Thing a Week 42 – Creepy Doll

By JoCo July 21, 2006

I don’t know what’s going on with this one, I just decided earlier this week that it was time to write a song about a creepy doll. I was thinking about various 70s horror movies that scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. Back then you didn’t need to torture people with chainsaws and drills to make a scary movie, it was enough just to have a doll that kept showing up. Or maybe a clown. I couldn’t keep a straight face though, somewhere in the middle of the song the doll just becomes not so much creepy as annoying. And before you post it in the comments, yes I know that it sounds like Bacteria in the beginning – it’s the same Glock sound and the same key, and kind of the same music. Sue me. We’re on song number 42 here people…

Also, just a little merch plug: I’ve just added T-shirts for “Re: Your Brains” to my CafePress store. The image is the song lyrics typed in memo form decorated with a delightful blood spatter. Buy zombies, buy!

Creepy Doll

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Comments

Amanda says

Ack... Stuff like this always scares the crap out of me, too... This song kind of made my heart hurt... I love it, though. Great job :)

Len says

Oh man...thank you! I've been waiting for a Thing A Week like this for weeks. The VTAW should rock.

BTW, If you want a Zombie Shirt, I'd be happy to draw one for you. That is, if anyone is interested in such a thing.

Drew says

I'm listening to this right now. For the fifth time. I think that it is safe to say that I like this. I like this very much.

The bit about needing that much honey in your tea is fantastic. I also really admire the turn of phrase "the flashlight shows you. something moving just inside the door." The image is perfect.

For a similar theme, you might check out Tarnation's "Christine" (on Mirador). Though with a less nagging doll.

Keep up the good work. while I burn with envy over your talent.

Tschuess.

Matt Mobley says

Sweet. Ever since I saw that old Twilight Zone episode as a kid, I've been unable to trust dolls.

Len: Can't wait to see the VTAW. You've probably got a billion ideas already.

Jason C. says

Awesome song JoCO. The first thing that came to mind when the song started was "Nightmare before Christmas". No idea why.

Len- A zombie business man would be awesome.

dirkk says

Aw, come on, you did it again. Now I'll have this melody in the back of my head for days. And I can only change it by hearing 'Stroller Town' just to have that in there for days.

No problem with re-inventing yourself or re-using sounds.

I also wonder if the Anderson ever got visited.

Matt Mobley says

GAH! Now I have another video plan stuck in my head and I haven't even had time to work on the others. Stop being so good, Jonathan! (Just kidding. Don't stop.) But seriously, knock it off. (Not really.) *I'm shaking my fist at the computer screen.*

Anybody have access to a high speed cloner so I can work on everything at the same time? Mine's on the fritz.

dirkk says

now come on!

'High Speed Cloner'!

You just gave him ideas for the next TAW! What do you think you're doing?

Glenn says

Oh man. I miss New England.

Very nice. And new t-shirt! Bonus!

Michael says

Okay, you wanna see disturbing? Huh?

Check out the seventh row in the T-shirt display. Five words: "Re: Your Brains Infant Creeper."

If the little darling creeps anywhere *near* me, I'm gettin' the shotgun.

Marci says

Great song! It totally reminds of something that scared the hell out of me as a kid. It was an ad for this TV movie called "Trilogy of Terror" and there was an evil-looking little warrior doll that came to life and started killing people. Creepy for sure.
*shiver*

Glenn says

The Unspeakable Horror of Karen Black's Kitchen.

Cliff says

I love the Twilight Zone twist at the end... I can imagine a shaky black and white camera zooming out from the burning box to the guy running around on fire. This song truly is creepy in an excellent way. It needs a music video though... classic black and white with the vertical jumping lines of white to make it look weathered and at the end the classic reel-tearing-apart animation while looking into the doll's eyes. Ooooh eerie...

jpez says

Holy shit Jonathan, this is why I love you. How do you do it?!

Cody says

This is one of your best in quite a while.

M_pony says

Dude, are you serious? This song is -amazing-. Holy flippin' wow! Someone's been listening to some progressive rock or something, I think.

steve says

Wow, this is frigging great. Just awesome.

Spiff says

I love it. Very different from your other stuff, which is great. Not that your other stuff is bad... it's unique... you know what I mean.

UltraBob says

I guess life, the universe, and everything as a little bit too broad a topic to tackle in spite of the Thing of the Week number? ;)

Alex Holden says

Excellent song, the best in ages. Weirdly, the line "and there's a creepy doll" reminds of "we are the cheeky girls." *shudder*

Blog Jones says

Wow. This reminds me of some of the better MST3K episodes.

I love it. It's close between this and Seahorse, but I think this is the best song you've written since Code Monkey.

Taylor Kent says

I love this one. It is in my top five with Code Monkey, Re Your Brains, and Better.

Keep up the great work.

Thanks,

T

godzuky42 says

In terms of execution of the theme, this is totally my favorite since Re: Your Brains. Reminds me of some of the dolls found at www.disturbingauctions.com

Can't wait for the CD "JoCo Sings Songs About B-Movies"

You really should do that more often.

Pete says

I like it, but the vocals are too quiet in the chorus - I feel like they get a bit lost. Or was that a deliberate stylistic choice?

theynow.com » Blog Archive » 23 Jul. 2006 says

[...] Jonathan Coulton – Creepy Doll [...]

Dan Martinez says

I can only add my voice to the chorus of those who love this song. It's brilliant and charming and generally great.

Stylistically, the main verses remind me a bit of Danny Elfman, while the chorus evokes thoughts of The Kinks. Am I the only one who's had that thought?

Jay Schandemonier says

The slow part reminds me a bit of "Piggies" (from the beatles). Just me?

Dan says

Listening to this song while taking the dog for a walk. It was really freaky at the beginning, and I'm glad I didn't listen at night.

Len says

I immediately thought "Tim Burton/Cartoon Network TV Series Theme" when I heard this song. :)

ric seaberg says

absolutely brilliant! r

hugh says

Michael mentioned the “Re: Your Brains Infant Creeper.”. I thought the bib was wrong, in so many ways. "All we want to do is eat your brains" indeed.

mhenry1384 says

Ok, listen to these two tracks in a playlist back to back and tell me if I'm crazy. Creepy Doll followed by Spanish Sun:

http://www.bobculbertson.com/Spanish_Sun.mp3

I had these two songs in a playlist and when Spanish Sun kicked in, I kept thinking it was part of the Creepy Doll song. Damn, I said, JC's guitar playing is really improving. It's in the same key, I guess, and I dunno it fits the mood of the first song. I think JC should redo Creepy Doll so it ends with 3 minutes of spanish guitar.

Fwahobadagadz says

Amazing. One of your best! That last verse made me cry of horror. I'll be listening to this one a lot.

the doom says

This song Rocks and creeps Directly the heck out.

Dave says

Musically, I hear Shot With His Own Gun by Elvis Costello in the verse.

Ursula says

Hello, a podcast i listen to played this about a month ago and i really liked it. I followed his link here and saw i could purchase it, woo. You are now one dollar richer. Happiness for you.

stanmuffin says

Catchy. Creepy.

"When smoke fills up your tiny room there's nothing you can do
Far too late you see... "

My mind immediately suggested: "You should have opened up the flue!"

Then the actual words sent shivers up my spine.

Elegantelbow says

I love, love, love, love this song. I'm sure you're aware of the video on YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=eTSkWnKs9rM

Amanda Stevens says

I have a new thriller coming out in March, 2007, called The Dollmaker. I purchased your song because it's just too perfect!

Thanks,
amanda

Laurel says

I love this song. It makes me laugh so hard. I can imagine a creepy little monkey or something telling me I have too much honey in my tea.

Gaekub says

Ok...
I think I just pissed my pants...

Shii says

The fact that this awesome song never made the Top 40 says a lot about the music industry.

Christina says

This is a REALLY great song. I think that I am going to go out and try to find myself a creepy doll now....

codymc says

OMG it's like we've been struck by the same muse.

I snapped a pic of a doll at a flea market -- my friends reacted so strongly to it that I've made it sorta a theme.

Original "Creepy baby"

Inspired by:

Matthew Furtado says

Oh man. This freaked me out! it give me chills but it makes me laugh at the same time. JoCo you get some serious hero points for all of this. the effort you put into this year long responsibility is really impressive

Jeannie Andresakes says

Jonathan, my fiance and I are absolutely nuts for your music! We sing Creepy Doll, Code Monkey, Still Alive, You Could Be Her, Not About You, I Feel Fantastic... (it just keeps going) all the time, and hunt down the YouTube music videos, and play Portal, which you totally made with your end song. Thanks for being so awesome and giving us so many laughs and catchy tunes. Question for you - could you please post some titles of the 70's creepy-doll films that scared the crap out of you as a kid? I want to watch a couple. Thanks! :0)

Gwennie says

ur song is really inspiring in a weird way. My neighbor gave me a doll a while back and i had it on my mind waaaay too much during the song. it is now locked in my closet, never again going to see the light of day. i also luv 're your brains'/ 'future soon'/ 'betty and me' ect.
___________
/___________\
|----------------------------|
AWESOME

Gwennie says

I forgot something. JoCo if u ever need ideas for a song i have too many. I would try some but i suck at singing but u ROCK OUT LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! toga! manchester united! SUPERCALLIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS ON A DANISH!!!!!!!!!!

(M)Ike Dodge says

Thank you for this song. I am a graduate student at the University of Mass. Dartmouth and I am turning the song into a small comic book spread for my graduate work. I felt this song had a lot of imagery to work with and could make for something dark and comical. If you like I could send you a digital copy once it's done.

Lumpy says

Do you have a copy of the lyrics anywhere? :)

The Lost Dog says

HI, j -

Not a stalker.

Sometimes it's tough when you are percieved as such, but your songs make me laugh, dickhead.

Best of luck to you, J.

You are a grin monster. Too bad about the code monkey thing. Good money (I think), but all I can picture is "Office Space".

Oh well. We are all learning as we go, as far as I can tell. And I am old.

Please ignore me, as most of the post sixties people do...

Loco Tomas

The Lost Dog says

I hate revealing this, but you should probably plan a trip to see "Gwennie".

I certainly would be on my way to see her if I weren't already dead in dog years.

Screw it. You are great and if you wish, I can help you enormously. It's just too bad that Cablevision came and unhooked my service from the telephone pole.

But it's OK. As soon as O! is elected, I am pretty sure that rich people will have to pay for my cable.

JUSTICE!!!!

lisa says

So, my parents bought a run-down house in the country with their bag of big-city money, and then found a creepy doll in the basement. True story.

moot says

I had a similar experience. I was about five years old, and my family moved to an acreage just outside of Ottawa, Ontario. The day we moved in, I found a creepy little clown doll in the cold storage area in the basement. I went upstairs to show it to my mom, and my mom got scared, and said, "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air." I whistled for a cab and when it came near The license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought, "Nah, forget it. Yo, holmes to Bel-Air!" I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8 and I yelled to the cabbie, "Yo holmes smell ya later!" Looked at my kingdom I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air.

ixat says

Heard it on some random podcast somewhere, and I love this! Dolls are weird dude, especially one my aunt had from her childhood - huge, like 3 feet tall, and it had those eyes that would open and close, but they were off so sometimes you could only see the whites. Freaked me out when I was little.