Monsters, in either literal or metaphorical sense, have been a common theme for dozens of artists. Whether they criticize societal values, point out taboos, or speak about ghouls, fiends, and other nightmarish creatures, we all have at least a few monster-related songs in our favorite playlists.
Today, I will touch upon all of the aforementioned themes and present to you some of the best songs about monsters out there, so let’s start from the top.
What Are the Best Songs About Monsters?
Here is my list of the top songs about monsters.
1. “Monster” By Skillet
Arguably one of the most popular songs off of Skillet’s album “Awake”, the “Monster” is a layered rock tune that touches on the fight with our inner demons.
“Monster” talks about the devastating effects of repressed emotions and the “secret side” of non-confrontational people. As rage wells up, the rational side taps out and allows the “Monster” to take over.
The message of this track is that it is perfectly fine to vent sometimes. Seeking help shouldn’t be shunned, and talking to your loved ones can help you overcome whatever beast is welling up inside you.
2. “Feed My Frankenstein” By Alice Cooper
The godfather of shock rock has made whole albums full of songs about monsters. “Feed My Frankenstein” is a perfect example of what top-tier rock and roll coupled with outrageous theatrics and aesthetics looks, feels, and sounds like.
There are far spookier lyrics in contemporary music, but at the time it was released, “Feed My Frankenstein” was far removed from pretty much everything going on in the music scene of the early ‘90s.
If I was to dissect its lyrics, this song is a mixture of carnal expressionism and cannibalism, although Cooper’s soaring vocals don’t reveal it as much. “Feed My Frankenstein” is written in the first person, which adds an entirely different dimension to it.
3. “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” By Eminem
The beat to “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” is, in my humble opinion, one of the darkest grooves in rap music. It perfectly fits the gloomy lyrical theme and the fact that Marshall had to relive the monsters of his real-life past when writing it.
“Cleanin’ Out My Closet” is generally synonymous with closure. However, in Eminem’s case, it’s about parents that act like monsters, mistreating and abusing their children to no end.
In this song, Eminem put words to the pain a child could feel after being abandoned by their father and mistreated by their mother. “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” touches on monsters of addiction, regret, sadness, rage, and cold hate. The scariest thing about it is that it is an autobiographical song.
4. “Monster” By LUM!X, Gabry Ponte
Spooky topics aren’t exactly a common theme in the world of electronic dance music, especially when it comes to bouncy, upbeat songs such as “Monster” by LUM!X.
This track sounds quite happy and doesn’t thoroughly reflect the lyrics, which suggest that the writer is fighting their inner demons, asking “How should I feel?”.
Amid the confusion and moments of self-reflection, “Monster” speaks more through tones than words. It is quite common in EDM music for songs to be differently interpreted by each listener, and that’s precisely the case here. Enjoy the bass and the rhythm, as distracting yourself from often unnecessary worries may kick your inner demons out.
5. “Bellyache” By Billie Eilish
Virtually all Billie Eilish songs are thoroughly layered and tend to have more than one meaning. At the surface, “Bellyache” is a happy-sounding song about loneliness and sadness, but it hides a far more twisted beast beneath.
In this tune, Billie is the monster – after “getting rid” of her friends and leaving them in the back of her car, she happily strolls along the highway, followed by cheerful acoustic guitar and a gorgeous sunset.
There are obvious hints of regret and panic, as Billie portrays herself as a murderer on the run that is just about to be caught.
“Bellyache” is obviously a work of fiction, but it is also a reminder that all people can turn into monsters if they succumb to temptations. In this song, this temptation was fueled by greed, but it can easily translate into any other sin with similar results.
6. “Creep” By Radiohead
“Creep” is another kind of self-identified monster whose persona the artist assumes for the purpose of this song. Unlike Billie’s “Bellyache”, the “Creep” in this Radiohead tune has a far more convoluted personality.
Some would argue that monsters in “Creep” are the members of the society that refuse to accept anyone different; others would say that the author is the monster, a literal “Creep” that stalks and envies other people.
From an objective standpoint, the “Creep” persona is a self-loathing introvert and describes himself as a monster of a well-oiled society. Despite the negative connotations, this track has numerous positive messages waiting to be discovered by the listener.
Everyone is special, and people with low self-esteem should not be confused with shady-minded people that are the true monsters of this earth.
7. “This Side of Sober” By Jacob Bryant
When the word “monster” is said out loud, most people think of scary vampires, zombies, werewolves, or other spooky beasts. For people that have struggled with addiction problems, the word “monster” is synonymous with substances they have abused.
In “This Side of Sober”, Jacob Bryant describes alcohol as the monster he has been fighting. Though triumphant, many who have faced this foe know that it can return at any given time. One moment of weakness, and all the effort goes down the drain.
I purposefully included this song for family members, friends, and lovebirds who felt like they were monsters in their relationships while they were abusing substances.
