If you know The Cramps – like really, really know and love THE CRAMPS – then you’ve probably found yourself trying to find the bottom of the grave built by garage rock’s past (a very worthwhile venture).  The Cramps have influenced the creation of numerous comps (see Songs The Cramps Taught Us Vols. 1-3, Lux and Ivy’s Favorites Vols. 1-17, Born Bad Vols. 1-6, etc.) that set out to collect both the influencers of The Cramps songs, as well as the originals of songs covered by The Cramps (many of which you may have never known are covers at all!).

So in digging deep, a quirky-cute little track called “The Mummy” stood out as it somehow always made me chuckle a bit.  The song is by Bob McFadden, an old school, famous voice actor, who released the track as part of the the album Songs Our Mummy Taught Us (maybe also the influence for the title of The Cramps 1979 debut album, Songs the Lord Taught Us?) along with folk musician Rod McKuen in 1959 on Brunswick Records.


The song tells the story of a mummy who happens to be 1,959 years old and finds he cannot talk to anyone without them running away in fear.  That is, until he meets a beatnick! It’s a fun tale, perfect for this time of year.

I’m a mummy, I scare people.
Watch what happens when I walk up to somebody…
I’m a mummy (aaaaahhh)
I was born one thousand nine hundred and fity-nine years ago.
My daddy was a mummy, too.

In 1997, English post-punk pioneers The Fall included a rendition of the classic song on their 19th studio album, Levitate.  With a spiced-up punk beat and vocals that sound less like a character actor and more like an English dude singing with a handful of marbles in his mouth, The Fall’s version feels more like something you’ll want to dance to as Halloween approaches.

Mummy: I’m a mummy.
Beatnick: Man, you got a warped groove.
Mummy: Aren’t you afraid of me? Aren’t you gonna scream?
Beatnick: Oh, yeah. Like, help.