Horror Songs

The Story Of Jeepers Creepers Song: Jazz, Cartoons and Murders

In 2022, one of the radio stations made a chart dedicated to the best songs from movies. As a person who has seen thousands of movies in his life, I already knew from the beginning which pieces would be in the first places – for example, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic” or “Eye Of The Tiger” from “Rocky” – but I was interested to see what representation the horror films would receive. A few weeks ago, when the voting began, I went through the list of hundreds of songs and looked for representation for horror films. Suddenly the song caught my attention.” Jeepers Creepers,” which we all remember from the horror movie of the same name (well, well. And its sequels).

The truth is, I was surprised because the Jeepers Creepers song itself, and the movie as a whole, are not familiar to those who don’t live and breathe horror movies. So I did a little research and then realized that the story is more complex than that. As you see, “Jeepers Creepers” is a famous song that starred in various movies and series for decades before it was the center of a film that took his name. Here is everything you need to know about the song, its origins, and its connection to Jesus, horses, cartoon pigs, and horror movies.

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When Was Jeepers Creepers Song Made (Or: Some Horses Love Jazz)

The story of the song Jeepers Creepers begins, believe it or not, back in 1938. This year the movie “Going Places” was released, and one of the actors was the American jazz singer and trumpeter Louis Armstrong – yes, the one who sang “What a Wonderful World,” his last hit. In the movie, he played the character of the horse trainer Gabriel.

“Going Places” is about a sports goods salesman (Dick Powell) who tries to increase sales by pretending to be a horseman, which gets out of hand. In the same film, the trainer Gabriel tries to calm the wild horse, who answers to the name “Jeepers Creepers,” using which he sings or plays the trumpet. The Jeepers Creepers song describes a man fascinated by the horse’s eyes. The most memorable line from the music, and to some extent from the horror movie Jeepers Creepers, which we’ll get to later, is “Jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those peepers? Jeepers Creepers; where did you get those eyes?”.

Although I would love to believe that the song was included in the movie songs chart because of that horror movie, it is likely that the success of the song’s first appearance in “Going Places” played a role here. “Jazz Standard”: that is, a jazz tune whose importance is excellent in the musical world and which has received many cover versions and arrangements. It was one of the nominees for the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1938. Still, it ultimately lost to “Thank For The Memory,” that famous duet of the American entertainer Bob Hope with Shirley Ross from the movie “The Big Broadcast of 1938.”

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Holly Jeepers: This is how the song “Jeepers Creepers” Was Born

Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics to the song, composed by Harry Warren. These names may not be known to the general public today, but they are of tremendous importance from a historical point of view. Mercer is an American singer and songwriter considered one of the most famous in the genre. He is responsible for hits such as “Moon River,” was nominated for the Academy Award 17 times, and holds the record for winnings, with four awards he picked up during the decades of his career. In an interview, he described where he got the inspiration for that refrain: “My wife and I went to see a movie one night at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and Henry Fonda played a farm boy in it…. And in the movie he saw something, something impressed him, and he said “Jeepers creepers,” and that just rang a little bell in my head, and I wrote it down when I got out of the movie.”

jeepers creepers song louis armstrong

To understand what is Jeepers Creepers song meaning, we have first to understand what the term means. As you can perhaps know from the same inspiration of the famous writer, “Jeepers Creepers” in its initial meaning is what is known in the dialect as Minced Oath: a situation in which a phrase with some negative meaning is replaced by another similar term while changing the spelling, the pronunciation or specific words, to Make it more “friendly”: for example, “Freaking” instead of “Fu**ing.” In this case, the term is intended to soften little the ubiquitous expression “God Almighty” (Jesus Christ), perhaps to reduce the use that is considered unnecessary of the name of the holy man of Christianity.

Here You can hear Jeepers Creepers by Louis Armstrong:

“Jeepers Creepers” was included in Louis Armstrong’s Album “Hello, Dolly,” but he wasn’t the only one who sang it over the years. The song had some exciting versions over the years. Jeepers Creepers song by Frank Sinatra was included on the flip side of his CD – yes, they used to flip sides of CDs to switch songs – on his eighth album, “Swing Easy.” This song was also the last on Bing Sings While Bregman Swings, Bing Crosby’s 1956 sixth LP. This Jeepers Creepers song covers, however, didn’t include the original opening of the song.

Jeepers Creepers Song Lyrics

I don’t care what the weatherman says
When the weatherman says it’s raining
You’ll never hear me complaining
I’m certain the sun will shine
I don’t care how the weather vane points
When the weather vane points to gloomy
It’s gotta be sunny to me
When your eyes look into mine

Jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those peepers?
Jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those eyes?
Gosh all, git up, how’d they get so lit up?
Gosh all, git up, how’d they get that size?
Golly gee, when you turn those heaters on
Woe is me, got to put my cheaters on

Jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those peepers?
Oh, those weepers, how they hypnotize!
Where’d ya get those eyes?

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Jeepers Creepers As A Children’s Song

Jeepers Creepers Cartoon

The song’s popularity rose in 1939, thanks to – believe it or not – Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes. This year saw the release of the short animated film (about nine minutes) called “Jeepers Creepers,” which shows that even children’s content can be somewhat scary. Jeepers Creepers cartoon stars Porky Pig, the familiar stammering pig from Looney Tunes who is responsible, among other things, for the words “That’s all, folks!” ending the series episodes.

