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The Songs Of Nightmare Before Christmas, Ranked

As a certified Hallo-weenie, my list of beloved Halloween movies is pretty dang short. There’s all eight instalments of Harry Potter, of course, but then a big gaping void, filled only partially by The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Luckily, I love Harry Potter, and I really love Danny Elfman as a stop-motion skellington.

As a result of concentrating my Halloween intensity so narrowly, I feel uniquely qualified to tell you what’s what when it comes to Nightmare. I just haven’t had much else to focus on! So here it is: the authoritative ranking of songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Your loins: gird them.

“Making Christmas”

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Every musical needs a good process song. That’ll do, Halloweentown. That’ll do.

“Finale/Reprise”

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This wraps things up very nicely, but it’s weird to listen to disjointed from the rest of the soundtrack, so minus points for that. Do you ever just sit down and think, ’oh, I’m gonna listen to the finale of “Nightmare Before Christmas”’? No, you don’t.

“Jack’s Lament”

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Oh, handle it. Your angst is a little hard to swallow. “Wah, wah, poor me, everyone loves me, I’M JUST TOO GOOD AT BEING SPOOKY.” Get over it, Jack. You have an awesome ghost dog, the full moon exists literally only to frame your great big noggin and cliffs literally unravel just so you can walk on them. It’s not so bad. Nobody wants to hear your bony whine.

“This Is Halloween”

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This is not a terrible way to start! Everyone gets their little moment and, most importantly, it’s not so vocally difficult that I totally embarrass myself when I’m singing it in the shower and doing every part.

“Sally’s Song”

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Oh, this is nice. Makes me want to sway. Poor Sally. Jack literally doesn’t ever notice her and is just all, “wah, wah, Halloween isn’t good enough for me,” and she still loves him. Where’s the justice in that? Very nice song though.

“Kidnap the Sandy Claws”

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Hellions of Halloweentown, unite! “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” is endlessly catchy but not endlessly listenable. Try listening to it more than, like, four times in a row without your brain fluid leaking out of your ears, I dare you.

“Poor Jack”

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On the one hand: more Jack whining. On the other: THRIVE, DANNY ELFMAN. This song has everything: bellowing, a skeleton draping himself mopily over an angel statue, an epiphany. Everything. I can’t hate it, but I can’t bring myself to give it full marks either.

“Town Meeting Song”

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Town meetings tend to be wicked boring, but I can’t quite get over the enthusiasm behind Jack’s “sometimes it’s filled with small toys!” Maybe it’s my fondness for small toys and spooky voices, but I’m all in on this meeting. (…that is so I’ve heard it said.)

“What’s This”

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THIS I can get on board with! Snow is really confusing, if you think about it, so we can definitely sympathize with Jack here. Also, “there’s children throwing snowballs instead of throwing heads” is modern poetry.

“Oogie Boogie’s Song”

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A very, very close second. Trust me. Oogie Boogie is awesome. He’s jazzy, he’s all full o’ bugs, and he recognizes that Jack needs to step off and check his privilege. Plus, I applaud blacklight decor combined with jazzy vocals.

“Jack’s Obsession”

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Peak spooky for this movie. I’m a sucker for a good epiphany, and Oingo Boingo’s greatest hits have conditioned me to really spiral into emotion when Danny Elfman puts his back into it. Put this song on the radio! It’s the best song!

Great job, everyone! Long live Halloweentown!

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