Some of the best songs about monsters have been monster hits themselves. Herein, you can explore some of the top songs to ever deal with this fearsome subject. From the Boogeyman to the monsters within ourselves, the lyrics in these 31 top monster songs run the gamut:
1. Monster – Lady Gaga
This 2009 Lady Gaga hit shares the singer’s personal fear of sex and relationships. The narrator’s affinity for the bad boy persona has her gravitating toward scary, monstrous personalities. Despite running from the monster, however, she continues to go back, a glutton for punishment in a sense.
Written by Lady Gaga, the song uses figurative language to bring the song’s monster image to life. Vivid imagery such as “He ate my heart, he ate my heart out,” and “…then he ate my brain” conjure the frightening reaction from listeners that only a Gaga track can.
2. Man In The Box – Alice In Chains
Known for their heavy metal and classic rock sensibilities, the lyrics of Alice in Chains’s “Man In The Box” are perfectly supported by the band’s unique sound. Released in 1992, this dark song addresses the ever-present unknown fears that listeners can so easily relate to.
The song’s plot follows a man battling a subjective demon, perhaps addiction or paranoia. He’s ceaselessly chased by an invisible monster that he can’t seem to shake. The poignancy of the lyrics coupled with the musicality of the song resonates with Alice in Chains fans.
3. The Monster – Imagine Dragons
This Imagine Dragons hit dropped in 2013 and was an immediate sensation. Recorded specifically for the “Infinity Blade III” movie soundtrack, the song envelops the drama of the action role-playing scene in which it’s featured.
The song’s lyrics suggest the narrator is struggling with an internal conflict, a monster of sorts, that he or she grapples with. The lyrics sagely reflect, “I’m taking a stand to escape what’s inside me, A monster, a monster.”
4. Furry, Happy Monsters – R.E.M.
This epic monster song was recorded for “Sesame Street” and will forever go down in the history books of Sesame fandom. Notably, the song is a parody of R.E.M.’s most recognizable track, “Shiny, Happy People.”
The song’s lyrics recount the ups and downs of being a monster; they’re happy, then they’re sad, then they’re happy again. In the iconic “Sesame Street” scene, the animals are joined by R.E.M in a colorful rendition of this top monster song.
5. Green Monster – Suicide Silence
The green monster in this suggestive Suicide Silence song is the greed and inherent problems money causes. While the color green is symbolic of greed it is also suggestive of the green American dollar. Released in 2007, the song’s lyrics speak to all the societal problems greed has rendered.
The song conjures disturbing images of the things people will do for money: “And every day, it grows, Forcing these scavengers to, Trail in its wake, Feeding upon the scraps.” The band’s fusion of death metal and hardcore reverberations perfectly match the angst of this song’s intense lyrics.
6. Die Monster Die – The Misfits
This Misfits song dropped in 1999 and it perfectly adheres to the band’s American punk rock persona. “Die Monster Die” hails from the band’s “Famous Monsters” album which alludes to sci-fi and horror elements.
Fittingly, the 11th track on the album, “Die Monster Die,” recounts the narrator’s internal struggle to recognize the monster in his own reflection. Unable to ameliorate who he’s become, he begs the monster in the mirror to die.
7. Thriller – Michael Jackson
This 1984 Michael Jackson song was so much more than a musical track. A work of lyrical, visual, and musical art, “Thriller” has become synonymous with both Jackson’s body of work and the most frightful time of year: Halloween. Part disco, part funk, the song has lived on in epic fame.
The song tells the story of someone being stalked: “It’s close to midnight, And something evil’s lurking in the dark.” In the terror of the moment, the narrator is unable to vocalize the fear he feels, instead, he completely freezes. The song is packed full of scary images such as “demons closin’ in on every side,” “the beast about to strike,” and “a creature creepin’ up behind” to name a few.