In Jeepers Creepers cartoon, Porky Pig plays a police officer sent to investigate a mysterious castle where a ghost named Jeepers Creepers is doing mischief and pranks. This spirit sings the lyrics, until the happy ending.

Jeepers Creepers Mickey Mouse Fun Songs

In the following years, we saw several more performances of this song in children’s programs, for example, in another Looney Tunes short from 1957, in which Daffy Duck dances to the music. Even Mickey Mouse has something to say about this song. In 1994-1995, Warner Bros produced a series of three long videos named “Mickey Fun Songs.”

This series stars dolls dressed as Mickey’s friends – mainly Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. It includes cover versions of various songs, including classic songs from the 1930s. The 12th song on the list is “Jeepers Creepers,” sung by some children dressed as bees. To add to the creepiness of the scene, which is probably the scariest thing you’ll see in this review, you can see several puppets in the audience dressed as characters from the world of Mickey Mouse.

Jeepers Creepers Song In Comedy

Remember that episode of “Friends” where the song “Jeepers Creepers” is played? Not sure, but even in the super popular series, there is a reference to this song. In the sixth episode of the fourth season of the series, “The One With The Dirty Girl”, Monica (Courtney Cox, “Scream”) provides catering services at her wake with the help of Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow). The problem is that the widow is not willing to pay for the service she received, partly because she is busy singing songs. One of these songs is “Jeepers Creepers.”

You can also hear the song in on of Family Guy’s episodes, where it is sung by Stewie. Here’s what Seth MacFarlane had to say about this song in the scene:

A Song Turns Into A Horror Movie

Finally, we’re moving from cartoons and children’s programs to the reason we’ve gathered here: horror movies. The first obvious fact is that the 2001 film “Jeepers Creepers”, starring Justin Long and Gina Phillips, took its name from that famous song (and thus the character of the Creeper, the main monster). For those who haven’t seen you The excellent first movie, watch the second reasonable sequel, the third bad and the terrible fourth, we can say the Creeper is a kind of demon, similar to a scarecrow, that goes on a 23-day killing spree every 23 years, in which it kills people and feeds on their various parts.

The film focuses on Darry and Wagner, a brother and sister who encounter the Creeper while driving home from college when he discards a garbage bag with what looks exactly like a corpse. When the Creeper recognizes them, it begins to chase them and kill everyone in its path. The film cleverly uses the song you have gathered here, with its various versions.

Jeepers Creepers Diner Scene

In one of the scenes, after the two investigate and discover many dead bodies, they arrive at a typical American diner and ask for help. While they are waiting for the police, the phone next to them rings. Trish answers and hears a mysterious woman claiming they are in danger on the line. The same woman, who saw them in a dream, states that one will be killed in severe agony while listening to the song “Jeepers Creepers.” She plays it for them through the record player – along with the warning to run for their lives every time they listen to it.

This version, by the way, is by the legendary Paul Whiteman. Whiteman, one of the most influential composers, musical arrangers, conductors, and singers in the 20s and 30s of the last century, was called “The King Of Jazz.”

Jeepers Creepers Car Scene

Later in the film, Darry and Trish drive in a car and listen to the radio. Very quickly, the song changes to what looks like a different version of the song: or actually, the lines identified with the chorus in another piece, in a rhythmic punk version. When Darry recognizes the words, the brothers realize they must run and warn the police driving behind them and are on the phone with them. The problem is, it’s too late: the Creeper is already on the roof of the police car, and you can guess exactly how it ends.

The truth is that Darry was not wrong. This Jeepers Creepers song in car, the two siblings hear, is of the song Peek-a-Boo, the first single from the ninth album of a British post-punk band called Suzy and the Banshees from 1988. When the song was introduced, and it was clear that the chorus was too similar to that of the song “Jeepers Creepers,” which was released about five decades before, the band members did not want to take a risk and decided to give credit to the creators of the original song – remember Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren – as writers. To add to the confusion, the version you hear in the movie is a cover of that Peek-a-Boo by a band called “Echo 3” and not the original version by Suzy and the Banshees. If you haven’t heard of this band, it makes sense because she doesn’t have done anything significant other than that song. In the description of the band on the Last.FM website, it is stated that this is “an American band that covered the song “Peek-a-Boo” by Sodi and the Banshees, which appeared in the horror movie “Jeepers Creepers” from 2001.” It also says that the band has never released an album, but of course, you can listen to their material through various websites, including YouTube.

Jeepers Creepers Ending

After a few more mentions of the song, as part of the Creeper’s murderous journey, we understand why he chased the two brothers: to take one of his organs. In the excellent Jeepers Creepers ending, the camera moves slowly inside the Creeper’s hideout while we hear blood-curdling screams. At that moment, the song “Jeepers Creepers” starts playing – again in the same version by Paul Whitman – and we see the Creeper finish his piece, which ends in the unfortunate death of one of the characters.

So after seeing the entire journey that the song Jeepers Creepers song went through: from the musicals of the 1930s to the horror films of the 20s, through cartoons and strange cover versions – we can ask a straightforward question: How exactly, despite the solitary vote of the writer of these lines, was the song not included in the list of the 100 greatest songs from motion pictures? But that’s another story.

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