Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mandatory Halloween Music, Part 1: “This Is HALLOWEEN”

Imagine an alternate universe in which Tim Burton was not busy making a silly hash out of Batman Returns in 1992, and Henry Selick did not have the opportunity to put his superior animation direction skills to The Nightmare Before Christmas.

On the other hand, let’s not, and enjoy what little good that’s left in this poor, debased world. 

Whenever I hear that movie’s opening song, “This Is Halloween,” I flash on the memory I have of singing it with my children as we tramped through the base housing at Bangor NSB in Washington state in 2004. “Best. Halloween. Ever!“ said 11-year-old Emily upon finishing. 

That year we got so much candy we were eating it for Thanksgiving dessert. Which, as I told my children, is precisely how much candy one should strive for. It’s not something we have every day, if at all. Halloween was the one night we could shamelessly acquire sweets, and the indulgences were parceled out accordingly in their school lunches and after dinners throughout the month.

I haven’t been the best father, but I am proud of the advice I gave my children, which I hope you will pass on to yours: You only have so many Halloweens as a child. Don’t let anyone talk you into attending a Halloween dance, or some bland, denatured “harvest festival” at some church. Pick a costume, get in character, hit the streets, and get that candy. 

Laughing, skipping down the sidewalk under the blessing of cold diamond starlight, singing this Happy Halloween song: