Danse Macabre – Tim Burton style

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved classical music.  I think it stemmed from watching Disney’s Fantasia when I was around six years old.  I grew addicted to the music and I needed to know who the composers were.  My love for the classics grew, as did my exposure to more and more sonatas and symphonies.  One of my favorite pieces, Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” appeared in Disney’s Fantasia 2000 and it happens to be my favorite clip from the entire film.  I wonder why.  (watch here)

When I was around fourteen years old, I discovered a haunting piece, the Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns, and it immediately became one of my favorite pieces to play around Halloween.  When I thought about what I wanted to post today, this music immediately popped into my head, so I went on a hunt to find something that would showcase the music well.  I came across the following  video that happens to combine three of my favorite artists into one:   Saint-Saëns, Johnny Depp and the king of Halloween animation, Tim Burton.  I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do and that it becomes one of your favorite Halloween pieces as well.

May I present, the Danse Macabre – Tim Burton Style

J is for Jabberwocky

This is a continuation of the A-Z blog challenge.  Click here to see the list of all 1935 participants!

The scariest poem I ever read as a child was Jabberwocky, found in Lewis Carroll’s classic sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass.  I was so terrified of the Jabberwock, and yet, night after night, I would pull my covers to my chin and read those terrifying words by flashlight:

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!’

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One two! One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

‘And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

The words were so nonsensical.  I had no idea of their meaning, but for many nights, as I drifted off to sleep, the horrible monster with fiery eyes would enter my room!  Alas!  I would stand on my bed, a stick from the yard in my hand, my sheet tied to my neck like a cloak, and I would slay the Jabberwock with my ‘vorpal blade’ and galumph back to my bed.

I was seven years old.  The poem stuck with me the rest of my life.

In 1971, Donovan put the words to music and I had my own copy.

I never thought anyone could come close to competing with his version until a few months ago when I stumbled upon this version by an unknown woman with a beautiful celtic voice that makes the song come alive:

I don’t know which version I like more. Which one do you like?


Don’t forget to check out the incomparable Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. His version of the poem is not correct or complete, but he plays the part so darn well!