songs about skeletons
Entertainment & Playlists

15 Best Songs About Skeletons

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Written By Will Fenton
Entertainment & Playlists

15 Best Songs About Skeletons

Songs about skeletons have become increasingly popular in music over the past few years, with a variety of different artists producing songs to explore the mysterious and often spooky concept.

From Allen Ginsberg’s “Ballad of the Skeletons” to Guy Clark’s “Bag of Bones”, these songs explore the idea of skeletons from a range of perspectives, from humorous to serious.

This article examines fifteen of the best songs about skeletons to provide an overview of the different interpretations of this intriguing and often mysterious concept.

Each song is analyzed to highlight the different themes and ideas connected to the idea of skeletons and to showcase the wide range of approaches that can be taken when exploring this concept.

1. “Ballad of the Skeletons” by Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg’s ballad, “Ballad of the Skeletons”, dives into the concepts of mortality and the supernatural from a unique viewpoint.

Through its powerful imagery, it uses the idea of skeletons to express themes of death and the fragility of life.

The poem’s complex structure and intricate language create a vivid portrait of a world where life and death are inextricably intertwined.

The ballad’s use of macabre imagery also serves to emphasize the message of the poem: that death is a part of life, and it is inescapable.

2. “Skin & Bones” by Foo Fighters

“Skin & Bones” by Foo Fighters is a melancholic ode to the fragility of life, featuring hauntingly vivid lyrics that invoke a sense of mortality.

The song’s bleak imagery and sparse instrumentation, combined with a darkly somber vocal delivery, create a feeling of solemnity and resignation.

The lyrics paint a vivid picture of mortality, from the ephemeral nature of life to the inevitability of death.

This song is a powerful reminder of the preciousness of life and the importance of cherishing every moment.

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3. “Bones” by The Killers

The Killers’ song “Bones” is a melancholic reflection on mortality that explores the fragility of life through vivid lyrics and sparse instrumentation.

Lead singer Brandon Flowers’ vocals are emotive as he sings of the sorrow and inevitability of death.

The track is marked by a sparse arrangement of acoustic guitar, minor-key piano, and electronic soundscapes that create a sense of haunting solemnity.

The song’s profound lyrics and subtle instrumentation come together to create an affecting piece that serves as a stark reminder of our own mortality.

4. “Bad To The Bones” by George Thorogood & The Destroyers

George Thorogood & The Destroyers’ classic blues rock song “Bad To The Bones” showcases a masterful combination of musical elements that create an exciting and energetic atmosphere.

Thorogood’s distinct vocal delivery and lyrics about being ‘bad to the bones’ complete the song’s infectious sound.

This creative combination of musical elements allows “Bad To The Bones” to stand out as an exciting and energetic song about skeletons.

5. “Boneyard” by Jon Cleary

Jon Cleary’s “Boneyard” is an upbeat song that combines soulful blues with an infectious rhythm.

The song features Cleary’s signature mix of New Orleans funk and blues.

His guitar riffs are dynamic and vibrant, and the catchy chorus is sure to get stuck in your head.

The lyrics are playful and tongue-in-cheek, using clever metaphors to explore the theme of skeletons and mortality.

The song’s lightheartedness is a refreshing take on the often-dreary subject matter.

It’s a great example of how music can be used to explore dark subject matter in an upbeat and engaging way.

6. “Dig Up Her Bones” by Michale Graves

Michale Graves’ “Dig Up Her Bones” is an intense punk rock song that takes a darker look at mortality and death.

Its verses are filled with morbid imagery, as the narrator calls upon a loved one to dig up her bones and bring them to his door.

The song creates an atmosphere of dread and sorrow, as it serves as a reminder of the inevitability of death.

The song’s heavy use of metaphor and symbolism gives it a timeless quality, making it a powerful representation of the human experience.

7. “Skeleton Boy” by Neon Trees

Following the punk rock of Michale Graves’ “Dig Up Her Bones”, comes “Skeleton Boy” by the band Neon Trees.

This song is a hauntingly beautiful synth-rock tune, with a catchy chorus that speaks of the tragedy of mortality and the transience of life.

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The lyrics explore themes of death and mortality, and the music features a strong drum beat, synth-pop sounds, and a soaring chorus.

It is a fitting tribute to the topic, providing an upbeat and uplifting take on the concept of mortality.

8. “Shaking the Bone” by Breed

Breed’s “Shaking the Bone” is a punk rock song that speaks to the transience of life and explores mortality through a hard-driving guitar-driven sound.

The song’s lyrics are filled with macabre imagery, including references to skeletons and death, creating a stark contrast to its upbeat tempo.

Musically, the song features a driving beat and simple yet powerful guitar riffs.

The song’s chorus is particularly memorable, as it emphasizes the brevity of life and the importance of making the most of it.

