Dracula’s Tango

I imagine that most of you know about vampires and Count Dracula. There have been myriad (numerous) movies made about this topic. There is a curious song called Dracula’s Tango. If you have never heard it, it’s got a nice energetic beat (tempo, rhythm) to it and some phrases that relate to vampires and Count Dracula. I though it might be interesting to look at the lyrics and analyze (study in detail) some of the grammar, slang, and idioms in it.

I’ve underlined some words and phrases and added some (numbers in parentheses) to indicate words or phrases that I will discuss after you listen to the song and read the lyrics.

Dracula’s Tango

The moon was shining in the night.
The house was playing such a simple song.
And as you stole another bite, (1)
I know my heart (2) will be at stake. (3)
Am I just another victim? (4)
‘Cause I never can resist (5) him.
Oh oh no don’t go!
Your tempting touch is what I need so much!

Dracula la la, I’m a sucker (6) for your love.
When you do-do-do what you do to me.
And you know know know, now I’ve got you in my blood. (7)
Supernatural (8) love’s getting through to me.
Dracula la la, I’m a sucker for your love.
When you do-do-do what you do to me.
And you know know know, now I’ve got you in my blood.
Don’t you know dear Count, (9) it’s a mystery.(10)

Prima donna, (11) I’ll be yours.
Even though you have your cross to bear. (12)
We’ll take the mirror (13) off the doors.
And snuggle in our double tomb. (14)
Cause your castle (15) is a nightmare. (16)
You’ve got fancy friends (17) who live there.
Oh, oh, please, just squeeze!
I go insane from suffering the pain!

Dracula la la, I’m a sucker for your love.
When you do do do what you do to me.
And you know know know, now I’ve got you in my blood.
Supernatural love’s getting through to me.

Got to get my teeth in you. (18)
Necking (19) is the thing to do.
Even though they never know if positive or not. (20)
You and I coagulate. (21)
Vitalize a dying rate.
Dracula my dear, you know I’m after every drop. (22)
Get into a different vein. (23)
R. I. P. (24) it’s all the same.
I was bitten (25); now I’m trapped in Transylvania. (26)
You’re the coffin. (27) I’m the key. (28)
We tune up in harmony. (29)
I’ll do anything for you except for mania. (30)

Dracula la la, I’m a sucker for your love.
When you do-do-do what you do to me.
And you know know know, now I’ve got you in my blood.
Supernatural love’s getting through to me.
Dracula-la-la, I’m a sucker for your love.
When you do-do-do what you do to me… (31)

Notes

  1. Vampires bite you in the neck to suck your blood. They must drink your blood for nourishment like humans eat food.
  2. Your heart beats when you are alive. Vampires are former human beings who died from a vampire’s bite. After a person dies from a vampire’s bite, that person comes back to “life” as a vampire. A vampire is neither living nor dead, so we call them the undead. Their hearts do not beat!
  3. The word “stake” here is a double entendre; it has a double meaning. “At stake” means “at risk”. When a vampire sucks your blood, the process could be quick or slow (extend over several nights). If slow, your life is at risk until you finally die. A stake is a piece of wood that is sharp and pointy on one end. Driving a stake through a vampire’s “heart” is one way to kill a vampire. Stakes are also used to put up tents at a campsite.
  4. A victim is someone who is being injured by someone else. You can be the victim of a crime, an earthquake, a car accident, a fire,…or a vampire’s feeding habits.
  5. Vampires have a supernatural power; they can hypnotize you or put you in a trance. This means you sit passively and let them suck your blood. You cannot resist what they are doing to you
  6. Double entendre. Vampires suck your blood, so we could call them blood suckers.
    Also, a sucker is a slang word for someone who cannot resist temptation. Con men love to cheat people by deception, by making something sound too good to be true. Suckers cannot resist a con man’s deception; they are fooled by it or taken in by it. “I’m a sucker for your love” means “I can’t resist you (your love).”
  7. Some “theories” say that a vampire bite puts a virus in your blood that “turns you” into a vampire when you die.
  8. “Supernatural love” could refer to a forced infatuation induced by hypnosis or the vampire’s control over your mind.
  9. Dear Count Dracula
  10. How a vampire’s supernatural powers work is a mystery to the living.
  11. A prima donna is a woman who wants to be the center of attention with everyone’s eyes on her. Movie stars like Barbra Streisand are often called prima donnas. Bad connotation, as in a spoiled brat.
  12. “Cross to bear” is a double entendre. A cross to bear is a burden, a cause of suffering. Consequently, one cross to bear for a vampire is the cross, the symbol of Christianity, signifying a belief in God. Being undead and unnatural creatures, vampires hate the sight of the Christian cross. They retreat from it. A hand gesture has been derived from this legend. We will sometimes hold our two index fingers out in front of us forming a cross as if we are trying to keep a vampire away from us. This means, “Get back! Stay away from me, you evil vampire!” We do this with friends when they say something we strongly dislike or disagree with.
  13. Vampires cannot see their reflection in a mirror, so they hate looking at mirrors! In the song video, you will see a string of garlic hanging on the door. I don’t know why, but vampires also hate garlic!
  14. A tomb is a grave or a small building where dead bodies are stored. Vampires like to sleep in tombs. It makes them feel at home.
  15. Count Dracula lived in a castle in a country called Transylvania (part of current day Romania).
  16. Victims of vampires often have nightmares (bad dreams) if a vampire feeds on them over several nights.
  17. Fancy friends” refers to other vampires enthralled (enslaved) by the master vampire. In the movies, Dracula always has many beautiful vampire women living with him. They must obey his every command.
  18. Vampires sink their teeth into your neck to feed on your blood.
  19. Necking is a slang word used to describe two teenagers (boy and girl hopefully) who sit in a dark quiet place and hug and kiss each other on the neck (and other places). Vampires like to bite you on the neck. Not the kind of necking you should like.
  20. “Positive” could be referring to blood type, which can be positive or negative, but I’m not sure here.
  21. When you bleed from a cut, the blood flowing out of the cut slowly gets thicker (coagulates) until the bleeding stops. This prevents you from bleeding to death. Coagulation of your blood is a good thing if it happens outside your body.
  22. Every drop of your blood. Water drops, tear drops, blood drops.
  23. Double entendre. A vein is small pathway. We can talk about a different vein of thought or a different vein of blood.
  24. R.I.P. stands for “Rest in Peace”. We put this on gravestones (tombstones) of dead people.
  25. Bitten by a vampire.
  26. Vampires came from a country called Transylvania.
  27. A coffin is a wooden box that we bury dead people in. Vampires like to sleep in a coffin. Count Dracula likes to sleep in a coffin with some soil from Transylvania in it so he feels at home.
  28. She (the key) goes into his coffin (keyhole) and sleeps with him in a double tomb.
  29. Double entendre. In music, we tune our musical instruments to a certain musical key to hear harmony.
  30. Mania is insanity or craziness. Not sure what this is trying to say. She does say she goes insane for his love, so this would seem to be mania to me.
  31. The part of a song that repeats over and over is called the refrain.

I hope you enjoyed the music and the vampire lore (legend or myth) and the grammar, slang, and idioms.

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