Many a song has been sung about monsters over the years in one shape or form. Some have been penned in a spooky or scary format whereas others merely use the theme of monsters and the undead as metaphors for something else, usually their emotions.
I will explore the various types of songs about monsters in this article and show you how each artist or group has dealt with this ghoulish theme.
So without further ado, here is a non-exhaustive list of the best songs about monsters.
- 1. Monster Mash – Bobby Pickett
- 2. Thriller – Michael Jackson
- 3. Beautiful Monster – Ne-Yo
- 4. The Monster – Eminem & Rihanna
- 5. Monster – Lum!x, Gabry Ponte
- 6. Monster – Skillet
- 7. Monster – The Automatic
- 8. Monster – Imagine Dragons
- 9. Monster – Lady Gaga
- 10. Monster – Professor Green
- 11. Monster – Paloma Faith
- 12. Monster – Kanye West
- 13. I’m In Love With A Monster – Fifth Harmony
- 14. Ghouls Gone Wild – Alice Cooper
- 15. Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr
- 16. Die Monster Die – Misfits
- 17. Furry Happy Monsters – REM
- 18. Would You Love A Monsterman? – Lordi
- 19. Unkillable Monster – Marilyn Manson
- 20. Monsters – All Time Low
- 21. Werewolves Of London – Warren Zevon
- 22. Addams Family Theme – Vic Mizzy And His Orchestra
- 23. Zombie – The Cranberries
- 24. Gods & Monsters – Lana Del Rey
- 25. Monster In Me – Little Mix
- 26. Teenage Frankenstein – Alice Cooper
- 27. You’ll Never Find A Nessie In A Zoo – Roger and Gavin Greenaway
- 28. Shewolf – Shakira
- 29. Spooky Scary Skeletons – Andrew Gold
- 30. I Want A Monster To Be My Friend – En Vogue (sort of)
1. Monster Mash – Bobby Pickett
Monster Mash was released as a novelty song in 1962 by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and has since become a Halloween classic. The song spoofed the “Mashed Potato” dance craze that was popular at the time.
The song begins by telling the story of a Frankenstein-style scientist working on a monster late at night that rises from its slab and starts to a dance the “Monster Mash”. It then recounts other monsters, ghouls and Dracula types that come in and join the party.
The song has been covered and sampled multiple times in other songs such as the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and was also reinvented as “Monsters’ Holiday” by Pickett himself to make it more Christmassy.
2. Thriller – Michael Jackson
Thriller is a Michael Jackson classic and definitely up there with his most memorable hits.
The song’s lyrics describe how it’s the middle of the night and how dangerous it is with all the ghouls and monsters lurking in the dark. In the music video, Jackson actually becomes a zombie and does a dance routine with a bunch of other zombies. It was produced by John Landis and borrowed from an American Werewolf in London.
The song was a major hit for Jackson and managed to reach number 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for two weeks in 1984.
3. Beautiful Monster – Ne-Yo
This was a really popular song back in 2010 and you can still probably remember boogieing along to it.
It describes a guy (presumably in a relationship) who is in love with a woman who is a “monster”, although probably referring to her personality than her actually being one.
The song was an international hit and was particularly successful in the UK where it became Ne-Yo’s third single to reach the number one spot in the UK charts.
4. The Monster – Eminem & Rihanna
An unforgettable collaboration between Eminem and Rihanna that took over the dance floors in 2013. This was their fourth collaboration after Love The Way You Lie (1 & 2) as well as Numb.
The monster being referred to in this song are the one’s inside Eminem’s head – or more precisely under his bed according to the chorus hook – and the trouble he’s had dealing with being famous and becoming rich almost overnight. The monster is the demons in his head, so to speak.
5. Monster – Lum!x, Gabry Ponte
This is a 2019 dance track by Italian DJ Gabry Ponte and Austrian DJ Luca Michlmayr, better known by his stage name Lum!x . Gabry Ponte is probably better known for his association with Eiffel 65 and their most famous song “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”.
This is classic Eurodance track and is pretty simple lyrically as it just consists of the following words on a continuous loop in one way or another:
How should I feel?
Creatures lie here
Looking through the window
6. Monster – Skillet
This song was Christian rock group Skillet’s breakthrough single back in 2009 and got as far as number 4 in the US billboard charts.
The song is about the “monster” within you and the fact that he is struggling to control it. In fact, the music video is even filmed in some sort of psych unit where patients are being pinned down and injected with medication. By the end of the video, a couple of them manage to escape after being pursued by a SWAT team.
7. Monster – The Automatic
Another noughties classic, the Monster by Automatic was their best performing song and reached number 4 in the UK charts.
The song’s lyrics are about being “brain fried” from drug abuse and subsequently being paranoid about monsters coming to get you (from over the hill).
