Voodoo in my basement.
You know that it's true.
All my dirty little people
Are gonna have some fun with you.
I could smile like diamonds
And be as harmless as a shmoo.
I'll use the voodoo in my basement
If I set my mind on you.
If you wanna know
If you wanna ask for one embrace
If I can I'll drop off
A can of gasoline in your face.
If I rob and steal your presents
I'll give them back before I go.
It may look like holy giving
But it's the devil in my soul.
I got a banshee on my back porch
And she plays with magic pearls.
My father was a warlock
And his son eats little girls.
[Repeat 1st verse]
Voodoo in My Basement, also from the album Hums, draws from swamp blues a musical form appropriate for its lyric, and conjures up I Put a Spell on You by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, especially the 1968 version by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Frightful as that might be, it is not the voodoo but the breaks on the drums that sound like rain barrels along with the manic yells that make this song sound psychedelic. If it weren't for the comical nature of the song (with its Monster Mash voices), the song's drum breakout would seem to have been inspired by the Beach Boy's Pet Sounds. (Indeed the title of the Hums album itself may have derived from Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds project.) The lyrics themselves have no weight at all and suggest something sung to a young girl in order to frighten her into laughter; it's all in fun, "harmless as a shmoo". Much of it is merely nonsense, suggesting a silliness born of innocence rather than drugs or an altered state of mind.