As Jacob puts it, “it’s hard to outrun the devil when he’s sittin’ on your shoulders.’ He sends a powerful message to everyone listening to “This Side of Sober”, stating that cigarette sticks and bottles cannot be stronger than the human spirit. It is never too late to seek help, and by taking one day at a time, a fresh, clean page can be turned in your book.
8. “Devil Went Down to Georgia” By Primus
Originally written and released by Charlie Daniels, “Devil Went Down to Georgia” is a phenomenal song about one of the scariest, most devious monsters that humanity could imagine – a horned trickster on a mission to ruin the lives of people by giving them what they cherish the most, only to take everything as compensation.
This song is about a young fiddler being approached by the devil, which ultimately results in a violin showdown. What makes Primus’s version significantly different from Charlie Daniels Band’s (original) is a music video that most would find unsettling, to say the very least.
Aside from the nightmare fuel that is the middle section of “Devil Went Down to Georgia”, Primus did an amazing job at blending several music genres while staying true to the intent of the original author.
In this tune, the temptation is a bigger devil than the devil himself. It sends a message that we can persevere when faced with difficult choices and that failing to overcome petty attempts to sway our resolve could turn us into monsters.
9. “Beelzeboss” By Tenacious D
If you love Jack Black, you certainly know who Tenacious D is. What began as a movie skit turned into a real-life touring rock band. The “Beelzeboss” is the song named after the final showdown in the movie “Pick of Destiny”, and it’s probably the most popular song about monsters among rock fans.
With a healthy dose of humor and surprisingly decent musicianship, Jack Black and his friend Kyle are not fighting a hulking adrenaline-pumped devil to save the world; they are not trying to save their souls, or acquire immeasurable wealth. They want the Devil to pay their rent (after which he should go back to hell).
It’s a hilarious tune through and through, and the back-and-forth bouncing between the acoustic rock and heavy metal is so smooth that even rap and pop enthusiasts should be amused. Amid the humor and terror, “Beelzeboss” does impart an important message – the power of friendship is stronger than the toughest monsters.
10. “One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater” By Sheb Wooley
The Purple People Eater is a classic country song about a very specific monster. It is one-eyed and one-heard, and to top it off, it is also capable of flight.
As depicted in the official video for this tune, the Purple People Eater actually looks pretty benevolent; it even plays his horn as a flute, but the “people eater” part is what reveals the true nature of this outcast Muppet.
In a true country fashion, Sheb finds a way to make this monster slightly less scary, presenting him as a creature that came to earth to join a rock and roll band. I more than appreciate this song as a work of creative fiction accompanied by cool music, although I don’t think there’s a deeper meaning to it than that.
11. “Hush, Hush, Hush, Here Comes the Boogeyman” By Henry Hall
The original “Here Comes the Boogeyman” is nearly a century old. People living during the pre-WWII era had such a different taste for music sensibilities, so this particular song may sound a lot spookier today than it did in 1932 (when it was first written and released).
“Here Comes the Boogeyman” is a song for children that was essentially meant to scare unruly kids into being a bit more obedient. The title says it all “Hush, here comes the Boogeyman”, and children that don’t want to sleep are in for a waking nightmare.
This is not one of the songs about monsters simply because it was among the first ones of its kind. It’s one of the best monster songs because it is still very relevant and spooky to this day.
12. “All the Madmen” By David Bowie
David Bowie is a world-renowned prodigy, an idealist, and arguably one of the most creative minds of our time. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he often felt so distant from the rest of the world, as it takes a genius to comprehend the surface of his genius.
The “All the Madmen” is a song in which he paints himself as a monster, but unlike most outcasts, he gladly accepts his fate and would rather “stay here with all the madmen” and remain free and unrestrained by shallow opinions and ideals than accept them.
From a musical perspective, “All the Madmen” is an avant-garde masterpiece that is lightyears ahead of its time. Lyrically, Bowie addresses some of the social issues that remain unsolved to this day. Despite being a monster that possibly thinks does not belong in this society, he vastly enriched the global culture with this tune.
13. “Inner Demons” By Julia Brennan
The title of this song says it all – inner demons are some of the most dangerous and most real monsters a person can be fighting with. Whether it be insecurity, low self-esteem, apathy, or heartbreak, it is difficult to walk a straight path with a heavy heart.
“Inner Demons” is about a person that is fighting an inner battle alone. The cause may be interpreted as either loneliness or lack of understanding on the side of friends, family, and loved ones, but it’s heavy whichever it is.
Many people suffer from depression because they think no one can understand them. In “Inner Demons”, the protagonist reached out for help and received none.
The message this song is conveying is that we have the strength inside to win any fight. It is preferable to seek and receive help, but when none is on the horizon, confide in yourself and trust that you are strong to endure and win.
Given that all people have different ideas of what a “spooky” song is and should be, I included some of the best songs about monsters that moved me.
Whether it be through goosebumps, a sense of dread, or an appreciation for the artistic vision, I truly believe these are songs about both real-life and imaginary monsters that the world would be poor without.