The band were described as being one-hit wonders as they weren’t able to recreate the success of Monster.
8. Monster – Imagine Dragons
This was a track released in 2013 as the soundtrack for the video game Infinity Blade III and was subsequently included in their album Smoke + Mirrors.
This is another song that describes the “monster” within and that he’s struggling to hold in.
The song didn’t do particular well in US Billboard Hot 100 – only reaching 78 – but it does have a catchy hook and was played quite a lot that year.
9. Monster – Lady Gaga
This 2009 song from Gaga was not one of her biggest hits but did seem to get a hell of a lot of air time at the time and still managed to get certified gold. The style of the song pretty much fit in with her late noughties vibe which was more dance/pop.
The song was apparently about Gaga’s “fear of attachment” monster and the chorus kinda reiterates this by saying “That boy is a monster (could I love him?)”. It would seem that Gaga generally falls in love with the so-called bad boys and doesn’t want to.
The song does meander between metaphorical and just plain gruesome. Towards the end of the song, the monster factor does start to come out with lines such as “He ate my heart and then he ate my brain.”
10. Monster – Professor Green
This was an original track by Professor Green (ie. no sampling from other songs like most of his earlier records) released back in 2010.
The music video was filmed on the now defunct Carnesky’s Ghost Train in Blackpool – and so contains its fair share of ghouls and monsters.
The chorus hook is sung by Example (another UK rapper) and is pretty catchy. It describes how he’s gonna turn you into a monster.
11. Monster – Paloma Faith
This song formed part of Paloma Faith’s Infinite Things album released in 2020. The song itself was not released on its own ‘til 2021.
The music video is filmed in a gothic style building and has a Frankenstein feel to it where a man is operating on a woman (presumably trying to create a monster).
12. Monster – Kanye West
This is a 2010 rap song by Kanye West and a collaboration with an all star cast of Jay-Z, Nikki Minaj, Rick Ross and Bon Iver.
The music video is quite dark and with Kanye West rearranging dead bodies on a bed and was apparently inspired by Saw and American Psycho. The song’s lyrics blend classic gangster rap braggadocio with lyrics about the undead.
The song itself has proved quite popular and has been performed by other artists including Adele who rapped Nikki Minaj’s lyrics in Carpool Karaoke. Chart wise, Monster performed quite well reaching number 18 in the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified double Platinum in the US.
13. I’m In Love With A Monster – Fifth Harmony
This upbeat pop song sung by Fifth Harmony back in 2015 was written for the animated comedy film Hotel Transylvania 2. The song even features vocals by Camila Cabello who was still with the group at the time.
The song follows this bad-boy monster theme where the monster is this irresistible bad boy. The title of the song reiterates this by saying “I’m in love with a monster”.
Despite being a very upbeat and catchy song, the song didn’t perform that well in the charts and only managed to reach position 23 in the Belgian charts.
14. Ghouls Gone Wild – Alice Cooper
This song by the “Godfather of Shock Rock” was released back in 2011 on his “Welcome to my Nightmare” album.
The song is a playful take on something akin to a Halloween party – as in the ghouls are having a party and going wild, wilder than before.
This song is different than a lot of the other songs about monsters on this list as it isn’t serious in any way and doesn’t have any deeper meaning about love.
15. Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr
If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call?
This classic anthem from the 80’s hit film Ghostbusters would have to make this list. Although not strictly about monsters, ghosts and the undead, it still falls into this broad category.
There was some controversy that the song plagiarised Huey Lewis’s “I want a new drug”. Both songs contain an almost identical hook and resulted in Parker settling with Lewis.
16. Die Monster Die – Misfits
This is a song by the American punk rock band, the Misfits and was one of their more obscure ones from the 1999 album “Famous Monsters”.
The song is pretty simple lyrically and repeats the same lines over and over again. Definitely an acquired taste.
17. Furry Happy Monsters – REM
This was the remake for Sesame Street of the popular song “Shiny Happy People” by REM.
The song is about monsters being sad and then happy again and viceversa.
There was a gap of 7 years between the original version and the spoof version of the song.
18. Would You Love A Monsterman? – Lordi
This is a song from Finnish hard rock band Lordi which strongly adheres to their particular style.
The song is pretty brutal and mentions killing, maiming and slaying. As the title of the song says, the singer is trying to get a young woman to fall in love with him (and then join his band). Presumably, the monster here is Lordi.
The song was a hit in Lordi’s native Finland and was successful in Sweden. Besides Scandinavia, it’s not very well known.
19. Unkillable Monster – Marilyn Manson
This song by alternative rock legend Marilyn Manson was released back in 2009 on the album “The High End of Low”. Although not one of the lead tracks on the album, it still oozes with the usual Manson style.
