Halloween costumes based on song lyrics

Calling all music geeks for a Halloween question!

If you were going to create a Halloween costume that was based on specific lyrics or a character from a song, what song comes to mind? I'm looking for descriptive lyrics from indie, rock, or pop songs (musical theater seems too… obvious?) that verbally illustrate a character's appearance or mannerisms.

Devil with a Blue Dress costume via Ebay.
Devil with a Blue Dress costume via Ebay.

One example would be "Devil With a Blue Dress On" which has lots of descriptive details in the verses and the chorus.

Any other suggestions for costumes based on songs? -Dana

Here's what the Homies came up with…

Short skirt and a long jacket by Cake. I did this once and I made a machete out of cardboard and put red tape on it. You can paint your nails steel gray (fingernails that shine like justice), etc etc. It's a fun one!

Purple Rain by Prince! I had a friend in college do this. She wore a purple dress and made a raincloud fascinator out of a plastic headband, a circle of cardboard covered with cotton balls, and paper cut-out raindrops tied to the fascinator with fishing line. It was easy and fun!

Itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot bikini, too obvious?

Come on Eileen by Dixis Midnight Runners…overalls (a la the video clip) with white paint…

My boyfriend and I went as the Mona Lisa and the Mad Hatter last year, in reference to Elton John's song "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters." It was great fun to see who got it!

Little Old Lady from Pasadena by the Beach Boys – dress as an old lady and wear driving gloves, and driving goggles. To make it more identifiable, find a Pasadena postcard or map of California.

Purple People Eater – It was a "one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater" that wanted to join a rock & roll band, so wear your guitar from guitar hero/rock band.

"Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash? Somehow make flames out of stuff from the craft store, and attach those to a hula hoop. Heck, go as the man in black, holding the ring of fire…

Get a bunch of the "hello, my name is" nametags, and write on them the following words: Hell, Stacy, Her, Jane, Quiet, Mary, Jo, Lisa. Then cross out the words, and wear them all over your torso. You're the Ting Ting's song, "That's not my name"!

Okay, dress as a snake and carry around what looks like a heart in a block of ice = Cold-Hearted Snake by Paula Abdul
Fashion some sort of frame that looks like a mirror (maybe out of cardboard), but with your face sticking through = Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson
Dress as a queen and carry a bloody knife = Killer Queen by Queen
Dress as a baby but with a very large butt = Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot
Dress as Lucille Ball, attach cotton clouds and fake diamond costume jewelery to yourself = Lucy in the Sky with Diamond by The Beatles (I am totally doing this!)
Make a paper mache submarine costume, paint it yellow = Yellow Submarine by The Beatles

What can you come up with?

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  1. I had an idea a couple years ago to go as a "juke box hero" but I'm not crafty enough to pull it off. I envisioned wearing a cardboard box decorated to look like a juke box, and a red cape.

    15 agree
  2. Tangled up in blue-bob Dylan. Wear black clothes and tie/wrap various blue ribbons and strings all over you.

    6 agree
    • My brother actually did this years ago — except he wore a nude body suit underneath and used string, ribbon and blue painters tape!

      1 agrees
  3. Brick House by The Commodores. Paint a white brick pattern on a brick red dress/outfit. Or you could actually build a house to wear.

    5 agree
  4. I went as Short Skirt, Long Jacket by Cake last year. The people who got it thought it was great, and everyone else was underwhelmed.

    25 agree
    • I thought about doing that and then when I told a friend my idea, she was like, "I don't think anyone will get it."

      3 agree
    • If you had a machete wrapped in red tape, and a name tag with "Kitty" crossed out that was changed to "Karen," then shame on them if they don't get it! 😛

      2 agree
  5. At a Halloween party a group of three woman went as America the Beautiful.

    Specifically, these lyrics:
    O beautiful for spacious skies,
    For amber waves of grain,
    For purple mountain majesties

    One woman wore blue leggings and then cotton ball clouds around her torso. The second woman wore brown leggings and some fake (or maybe dried) long grasses around her waist. The 3rd wore purple leggings and these purple cardboard mountains.

    8 agree
  6. One year I had to go to a Halloween party right after getting off a long international flight, so I needed something easy. So I put on a robe, angel wings and carried around a mug of coffee. Angel of the Morning.

    15 agree
  7. Oh! This is a fun game! Okay, dress as a snake and carry around what looks like a heart in a block of ice = Cold-Hearted Snake by Paula Abdul
    Fashion some sort of frame that looks like a mirror (maybe out of cardboard), but with your face sticking through = Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson
    Dress as a queen and carry a bloody knife = Killer Queen by Queen
    Dress as a baby but with a very large butt = Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot
    Dress as Lucille Ball, attach cotton clouds and fake diamond costume jewelery to yourself = Lucy in the Sky with Diamond by The Beatles (I am totally doing this!)
    Make a paper mache submarine costume, paint it yellow = Yellow Submarine by The Beatles

    Oh my god, my brain is on overload right now!

    15 agree
  8. We didn't get around to it, but last year my daughter wanted to dress up as a princess and use hair paint to turn our dog into a tiger on a gold leash from the song Royals.

    5 agree
  9. My daughter did this costume:
    Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes,
    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings
    These are a few of my favorite things!

    5 agree
    • I've seen this done as group, ie with one person doing each line, the brown paper package literally just wrapped himself up!

