. Dee Dee Sharp's big #1 monster hit, "Mashed Potato Time" from spring '62 cashed-in big on the dance craze too. Dee Dee's hit stayed on the charts a long time & kept selling and selling to eventually become one of the biggest sellers of the year of '62. I think Pickett noticed this and tooled his song to cash-in on THE MASH craze. I loved to dance the Mashed Potato to Dee Dee Sharp's hit & her several following Top Ten hits. When "Monster Mash" came along in the fall, it was so weird that a lot of teens loved it. The song had a big beat & a girl group backing Pickett. And those crazy sound effects! I heard that Bobby Pickett appeared on American Bandstand, but I never saw it in '62. This is a great Halloween song.
  • Elmer H from Westville, OkIn 1962 "Monster Mash" became #1 by Halloween time. What timing!! It was such a fun song with the strange vocals & sound effects of "the lab." In my home area in eastern Oklahoma, it was still played on the radio well into early December '62. The 45 rpm single I bought of this was on Colpix Records' orange & black label (for Halloween?) and one of my buddies' single records he owned of it was Colpix Records' bone-white label. My cousin owned Bobby Pickett's "Monster Mash" album and his favorite track on it wasn't "Monster Mash" but "The Transylvania Twist." I still love that intro---you know, the bubbles then the pounding drums---then the voice saying " I was working in the lab late one night......." A real blast!
  • Nico from Amstelveen, NetherlandsI only knew the version of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, until reading this article. Very informative!
  • Chomper03 from Montrose, MdThings to know: 1. Although Pickett had never been in a recording studio before, he did the song in one take ...2. The musician who had booked time in the studio right before Pickett's session was Herb Alpert, who also was recording his first song that day...3. The sound of the coffin opening was made by pulling a rusty nail out of a 2-by-4 with the claw of a hammer...4. The bubbling sounds came from blowing through a straw in a glass of water..5. The sound of the chains was made by dropping chains onto plywood planks on the studio floor.
  • Chomper03 from Montrose, Md(from the book "The Wacky Top 40", p.55-56) : "A childhood fascination with horror movies and Boris Karloff led to this weird graveyard smash. While Bobby Pickett was growing up in Somerville, Massachusetts, he used to go to all the movies he wanted to because his father was the manager of a local theater. 'I would sit there and watch horror films two or three times a day', recalled Pickett. 'I was fascinated with the horror genre and I loved Boris Karloff.' Pickett eventually perfected a dead-on imitation of his favorite horror film star. 'I would enter these talent contests in local bars and clubs and do this shtick about Boris Karloff', he recalled. 'It lasted about four minutes and I'd always win.' In the late 1950s, Pickett, bitten by the acting bug, moved to Hollywood and landed some bit parts on TV and in films. In 1962, between acting gigs, Pickett sang with friends in a group called the Cordials. They specialized in doo-wop music and performed at local clubs. One of the songs they sang was the Diamonds' 1957 hit "Little Darlin' ". It featured a monologue which Pickett did in his Karloff impersonation: "My darlin', I need you to hold in mine your little hand/ I know too soon that all is grand." Recalled Pickett, 'The kids in the audience would crack up. Lenny Capizzi [one of the members of the Cordials] told me, 'That's a great voice for a novelty record.' " But Pickett didn't think much of the idea at the time. He quit the group shortly thereafter because the other members were always late for rehearsals. 'But then my agent died of a heart attack and I thought, "Gee, my acting career isn't doing so well." So I called Lenny and said, "Let's test out that idea you had." 'We got together and he sat at the piano and started playing four chords-- G, E minor, C, and D. I said, "Okay, let's call it "The Monster Twist." But Lenny said, "No, the Twist is out and the Mashed Potato is in. It's "The Monster Mashed Potato." 'Then I wrote, "I was working in the lab late one night and my eyes beheld an eerie sight..." And in less than two hours we had the whole thing written.' They took the song to producer Gary Paxton, whom they had met a few months earlier. 'When I was with the Cordials, we used to go to Will Rogers State Beach every Sunday afternoon and sing doo-wop a cappella,' said Pickett. 'Within ten minutes, a hundred people would encircle us and listen to our music. One day, this cute red headed girl walked up and said, "My old man Gary Paxton. He sang "Alley Oop" and he produces now. He'd love you guys. Call him." 'Gary loved our song and decided to call it "The Mean Monster Mashed Potato." But after talking it over, we decided that just "Monster Mash" was fine. Then Gary told me, "From now on, you're Bobby 'Boris' Pickett." 'Every major record label that Gary visited turned "Monster Mash" down. They said it would never get on the radio and that it was stupid. Gary told me, "Don't worry. This is a number one record and I'm going to put it out on my own label." 'He pressed 1,000 records on his label, Garpax, put them in the back of his old Excalibur and drove up and down California, dropping off records at every radio station along the way. And by the time he returned to Los Angeles, the song was on its way to becoming a hit.' "
  • Edward from Henderson, NvElvis Presley hated this song. Bobby Pickett was told, by a girl that knew Elvis, he thought it was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard.
  • Rolf Thunander from Mansfield, OhIt would be great to know who the drummer (Debbie's Dad) was!!??
  • Debbie from Colorado Springs, CoThere was actually a different drummer that did the "recording" of the song, he just did not want to tour so someone else took over. I would know this because it was my dad....
  • Mike from Franklin County, PaBobby Pickett was a big fan of Boris Karloff . It was known that while Karloff was still living at the time Boris had recorded the song ; he walked into a music store (sinced he had heard the song himself), and a friend of Mr. Pickett ( a girl ) walked up to the actor and said , "Mr. Karloff , I know who wrote the song the 'Monster Mash' ; and he's a big fan of yours. " Karloff answered back saying , "I love his song!"
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhSometime around 1980 (1982?) there was a parody of Newsweek magazine written by the Harvard Lampoon. One of its finer articles consisted of the lyrics to this song, but written as a news story.
  • Allan from Vanderhoof, CanadaI find it interesting that after the first hit with the song, neither of the other two times it made the Billboard Hot 100 was around Halloween, which you would assume would be the most likely time.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnThis was greatest Halloween song of all time. I stil enjoy hearing it every year, especially the brief drum solo near the end. Over 20 years after its initial release, Pickett recorded a sequel that I remember hearing on The Dr. Demento Show titled Monster rap. It was also a graveyard smash.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Benny Mardones

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

Country Song Titles

Country Song TitlesFact or Fiction

Country songs with titles so bizarre they can't possibly be real... or can they?

Edwin McCain

Edwin McCainSongwriter Interviews

"I'll Be" was what Edwin called his "Hail Mary" song. He says it proves "intention of the songwriter is 180 degrees from potential interpretation by an audience."

Dino Cazares of Fear Factory

Dino Cazares of Fear FactorySongwriter Interviews

The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.