8. The Monster Is Loose – Meatloaf
“The Monster Is Loose” is the first track off the 2006 Meatloaf album of the same name. With gothic undertones, the song’s sound is as eerie as its lyrics.
The song’s creepy lyrics tell the story of a man who saves a girl from a giant monster bat that’s on the loose, thus “The Monster Is Loose.” In a sense, the narrator is also a monster himself; he struggles with internal demons as evidenced in the following lyrics: “I’ve lived a thousand years in darkness, Banished all alone, Inside my mind with just my madness.”
9. Eye Of the Zombie – John Fogerty
This 1986 rock hit features John Fogerty vocals like no other. A unique blend of rock riffs and freaky lyrics, this song was off of Fogerty’s first solo album following his leave from Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The song’s lyrics are chilling in that they set the scene of monstrous terrorists with “zombie eyes” preparing to attack; but because they’re not real, they only elicit fear and retreat without physically harming their onlookers. Spooky stuff!
10. Would You Love a Monsterman – Lordi
Finnish heavy metal band Lordi dropped this track in 2002. Known for their theatrical performances, over-the-top gothic costumes, and frightening lyrics, “Would You Love a Monsterman” was completely on-brand. With bandmembers characterized as a demonic overlord, a mummy, an alien, a sorcerer, and a hell-bull, there’s no wonder the lyrics to this song are as dark as they are.
“Would You Love a Monsterman” has murderous undertones with the chorus declaring, “Yeah, I would kill…I would freeze the hell over just to get a chill.” With undertones of remorselessness and a hint of romance (“I would do it all for you”), the lyrics are as shocking as the characters who deliver them.
11. Monster – Kanye West
Recorded by famed hip-hop artist Kanye West, this track hails from the 2010 album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” Featuring cameos from A-listers such as Jay Z, Niki Minaj, and Bon Iver to name a few, this track packs a real punch.
“Monster” is noted by critics as one of the darkest and most ominous raps songs in the game. Essentially, the song asserts that West may actually be deranged; he believes he’s viewed as a monster by the public. Rather than taking the opportunity to deny that misconception, he doubles down by singing, “…I’m a monster no-good blood sucker.”
12. The Purple People Eater – Sheb Wooley
Reaching number one on the Billboard Top 100 in 1958, this quirky song was popularized on the soundtrack of the “Purple People Eater” movie. The song tells the story of a strange, one-eyed creature who descends to Earth from outer space with aspirations of joining a rock band.
Even though the purple-people eater has his sights set on musical stardom, he’s sustained by eating, you guessed it, purple people. Historically, it’s been widely assumed that the eater himself is purple, but in actuality, it’s a taste for purple people that he has.
13. Monsters – Shinedown
This ever-popular Shinedown song peaked at the top of the Billboards in 2019. The song’s lyrics were purportedly inspired by the songwriter’s struggles with addiction and his resultant inner demons. The song, however, is not isolated to the experience of addiction, instead, it’s a song anyone who’s ever faced internal turmoil (ahem, all of us!), can relate to.
Through exploring self-sabotaging behavior, the song’s narrator begs, “Cause my monsters are real, and they’re trained how to kill and there’s no comin’ back and they just laughed at how I feel.” The idea is that if only he could suppress the monsters, the internal demons, he could truly heal.
14. Attacked By Monsters – Meat Puppets
Meat Puppets is an alternative punk rock band that released “Attacked By Monsters” in 1989. “Monsters” is the album from which the track was released; the album was widely regarded as a cross between the band’s two previous albums. Popular from the early 1980s to the present day, the band has serious staying power.
The song “Attacked By Monsters” deals with dark images of child abuse. The narrator describes being “attacked by monsters” and “kissed by dogs.” The band members, the Kirkwood brothers, have been overtly vocal about their childhood trauma; it is believed that the lyrics of “Attacked By Monsters” are reflective of those terrible victimizations.
