SolsticeH.P. Lovecraft enjoyed Christmas, and so do we! Lovecraft wrote a vast number of Yuletide poems to his many correspondents, and we were inspired by them to begin Solstice Caroling: one of the oldest traditions of the HPLHS, in which we rewrite holiday classics with horrifying lyrics and then sing them to reclaim an overcommercialized, oversentimentalized season and make it our own. We originally dressed up and sang our Solstice Carols on the Pearl Street mall in Boulder, Colorado in the late 1980s, and then later we produced a couple of albums and songbooks of our favorites. Christmas has always been a remixed, mashed-up holiday, combining ancient pagan seasonal festivals with later Christian symbolism. Some might go so far as to suggest that Christmas as it's often observed today is itself a parody. As HPL said himself in his story The Festival, "It was the Yuletide, that men call Christmas though they know in their hearts it is older than Bethlehem and Babylon, older than Memphis and mankind".

Our holiday music albums A Very Scary Solstice and An Even Scarier Solstice include a collection of songs which many people enjoy even more than the originals. We have heard from more than a few shop workers who put it on the store’s speakers and turned the volume down just low enough to make shoppers doubt that they’d really just heard about something “abhorrent and ancient” in Handel’s Messiah. We heard stories of jolly goths, festive shut-ins and merry madmen, who managed to eke a little unexpected joy out of this holiday that’s been so thoroughly co-opted by the global machine of holiday commerce. Many people have told us that they now mentally replace the traditional lyrics with our Lovecraftian ones, and it can make the holiday season a little easier to get through for some people. Some have even made ambitious YouTube videos from them! You can find the complete albums in our online store here and here. Meanwhile, this page includes some samples, and links to download some sheet music so you can go caroling yourself!

Musical Samples

We are very happy to provide below some sample tracks from our albums for your listening pleasure. Half are full-length songs and half just brief tastes. The final track below is a very special solstice carol that is not on either of our albums, available exclusively here! Everyone's favorite Deep One hybrid lounge singer, Ogham Waite, fronts his Amphibian Jazz Band in a holiday song from the Gilman House Hotel in Innsmouth, Mass.!

Scary Little Solstice

Click this image or the last track in this list to hear this exclusive holiday song!

A Tree in Rlyeh

HPLHS staff artist Darrell Tutchton painted this charming watercolor for a holiday card.

Rare Footage

Some surviving members of the Dagon Tabernacle Choir gathered to perform "Carol of the Olde Ones" live at The Banshee theater in Burbank, California circa 2007. Pictured, from left to right, are Robyn Heller, Andrew Leman, Rebecca Marcotte, Josh Thoemke, Kati Trottier, Sean Branney, and Laura Brody. Videographer unknown.

HPL caroler

Lovecraft's poem "A Brumalian Wish" was set to music by beloved composer Troy Sterling Nies and sung by Mike Dalager. It's the second track on the list above.

A Very Scary Solstice

Sheet Music

In addition to our albums of songs, we have prepared sing-along songbooks of our Solstice Carols so you can join in the fun. These fully-annotated books reveal fascinating facts about the songs and the holiday itself, as well as providing full lyrics to all the songs. But some people have requested the sheet music as well so they can gather family members around the piano or hurdy-gurdy or what have you. We are happy to provide sheet music to a selection of the songs in the grid below. Hover over the desired song and a link will appear to download the PDF. Some of the sheet music differs slightly from the way these songs are performed on the album. We are also providing sheet music to a couple of songs that were not included on either album.

These PDFs are provided for your personal use only.

An Even Scarier Solstice
Awake Ye Scary Great Old Ones
Awake Ye Scary Great Olde Ones
A Brumalian Wish
A Brumalian Wish
Carol of the Olde Ones
Carol of the Olde Ones
Dead City
I'm Dreaming of a Dead City
Death to the World
Death to the World
Demon Sultan Azathoth
Demon Sultan Azathoth
Go Summon Up the Dead Ones
Go Summon Up the Dead Ones
Look Professor Angelle Brings
Look! Professor Angell Brings
Oh Cthulhu
Oh Cthulhu!
Solstice Time is Here
Solstice Time is Here
The Solstice Song
The Solstice Song
Three Yiths
I Saw Three Yiths