Happy Halloween! Let's celebrate with a list of the six best cameos from creepy children in song.
6. Michael Jackson - "Little Susie" The inclusion of Michael Jackson on this list has nothing to do with any accusations of inappropriate behavior with children, of which I will always give the man the benefit of the doubt. If that were the case, "Heal The World" would be adequately creepy. But his super-dramatic track "Little Susie", from his last release with a shred of sanity HIStory, follows two minutes of orchestral moods with a less-than-subtle intro of a young girl singing a chorus of "La" alongside a lone music box. It's meant to pull the heartstrings for a song about a murdered child, but my god, it is frightening. You can almost see the knife wielding clown in the distance. Poor Susie.
5. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Aeroplane" As a song, "Aeroplane" ranks low on the creepometer. Yeah, the kids singing "It's my aeroplane" at the end are likely oblivious to the track's usage of "motherfucker" and its references to S&M or Mazzy Star. The video is the most disturbing violation. The four shirtless members of RHCP look like the holding cell after an episode of To Catch A Predator - especially since this is the brief phase of the band featuring Dave Navarro's pierced nipples.
4. Aphex Twin - "Children Talking" If you ever have a slow motion nightmare about mashed potatoes, you can thank Aphex Twin. 3. Serge Gainsbourg and Charlotte Gainsbourg - "Lemon Incest" Brief backstory - Serge Gainsbourg, French artist and provocateur sang a duet in 1985 with his twelve-year-old daughter, singer/actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (see: The Science Of Sleep [No, really, see it. It's great]). So yes, we get it. You're scandalous and European. Something about Charlotte's reserved, squeaky delivery and Serge's breathy counterpoint makes you feel gross. You're not worried about Charlotte's safety, you're concerned about how you got locked into this gross family's basement and why Quinton Tarantino is staring at you from the corner with a lit cigar in his mouth.
2. Pink Floyd - "Another Brick In The Wall" Sometimes the only thing creepier than a singing child is an army of children. "Another Brick In The Wall" is a fabulous track that, if you haven't heard in a while, is funkier than you remember. But those children, oh my god, those children, marching toward you in uniform. Even though you're rooting for the kids in this school takeover plot, they're still scary as hell, which is where the kids seem to have materialized from in their satanic demands for education reform.
1. Metallica - "Enter Sandman" The creepiest child in popular song is easily the kid who recites the common "As I lay me down to sleep" prayer over the bridge of "Enter Sandman" for many reasons. If you were raised in any branch of Christianity, you've probably mindlessly said this same prayer not realizing how effed up it is to say "If I die before I wake / I pray the Lord my soul to take" when you barely have a concept of your own mortality. The voice of an older man leads the prayer with more questions than answers - is that his dad? A priest? An uncle? A close friend of the parents who they call uncle but isn't really his uncle? Metallica's going for some fairly safe imagery here, but it works. It's The Shining and The Exorcist and a million psyco-religious slasher movies in one. The voiceovers come into song almost as a reaction to Kirk Hammet's blazing wah wah-ed guitar solo. It's the best known combination of slasher films and thrash metal.