20. Monsters – All Time Low
This pop punk song released in 2020 also featured Blackbear and Demi Lovato and reached number one in the Billboard Alternative Airplay charts and became their best performing song ever on the Billboard Hot 100, albeit at position 55.
This is another song where the “monster” is in the person’s head and he keeps going back to his lover despite her ruining his life.
21. Werewolves Of London – Warren Zevon
This comedy rock song released in 1978 by Zevon was the most successful of his career and reached number 21 in the Billboard Hot 100. The song also features Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass.
The song takes its inspiration from the 1935 film of the same name and describes a werewolf running “amok” in London and the south east of England.
The song’s opening line “I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand” voted it the best opening line of any song by BBC Radio 2 listeners.
22. Addams Family Theme – Vic Mizzy And His Orchestra
Although not altogether monsters, the Addams family were presented as quite bizarre and with supernatural abilities.
At just three verses, the song is quite brief and describes the quirky life of the Addams family.
This famous theme song was written by the renowned Hollywood composer Vic Mizzy. The song mainly makes use of a harpsichord and finger clicking.
23. Zombie – The Cranberries
This alternative rock song by the Irish band the Cranberries was released in 1994. Although not immediately obvious, the song actually commemorates the lives of two children killed during the IRA bombings in Warrington, England in 1993.
The song’s lyrics describe the fighting along with the death and destruction of the conflict in Northern Ireland. O’Riordan, the Cranberries’ lead singer and songwriter of Zombie, never revealed what the meaning of “Zombie” was and why she had chosen that specific but a lot of people had their own theories. She sadly died at 46 in 2018 and took her secrets with her.
The song had major success and reached the top spot in a number of European charts as well as the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks charts. It also became the first Irish song to ever surpass the 1 billion views mark on Youtube.
24. Gods & Monsters – Lana Del Rey
Released in 2012 on her third Extended Play Paradise, Gods & Monsters is a classic melancholic Lana Del Rey song.
The song’s lyrics are a little rambling and describe a debauched life going downhill like “Jim Morrison” as she puts it. The song received some criticism for being vulgar in parts due to her heavy use of the F word.
The song was able to reach the top 40 in the UK pretty much due to the popularity of Paradise and made it to 15 in the US Hot Rock Songs Charts.
25. Monster In Me – Little Mix
As one of Little Mix’s lesser known songs, not many people will be familiar with this one. It was included with Little Mix’s 2018 and fifth studio album, LM5 and was never released as a single in its own right.
The song is about a toxic relationship and how she loves the monster in her partner and how thrilling yet destructive it is.
26. Teenage Frankenstein – Alice Cooper
This glam metal song was released back in 1987 by Alice Cooper. The song was probably not one of Cooper’s most successful songs as it wasn’t able to chart.
The song is about a teenage outcast who doesn’t get along with his peers at school and is subsequently a “Teenage Frankenstein” or monster.
27. You’ll Never Find A Nessie In A Zoo – Roger and Gavin Greenaway
All Brits who were kids in the 80’s or 90’s will probably be familiar with the cartoon series Family-Ness about a family of Loch Ness Monsters.
The song describes how you’ll be able to find pretty much any animal under the sun in a zoo, but you’ll never see a “Nessie” or Loch Ness Monster there.
Despite the cartoon series being extremely popular and aired repeatedly throughout the 90’s, the song never made it to the top 40 of the UK charts.
28. Shewolf – Shakira
Shewolf was released back in 2009 by Colombian singer Shakira. There are two versions: one in English and one in Spanish both with similar lyrics.
She sings about a Shewolf (female werewolf) or monster which is being supressed in the closet and is desperate to escape. This Shewolf is a bit different in its approach though as it comes out at night and hunts single men down in bars.
The song was a commercial success and made the top ten in lots of countries and even reached 11 in the US Billboard Hot 100.
29. Spooky Scary Skeletons – Andrew Gold
This quirky song was released in 1996 to fill a gap in the market for Halloween songs and has since established itself as a popular internet Halloween meme.
The song is unusual in that it deploys alliteration on the “s” sound, or more specifically sibilance, at the beginning of lots of words to create a hissing and spooky sound. It’s the only song in this list to use such a sophisticated linguistic technique.
The song is a regular feature at Halloween and has even been covered by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers at a Halloween concert.
30. I Want A Monster To Be My Friend – En Vogue (sort of)
This is another song from Sesame Street. It was originally performed by “A little girl” in 1975 who wanted to befriend a monster. It was then covered by En Vogue years later in the 1990’s.
The song had some questionable lyrics about allowing a “monster to bounce me on his knee and do whatever he wants if he’s bigger than me”. These lyrics were understandably removed and changed for the En Vogue version.
So that concludes my best songs about monsters list. I hope this list has helped you see the different formats and approaches that various artists have taken to writing songs about monsters and maybe even brought back a few memories.