15. The Monster – Eminem
This 2013 monster hit was released off of Eminem’s 2013 album, “Marshall Mathers II.” Of note, the song features guest vocals from Rihanna; in fact, it was the duo’s fourth such collaboration. The track is a crossover between hip-hop and pop, so it became a very popular song with both audiences.
The song’s dialogue oscillates between Eminem and Rihanna each pondering the monsters they face. For Eminem, the monster is the negative repercussions of epic fame, while for Riri, the monster is her own inner conflict. Both seem to come to terms with their monsters; the chorus harks, “Get along with the voices inside of my head, You’re tryin’ to save me, stop holdin’ your breath.”
16. Zombie – The Cranberries
The Cranberries are an Irish alternative rock band initially known for their hippy-Indie style. However, when a local tragedy, an IRA bombing, killed a 13-year-old and three-year-old boy in Ireland, the band sprung to action. Outraged, the band took to the studio and recorded “Zombie,” an admonishment of the terrorist attack.
“Zombie’s” lyrics conjure grave images of the destruction caused by the organization in Ireland. The Cranberries let it ring loudly for the world to hear that as a result of the IRA’s diabolism, “Another mother’s breaking, Heart is taking over, When the violence causes silence, We must be mistaken.”
17. Monster Mash – Bobby Pickett
“The Monster Mash” dropped in 1962 and has been a popular novelty song ever since. Heard in school gymnasiums across the county during the annual Halloween season, this tune never gets old. Inspired by the “Mashed Potato” dance craze of the 1960s, this track too inspired the popular dance of the same name.
The song’s Frankensteinian lyrics are narrated by a mad scientist whose monstrous creation comes to life one night. The monster rises to perform a zombiesque dance, thus the “Monster Mash.” The fun dance moves inspire the narrator to invite other monsters to a dance party to partake in the fun.
18. God Monster – The Cramps
The Cramps were a popular rock band in the 1970s and onward, however, they disbanded in the early 2000s. A punk band straight out of the CBGB movement, The Cramps’ unique sensibilities combined the sounds of rockabilly music with dark, gothic lyrics and themes. “God Monster” was born of this unique marriage.
The song’s narrator claims to be a blood-thirsty, murderous monster, warning listeners to, “Hide the virgins say your prayers here come trouble from the cosmic sea gouts of blood!” Chilling, to say the least. The narrator further asserts, “I’m the god monster from the end of the world…”
19. A Monster – Nina Simone
Nina Simone was a popular American singer and songwriter. With hits spanning her 50-year career, Simone was a Jazz singer whose powerful messages of black empowerment and love still resonate today.
The lyrics of “A Monster” poetically equate the effect of mounting, small lies to “a monster” that can “can change happy lovers into hurt and lonely souls.” The song essentially analyzes the damaging effects of lies and rumors.
20. My Own Monster – Katy Perry
Katy Perry is an American singer and songwriter famous for her catchy pop tunes and a resident position as an “American Idol” judge. Perry grew up in a conservative, religious family wherein she was taught to count on God in hard times.
“My Own Monster” is reflective of Perry’s belief and trust in God. Just as we all do, Perry struggles with her own fears, but as the song proclaims, she’s her own monster so she calls on God to “Just hold, hold me close, For I’m so tired of holdin’ myself.”
21. I Want a Monster To Be My Friend – En Vogue
Hot in the 1990s, En Vogue is an all-girl R&B singing group. Released in 1998, this song comes from the “Sesame Street: Elmopalooza” soundtrack. Another of many A-list musicians to grace the backdrop of America’s most famous street, En Vogue is a joy to listen to.
The narrator of this song is sick of all the usual suspects to make friends with. He laments that some kids make friends with pets such as alley cats and dogs, but he just wants “…a monster to be my friend.”
22. Beautiful Monster – Ne-Yo
Released in 2010 by American hip-hop artist Ne-Yo, “Beautiful Monster” is a sensational track. Both the musical style and lyrical prowess of Ne-Yo have been compared to the great Michael Jackson. In keeping with those sensibilities, “Beautiful Monster” is an uptempo, dance tune.
