"Bela Lugosi's Dead" as written by and David John Haskins Daniel Gaston Ash....
White on white translucent black capes
Back on the rack
Bela Lugosi's dead
The bats have left the bell tower
The victims have been bled
Red velvet lines the black box

Bela Lugosi's dead
Bela Lugosi's dead
Undead, undead, undead
Undead, undead, undead

The virginal brides file past his tomb
Strewn with time's dead flowers
Bereft in deathly bloom
Alone in a darkened room
The count

Bela Lugosi's dead
Bela Lugosi's dead
Bela Lugosi's dead
Undead, undead, undead
Undead, undead, undead
Undead

Oh Bela
Bela's undead
Oh Bela
Bela's undead
Bela's undead
Oh Bela
Bela's undead
Oh Bela

Undead


Lyrics submitted by alda

"Bela Lugosi's Dead" as written by Kevin Michael Dompe Daniel Gaston Ash

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Bela Lugosi's Dead song meanings
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58 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentRe: it being about Lugosi himself as opposed to the role of Dracula.
    I considered that the case -- in the way that a professional actor will get so into his role he 'becomes' the character. (Lugois's request to be buried in the cape just seems to compound this.)

    So for *him* to be 'undead' is the result of an actor so typecast that even in death he's still either behaving or considered in line with the role of Dracula.

    P.S.- Dear 'true goths'... how about just listening to the music you like, instead of complaining that others don't?
    :)
    kaleidoscopeson September 04, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI could listen to this song forever.
    Isn't it strange how goths have nothing to do with goth music?
    marxismon February 23, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentA minor proposition, yet I've never heard others talk about it. Could it be that this song refers not to Lugosi's characterisation of Dracula, but his actual life? Specifically, I was thinking about his 'role' in Plan 9 From Outer Space. Ed Wood had been 'good' friends with Lugosi, filming some of his last footage, which later found its way into the material of Plan 9. After Lugosi's death, Wood found a man to cast as Lugosi's fill in for much of the remainder of the movie ( though the scenes are completely scattered around ). This man of course bore little resemblance to Lugosi, except for the top of his head - he was ordered to keep his face and body covered in the vampire cape, thus creating the illusion that Lugosi was just in full costume.

    This 'resurrection' of Lugosi could be, in my view, considered as a raising of the dead to a limbo state of 'undeadness.'

    I don't think there's anything at all eerie to the lyrics of the song. It seems a mere commentary on the irony of Lugosi's death.
    Xtalloson July 15, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthe song is absolutely nuts!!
    its freakin eerie..
    But the song which started the goth-rock genre is a definite favourite with the true fans of the sounds.
    And contrary to popular belief, Marylyn Manson
    IS NOT GOTH!!!
    His music's a pile of crap, his following, a school-herd of wannabe's
    Bauhaus is the original old school shit amigo's
    too bad the goth scene would probably never see itself rise to its earliest of cult followings
    deludedon August 08, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwhat is your problems? Ok, bauhaus are the original goth band and sound, and love bauhaus and have since in was a kid, but i also like black metal. Say you hate black metal all you want, its your matter of opinion, but music styles develop and change throughout the years and goth has developed into what it is now.
    Get on with it
    BlackMagikon August 26, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commentok, so here's kinda how i could possibly analyze this song: White on white translucent black capes = this might have something to do with his skin tone after being dead, how it's pale and translucent and if eyelids were like capes, covering, then you can add that they're translucent white skin over white eyeballs... next. Back on the rack = goes back to the black cape, it goes back on the rack because he's no longer there to wear it. Bela Lugosi's dead = self explanatory. The bats have left the bell tower = he was partly crazy anyways. The victims have been bled = he was a big alcoholic so perhaps this has to do with the bottles left everywhere, empty. Red velvet lines the black box = his coffin. Undead undead undead = he'll never really be dead in the eyes of his fans... or perhaps this line goes with the next, his virginal brides filing past his tomb are the ones who are undead. Strewn with time's dead flowers
    Bereft in deathly bloom
    Alone in a darkened room
    The count
    Bela Logosi's dead = this most likely has to do with the body left all alone at the wake or just stuffed in the back, to wait for his burial/cremation. And that's if i try to analyze it... otherwise i just love the play on words "been bled the red..." :)
    aldaon May 26, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis is obviously about -the- funeral of the great, Bela Lugosi.
    it's just reffering to what you would have seen if you were there.
    and red velvet lined his coffin.

    Bela was buried in his actual cape from Dracula and the coffin was lined in
    airyon January 12, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHa, I totally agree with everything everybody's said about this being the REAL goth music as opposed to Marilyn Manson and the similar singers and bands parading under the label of "goth". To me, goth music means Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nico, and their ilk. To me, goth music is pretty much the same thing as post-punk; pretty much my favorite kind of music. (By the way, I'm a teenager - 15 years old at the time of writing - which means that at least we're not ALL listening to that dreadful stuff they insist on calling goth. Some of us still appreciate the old school stuff.)

    Anyway, regarding the song itself - I once heard that it was supposed to be sort of a parody of old horror film cliches, but some see it as celebratory of said movies. I don't know enough about Bela Lugosi to say how this relates to his death or life or anything. I always thought that when he sang "Undead" he was really saying "I'm dead". When I realized that the word was "undead", though, I decided that it probably meant that, although Bela Lugosi himself is dead, the influential films he acted in are still around and in that regard he is not dead.

    Pippin the Mercuryon December 26, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song has a dual meaning.

    It is actually a complaint about how the style had been commercialized, and how that scene was dying.

    The kids back then were not called "Goth", they were called "Bat Cavers".
    The big club in London was The Bell Tower.

    He says "White and white translucent black capes, back on the rack": He was saying the style had made it to the stores "on the rack".

    "The Bats have left the Bell Tower": The club had closed earlier that year..

    Believe me, I was there.

    They stopped wearing Goth clothes after that record. For the most part.
    javad10211on November 14, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNow, as much as i like alot of death/black metal and marilyn manson, I agree with the above comments. This is a classic old school goth rock track, and was done more as a joke then really seriously. Most people dont even know who Bauhaus were and especially the "goths". I think "goths" are too carried away With Slipknot and Korn and Marlilyn Manson to appreciate the classic bands like The Cure, Joy Division, Bauhaus, The Cult, Christian Death, 45. Grave, classic death rock and goth rock bands. this is a very very long and very atmospheric song that paints a very vivid picture when you listen to it. simply amazing.
    obsolete_godon February 14, 2006   Link

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