Overall, “Shaking the Bone” is a great example of a punk rock song exploring the theme of death and mortality.

9. “Skeleton Christ” by Slayer

Slayer’s “Skeleton Christ” is an intense metal song that dives deep into the subject of mortality and death, creating a dark atmosphere with its intense and fast-paced guitar riffs and pounding drums.

The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a skeletonized messiah, emphasizing the idea that death is inevitable for all.

The song’s blistering tempo and aggressive soundscape create a powerful and haunting atmosphere that conveys a sense of angst and dread.

Its message of mortality is a significant contribution to the genre, and its classic metal stylings have had a lasting impact.

10. “Skeletons in the Closet” by Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper‘s “Skeletons in the Closet” is a hard-rocking song about confronting one’s dark secrets and accepting them as part of one’s identity.

The lyrics describe a man who is coming to terms with his own dark secrets, and instead of pushing them away, he is embracing them.

The chorus includes a defiant declaration of self-acceptance, as the narrator proclaims that he will never be ashamed of his skeletons in the closet.

Musically, the song is energetic and fast-paced, with driving guitars and pounding drums, creating an atmosphere of urgency and determination.

It is a powerful anthem of self-acceptance and empowerment.

11. “Spooky Scary Skeletons” by Andrew Gold

Andrew Gold’s “Spooky Scary Skeletons” is a whimsical Halloween-inspired song that utilizes a playful, upbeat melody to portray the spookiness of skeletons.

Gold effectively captures the essence of Halloween with tongue-in-cheek lyricism and a light-hearted musical arrangement.

The song is also notable for its clever use of sound effects, including the sound of creaking doors that help add to the spooky atmosphere.

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All in all, “Spooky Scary Skeletons” is an amusing and haunting song that captures the spirit of Halloween.

12. “Skeletons” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs song “Skeletons” offers a unique take on the Halloween-inspired genre of music.

Its dark, brooding melodies serve as a backdrop to the evocative lyrics, which explore the idea of skeletons as a metaphor for being haunted by one’s past.

The song is further enhanced by the use of heavy guitars and a driving beat, creating a powerful and unsettling atmosphere.

Ultimately, the song provides an emotive and thought-provoking experience, challenging listeners to confront their own skeletons.

13. “Backyard Skulls” by Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit’s “Backyard Skulls” is a hauntingly surreal take on mortality and death.

Its lyrics explore the physical and emotional weight of mortality, with imagery of skulls in the backyard, signifying the presence of death in life.

The song’s instrumentation is sparse and eerie, creating an atmosphere of tension and haunting.

The vocals are both melodic and melancholic, giving a sense of sorrow and inevitability.

Through its unique combination of lyrics, instrumentation, and melody, “Backyard Skulls” conveys a sense of mortality and finality.

14. “Leaf Skeletons” by Claudia Robin Gunn

Claudia Robin Gunn‘s “Leaf Skeletons” is a dreamy, atmospheric reflection on life and death.

The song paints a vivid picture of the natural cycle of life, with its lyrics comparing the leaves that fall from trees to the skeletons of the dead.

The chorus speaks of the inevitability of death, emphasizing how all living things eventually return to the earth from which they came.

The music accompanying the lyrics is soft and melancholic, creating a hypnotic atmosphere that further helps to convey the message of the song.

Ultimately, “Leaf Skeletons” is a powerful reflection on mortality and the beauty of life.

15. “Bag of Bones” by Guy Clark

Guy Clark’s “Bag of Bones” is a haunting exploration of mortality and the power of death.

An acoustic guitar-driven song, its desolate lyrics touch deeply on the realities of life and the inevitability of death.

The song’s narrator muses on the fragility of the human body, contrasting its fleeting nature with the enduring power of death.

He acknowledges that death is unconquerable and that it is ultimately the only certainty in life.

The song’s imagery serves as a vivid reminder of the fleetingness of life, and the power of death.

Best Songs About Skeletons – Final Thoughts

The use of skeletons in music has served as a metaphor for mortality, a reminder of human frailty, and a symbol of death and rebirth.

Through its dark imagery, the use of skeletons in music has also been used to explore the darker sides of the human condition.

By examining the works of various artists, it is evident that the use of skeletons in music has been used to create a powerful narrative of life, death, and the journey in between.

These fifteen songs serve as a testament to the power of music to explore the human condition and tell stories of life, death, and everything in between.

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Will Fenton

Introduced to good music at a young age through my father. The first record I remember being played was "Buffalo Soldier" by Bob Marley, I must've been six years old. By the time I was seven, I was taking drum lessons once a week. The challenge but the euphoric feeling of learning a new song was addicting, and I suppose as they say the rest was history. Favorite album of all time? Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones Best gig you've ever been to? Neil Young at Desert Trip in 2016 Media mentions: Evening Standard Daily Mail

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