      A super easy last minute costume for this theme could be Raspberry Beret or Diamonds and Pearls by Prince. Those with playground humour like me could just go with a whoopee cushion (fart balloon thing) under one arm and be She's Like The Wind by Patrick Swayze 😉

  10. Sick Boy – Social Distortion, obviously greenish sick, pjs, robe, thermometer, tissues overflowing from pockets, fuzzy slippers, can of chicken soup.
    Gin & Juice – Snoop, dressed like your favorite gin, hold juice
    Barefoot Blue Jean Night – Jake Owen, black shirt with moon and stars, jeans, duh, barefoot
    An album – Pink Floyd The Wall (pink suit with brick pattern, Hello My Name is Floyd name tag.
    Steal My Kisses – Ben Harper, masked bandit either with lip cutouts all over or going around kissing everyone

    4 agree
  11. My boyfriend and I went as the Mona Lisa and the Mad Hatter last year, in reference to Elton John's song "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters." It was great fun to see who got it!

    5 agree
  12. Little Old Lady from Pasadena by the Beach Boys – dress as an old lady and wear driving gloves, and driving goggles. To make it more identifiable, find a Pasadena postcard or map of California.

    Purple People Eater – It was a "one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater" that wanted to join a rock & roll band, so wear your guitar from guitar hero/rock band.

    Love Potion no. 9 – Dress as a gypsy and wear a corked bottle around your neck with a label "No. 9"

    Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult – dress as the grim reaper and wear a large cowbell

    6 agree
  13. I was the devil with a blue dress on back in college! And last year, I went to a costume party as the song Sheena is a Punk Rocker by The Ramones – pulled out the clothes I wore to some shows (though I don't get to go much these days) and slapped on a name tag that said "Hi! My name is Sheena". Unfortunately, the other partygoers weren't much for punk music, so only the hubs and I got it.

    1 agrees
    • I was the devil with a blue dress on two years ago! I had an old bridesmaids dress that was blue. Super easy, no fuss costume.

  14. Raggedy sweater — Weezer, the sweater song.

    Must be oversized sweater (why else would he not be wearing trousers/pants??)

    Extra points for Rivers Cuomo glasses.

    3 agree
  15. What about "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash? Somehow make flames out of stuff from the craft store, and attach those to a hula hoop. Heck, go as the man in black, holding the ring of fire…

    7 agree
  16. "Devil Inside" by INXS: low cut top or dress with either a devil temp tattoo on the chest or some sort of devil doll tuck inside but peeking out.

    "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo: zombie costume, but add party hat or beer hat and add some party strings or streamers.

    "Werewolves of London" (the artist's name escapes me right now): wolf mask with styled hair ("his hair was perfect") or holding a pina colada ("drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's") or just wear the mask with a London-themed tourist shirt.

    There's more I can think of, but those are my first three ideas.

    3 agree
  17. "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It describes a manipulative, influential devil-character.

    "On a gathering storm comes
    a tall handsome man
    in a dusty black coat with
    a red right hand."

    Nick Cave tends to get really descriptive with his songs, so there's probably more that I have missed. Stagger Lee is another good one.

    2 agree
  18. This is more "artist" and less "song", but I went as Ke$ha one year. I got a black t shirt and jeans from a thrift store, cut them to be trashy and sprayed them with a ton of fabric glitter paint stuff, and wore them over a sequin tank top and fishnets, with combat boots and a ton of jewelry. Heavy eye makeup, a ring in my nose (this was the moment everyone went "OMG IS THAT REAL?" evidently my regular nose stud is not that noticeable…), feathers in my hair, gaudy necklaces and rings… … and the kicker was the little bottle of Jack Daniels and a toothbrush I carried around, and periodically brushed with.

    5 agree
  19. Last year I went as a Deadhead. Layered super colorful flowy skirts, Dead shirt (of course), and Day of the Dead face makeup.

    2 agree
  20. My boyfriend had this theme for a college party once, love the idea. Tiny dancer by Elton john was an idea, joker and the thief with a knife, bird and the worm…
    but the one that stuck with me was for the song Come on Eileen by Dixis Midnight Runners…overalls (a la the video clip) with white paint…

  21. Get a bunch of the "hello, my name is" nametags, and write on them the following words: Hell, Stacy, Her, Jane, Quiet, Mary, Jo, Lisa. Then cross out the words, and wear them all over your torso. You're the Ting Ting's song, "That's not my name"!

    5 agree
  22. "Domesticated man" – the jungle giants; fairly self-explanatory.

    Man, I'm sure I could come up with heaps but I can't think of any songs…

  23. Ooh, "Timebomb" – Rancid

    Black coat, white shoes, black hat,
    Cadillac, yeah,
    The boy's a time bomb

    This is totally the next theme im having for birthday parties or something.

    3 agree
    • My Mister and I actually doubled up with this-me as Ruby Soho, him as Timebomb ;I dressed like a vampire chick with a Burning Spear t-shirt, (because her heart's not beatin' and there are echoes of reggae coming through the bedroom wall…so…good enough?) while he wore the black coat, white shoes, and black hat. We had a little Hotwheels Cadillac IMP he carried around with him to complete the look.

  24. I'm a little late to the party, but…Purple Rain by Prince! I had a friend in college do this. She wore a purple dress and made a raincloud fascinator out of a plastic headband, a circle of cardboard covered with cotton balls, and paper cut-out raindrops tied to the fascinator with fishing line. It was easy and fun!

  25. I don't know if anyone mentioned this song yet but it's fun and easy to do: short skirt and a long jacket by cake. I did this once and I made a machete out of cardboard and put red tape on it. You can paint your nails steel gray (fingernails that shine like justice), etc etc. It's a fun one!

    1 agrees
  26. Black No 1 by Type O Negative. Of course, I don't smoke anymore, and I'd wear vegan faux-wolfskin boots instead, but you get the idea…

    I went looking for trouble
    And Oh boy I found her…

    …Little wolf skin boots
    And clove cigarettes.
    An erotic funeral
    For witch she's dressed.

    Her perfume smells like
    Burning leaves.
    Everyday is Halloween.

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