“Beautiful Monster” has both spooky instrumentation and lyrics. The song’s narrator is troubled by his attraction to a dangerous woman, a “beautiful monster” if you will.
23. Meet the Monster – Five Finger Death Punch
Founded in 2005, Five Finger Death Punch is an American heavy metal band named for a martial arts move. The band’s hardcore sound and dark lyrics have gained acclaim among such audiences.
The lyrics and the sound of “Meet the Monster” are both filled with rage, sung through the lead singer’s gritted teeth. The song’s dark message deals with being fed up and snapping after years of ongoing abuse.
24. Unkillable Monster – Marilyn Manson
Hailing from Marilyn Manson’s album “The High End of Low,” this track debuted in 2009. Known for his controversial image, foreboding sound, and enigmatic lyrics, Marilyn Manson has long been a vexing artist to the public.
Through the song’s explicit lyrics and themes, it’s clear to listeners of “Unkillable Monster” that the narrator is experiencing the pain of a broken heart. The singer wails about his heartbreaker, expressing, “I’m damaged beyond repair, now you’re just a coffin of a girl I knew, and I’m buried in you.” Dark but relatable lamentations, for sure.
25. Almost Human – Kiss
Kiss is an American rock band that was established in 1973; known for their big hair, wild makeup, and larger-than-life personalities, Kiss has been a mainstay on the rock scene since its establishment. Their music falls into a handful of genres including heavy metal and shock rock to name a few.
26. Liars and Monsters – Escape the Fate
Escape the Fate is a Las Vegas rock band that got together in 2004. Critics have characterized their sound as emo, screamo, and hardcore. As you can imagine, the hard nature of their sound has paved the way for equally hard lyrics.
27. Feed My Frankenstein – Alice Cooper
Released in 1992 as a cover song by Alice Cooper, “Feed My Frankenstein” was most famously featured in the “Wayne’s World” movie that same year. Notably, Cooper was also featured in the film in a live performance of this song.
28. Mommy’s Little Monster – Social Distortion
“Mommy’s Little Monster” was the 1983 debut album from punk rock band Social Distortion. Fronted by Mike Ness on lead vocals and lead guitar, Social Distortion is still a mainstay on the punk rock scene.
The song’s narrator compares the trials of a childhood bad boy to “Mommy’s Little Monster.”
29. Cosmic Monsters Inc. – White Zombie
White Zombie is a heavy metal band that got together in 1985 and played together until their disbandment in 1998. Led by frontman Rob Zombie, White Zombie was named after a 1932 horror movie of the same name.
“Cosmic Monsters” is filled with frightening drug references, which may be the monster in question. The lyrics suggest the monster will, “Witness the kill explode! Never die I think I will Come on take it! High!” Critics believe the killing monster is the drug.
30. Some Kind of Monster – Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band that first stepped on the music scene in 1981. Known for their establishment of a subgenre of heavy metal referred to as speed metal, the band has been an omnipresent metal band since its inception.
“Some Kind of Monster” speaks to the disenfranchisement felt nationwide by individuals who don’t feel they’re treated as part of the “We the People” constituency as outlined in the “US Constitution.” The song, therefore, suggests that the monsters who live as are neighbors are the hateful people in our communities and government.
31. Monster Music – Juelz Santana
Juelz Santana is an East Coast rapper who hit the hip-hop scene in 2002. Beginning his illustrious career as a featured rapper on other artists’ tracks, Santana broke out as an individual force in 2003 with his first album “From Me To U.”
“Monster Music” is an anthem for big musical sounds, the likes of which intend to get stompers stomping. References to big band musical sounds such as, “…get the drumline, we marching to it,” and “flutes? bring the opera man!” are all calls to musical and dancing action. On this track, the music is undoubtedly the monster.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.