Make horrid scars and gashes.


Oscar Brand And His Young Friends "Trick or Treat: Hallowe'en Celebrated in Story & Song" (Caedmon, TC1624, 1979)

Entertainer Oscar Brand has had a long and varied career over the years, and this 1979 LP was one of the many children's albums he recorded for Caedmon. Sounding something like a more kid-oriented take on Dean Gitter's "Ghost Ballads" (with maybe a pinch of Wade Denning & Kay Lande's "Halloween: Games, Songs and Stories" around the edges), "Trick or Treat: Hallowe'en Celebrated in Story & Song" aims to present a folk-song celebration of Halloween traditions, with Brand throwing in some back-story on the origins behind the holiday whenever he can. Of course the spookiness factor isn't terribly high for the most part (I mean hey, while "Hallowe'en, Hallowe'en" might be a cool & creepy quick historical summarization, "Clementine" is just never going to sound very frightening to me no matter how grim the subject matter might've originally been), but since they were clearly going for more of a lighthearted "storyteller" vibe it mostly works, and would be pretty good little-kid listening I'm sure.

Quoting the liners:

"The Celts celebrated New Year's Day on November 1st. It was a logical choice, for the harvest was in and the cold white silence of winter was approaching. The Druids began to celebrate this day to honor Samhain, the Lord of the Dead. Honoring Samhain usually meant sacrificing horses and human beings in his name. When the Romans conquered Britain in 61 A.D. they outlawed the sacrifice and the celebration. This didn't prevent the Druids from continuing the practices, but it did cut down on the publicity.

Since those primitive times, our folk music and folk lore have been overloaded by songs and ballads of apparitions, ghosts, witches, demons, goblins, and other unwelcome personalities. [...] From the thousands of old songs, we have chosen an LP-full. We've enlightened these by a few erudite explanations. We have enlarged these by the use of supernatural sound effects. And we have given the whole a twisted ending worthy of the holiday. If you guess the ending before it arrives, score one for your paranoia. We didn't guess the ending -- it happened suddenly and unexpectedly in the studio, and has never been explained. [...]

If any of this is understandable, blame Samhain... he wrote this collection of notes while I watched"

Link Removed


Blogger meatcleaver63 said...

Thanks! Going to listen this one on my lunch break.

10/18/2006 6:20 AM

Anonymous s.bilbrey said...

Hey! I remember this one! Often that 'Pagan God of the Pagan Dead' line pops in my mind. There was another folk song record that had a different version of The Farmer's Wife & the Devil. The only other song I remember from that was The Cat Came Back.
Do you know what this album was?

10/18/2006 7:14 AM

Blogger Stephen said...

Jason, thanks for all the stuff you're sharing - things like this are perfect for my kids' Halloween mix cds.

10/18/2006 8:21 AM

Anonymous pete said...

Okay, this may just be my twisted mind at work...but is there something slightly subliminal about the mermaid and her two fishes?

That aside, thanks for continuing to post so much this month Jason. Such a cool collection.

10/18/2006 1:05 PM

Blogger Trevor Pitt said...

Thanks Jason! Can't wait to listen to this one. Thanks to you I don't think I've ever been more excited for Halloween before.

10/18/2006 8:02 PM

Blogger Kirk D. said...

I'm trying to identify a piece of music from a Halloween record and if any of you Scarstuffers have any leads (including you Jason) I'd be most grateful! Read about and listen to it on my blog here...

And thanks Jason for yet another wonderful entry!

10/18/2006 8:02 PM

Blogger Mr. Sean said...

I used to listen to this record every night when i was going to bed! I would get all tucked in after taking a bath & just fall into this record. Thanks for posting it!

1/15/2008 9:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderfuld and charming record! I've been listening this on a repeat for few days now!

1/31/2010 10:23 PM

Anonymous chibicatn said...

I have been trying to find this album for years...of course i come along when there is a nice little note that says "link removed" i just recently managed to find out what the album was even called and all i can find is info, no album anywhere except for a $40 cassette tape on amazon with no real info about it which makes me leery to drop the cash on it, does anyone here know where i can get it?

10/11/2010 5:27 AM


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