Halloween Countdown: The Wicker Man Soundtrack


For this post I’m going to pretend I’m a music critic and hip you to the scariest, witchiest music I have ever heard in my life. But let’s go ahead and get the terrible Nicolas Cage movie reference out of the way first. It happened—which means every time I mention my love for this obscure soundtrack, I have to endure someone mentioning the 2006 re-make.

Even my wife has mentioned the re-make about ten times. It’s like she still can’t believe she sat through the entire film and seven years later she’s still processing it. I’ve never seen it, but I have watched this youtube clip about thirty times because it is kind of amazing.

Why would you open your mouth as widely as possible if your head was trapped in a cage with bees?

Not the bees. There. It’s out of our systems. (Although it’s also worth watching the Not the Bees Techno Remix if you’re doing nothing else with your life like me.)


Now let’s talk about the 1973 British cult classic, which was part horror, part mystery, and part musical. It’s a film about a remote island where the inhabitants worship pagan Gods and perform ritualistic sacrifices. They call on a Christian police officer to investigate a murder on the island, and the movie explores the dynamics of Paganism, Christianity, and the true horror found in unquestioning, obsessive faith.

Or to put it another way, it’s a creepy as hell movie about weird pagan shit, starring Christopher Lee and Rod Stewart’s ex-wife. How could you not be somewhat intrigued? The movie is streaming on Amazon Instant (free for Prime), but if you want to skip the psychological mystery part of the movie and just want to be profoundly disturbed for the rest of the day, just watch the ending on youtube.

What I really want to talk about though is the music. I finally decided to pull the trigger on getting the vinyl re-issue and it’s pretty sweet:


The record sleeve indicates that the album contains “ballads of seduction, fertility, and ritual slaughter,” and isn’t lying. These are folk songs filtered through a weird 1970s hippie vibe. They’re erotic. They’re witchy. They’re folky. Even apart from the film, the soundtrack stands on its own as a cohesive album. The songs are performed by actor Paul Giovanni and folk-rock group Magnet.

These are my two favorites, but the whole soundtrack full of eerie, haunting stuff, perfect for October.

Seriously, if you ever see a bunch of religious kids singing around a maypole, you should just run. Nothing good can come of it.

And the true centerpiece of the soundtrack is Willow’s Song:

During the course of writing this post, I also found this picture, which I think I’ll end the post with.



3 responses to “Halloween Countdown: The Wicker Man Soundtrack

  1. OMG, that photo is TRULY a horror.

    I remember loving that movie so much. I am afraid that watching it again now would totally ruin it for me though.

  2. Todd M. Anthony

    I saw the Nicholas Cage version in the theater. When we entered the theater the movie was already underway. After about ten minutes I turned to my wife and said, “this feels more like the end of a movie.” And it was–we unknowingly arrived way early, caught the final 15 minutes, then had to wait for the next showing to start and watched the whole thing already knowing the end. Good times! As a side note, to save my reputation here, I had not seen the original at the time (although I had heard about it). I have since seen the original 2-3 times–very atmospheric.

  3. Oh man. My parents showed me this movie when I was about 12. Deeply unsettling stuff, far more so than most horror films I’ve since seen.
    The soundtrack was excellent, and I still think it’s one of the best-scored movies out there. The song that’s playing during the opening – “Corn-rigs”, I think it’s called – is probably my favourite. Sets the tone straight away; the song sounds quite cheery, but somehow lets you know that something isn’t quite right.

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