There are certain songs that are obligatory on any Halloween playlist and must be part of your neighborhood costume party. But we do Halloween a little differently around here, which is to say, with some sabor.
The last day of October also leads right into Day of the Dead, one of our favorite holidays because it celebrates life and honors loved ones who are no longer here.
From Vico C's "Viernes 13" to "She Wolf" by Shakira, here are some songs to get your Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations started on the right note.
“Viernes 13” – Vico C
The Latin hip-hop pioneer paints a picture so grisly, it’s almost like it’s unfolding right before your eyes.
“La Llorona” – Chavela Vargas
Many people have covered this folk song, but no one like this Costa Rican-born icon, who lived, sang, and died with Mexico in her heart.
“Brujeria” – El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s most beloved salsa orchestra put a fun twist on witchcraft and made it a reason to dance the night away.
“Calaveras y Diablitos” – Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
This ska-flavored classic reaffirms that death is nothing to fear and life is meant to be lived to the fullest.
“No Es Serio Este Cementerio” – Mecano
Long live the ‘80s! The Spanish pop band act out a gothic short film of sorts and turn a graveyard into an epic party for the undead.
“Lobo Hombre En Paris” – La Union
The Spanish pop/rock band’s tale of a woman named Denise who turns into a man — and then a werewolf — is completely surreal and tons of fun.
“Calaverita” – La Santa Cecilia
Frontwoman La Marisoul and friends’ single embodies the spirit of Día de los Muertos with lyrics like, “I’m not afraid of death because she’s a part of me/ She was born with me and with me she’ll go one day/ Here’s to celebrating life!” They get bonus points for the Donald Trump lookalike zombie in the video, too.
“She Wolf” – Shakira
If every loba looked like Shakira, there’d be nothing to fear. Auuuu!
“La Muerte Chiquita” – Café Tacvba
The alt-rockers honor Mexican folklore like only they can.